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Is this trespassing?(9 Posts)
We bought a property whilst renting and moved out in August, 3 months before the end of the tenancy. The day after we moved out, the property was professionally cleaned (we knew the landlord was keen to sell/rent the property, so thought is "generous" to clean it early in case he wanted viewings, with permission. It was not professionally cleaned when we arrived).
We went back to the property in the last week or so just to check everything was okay and drop off a few items that were mistakenly packed in the removal process.
The heating was on full, 24 hours/7 days a week…in October!!!!
The landlord has clearly been into the house (three mobiles between me and DH and email so no permission sought) and drained our oil, at our cost when it is not even cold (would be a bit more gracious had he done it in January).
Is it fair to say he owes US money for essentially stealing our oil by turning on the heating when entering the property illegally?
He has has an additional absurd bucket list involving redecoration/building works etc which are ludicrous. The house is spotless save for some scratches on the wall where furniture has sat next to it.
By him entering the property without permission, is he trespassing and can this negate all the crazy claims he is making?
Thank-you. So cross, I am shaking.
No, it's not trespassing. Tbh you probably broke your contract and invalidated his buildings insurance by leaving the property unattended for so long.
What were you going to do with the heating oil? Take it with you?
Interesting - I hadn't thought about it from that perspective.
Oil is VERY expensive. We put in £500, probably used £100. A previous landlord paid us for our oil left in the tank. It is just an honest, fair thing to do?
Originally, he said he wanted to refuel the tank and charge us for it. I then sent a copy of the receipt and he back-tracked pretty fast. I am just furious he has entered without permission and turned the heating on - at our cost, over the Summer! And then wants to replace all the carpets because of one stain (from heavy footfall at top of stairs), having not cleaned the carpets when we entered. He wants to charge us builders fees to replace a 50cm piece of coving that came off when the professional cleaners were dusting…surely he is bloody lucky the faulty fabric of his house didn't injure someone. Apparently the garden was disgraceful, yet I have paid his gardener £50 a week to maintain it and the landlords request.
The list is extensive and petty.
I just wondered if trespassing could render his childish, dis-honest claims invalid?
The two issues are separate. If your deposit is in a deposit protection scheme you can dispute the deductions. They will assume wear and tear cannot be deducted. They will probably think the garden issue is invalid as well
You were foolish to leave a property without arranging a check out meeting with a landlord/agent. And you should have agreed the approach re oil up front.
If you were my tenant I would be furious with you for leaving a property unattended for 3 months.
But don't get mad, get even. Just follow the deposit scheme dispute rules and you'll be fine.
Thanks so much for your perspective - am dealing with a pretty unhelpful agent (and obviously a landlord who is making my blood boil).
For the record, I asked to have the check out done at the time of the clean (in august), but the agent refused. And we offered to pay three months rent to end the tenancy early, but the landlord (via the agent) never got back to us. A month before the end, he said he would wait it out. And I feel like this is his opportunity to take us for a ride.
Interestingly, the garden on the check-out says "neat & tidy" (and I was there, so agree!).
The landlord reneged on the morning we were due to move in and postponed our arrival for three days. We were literally homeless as we had been displaced after a house fire. I have three boys under 4 years old at the time. He is a slippery fish and the agent seems to not be managing his "wear & tear" demands very well.
We are thankfully part of the deposit scheme.
In that case you will get the best revenge by being calm and smiling sweetly as you dispute it all through the DPS. I hope you are happier in your new house!
The advice ref the deposit scheme is good advice. It seems to me that the landlord refused to accept early surrender and he may have been within his rights to do this depending on your lease terms. It was reasonable for you to move out as the landlord knew your circumstances, but you should have kept a tight regime of checking the property or arranging security cover until formal lease surrender. I am unclear about how the landlord got access to the property as you had the keys and the right to peaceful enjoyment. If the landlord did enter and alter the heating and take the heating oil (assuming you can prove it) then it might be argued it was an act of taking control of the property and accepting a surrender and from that point you might have stopped paying rent and council tax. However if you can't prove the landlord took the oil or when, then report the oil theft to the police and claim on your insurance.
Really interesting Elan - thank you. I will put it to the
biased and unhelpful agent about taking control of the property re rent & council tax (I don't expect a refund on these, but his list of petty deductions are so infuriating and he is not budging on them). I am not suggesting he took the oil per se, more that he took the liberty of turning on the heating (thus draining the oil that we had put in the tank). And now he wants us to pay for the cluster fly issues, which as I understand is worsened by putting the heating on…but that is a different thread!
The frost will kill the cluster flies. They are a seasonal issue for property in rural aspects. Buy the landlord some fly strips and tell him to get a life.
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