How unreasonable is it to not pay the last month's rent if you paid a deposit equal to the rent?

(121 Posts)
Rentergirl Thu 06-Dec-12 18:18:30

I used to be naive enough to think that the agent was a go-between. No not at all! There have been a few issues with things that broke, fell off, fell down, were bottom of the range etc.... I quickly got the message that the agent gets their commission from the client, and the client is the one who counts. So I felt bullied at times. eg, 'warned' by the agent that there wasn't much else out there that I could afford and that I shouldn't complain so much.

I have never been more than a day late with the rent. But when I go I won't pay the last month's rent. I will advise them by email that my deposit can be the last month's rent. I will leave the place clean and tidy because I'm not an arsehole.

I don't need a reference. I will put my hard hat on now and prepare to be blasted. Or not. ???

FeistyLass Thu 06-Dec-12 18:21:20

YABU, you entered into a contract and you should honour it.

piglettsmummy Thu 06-Dec-12 18:23:13

Yes yabu! A deposit is like a protection for the landlord if anything is broken or worn they use It to replace those things. You say there Hve been a few isssues so why does he landlord have to go these out. Their pocket if they happened while you were in the house. You are in essence breaking your contract with your landlord and it will go on our credit score as an unpaid debt! Think carefully before you decide to make this decision because it's not right and in court ( if your landlord took you to one over the outstanding amount, you would loose.

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 06-Dec-12 18:23:28

I'm fairly sure that this isn't legal.

If your deposit is in a deposit protection scheme, as it should be, than it won't be released until the last checks have been done. Any damage has to be declared to the scheme, and to you, and the funds are released only when disputes are settled. I'm not sure the agent will be able to use the deposit for the last month's rent, because they don't actually hold it. It's held by the third party.

If it isn't in a deposit scheme, you could get something crazy like 4 times your deposit from the landlord, as they have broken the law.

Why won't you pay the last month?

Regardless, if you are prepared for the fact that they may chase you and take you to court or send debt collectors, and are 100% confident you will never need a reference, I suppose you don't have much to lose.

Rentergirl Thu 06-Dec-12 18:24:14

I would if I could trust them to honour the agreement we entered in to!

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 06-Dec-12 18:25:43

Do you mean you think they will deduct money from your deposit?

AngelOne Thu 06-Dec-12 18:25:57

I did this in the last 2 places I rented. I was just sick of being ripped off by dodgy landlords.

Rentergirl Thu 06-Dec-12 18:26:51

Is it ilegal? So, what happens if I say I deserve all my deposit back and they say there is wear and tear hmm sorry, we're keeping it. Then I have to go to court .........

Far simpler to just leave the place spic and span and if they come after me they are the wankers I always knew they were.

Mamateur Thu 06-Dec-12 18:27:29

I really have a very low opinion of lettings agents although I'm sure there are some good ones that I just haven't encountered yet. Your story sounds depressingly familiar.

I always allowed my tenants to do this, subject to checking the place over for damage, etc.

I would do exactly as you plan.

Rentergirl Thu 06-Dec-12 18:29:06

AngelOne, that's what I'm afraid of. Not only is this couple deluded about the standard of their shabby freezing property but they have been so unreasonable and so intransigent for two years that I have no hope that they would behave with any kind of honour now I'm leaving. And the agent, ha! he has already told me straight, shugging his spineless shoulders as he said it that the landlord is the client and that the commission comes from the client. Would that speech inspire faith !?

Did they accept it?

Mamateur Thu 06-Dec-12 18:29:37

issues with things that broke, fell off, fell down, were bottom of the range etc.

Surely these are maintenance issues for the landlord to sort out, not the tenant to pay for (for the LL and future tenants to inherit!)

PessaryPam Thu 06-Dec-12 18:30:30

Renter, just do it!

MarzipanAnimal Thu 06-Dec-12 18:30:36

It may seem reasonable but it is illegal. Isn't your deposit in a protection scheme? If not then you may have more grounds for keeping the rent as the agent has then broken the law

piglettsmummy Thu 06-Dec-12 18:31:25

Yor allowed for wear and tear but anything else, I.e replacement of carpets and other items and redecorating x

Rentergirl Thu 06-Dec-12 18:32:35

it needed redecorating before I moved in!!

Rentergirl Thu 06-Dec-12 18:35:40

I will advise them that this is what I propose to do. I will mention to the agent that when he advised me so bluntly that the commission comes from the client that I don't believe he will be acting at all in my best interests. He has basically already told me that he only acts in the interests of the landlords. I will phrase it in a less inflammatory way though. I'll work on that.

Can they really complain?? 26 months living in this kip and the rent paid every single month. Due 1st and the latest I ever paid was the 2nd!

Convict224 Thu 06-Dec-12 18:36:41

My son and his mate rented a flat for about 2 years. During this time their shower was unusable and my sons bedroom was so damp he had to dump clothes and bedding destroyed by mould. Despite constant promises his landlord did nothing and he eventually had to move to a damp free property.
He never paid his last months rent but cleaned and painted the flat prior to leaving. He took lots of photos proving the condition of the property. He had moved into their new place with a week still left and the landlord had the repairs done. Bastards .

Brycie Thu 06-Dec-12 18:39:33

Extremely unreasonable, selfish and unfair. All deposits are now held in a scheme which means they can't be held unreasonably. Any dispute is resolved neutrally. What you are suggesting is horrible.

Rentergirl Thu 06-Dec-12 18:41:36

horrible?? confused oh come off it.

Rentergirl Thu 06-Dec-12 18:42:12

and how much does it cost to resolve it neutrally i wonder?? if they won't give it back, is it me that has to pay to resolve it 'neutrally'?

I have never gotten a deposit back, and I always leave the houses clean, tidy, freshly painted etc. I don't even see it as a deposit anymore, just the costs of moving.

Rentergirl Thu 06-Dec-12 18:44:29

Similar story here convict. They make me feel like i'm insane whenever I tell them the shower is cold the front door is badly fitted and creating a draft that increases the heating costs. I wish I'd taken photos two years ago.

nocake Thu 06-Dec-12 18:45:16

If you don't pay the last months rent the landlord can take you to court to get the money. It will be very easy for him to go through the small claims court and he will win.

The deposit cannot be used to cover missed rent. The deposit protection scheme will not allow it so court will be the landlord's only option to get the money back.

Rentergirl Thu 06-Dec-12 18:45:47

dinosaur, did you not fight it? or did they say that it was their decision and you'd need to go to court to have it 'resolved neutrally'?

Rentergirl Thu 06-Dec-12 18:46:30

did they even give you a reason for not giving the deposit back?

expatinscotland Thu 06-Dec-12 18:47:22

I used to work with students and they all did this after being scammed by landlords and agents. They just cleaned really well and had good videos of the condition of the place when they moved in, video logs of repairs not down and the shite condition of the property and video of the condition it was left in.

Don't blame them a bit. The whole private rental system through agencies is a giant scam to fleece tenants.

AfterEightMintyy Thu 06-Dec-12 18:47:34

Will you please answer the question about the rent deposit scheme? If you are in the UK and you paid the deposit only 26 months ago then it should be.

ChunkyPickle Thu 06-Dec-12 18:47:50

Your deposit should be in a deposit protection scheme. These schemes are very fair about wear and tear.

Do you have a full inventory prepared by an independent 3rd party? Because if you don't and they go to one of these schemes to try and retain some of the deposit then the protection scheme will laugh at them and give you all the deposit back.

Rentergirl Thu 06-Dec-12 18:48:28

but they'd have to give back the deposit when I left, so they're not out of pocket, so WHAT would they be pursuing through the small claims court? surely landlords would only do that if the property was actually damaged by the renter? although, my landlords are awful. I think they bought this at the top of the market and are trying to pass the expense on to the renter.

Rentergirl Thu 06-Dec-12 18:49:29

there wasnt an inventory so they could say anything. shit they could say there were televisions here. omg!

FredFredGeorge Thu 06-Dec-12 18:53:47

RenterGirl It costs nothing to resolve it neutrally, the deposit has to be protected (if it's not protected then it can cost you, but then you would normally get your costs and 3 times the deposit back in penalty).

FredFredGeorge Thu 06-Dec-12 18:54:23

RenterGirl Without an inventory, you'll get the full deposit back in almost any situation. Who is your deposit protected with?

FeistyLass Thu 06-Dec-12 18:55:19

You don't have to go to court to get it resolved if there is a dispute over returning the deposit. The tenant protection scheme includes a free mediation service.
You'll only run the risk of going to court if you don't pay the last month's rent. Then it's likely your landlord will pursue you through the small claims court.
I've never had a problem getting a deposit returned from a landlord so I don't understand why you think there'll be an issue confused

expatinscotland Thu 06-Dec-12 18:55:59

If she's been in the flat for longer than 26 months then it's likely the deposit isn't in the protection scheme.

ChunkyPickle Thu 06-Dec-12 18:56:11

But the last month's rent is due 1 month before your deposit is due to be returned (plus a week or so to actually get it out of the scheme)

No, they couldn't - it's in YOUR favour - an inventory has to be thorough (mine took over an hour and a half - and it was the second time she'd inventoried this house, so she only had to tick a lot of bits!) - your landlord has to prove that it was you that caused the damage, if they have no inventory, they can't do that, so the arbitration will go in your favour

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 06-Dec-12 18:57:18

Renter -

If the deposit is in a scheme, they would have to send a copy of the first inventory (signed by you both) and the leaving inventory, and request £x amount for repairs. The scheme would then contact you and tell you what they'd done. You could accept, if it's reasonable, or refuse. If you refuse, you can either counter it with a lower amount, or tell the scheme that you didn't cause the damage.

I've used it four times, twice the landlord was....economical, with the truth, and both times I got my full deposit back without paying anything, or going anywhere near the small claims court.

If it isn't in a scheme, you've got bigger problems, but even then you should get your deposit back x4.

(You sound like you live in my old house. Cold, damp and horrible. I do feel for you, but what you are suggesting is not legal)

ISeeSmallPeople Thu 06-Dec-12 18:57:59

Is your deposit in a scheme? And the paperwork accompanying it perfect?

If not you can claim up to 3 times the deposit as a penalty, as well as your full deposit back.

No inventory is great. It means no deductions! ( they can argue all they want, but their agent messed up smile )

Any good LL or agent will have a contract that says despot can be used for rent, and bills, & chase you through small claims for repairs over & above wear & tear.

FredFredGeorge Thu 06-Dec-12 18:58:04

expatinscotland In England and Wales there is no exception unless you've been in a VERY long time (1998 or 2001 if I remember rightly and even then have a non normal lease)

Letting agents and lone LLs have both not paid back deposits to me on propertys they failed to maintain and I left in perfect condition.

Heating systems bodged repeatedly, ovens not replaced, showers not fixed. Yet when I moved out apparently they needed a cleaning company because there was food left in the fridge. There wasnt.

I have learned now. Take pics of everything and keep a diary of broken things that they fail to deal with.

If you do it OP, make sure you take extensive photos of every room. Inside the fridge, oven etc.

ISeeSmallPeople Thu 06-Dec-12 18:58:19

Despots cannot be used..

MoomieAndFreddie Thu 06-Dec-12 19:01:39

YANBU but i bet most will say YABU

landlords / letting agents are piss takers and will do ALL they can to rip you off IME

Viviennemary Thu 06-Dec-12 19:02:31

Well you will be on a list of bad debtors I expect. Still some unscrupulous landlords do keep hold of the deposit even though they have no reason to.

ChunkyPickle Thu 06-Dec-12 19:02:44

FredFredGeorge - April 97 I think!

wannabe - you had flybynight landlords/agents who were breaking the law.

ISeeSmallPeople Thu 06-Dec-12 19:03:03

There is no list grin

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Thu 06-Dec-12 19:04:09


If you are concerned about shoddy treatment when you leave, contact Shelter for advice.

HisstletoeAndWhine Thu 06-Dec-12 19:05:57

Love, without an inventory, they can't prove a THING against you, they can't even prove the place was clean!

Tbh, the deposit can't be used as the rent, the money can't be released to the LL unless they can prove that they are out of pocket.

Basically without an inventory, You CAN'T lose! Don't sweat for a second about any of this.

Your only duty (morally) is to return the property in the condition in which you received it, and even then, the LL or their agent can't prove otherwise. Clean it to a good domestic standard, but that's it. Photograph it, before you leave, and leave it at that.

You have to pay the last month's rent, but you will get your deposit back, if they delay for a second, take the matter up with the deposit scheme.

HisstletoeAndWhine Thu 06-Dec-12 19:06:43

I'm an ex-Inventory clerk btw.

OwlLady Thu 06-Dec-12 19:09:53

yur deposit it with someone else the deposit protection service or something or other

i know it's annoying though, our rental house is falling to pieces, we do most the work and then they moan that we haven't cut the hedges back or similar confused

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Thu 06-Dec-12 19:10:00

OP, I think you should post again in Legal.

I think you will get a lot of advice there regards to your rights in terms of your deposit.

You will get a county court injunction against you and bad credit rating if you go ahead with what you propose. The legal bods in Legal and Property (many of whom are landlords with good ethics) will advice you what you can do to ensure you DO get your deposit.

malinois Thu 06-Dec-12 19:10:57

I've never had a deposit back without threatening court action. No reason given for retaining the deposit, just constant procrastination or complete non-communication from landlords and agents - I think they just hope people will give up, especially students who might be moving back to their home country etc.

The last couple of times I rented, I did exactly as the OP plans to do.

However, the tenancy deposit protection scheme didn't exist at the time.

MrsSnow Thu 06-Dec-12 19:11:00


It's a contract. You have obligations just as the landlord does. Imagine if the landlord said he was going to let the house with you still in it etc. it would be unreasonable. In the same way your are being unreasonable.

Also deposits are now kept in DPS schemes so it is harder for your landlord to just get the last months rent, a lot of paperwork rushing around just for you to walk away. They probably will have to take you to court to get the money.

ATouchOfStuffing Thu 06-Dec-12 19:14:22

I don't know if this helps:
I would insist works are carried out or suggest you could take them to Court as a last resort if you have put your request in writing
I really wouldn't go down the avenue of last rent etc as if they have any dispute as to the condition you left the house in they WILL take you to Court for extra and you don't want a bad reference for your next rental.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 06-Dec-12 19:15:28

You are being very unreasonable to even consider it, and I can't believe anyone with any moral conscious would actually do it.

Why should landlords treat their tenants better when so many people think it's ok to do things like this and balantaly just break contracts? Karma is a bitch, and it works both ways.

1charlie1 Thu 06-Dec-12 19:23:44

We had our flat inspected by an inventory company before we took possession, and fortunately I am paranoid about such things and went over the report with a fine tooth comb before signing. They had omitted to include glaringly obvious (pre-existing) damage to the flat, (a large hole punched in the wall at the bath tile edge, stuffed with newspaper, two missing stair railings, reporting that that there were shelves in a non-shelved cupboard etc etc.) I would hate to think what might have happened to our deposit if I had trusted them to do a decent job.
Our large front windows are being 'looked at' as they are constantly wet, and the wooden frames are so rotten my finger went through the sill. Covered in mould also. We've been complaining since January! Two weeks ago, the landlord finally sent a window bloke out to 'look' at them. He said the glass in them is greenhouse glass. Half the thickness of a normal pane (and forget double-glazed!) We can't use the room at the moment - it is absolutely freezing. It's a one bed flat, so there's not much room going spare!
It is a disgrace that people are allowed to buy multiple properties, neglect their upkeep, and exploit their tenants.
It seems that some landlords rely on the poverty of their tenants in order to shirk their responsibilties. OP, if you suspect your landlord is of this ilk, you do what you need to do to protect your hard earned cash.

expatinscotland Thu 06-Dec-12 19:27:59

'Karma is a bitch, and it works both ways'

There is no such thing as karma.

hugoagogo Thu 06-Dec-12 19:28:35

I have done this in the past, in fact lots of times when I was a student because landlords never repaid deposits; they didn't even pretend to have a good reason. The landlords nearly always were better off for it because, the deposits were more than a month's rent-so not exactly morally repugnant.

You are now protected by law though and landlords cannot keep your deposit without good reason and if you do withhold your last month's rent they will be out of pocket.

You need to check if your deposit is in the scheme as it should be and if not then you can claim some sort of compensation. (not expert)

ATouchOfStuffing Thu 06-Dec-12 19:30:30

You could argue that if you accept to live somewhere and sign a Contract that you should be happy with what is there before signing? I think if you rent thinking that once you move in somewhere the LL will do expensive works just because you ask, you will be very dissapointed. Make a list of what is important to you (double glazing, nice carpet, no damp smell etc) and stick to it when you are choosing where to live, as you would if you were BUYING somewhere.

Marcheline Thu 06-Dec-12 19:46:50

Renter - do you have a certificate showing that your deposit was registered with a government approved deposit protection scheme?

If you don't, you can claim up to 3x the value of your deposit from your LL or letting agent, depending on who you paid it to.

Without an inventory, they cannot prove the state that the property was in when you moved in, and you would get all your deposit back.

Deposits are meant to be held for delapidations but CAN be used for outstanding rent. Doesn't mean that what you are suggesting is the 'right' thing to do, but...

First of all, see if you can find a registration certificate for your deposit and the 'prescribed information' from the deposit protection scheme used by your agent / LL. If you don't have that, google the government website (can't remember it off the top of my head) and find out if your deposit is registered and find out the info about how to claim money from your LL / agent (you'd prob have to take them to court but could be worth it to you).

Secondly, if they plan to make deductions, they need to tell you within 14 days of you leaving the property. You can raise a dispute with the deposit scheme (if your money is in a scheme - if there isn't, you can take them to court as above) and you WILL won as tree wasnt an inventory.

Sorry for long post. Hope it helps.

1charlie1 Thu 06-Dec-12 19:47:43

ATouchOfStuffing - many, many people renting in this country cannot afford to have a 'list' of desirable qualities for choosing a property. Our 'choice' was limited to: can we afford this? Surely, ALL properties rented on a commercial basis should be fit for habitation. We didn't 'test' the windows to see if they were normal glass - we just, um, assumed the windows were like the windows in normal houses - not made of glass from a backyard greenhouse. If we could afford a double glazed property, with nice carpets etc, we would have rented one. But does that mean I should be content that in my 'cheap' property, mould is growing in the corners, (because the downpipes have been improperly fitted, and now water is running internally into the walls)? Our property is priced at the maximum rent that two people working full-time on the minimum wage can aspire to, yet it was the cheapest we could find. Actually BUYING something is an impossible dream. The disjunct between income and housing costs is an appalling social problem.

ATouchOfStuffing Thu 06-Dec-12 19:59:03

Fair point re the glass - that does sound a strange thing to do (!) as a landlord. But if there is mould and damp then this shouldn't be hard to discover before moving in. If you think there is a health hazard you can take action, as I said in my earlier post, against the LL. But, as anything, if you are spending the majority of your income on it, you have to check it is what you really want first; the onus is on you to check it before you sign.

Doinmummy Thu 06-Dec-12 19:59:34

I'm on the other side of this as a LL. I have never refused to return a deposit DESPITE my property being left filthy with tables/chairs/ toilets etc broken.

A deposit can't be used as rent. A tenant tried to do this to me and my solicitor said its not legal . I lost out anyway as he left the room in a dreadful state( had put a shelf up using CEMENT which pulled the plaster off the wall). He owed me hundreds in rent and damages but disappeared.

AmberSocks Thu 06-Dec-12 20:13:54

We did it and im glad we did,they sent us an email after we had left of costs and they charged us something like 200 pound for moving a microwave we left there(which worked,we thought it would be handy for whoever moved in next) and 300 for a toilet lid.We paid nearly 3k for the deposit so we just didn't pay the last months rent because they were being arseholes about when we could move.

AmberSocks Thu 06-Dec-12 20:15:43

Thet took it to the TDS (?) and they ruled that the landlord was allowed the deposit and that any other outstanding costs should be forgotted about because we lived thre for 2 years and it took them a month to get back to us when we told them we wanted to move.

Rentergirl Thu 06-Dec-12 20:21:51

That's what I'm afraid of Ambersocks. They haven't shown themselves to be reasonable or decent in the past two years.

And 'karma'. funny i was only saying to a friend the other day i don't believe in karma. most people, decent people, intelligent people, live and learn as they go along, and nature is cruel and bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. It's random.

What ive lived and learned over the last two years is that my landlords would have no qualms about not returning my deposit. i think the mortgage repayment on this place is higher than the rent.

haven't 100% made my decision yet. I might send an email to the agent suggesting this course of action and see if he goes all legal on me or not.......

1charlie1 Thu 06-Dec-12 20:32:17

DH is using my nickname to post here:
I quite understand good landlords feeling powerless in the face of poor tenants. However the consequences for a good landlord with a poor tenant are not as dire as for a good tenant with a poor landlord. The landlord may lose large sums of money due to a poor tenant, however the tenant may lose the money needed to gain a roof over their head. If rentergirl is overly concerned I cannot blame her for contemplating legally dubious behaviour.

It is often hard for good people, on either side, to understand the poor practices of their fellow landlords/tenants. Our particular landlord has shown no sign of wanting to maintain his own investment, let alone provide decent quality accomodation.

whois Thu 06-Dec-12 21:46:54

You really shouldn't do this.
You really shouldn't take advice from people who haven't rented recently either about how 'everyone' does this. They don't.

As has been said, your deposit should be in the protection scheme and so you should actually get it back. Esp with no inventory.

You don't have to put up with crap landlords you know... Move out / don't rent somewhere crap / move further out if you have to. Honestly.

EdwardtheEagle Thu 06-Dec-12 21:54:35

Not read whole thread...
Don't tell them you're going to do it just do it!!! You don't owe them any loyalty. No one will say you 'should' but every renter does this - they'll expect it but won't admit it. You'll be gutted when you've 'done the right thing' and then they shaft you otherwise.

cumfy Thu 06-Dec-12 22:06:49

But do you really really not need an LL reference, ever ?

Nuttyprofessor Thu 06-Dec-12 22:07:08

I have done this in the past. I am now a landlord and I still say do it. If you can't trust them then don't give them the chance.

I don't see the problem they wont lose anything.

Fairenuff Thu 06-Dec-12 22:22:01

but they'd have to give back the deposit when I left, so they're not out of pocket, so WHAT would they be pursuing through the small claims court? surely landlords would only do that if the property was actually damaged by the renter?

I rented a house to a tenant that didn't pay their last month's rent. I filed a claim online with the County Court for the rent, interest and the £80 court fee.

The court ruled that there was no defence. The tenant had broken the contract.

They have now issued a County Court Judgement against the tenant. This will affect her credit rating and make it difficult to borrow in the future.

Don't be silly, just pay your rent and, provided you have looked after the place in accordance with the terms of your contract, the deposit will be returned to you when you vacate the property.

LRDtheFeministDude Thu 06-Dec-12 22:26:27

It's illegal and a stupid idea, sorry.

vintagewarrior Thu 06-Dec-12 22:42:22

Haven't read the whole thread, but i ended up with a CCJ doing that.
I'd say don't do it.

GinSoakedMu1berryLush Fri 07-Dec-12 07:25:02

why did you do that though Fairenuff? did you make money? as a landlord, what was the point?

What does that mean for the tennant? Will they get their deposit back if they pay you the last month's rent? confused

GinSoakedMu1berryLush Fri 07-Dec-12 07:30:37

Were you annoyed because you had planned to hold on to the deposit?

HisstletoeAndWhine Fri 07-Dec-12 07:39:31

Why is there still a debate going on? It's been explained adequately.

The deposit belongs to the tenant, held by a 3rd party, to be claimed against IF the LL can prove they have incurred cost or damage above and beyond reasonable wear and tear. If there are kids, and a H there is more allowance for FW&T than if there were one person. This, even when there IS a cast-iron, clear and undisputed inventory. In this case, there isn't so initial condition/cleanliness can't be established. That fact alone is enough to give the teNant an immediate and clear return of full deposit. It's THAT simple.

The rent belongs to the LL. The contract clealy states that. If the tenant withholds this, they can be sued.

OP, go see your CAB office, or email Shelter. They'll tell you to pay the last months rent, as the deposit service CAN'T award it to the LL in lieu of rent. They will tell you to relax about the deposit, that you'll get it back it protected.

If it's not, you can potentially take the LL to court for 3x the deposit amount (plus costs) so your position is rock solid.

Pay the rent, accept that you may have to go to the Arbitration service, but you can be safe in the knowledge that you'll get it all back.

Fairenuff Fri 07-Dec-12 08:11:27

why did you do that though Fairenuff? did you make money? as a landlord, what was the point?

I did it because the tenant breached the terms of the contract. The point was to receive the rent that the tenant promised to pay.

The deposit is a separate issue. At the moment, it is still held by the Deposit Protection Service because it is in dispute. Once that is resolved, the DPS will decide how much of the deposit to return to the tenant. It might be all or some of the amount. It's not up to me, that's the whole point of the DPS.

But, as I say, that is a separate issue, the court will not take the deposit into consideration under these circumstances.

GinSoakedMu1berryLush Fri 07-Dec-12 12:31:45

That seems weird taht you don't get the deposit back..... is it because the tennants want the deposit as WELL?

OP considers them a 'trade' so she wouldn't be disputing it so I guess her landlords would get the deposit back. I'd no idea it was so complicated.

BumBiscuits Fri 07-Dec-12 12:46:34

My last but one tenants didn't pay the last month's rent. The agreed it with the agent without consulting me. I was spitting feathers, with the agent for agreeing this. There had been damage, that the agent knew about, that had to be billed to them seperately. I did get the money, but that wasn't the point. I had no idea that no rent was going into the bank that month, but still had mortgage and insurance etc. to pay out.

samandi Fri 07-Dec-12 13:05:34

YANBU, I used to do that quite a lot. Far easier and I knew I hand't damaged anything so there was no need for them to keep the deposit.

Fairenuff Fri 07-Dec-12 20:10:51

OP considers them a 'trade' so she wouldn't be disputing it so I guess her landlords would get the deposit back. I'd no idea it was so complicated

It won't matter what OP considers it in a court of law.

GinSoakedMu1berryLush Fri 07-Dec-12 20:20:02

does the court seriously have the time to indulge landlords who behave like this,,, have their house left perfect and go all legal ?

It's a funny old world.

specialsubject Fri 07-Dec-12 20:22:32

minimum lease is six months. Why do tenants stay for longer in properties that are clearly substandard, with dodgy landlords, and then complain about it months or years later?

Don't give money to dodgy landlords who rent duff properties. It's not hard.

Fairenuff Fri 07-Dec-12 20:35:04

does the court seriously have the time to indulge landlords who behave like this,,, have their house left perfect and go all legal

Yes the courts have time. That's what they're there for - small claims.

If the house is left fine, the tenant will have their deposit returned to them.

And this is exactly why almost all deposits now are 6 week's rent rather than a month.

special. Because it's very difficult to find a place cheap enough, and moving costs money too.

NutellaNutter Fri 07-Dec-12 21:25:32

I would do what you plan, and good luck to you!

GinSoakedMu1berryLush Sat 08-Dec-12 07:35:08

"If the house is left fine, the tenant will have their deposit returned to them. "

I'm not sure that that is the case, and going to the small claims court costs money I bet.

INeedThatForkOff Sat 08-Dec-12 08:22:31

Are you aware of the length of time it takes for a LL to actually get hold of the deposit once the tenants has left? Particularly if the tenant ignores the process, which I suspect you would do. It takes a good couple of months - and how are the mortgage and insurance to be paid in the meantime?

It may be that your LL is exploitative, OP, but I can't see that your suggested course of action is any better.

Brycie Sat 08-Dec-12 09:49:14

"And this is exactly why almost all deposits now are 6 week's rent rather than a month."

Quite. Flipping cheaters.

dashoflime Sat 08-Dec-12 09:59:47


If you know that nothing is broken or damaged then your landlord will not be out of pocket, but he will be denied an opportunity to rip you off over the deposit.

Although you will have technically breached the contract, your landlord would have to show he had lost out from the breach in order to pursue it through the courts. Which, in this case, he won't have.

Just go for it- presumably you need it to cover the deposit for the next place.

Fairenuff Sat 08-Dec-12 16:23:18

If the house is left fine, the tenant will have their deposit returned to them

I'm not sure that that is the case, and going to the small claims court costs money I bet

It's been the case for every tenant I've ever had. This one is the only one to cause damage. Also, the only one to withold rent. The others have all had their deposit returned in full.

It only costs £80 to make a small claim and the tenant has to pay it if the court rules in favour of the landlord, which, in my case, they did. It's a really simple process, you can do it online, we didn't even need to go to court.

Although you will have technically breached the contract, your landlord would have to show he had lost out from the breach in order to pursue it through the courts. Which, in this case, he won't have

This is pretty bad advice if the deposit is at all in dispute. If the rent is due on the 1st of the month (as in OP's case) and should be paid a month in advance, this means that by the end of the tenancy, the rent will already be one month in arrears. So obviously, the landlord has lost out. This is what the LL claims for. It's nothing to do with the deposit.

The best advice would be to pay the rent when it's due and then, if there is no damage to the property, the DPS will return the deposit to the tenant at the end of the tenancy.

Why do you want to risk a CCJ against you OP? Do have reason to think that you won't get all of your deposit back?

WileywithSageStuffing Sat 08-Dec-12 16:37:44

I would take Fairenuff 's advice, they are correct in what they have said.

If you don't want a CCJ against you that is.

If you're not bothered then take your chances.

I think it's a pretty awful thing to do really. You agreed to the rental cost for a set period.

RenterGirl Sat 08-Dec-12 17:07:47

I said right at the start, the landlords are elderly and a bit deluded about this property. It was really shabby when i moved in. Tiles have fallen off the wall. Because they painted over paint over paint over paint, it has cracked and falled off the wall leaving a different colour underneath. The sink plug fell apart in my hadns and the little screw went down the sink, so I have replaced it with a normal sink plug. The letter box flap fell off but I just got home one day and it was gone. I didn't knock it off or break it. I presume somebody sticking a flier in broke it and just chucked it rather than push it in through the letter box. That's it really. But the landlords have been spectacularly INtransigent about every reasonable request that I've made since the day I moved in. I asked that one piece of huge furniture be removed. NOPE. 'you saw it when you moved in' I was told. I asked the agent to reason with them, and was told in no uncertain terms that the owner is the client as the commission comes from the owner.

When I said the shower didn't work probably I was more or less told I must be wrong because it was new. When I went back to the agent about it I was told that I was lucky to have this place. hmm as there wasn't much else for rent in the area (there's not much else it's true but all the same i've found somewhere). I didn't have to show a reference. The guy said he'd no interest in what the agent thinks of me. I showed my bank records to demonstrate that I have paid rent on time every month. That was enough for him. Perhaps he doesn't think too highly of the other agent.

I will probably pay the deposit and leave the place spotless and hoovered and with all odds and ends gone, and they will say, oh, a tile has falled off the wall, the paint has cracked and the wall paper has peeled and teh sink plug is different so you're not getting your 850 back.

HisstletoeAndWhine Sat 08-Dec-12 19:29:57


ffs, does ANYONE ever bother to read?

ISeeSmallPeople Sat 08-Dec-12 19:46:06

Listen to Hisstletoe. She knows what she is talking about smile

FeistyLass Sat 08-Dec-12 20:15:00

You don't need to have an inventory to take part in the tenancy deposit protection scheme. Damages and expenses can be taken as outlined in the lease.
It makes everything easier if there's an inventory but it's wrong to say they can't hold on to part of a deposit or all of it, without an inventory. They can.

Rentergirl, if your tenancy is in a protection scheme then you need to agree to the landlord keeping it or it goes to arbitration. If your deposit isn't in a protection scheme then the landlord has to pay you compensation.

(the link below is about the fact you don't need an inventory to take part in the scheme)

Inventory Info

ISeeSmallPeople Sat 08-Dec-12 20:17:40

You don't NEED an inventory, but can PROVE nothing without one unless it was brand new build perfect condition, all new furniture and appliances, & full receipts to prove it

FeistyLass Sat 08-Dec-12 20:24:00

ISeeSmallPeople have you been through a dispute process with the tenancy deposit scheme? How high was the burden of proof? I'm genuinely interested as I've never had a dispute about a deposit (either when renting or as a landlord).

ISeeSmallPeople Sat 08-Dec-12 20:29:09

I never have disputes polishes halo

And my inventory clerk is brilliant. Absolutely bloody brilliant. 45 pages for a 2 bed unfurnished, no a few extra pages of close up pics. She's AIIC, & lovely.

Burden of proof as far as I've read on LLzone, & painsmith & Tessa shepperson, & heard about at various LL events I've had to go to, is very very high on the LL.

HisstletoeAndWhine Sat 08-Dec-12 20:31:12

Inventories are NOT a legal requirement, tenancy deposit schemes are.

If there is no inventory, the LL can't prove shit anything.

You can take the LL to arbitration with, or without an inventory.

Bottom line, that money is YOURS, if the LL wants some of it, they have to prove, beyond all doubt that they are owed it.

If they can't do that, the tds will not give it to them.

And yes, only if the property was in brand new condition, WITH RECEIPTS, could a LL be anywhere near as strong a position the op's in.

FeistyLass Sat 08-Dec-12 20:48:15

I just thought it was interesting you were mentioning the inventory when it's not even a requirement of the scheme. It seems odd that something that seems to be a cornerstone of any dispute is not a legal requirement of the scheme.
ISeeSmallPeople, everything I've heard has been the same as you ie that burden of proof is higher on the landlord but I don't know anyone who has been through the process yet. All the landlords and tenants I know have had amicable resolutions to their tenancies smile

TooMuchRain Sat 08-Dec-12 20:53:17

minimum lease is six months. Why do tenants stay for longer in properties that are clearly substandard, with dodgy landlords, and then complain about it months or years later? Don't give money to dodgy landlords who rent duff properties. It's not hard.

This is too simplistic, not everyone has choices. We signed our contract through an agent and are tied in for 12 months. The landlord is a bastard who won't fix/replace anything but we need our deposit so we can't just leave now.

GinSoakedMu1berryLush Sat 08-Dec-12 21:01:49

What does AIIC mean?

ISeeSmallPeople Sat 08-Dec-12 21:04:39

Association of Independent Inventory Clerks

FredFredGeorge Sat 08-Dec-12 21:10:04

FeistyLass The scheme is a legal requirement because of the need to protect tennants from bad landlords, that's a reasonable response to the problem. Forcing every lease to have the costs of an inventory would not be warranted, it's obviously in the interest of the landlord to do it due to the significant difficulty in proving the condition if not, but no need to make it required if the landlord is happy without it - ie trusts the tennants to either keep it accurate or be honest about damage caused.

HisstletoeAndWhine Sat 08-Dec-12 22:02:06

I went through arbitration. I won.

LL tried everything, tried taking over £450 from me.

Thing is, inventory was prepared for tenant over 3 years before me, with some scribbles.

Arbitration stated that the inventory was not prepared for me, so therefore couldn't prove condition. She didn't get a penny.

LLs who don't get proper, professional, independant inventories to protect their investments are fools, imvho.

Fairenuff Sun 09-Dec-12 14:28:55

The scheme is a legal requirement because of the need to protect tennants from bad landlords

and to protect landlords from tenants skipping out without paying their last month's rent.

I am going through the process at the moment. This is what the DPS Guide for Evidence Submissions says:

"As a matter of law, the burden of proving the claim rests on the Landlord/Agent. Remember that the Tenant has no obligation to prove their argument, because the deposit remains their property until successfully claimed for by the Landlord. If the Landlord cannot prove their claim on the 'balance of probability', the adjudicator must return the disputed amount to the Tenant."

I understand that to mean that if there is no clear evidence, the decision will be based on that phrase, 'balance of probability' by taking all things into consideration.

In my case, this is being dealt with completely separately to the rent not being paid. The small claims court has already ruled in my favour and issued a CCJ for the rent owing.

This is what I wanted to caution the OP about. It's not as straightforward as just swapping your last month's rent for the deposit if there is any chance that the deposit could be disputed. I don't think it's worth risking a CCJ.

Unless the landlord agrees to this arrangement in writing, what defence would you produce to the court that you are not in default of rent payment? You cannot use the defence that the deposit will cover it if the deposit is in dispute. And, as can be seen, the small claims have resolved their case much quicker than the DPS which is still in progress.

Sorry for the long post, just wanted to make sure you were aware of the risk you are running.

Fairenuff Sun 09-Dec-12 14:31:41

LLs who don't get proper, professional, independant inventories to protect their investments are fools, imvho

I would absolutely agree with this. It makes disputes much easier to resolve.

HisstletoeAndWhine Sun 09-Dec-12 16:31:49

If correctly prepared, the inventory protects the TT as much as the LL.

When I used to hand over properties and prepare check in documents, I'd tell the new Tenants that in fact at that time, I'm working to protect them, that they'd not be being blamed for any pre-existing damage.

I reminded them though that when I came back to do check out, I'd be doing so on the behalf of the LL, looking for any areas that had been damaged during the tenancy. The Tenants used to get me to note all sorts of things/conditions, which I was happy to do, with photos if needed, to make sure that the condition was accurately recorded for them.

It makes checking out simpler too, as you know what to disregard and focus on new things spotted.

quoteunquote Sun 09-Dec-12 17:07:58

Most properties here get rented out on the highest bid system, so when a property becomes available, any approved (reference must be impeccable, and without gaps) tenants can bid, the tenant with most months paid for in advance get the property.

You also have to have a bank reference and a guarantor, as well as pay very large deposits.

I suspect more and more landlords will be going down this route to protect themselves.

timothyclaypole Sun 09-Dec-12 17:20:59

Op I've tried to read the whole thread and I can't see any post where you confirm if you're in a deposit scheme or not even though you're asked repeatedly. Apologies if you did already, but if not, can you say yes or no to this question please? It's pretty important.

Binkybix Sun 09-Dec-12 21:34:23

I, too, have been screwed over by LL in the past, before the deposit scheme. However now the scheme is in place, YABU. Are you in it or not?

Sounds like they have been bad about the shower etc, but I don't see why they should have to remove furniture when you decide you don't want it. Why do you think they should?

Ethika Mon 18-Mar-13 16:32:28

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

angelos02 Mon 18-Mar-13 16:39:50

YANBU. LL's will use any excuse for not refunding deposits. I once lived somewhere for 4 years and the only thing I'd done 'wrong' was that I left 2 coathangers in a cupboard! They also have to allow for natural wear and tear but most many don't do this.

quoteunquote Mon 18-Mar-13 16:48:42

OP, where I live landlords now are operating on the bidding system,

if you are considered suitable to rent the property, you can put in a bid, You bid the number of months rent you will pay in advance,

so to rent a property here, you need a very large deposit, plus a year or two rent upfront. they all have clauses that allow the landlord to raise the rent every six months,

six months before the end of your tenancy, it goes out to bid again, so to retain the property you have to out bid all other would be tenants,

I suspect this trend has taken hold partly due to tenants pulling stunts.

whois Mon 18-Mar-13 17:21:08

There is so much outdated into about deposits on this thread. Things have dramatically improved with the deposit protection scheme.

OP, when did you sign your lease?
Is your deposit in the deposit protection scheme?
Do you have an inventory from when you moved in?

If the answer is your deposit IS in the scheme (which it should be if lease signed post April 2007) then you will be fine. The rules are v strict on what is fair wear and tear and how much can be deducted.

If you were renting my house, and skipped out on the last months rent I would peruse you in any way possible. This is why LL ask for much bigger deposits than the last months rent generally.

Callycat Mon 18-Mar-13 18:32:48

For all the talk here about how everything's all fine and dandy now that the deposit protection scheme exists, it's not that rosy. I've had four landlords since moving to London three years ago, and only one of these - my current one - used the scheme. Two professed total ignorance of its existence, and the third became aggressive when asked about it ("Don't you fucking trust me, is that what you're saying?").

Not a very constructive post from me, I know, but in the Real World it is still hard to get deposits back. Though I've never withheld rent myself; not sure I'd advise that.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Mon 18-Mar-13 19:05:31

First of all, as a LL, I'd absolutely support everything Fairenuff says. You signed a contract and owe money for the last month's rent. The deposit is there to cover any potential damage caused by you. If you haven't caused any (proven) damage then you can look forward to getting your full deposit back. I still can't work out if it's in a protected scheme. If it is, then you'll be fine. If it isn't, why???

I'd also like to add that not all LL are bad people (and neither are all tenants, come to that). I am much nicer to my tenants than my current landlady is to me (moved abroad temporarily due to DH's job and rented out our place in the meantime). If queries are raised via our agent, we respond the same day and our tenants always have our contact details in the event that the agent isn't playing ball (would hope not but it does happen). Our latest tenants asked for new carpets and we put them in as they were going to be staying a while. I aim to treat people as I'd want to be treated myself!

Going forward, only use reputable agents and check that there is an inventory in place - both for your protection and that of the LL. I insist on one of these with each change of tenant as they're important in case of a dispute.

Another question - if your home was as bad as you describe, and the agent/LL did nothing, why did you stay and not contact environmental health?

Dawndonna Mon 18-Mar-13 19:09:43

A thread that is four months old.

Flisspaps Mon 18-Mar-13 19:12:47

David, I have reported your post. If you want to sell a service, do it through the correct MN channels (ps, I assume the OP has moved now)

specialsubject Mon 18-Mar-13 19:17:02

didn't recognise this was a zombie thread until I got near the end.

hopefully the OP got what she deserved.

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