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Landlord intending keeping my deposit - all of it, by sounds of it.

(76 Posts)
GetStuffezd Wed 07-Aug-13 11:37:09

Why does moving out always turn into such a farce? Apologies for length.

I moved out my 2 bedroom house on 3rd August and heard nothing from the Estate agents, who couldn't be there for the final inspection. I will admit, the cleaning was not perfect, oven, for example - I did the best I could on my own in a day. So I am happy for some deductions to be made. However, as they've sold the house, rather than letting it immediately out, I did not think they would go OTT - especially as the new owner and surveyor ripped a whole strip of wallpaper off, indicating they will be changing the (very outdated) décor.

I rang the EA today who informed me the owner was unhappy with the cleanliness and state of the property. She was arranging for people to clean the house professionally and if there was anything left from my deposit they would send it on to me. Now my deposit was £525 - there is NO WAY it will require this amount to clean the property. Please can someone advise me what to do? My deposit is being held in the scheme and I will dispute any costs I think are excessive.

*The house was not professionally cleaned when I moved in.
*The inventory lists everything individually, with most things being in "average" condition; some in "poor" condition.
* Surely she can't pay for work to be done with my deposit money before I've had a chance to decide whether I'm disputing?

I would be grateful for advice, I've borrowed money from my mum to move and I need to pay her back! TIA

RenterNomad Fri 09-Aug-13 19:23:24

Yes, see what's going on "on the ground'. Do you still talk to the neighbours, who might tell you what the new owner might have said?

What I meant by talking about the surveyor, etc., was that they might speak on your behalf (even the LL's comments ate only second-hand). It can't be worse than what tge agents have told you. (do ypu know whether the same company sold it as managed your letti g? If not, it could be the letting/managing agent getting in a last charge, and they bloody can't do that without receipts, especislly as ypu say it wasn't professionally cleaned fir your tenancy!

Anyway, I would dig my heels in if I were you.

RenterNomad Fri 09-Aug-13 19:24:58

Apologies for the typos - I can't cope with such a small keyboard, and don't want to get into "DYAC"! wink

GetStuffezd Fri 09-Aug-13 19:32:02

Unfortunately all the surrounding houses are vacant. I was the only non-student on a town centre terrace. So no help there.

It was sold by the same company who managed the letting. It was due to go to auction but I believe someone swooped in with an acceptable price before the auction. The agents are not great. It took 2 weeks to get their plumber/gasman/general dogsbody out to sort out my leaking overflow pipe. As a result, damp seeped through the living room wall and went mouldy. I told the EA this several times so I shall be interested to see if they try and pin that on me.

No, it absolutely was not cleaned before I got in there. (Thought it was odd they couldn't be there to show me in!)

Yes, heels will be well and truly dug in. I really do appreciate the support. I really do not like battling companies/businesses but you're really helping me believe I can get my money back.

GetStuffezd Wed 14-Aug-13 14:31:21

Hello again.
I've finally had a response to my email and I am not satisfied. I asked for an itemised breakdown of costs and I have received this in reply.

Hi,

Attached is a copy of the cleaning quote, this coupled with the cat scratches (not even sure where these were!!) unfortunately does mean your whole bond will be used. Landlord wasn’t happy with the condition or the curtains an walls.

Now, the quote she's attached is only for £220 - so why are they keeping the rest of my deposit?? Why does the condition of the walls matter if the house has been sold and the surveyor has ripped the paper off? What should I do?

LIZS Wed 14-Aug-13 14:35:53

I'm not sure the fact it is being sold is relevant to the condition you can hand it back in . It should meet the same criteria as if it were it be relet ie. the condition you took it in. Email back and state that unless full itemisation for the £300 balance is received you will refer as a dispute on x date.

GetStuffezd Wed 14-Aug-13 14:42:21

It has been sold though. So, what will the LL use my £525 for? Not improving the property. Plus, this email gives the impression it was left in a state, when it really wasn't! I am livid.

sayithowitis Wed 14-Aug-13 15:13:07

I would now advise them that you dispute the amount they are claiming and that you intend to open a dispute with the deposit scheme. I believe your deposit must be held in Su h a scheme and they cannot release the deposit until all parties agree to it. Disputes are adjudicated by an independent solicitor and theponus is on the 'll to prove their claim, not on you to prove yours.

GetStuffezd Wed 14-Aug-13 16:17:03

Yup, am opening the dispute.
Received another email with LAUGHABLE claims on my deposit. I am so angry. It also claimed that the new owner will not complete until this "work" is carried out (bollocks.) AND, it claims the new owner was intending to let it out as is - also bollocks as he let his surveryor rip chunks off the wallpaper.

Well, you know what? I am PISSED off. I am going to open the dispute and let it bloody well drag on. If they want to sell their house any time soon they can pay up - I'm quite willing to let it run on.

angry

RenterNomad Wed 14-Aug-13 18:23:43

If they're not even trying to account for the full amount they're claiming, that's rather insulting!

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 15-Aug-13 08:12:29

Let us know how you get on getstuffezd. I'm very interested in how the sale of the house will affect the dispute.

My LL is going full steam ahead trying to claim our deposit - they haven't yet done any of the cleaning they claim needs doing (it doesn't!) And the place is now sold, new owners are in. But like the poster above they say this doesn't matter, that the only important thing is that the house is in same condition on check out as check in.

I will appeal on the basis that it WAS in the same condition, but still, I don't see how the sale can't make a difference - the deposit is there to protect the LL from loss and quite clearly there can be no loss in this case. And they have no intention of actually spending the money on the cleaning!

cyburbia Thu 15-Aug-13 08:34:55

Outrageous. I would also confirm with the cleaning company that the work was carried out. Wouldn't put it past these agencies to have some 'in house' cleaners to issue an invoice.

GetStuffezd Sat 24-Aug-13 11:13:12

Just a slight update for anyone who was kind enough to advise previously.

The EA asked me for confirmation that I was intending submitting a formal dispute, and indicated the owners need their sale to go through quickly. I think they were hoping I'd just relinquish the entire £525.

I have said I will formally submit the dispute form today BUT would be willing to settle for just the cleaning bill (already too much, IMO). Just waiting to hear if this is accepted by the LLs. I am so annoyed by their dishonesty and really should push for more to be returned but would be happy with this outcome.

Fingers crossed.

Thanks for the update! I wouldn't have given them the cleaning money, not til I'd seen a receipt or invoice rather than a quote at least, and confirmed with the cleaners that it'd been done. Did the inventory say how clean it was when you moved in? Cos that's only how clean it needs to be when you left. But still, if you just want it done with...

GetStuffezd Sat 24-Aug-13 11:33:52

It didn't give a state of cleanliness aside from describing things individually as in "average" or "poor" condition. It was apparent to me and my parents that the place had not been cleaned professionally upon entry.
I know I shouldn't allow them so much as I think the quote is so high - but I'm just aware I borrowed off my mum to rent my new place and I do need this money to give to her.

TheDoctrineOfPositivityYes Mon 26-Aug-13 00:48:20

Fingers crossed!

Feelingworried67 Mon 26-Aug-13 01:04:55

Any update OP? smile

GetStuffezd Mon 26-Aug-13 07:26:53

Not yet, Feeling! Last email from EA stated she'd put my proposal to the LL but "wasn't hopeful sh'ed accept it." Which is fine by me, to be honest. I don't mind going to dispute. Grrr!
One of the things they were claiming part of my money for was a worn down hole in the stair carpet. The carpet is about ten years old FFS!!! Sorry, I refuse to go off into any more tangents!!

gallicgirl Mon 26-Aug-13 07:37:05

I'd go straight ahead and file a dispute to be honest. Give them very specific time lines if you are willing to wait. Any landlord who has bought a property and expects to let it without cleaning or at least a lick of paint, is probably a bit dodgy anyway.

Open a dispute then today, the LL knows what you will accept. By going to dispute you are likely to get more back. And it's in the LL interest to get this sorted quickly for their sale to go through.

Do you know who the surveyor was? A copy of the survey might prove the wallpaper ripping (which they shouldn't have done as they did not own the property at the time)

Normal wear and tear (worn down carpet) should not be covered by the deposit, it's for wilful damage. 10 years from a carpet is ok, especially on a high traffic area like a. Stair.

RudolphLovesoftplay Mon 26-Aug-13 07:41:00

Good luck OP, you are so right to dig your heels in. The laws around renting are a joke sad

MissMalonex2 Mon 26-Aug-13 08:43:25

Put the dispute in, don't wait.

I am sure it is relevant that there was no professional clean when you moved in - is this noted on the inventory? You should leave house in state you received it - I don't think it is relevant to you what the landlord / new buyer's deal is / what state buyer saw it in. But agree, buyer's surveyor shd not have ripped wallpaper shock - get estate agent to acknowledge in writing that you flagged this.

When we let our house, our condition is that house is prof cleaned on tenant going in and if not immaculate on departure, prof cleaned and outgoing tenant bears cost. But that is all agreed and cleanliness on arrival is noted on arrival / departure.

MissMalonex2 Mon 26-Aug-13 08:46:14

Meant to add - pre/post rental professional cleaners do cost that much - our house (4 bed) was £400 - 500 including carpets - that was 10 years ago. House never looked so lovely as when we moved out and tenants moved in hmm

biryani Mon 26-Aug-13 08:58:04

Expat: I take issue with your statement. I agree that the op's landlord's attitude is a bit OTT. I am a landlord myself, and work alongside many other landlords, and only occasionally have I come across instances where tenants have been treated unfairly.

The Deposit Protection Scheme was set up to "protect" tenants'deposits, but as a landlord I have found the system unwieldy and unnecessarily bureaucratic.

mirai Mon 26-Aug-13 09:07:02

Good for you OP hope they back down x

specialsubject Mon 26-Aug-13 13:09:36

open the dispute. The scheme is there to protect you. It can't if you don't use it.

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