Scottish Commercial Deposit

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    Scottish Commercial Deposit

    I've been renting a commercial space in Scotland in a building that's privately owned but the studios are rented out through a charity who pay the building owner a fee. The lease is directly with the charity, monthly rent paid to them and commenced in 2015.

    At the start of the tenancy the condition was in fine but definitely not pristine condition, typical of a working studio that had been painted white years ago with scuffs, painted breezeblock walls with lots of holes in them, concrete floor with some paint splashes, etc. The deposit was 1 month's rent and I've paid rent consistently for 6 years+ until I moved out last month. I gave the appropriate rent and moved out on the agreed date, sending over an album of photos showing the cleaned condition of the empty space.

    When I moved out the condition of the property was better than when we moved in as we'd cleaned it up a lot, painted the floor and laid new lino in areas with their permission at our expense and filled and painted the very few holes we'd made in the wall, leaving the original ones as there were too many and I didn't make them.

    The charity is being cagey with the return of deposit and said it will be returned in around 1 month if they find the condition acceptable, sending over a whole list of how the space should be left that wasn't how we received it on entry.

    Now the charity have a new tenant but have doubled the rent they pay. I know the tenant and have just spoken with them. He had moved from another property elsewhere in much better brand new condition, and he's negotiating lower rent with the charity because he's not happy with the condition, wants it to look brand new and is bringing in painters to do the walls and flooring at his own expense.

    When I've chased the charity they're not responsive, although it still is within the 1 month period, but I feel like they're going to try and claim from my deposit and say the space should have been pristine on return. To me, it's not my job to return the space in better condition than it was originally rented to me in. They didn't carry out a condition report on entry and have failed to do any repairs promptly (e.g. taking over a year to 'fix' external damp coming through from blocked gutters by just painting over it on the interior wall). If they do make deductions from the rent what rights do I have and how do I challenge them? Thanks

    #2
    If they do not have an inventory then they are not in a strong position

    Ask them for a copy of the inventory that was signed by both parties at the start of the tenancy, inform them if they do not return the deposit within (insert date 30m days is up) you will start the court process

    Use 'simple procedure' (formerly small claims) for claims under £5000 (you can represent yourself and it does not cost much)

    You have done the right thing by taking lots of photos as evidence.

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      #3
      Thank you, I'm nearly at the 1 month stage and nothing has been returned yet despite chasing. The new tenant moved in last week, again without a condition report and they've done a full paint etc at their own expense because they wanted everything fresh. If I don't receive the deposit back by July 1st I'll send send a notice before action.

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