Landlord has no inventory, claiming damages at termination of tenancy

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  • Landlord has no inventory, claiming damages at termination of tenancy

    Hi All

    I am a tenant currently in the process of serving notice to terminate a tenancy. At the start of the tenancy I completed an inventory of the house and have maintained this throughout the tenancy, for instance a scratch on the floor caused by a plumber doing a repair.

    At the start of the tenancy the agent was meant to agree this inventory but he never did this - this was basically because he was preoccupied dealing with numerous repairs to the property when we moved in, including a window which wouldn't close, boiler which didn't work and other essential items to make the house habitable and secure. I should have chased him to approve this and I am at fault for not doing so.

    We will be having a move out inspection for the end of the tenancy and return of the deposit. The agent is a bit of a nightmare, he's just very unorganised and doesn't seem to know what he is doing. Furthermore there was damage to some items in the house caused by the previous tenant - I made a note of all of these in my inventory when we moved in. I am concerned he is going to try and retain our deposit in relation to this.

    Can anyone offer any advice on how we could deal with this and if he does try to retain our deposit what our basis would be to legally challenge him on this point.

    Before we moved in he sent me some photos of the property - however these were taken BEFORE the previous tenant moved in. I have photos from when we moved in showing damage.

    Any advice appreciated.

  • #2
    Don't worry. It was your landlord's (or his agent's) job to compile the inventory and to get you to agree it, not the other way round.

    Without an agreed inventory, or any evidence of the state of the property/contents when you moved in (and when you moved out), he will struggle to claim anything at all from your deposit. The burden of proof is on him, so you should be fine. If he does try to claim anything, simply dispute the deductions, present your own evidence if required and let the scheme adjudicator decide. (I take it your deposit is protected?)
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations


    • #3
      The property is in Scotland and I understand the protected deposit scheme applies here as well.

      When we moved into the property we were informed the deposit would be in a protected scheme, however I can't find any record of this on the documents when we moved in.

      If for some reason its not in the protected scheme - can we seek action against the agent for not complying with this requirements.



      • #4
        I am a letting agent in Glasgow and I can tell you that the Tenancy Deposit Scheme is not yet up and running in Scotland. It is expected that the first scheme will be operational by 1st June or 1st July 2012 (although these dates could slip).
        Currently your deposit will not be proteceted and therefore, should the agent in question attempt to withhold any of your deposit, you should get the reasons for this in writing. Then your only option, if this is the case, will be to take your agent to the Small Claims Court if he insists on retaining any of the deposit. The documentation you have already compiled will stand you in good stead and will support your case. Be sure to take plenty of photographs before you vacate the property to substantiate your docmentary evidence.
        It may very well be that the agent will back down in the face of your evidence.
        it is this type of behaviour from agents that give our industry a bad name and the more that poor and unprofesssional practice can be highlighted then the better for the market.
        Hope this helps.


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