Redecoration deposit deductions

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    Redecoration deposit deductions


    I was hoping someone could provide a bit of guidance on a problem I'm having with my landlord...

    I am due to leave the flat I've been renting for the past year. The landlord lets through an agency, however she asked to come by which I had no problems with. The flat was in a good condition - tidy, but I had not deep cleaned as I am still living there up until my tenancy ends. I wasn't told that this would be a formal inspection - more of an informal chat whilst she was in the area.

    The landlord pointed out a small mark near the bottom of the wall in the living room - it looked like a faint trickle of juice of some sort. I said that I would clean the walls (sugar soap, magic sponge etc) as well as the rest of the property upon leaving the flat. This was ignored and the landlord has since told me that I have to pay to have the room completely repainted professionally. I was sent quotes which totalled £200. I have been reading around online and found that the landlord cannot legally demand an 'old for new' type of full replacement cost? Or that the landlord cannot be better off financially than when the tenancy began?

    It's worth noting that there was a full check-in inventory where the room in question was described as having "dark marks and scuffs along the walls" - definitely not freshly repainted when i first moved in, so I'm confused as to how the landlord thinks I should pay for her whole living room to be repainted based off of a small mark which would be easily removed during cleaning.

    The landlord is also waiting on quotes from a gardener for replacing trees, which had not previously been agreed. On comparing the garden in its current state to the check-in report, I am unable to see which trees the landlord is referring to... in fact I had weeded the garden as the path was completely weed strewn (which is also detailed in the check-in report!)

    I was thinking that I should just clean the property as best as I can and wait until the check-out report takes place, to see whether the inventory clerk deems any difference between the check-in and out? The landlord initially wanted me to pay this cost up front - not deducting from the deposit, which I was not comfortable with at all.

    This is the only time where a landlord has demanded money upfront, typically i would clean/fix anything in the property, leave the property, have a check-out report take place and then review deductions (if any), and if i disagreed with any then it would be disputed through DPS, mydeposits etc?!

    Any thoughts much appreciated



    At least based on the way you tell it, you should not have a problem.

    If you think any deductions are fair, pay up for those parts. For the rest, say that you disagree. If a solution cannot be reached, then use the ADR service of the deposit protection service.

    Did you remove any trees?


      Have you had confirmation your deposit has been protected from the landlord?

      This sounds like they may know full well it won't be granted if you dispute it. If you pay this upfront, you have no recourse. Potentially, they could come after you twice for the same repairs, once from your upfront payment, and once more from the deposit.


        I would respond to the landlord in writing.

        I would advise that your deposit covers the cost of any damage or decorating and as you are still within your tenancy you cannot be asked for money in advance.

        Advise them that you will also dispute any claim they make on the deposit in respect of decorating. You have an inventory report showing that the walls already needed painting and you will not bear the cost for one mark that you have since cleaned off.

        With regards to the trees it sounds as though they are implying you have removed shrubs that weren't weeds. I hope you took plenty of photos as evidence but the landlord would have to prove they existed if he was to claim.

        It seems a little bit weird that they turn up for an impromptu visit and then demand money?.

        I hope it's not a landlord with one property and is struggling financially


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