advice needed - letting agency is trying to recover entire deposit!!

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    advice needed - letting agency is trying to recover entire deposit!!

    Hi,
    We recently vacated the property after 14 months of renting and yesterday we received an email from the letting agency that they will be seeking to recover the entire deposit of £1482. They have also said that the landlord will be seeking to recompense over and above the Security Deposit from us both directly for all 'out of pocket' expenses.

    They are claiming that the property was left in an 'unacceptable' condition, that it was not professionally cleaned and that the laminate floors were left unclean - this is not true, as we had a professional cleaning crew in for an end of tenancy and carpet cleaning the day before we handed over the keys.

    The property was rented to us with very heavy curtains hanging off the rails, which resulted in one of the poles falling off completely and 3 others to partially break out of the wall before I replaced them with lighter curtains - we did attempt to attach the rail to the wall but it kept falling out, resulting in a few holes in the wall directly by the bedroom window. We are willing to take responsibility for it, despite it being down to the landlord/agency to arrange a fix. However, they are trying to charge us £1250 for the fix of 5-6 small holes and paintwork throughout the apartment.

    Is this something they can charge us for? We lived in the apartment for over a year, so it's a given that there will be some wear and tear to the walls and doors (which they're claiming were scratched and are also trying to charge us directly). Also, is it possible to obtain a 'counter-quote' to present to the DPS, as I find it extremely hard to believe that there aren't any cheaper professionals that would still carry out the work to the highest of standards.

    They are saying the toilet flush needs replacing - there was no issue with it at the time of the tenancy.

    £72 is being charged for carpet cleaning, which was done during the professional end of tenancy cleaning.

    There was a bed left on the property, which we weren't able to remove before returning the keys - we emailed the letting agency to let them know this could be a possibility, but they kept ignoring most of the emails we sent and then acting like they knew nothing about it. Again though, we are willing to cover the cost of removing the bed.

    Initially, we were supposed to return the keys on the 14th at some point before the end of the day (the tenancy commenced on the 15th of September 2016), but I have recently changed jobs and now have to travel over an hour each way to work, so we asked to extend this until Thursday 17th (we dropped the keys off on Thursday evening). My understanding is that we should only be charged for the 3 days (15,16 & 17), but they are trying to charge us for 4 whole days??

    It is also worth mentioning that during the time of the tenancy, as part of our agreement, we've had two inspections from the letting agency and on both occasions they confirmed they were happy with the state of the apartment (we have emails to confirm).
    I would really appreciate some advice on how we can dispute this.

    thanks

    #2
    Start a dispute with the deposit protection scheme. That's what they are for....

    See. Shelter website for guidance
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

    Comment


      #3
      Was deposit registered and PI served? Was an inventory performed on check in and check out? Did you seek prior approval for remaining at the property after the final day of your tenancy?

      A curtain rail coming off the wall and leaving holes, with additional holes from a botched repair will certainly not be classed as wear and tear. Did you inform the landlord that this had occurred or just try to repair yourself?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Jalauram View Post
        Initially, we were supposed to return the keys on the 14th at some point before the end of the day (the tenancy commenced on the 15th of September 2016), but I have recently changed jobs and now have to travel over an hour each way to work, so we asked to extend this until Thursday 17th (we dropped the keys off on Thursday evening). My understanding is that we should only be charged for the 3 days (15,16 & 17), but they are trying to charge us for 4 whole days??
        They can potentially charge you for the whole month depending on who gave notice.
        Any advice I give is my opinion and experience, I am as you also learning.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by sunnyp View Post
          They can potentially charge you for the whole month depending on who gave notice.
          Hi,

          we gave notice to the Landlord, but it was agreed with the letting agency that we would only be charged for the additional days.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by section21 View Post
            Was deposit registered and PI served? Was an inventory performed on check in and check out? Did you seek prior approval for remaining at the property after the final day of your tenancy?

            A curtain rail coming off the wall and leaving holes, with additional holes from a botched repair will certainly not be classed as wear and tear. Did you inform the landlord that this had occurred or just try to repair yourself?
            Hi

            thanks for your response - yes, there was both check in and check out carried out by an inventory clerk. Unfortunately though, we were unable to attend the check out as we were both away with work for the whole day and they would not reschedule the appointment.

            We did seek approval and they agreed for us to extend this at a daily rate of £35 (the monthly rent was £1070).

            In terms of the wear and tear, I was referring to the fact that they are trying to charge us for repainting the rest of the apartment - not just the wall with the holes. We are aware that we are fully liable for the damage to the wall and are willing for the cost to be deducted from our deposit. We don't, however, agree to the amount.

            We informed them of what was happening with the rails and the holes were there during the last inspection, but we did try to repair it ourselves.

            Comment


              #7
              Then challenge it with the deposit scheme - they will not be allowed to charge you to decorate the whole room. I hope you took some photos before you left?

              Comment


                #8
                Challenge it with the deposit scheme.

                1. You have a receipt for the professional clean
                2. They can only charge you a reasonable amount towards redecoration, given the holes.
                3. They can charge you to remove the bed
                4. They might be able to make a case for the 4th day of extra rent.
                5. Toilet flush... they'd have to have proof it needed doing, given you say it was fine
                6. Scratches may be over and above FWT, scuffs and rubs are the terms I use for FWT, a scratch would indicate heavier impact and damage. But pictures would be needed to show that. And even then you would only be liable for a small amount, not a replacement door or repaint of a whole room.

                Good luck!

                Comment


                  #9
                  personally I'd dispute the whole lot. The landlord supplied curtains too heavy for the rail - not your mistake, not your bill. Presumably you left the heavy curtains there though?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Whatever you challenge won't matter much, it will be down to the evidence they provide, except for the receipt for professional cleaning. Saying that, it doesn't forcibly mean that they won't consider the LL's case. I employed professional cleaners once (after tenants left the place in a complete mess), thankfully said I wanted to see the house before giving the money, as their standard of cleaning certainly wasn't mine! They did a good job at cleaning surfaces, but seemed to have forgotten to open cupboards, maybe thinking no-one would! I had to hire someone else to pick up what they hadn't done properly. Saying that, this is thankfully unusual

                    Decoration will depend on the last time it was done. If it was professionally painted just before you moved in, and was left with marks and holes, it will cost more than if it hadn't been painted for years and your marks are lost between the previous marks.

                    Toilet flush. If not stated as a problem when you moved in and they can show a photo that it was broken at exit inventory (or a plumber confirming), you'll probably be liable for the costs of repairs.

                    Take it to the ADR. The most likely outcome is that there will be a deduction, just not to the amount they are claiming.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Unless they can prove that the toilet flush was tenant damage, it's a repair that the landlord would be liable for in any case.
                      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

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