Costs after deposit returned to tenant

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    Costs after deposit returned to tenant

    Hi there

    Our tenant has just vacated the property. She was unable to pay the last month's rent and we both agreed to take this out of her deposit through the DPS. The deposit was only 1 month's rent (it is now higher again with the new tenant ). She agreed to leave the flat empty, spotless and a few minor repairs to walls etc. completed. On the day of the final inspection, she sent me an e-mail stating she had missed a flight and couldn't make it and of course I found the flat in a complete mess. Unwanted furniture and belongings everywhere, filthy and no repairs completed. The new tenant was moving in the next day and we had a nightmare emptying, cleaning and repairing the property in time. We since have found further damages, e.g. the boiler and thermostat which will now cost at least £350 to repair. So normally we would have claimed all this through the deposit, but what can we do - if anything- for costs exceeding the deposit and are there fixed prices for cleaning, disposal of belongings etc? Needless to say we don't have a forwarding address and she says she is moving on to a new job.

    We have contacted her via e-mail and text to try and settle things without going for a CCJ but no answer.

    #2
    You can recover your losses beyond fair wear and tear as you would ny other debt.
    A deposit is only a convenient way to establish that the tenant will have some funds available at the tenancy ends - it doesn't limit anyone's liability.

    There are people finding services advertised in the directory of this website (although most would need a few months to have elapsed).
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      Then you have your answer: but a CCJ is about as likely to result in payment as a Notice Requiring Possession is likely to result in a tenant's departure. But good luck.

      Comment


        #4
        Inventory? Check In, Check Out?

        And what did the AST say?

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          #5
          These things can provide an evidence base for your claim, but recovering money is quite another thing ...

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            #6
            True... but having / not having might make a difference to the advice given... possibly!

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              #7
              Forget it and move on. (You won't get any sympathy in small claims court.)

              Also, you might want to leave a few weeks between tenants in future. This will give you time to find and rectify any little items like that yourself in your own time, rather than having to pay tradesmen to do a quick job working round your new tenant.

              I don't even show the place until it is refurbished. If you insist on doing things quicker, don't sign a new tenancy agreement until the old tenant has moved out. If they don't move out for some reason, you'll be paying for a hotel for the new tenant.

              Comment


                #8
                Agree with JKO but how did she do £350 damage to boiler and stat?

                Next time don't agree taking rent from deposit or give a reference until last the month's rent has been paid (or some might say no refs until tenant has moved out).



                Freedom at the point of zero............

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thank you everyone for the comments. Yes, we do have an inventory and I had to do the inspection without her. Of course have photographic evidence before and after and receipts for parts and repairs. Does anyone know how much you can charge for cigarette and iron burns on carpets? What about cleaning, disposal and repairs you have carried out yourself? Can we pass on milage to and from flat etc? Compensation for compensation payment to new tenant? (She didn't tell us that the boiler and thermostat were broken)

                  We reluctantly paid her the deposit back in advance and would have loved a gap between tenancies, but as we need the rental income to pay for the rent of our home, we had no other choice. Luckily the new tenant was very understanding.

                  Let's just say we've learned a lot with this experience.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Charford View Post
                    would have loved a gap between tenancies, but as we need the rental income to pay for the rent of our home, we had no other choice.
                    Charge a higher rent so that you can afford to have a void period to make things right, redecorate, etc.
                    I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      If the income from the property is so tight that you can't afford a couple of weeks gap between tenancies, I think you need to try and build up some contingency.
                      Apart from the issues, you would have avoided this time, you might find yourself with a tenant who (for example) loses their job or goes into hospital and can't pay rent for a month or so (or longer).
                      I plan to receive 11 months rent a year (and others advise 10) and that seems to reflect reality overall.

                      You are claiming compensation for any loss you have suffered, not charging for burns etc.
                      So, unless the carpet requires replacement, you are not going to get much compensation (because the carpet is still basically doing the job it is meant to).
                      You need to work out the loss in value and show that it is a reasonable estimate.

                      Same issue with the work you did yourself, what was your actual loss (what it cost you to do the work) rather than any actual charge for your time.

                      You can't pass on mileage to and from the flat (although you can claim that against income for tax purposes) as it isn't directly attributable to the tenant and their actions.
                      You can't pass on anything for the compensation to the new tenant for the same reason.
                      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by KTC View Post
                        Charge a higher rent so that you can afford to have a void period to make things right, redecorate, etc.
                        Already done!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thank you. That was kind of the answer I was looking for. We would have replaced some of the carpets if we still had some deposit to try and deduct them from. And we did all the cleaning ourselves because we are bit really hopeful we'll see a single penny from her. You live and learn. We definitely have a larger deposit now and have also increased the rent.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                            You can't pass on mileage to and from the flat (although you can claim that against income for tax purposes) as it isn't directly attributable to the tenant and their actions.
                            If you specifically have to drive around to fix damage caused by the tenant then it is part of the loss.

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