Calculating dilapidations for antiques

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    Calculating dilapidations for antiques

    My former tenants left my flat in a pretty rough state. The inventory clerk described it to me as mis-used. I have a formal check out document and have been trying to estimate dilapidations from it and am having problems.

    1. My letting agents assigned a part time new staff to manage my flat. He has never ever visited the property, but calculated the dilaps values for items damaged. I feel his assessments are sometimes too low, and while he says his is only a basic assessment, he won't budge. One area that is problematic is my garden shed which was left in such a mess that the inventory clerk couldn't access it at all. She told me in this situation everything in the check-in is assumed to be damaged and dilaps assessed. Instead the managing agent left it out completely, estimating only £50 to clear up the shed. I have been to see it and photograph it, and in the pictures you can see broken items. Others are so covered in debris you can't see them. So i have estimated dilaps for everything. And want to charge for clearing the shed. Would that be correct?

    2. The tenants are refusing to acknowledge a number of items that the inventory clerk indicate is their responsiblity. The two biggest ones are an antique table and a mirror, both of which have had bits broken off them. The tenants insist the items disintegrated and have said they refuse to pay for them. I have valuations for both items done by Bonhams (some 10 years ago), photos of items pre tenancy and after the breakage. Inventory also indicates they were in "good antique condtion" at check-in.

    When I contacted ARLA they recommended that damage is paid through the tenants claiming accidental damage on their contents insurance. However if they refuse that what do I do? The managing agent who has never seen the flat says he feels inclined to agree that it could have disintegrate, which I find incredible as it is contrary to the inventory and my pictures and knowledge. Alternatively I have the number of a valuer recommended through Bonhams who can estimate the damage value for a £100 fee. But who pays for this? Me or the tenant? And is it an appropriate way to do this?

    3. The end of tenancy clean was dreadful. I realise I don't have to allow them another chance to clean, but I did and set a date prior to me disappearing for 10 days. The clean didn't take place for all sorts of reasons, which I found out on my return, and I organised an alternative because I had new tenants moving in. So they are also saying they won't pay for this either.

    To top it all, the tenants, who are a touch aggressive, indicate that they may sue for items they disagree with, regardless of the inventory clerk assessment, or the legal advice I have recieved. Relations are already pretty low with these people. My feeling is to stick rigidly to what the check-out inventory assessed as tenant damage is best to keep safe. The check-out missed a number of items like broken locks and electrical goods, but I think perhaps I let this go (even though I have photgraphic evidence) and stick to what the check-out inventory states.

    Any help, again would be much appreciated as to my legal status and a correct approach. I believe my managing agents are landlord agents only (although there's nothing in the contract about this). The tenancy started in 2004 so is pre-new legislation.

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