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My old landlord is trying to keep my deposit

(10 Posts)
arcticmonkey81 Mon 15-Jul-13 12:32:04

So I gave a month's notice on my house and paid rent up until the date the keys went back.

I've just received a letter off them saying they carried out a final inspection and have come up with a list of why I won't be getting my deposit back (not in those words but more or less).

These include -
cobwebs on the ceiling - what the fuck will that cost to sort out???
Worn carpets - well yeah, they will be worn after 4 years of use ...
Rubbish in the back of the garden - that was there when I moved in which is clearly noted in the contract!
Rubbish in the main bedroom - completely untrue, the bedroom was clear when I left it
Coffee ring marks on the window ledges - if true they must have been done the day I was in there cleaning it out and I'd not noticed but even so - how does that cost anything to sort out??
Scuffed walls and finger prints on doors - ok I'll give them that one but even so, it doesn't cost my deposit to sort out
Mould on bathroom ceiling - yep but again, it was like that when I moved in.

Is there anything I can do or should I just write off my deposit??

Is the deposit in a protection scheme? (If you're in England, it should be) if so, fight it.

I'm sure someone with more knowledge on how to fight it will be along soon

BellaVida Mon 15-Jul-13 12:48:16

If you are not happy, then you can challenge, but success will depend on How much proof you can produce.
Do you have photos from when you moved in or after you cleaned and left the house?
Check your contract and make a list of the state/damage of everything they refer to that was in the same state when you moved in.
If you have been there 4 years, they have to consider ' fair wear and tear'.
If you rented through an agency, your deposit should be protected and you could even get an independent 3rd party in if you are unable to resolve the dispute.
Put everything in writing!

BellaVida Mon 15-Jul-13 12:57:39

There is all the information on deposit protection and your landlord's duty to inform you, here england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/paying_for_a_home/tenancy_deposits/tenancy_deposit_protection_schemes

arcticmonkey81 Mon 15-Jul-13 13:19:08

Yes it's under the protection scheme.

I'm wondering if I should call the agency today and argue with them about the stuff that was there before etc

Dickwhittington Mon 15-Jul-13 13:30:40

Do you have photos? Were you there for the final check out?

Dickwhittington Mon 15-Jul-13 13:40:56

You are right cobwebs take very little effort to remove but if they have to pay someone they will have to pay for an hour minimum!!

However since your deposit was protected that is a huge help.

Look at your contract what does it say about condition of carpet and bathroom ceiling? If it says 'worn' or something like generalised mould then they can't get anything for those, if it says eg light wear at door but it was left with eg cigarette holes and red wine stains then they can so have another look and tell us more (do they have photos of the original state?)

Garden rubbish you are fine unless there is photos and a difference in amount

Rubbish in main bedroom do you have a photo? What as it a tissue or are they claiming 6 bin bags full!! If no evidence it will come down to a he said she said

Coffee ring marks and scuffed Walls sounds like they have got you what does it say about state of Walls and doors before you moved in if newly painted you are allowed fair wear and tear which I believe is determined but how many /who lives there ie family with 4 young children will create more than a single adult!!

FWIW cleaning a 1 room flat in London I was quoted nearly 300 pounds a couple of years ago.

RedHelenB Mon 15-Jul-13 14:00:28

If the house has not been painted in 4 years it would be reasonable for the walls to be scuffed & finger prints etc (though these should wipe off a door!) Looks like they are pulling a fast one.

Personally I think photographs always make a house look nicer so may not be much help to you even if you have them. If the place had been spotless re cobwebs when you moved in it is reasonable for it to be in the same state when you leave.

I can't see that it will be judged fair to keep all your deposit on the basis of what you have written.

FreckledLeopard Mon 15-Jul-13 14:03:24

Under the protection scheme, the agency has to have agreement from both parties before it will release the deposit to either. So the landlord cannot unilaterally decide to deduct certain amounts. Nor can they give it all to you.

Therefore, write down what you don't agree with. Send copies of the original tenancy, with its details about rubbish in garden etc. And say what amount you might be willing to have deducted (£50 maybe?). If landlord doesn't agree, it can go to an independent tribubal, who can take the decision after hearing both sides.

So definitely don't write off your deposit yet!

ChangingWoman Tue 16-Jul-13 22:22:52

My lodgers had to battle with their previous landlord for return of their deposit. I know they left the place clean apart from pre-existing mould stains (which they had complained about many times) because they are family friends and I visited when they were moving out.

Luckily they had email and photographic records of everything and kept all their email correspondence.

There were lots of dodgy dealings, management agency and landlord trying to confuse and verbally intimidate them (they are early twenties and English isn't their first language) and the deposit scheme released their deposit minus huge deductions without their consent! (I suspected that the agency had lied or faked their signatures.)

My lodgers ended up putting in an online court claim and all the money was returned two weeks before a hearing was due...

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