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To think the Landlord is taking the piss?

(100 Posts)
Juno77 Thu 23-Jan-14 12:39:12

We recently moved out of a rented property. We have been in the property for 4 years.

When we moved in, the place was disgusting. The previous tenants smoked, the carpets, furniture, beds, even the walls stank of smoke. There was dirty, mouldy food in the cupboards. The fridge and freezer were filthy. The walls were creamy yellow stained. The rugs were unusable, so dirty and smelled horrific. The kitchen equipment was foul - greasy, dirty, marked/stained, chipped. The mattress was stained, had burn holes in it and was mouldy. Basically the place was not habitable as it was.

We spent £400 on new kitchen goods and a mattress, and spent 3 days airing and cleaning the property before we could stay there. I wasn't happy with the smoke smell and wouldn't let DS stay until it was much less noticeable (it didn't 'go' for months, really).

We put all the mentioned items above in storage. After a few months, the LL came round and we showed her everything, she told us to bin it all, bar the rugs which she wanted back. We arranged this, no problems.

Every 6 months, we had an inspection. Never any problems, in fact the inspectors often commented on how clean and tidy we kept the property. Once they recommended that the property could do with a redecoration as the walls etc were still stained. This never happened.

We moved out a few months ago, after giving our notice as required. We even found a new tenant to move in, and helped the agents out with this process.

We applied for our deposit back, as it was being held with a protection scheme.

We have been told the LL has asked to hold the entire amount, for the following reasons:

End of tenancy clean.
Handyman charge to reinstate the door closers and wardrobe handles. (these handles were not on the wardrobe when we moved in - they were inside it! We never moved them, we never used them).
Missing/damaged items - Cutlery/Utensils/Chopping Boards/Iron/Bedding. (as explained above. Plus, there was an iron there.
Replacement bed due to damaged slats. (two of the slats are damaged. We can't prove this wasn't us, but we don't know of it happening, IYSWIM. Would be happy to pay this if it is our fault.

I am absolutely gutted. We have been great tenants, never missed a rent payment, never caused any damage, repainted the hall ourselves (same colour), really looked after the outside area and never once had a problem.

They've said they have lost the inventory from when we moved in. They've also lost the 6 monthly inspection reports.

They claim to took nine hours to clean the 2 bedroom flat when we moved out. We did a good, thorough cleaning of the flat, the new tenant moved in and was totally happy with it. They've claimed they had to have this done (though didn't do it for us when we moved in)

Incidentally - I asked for the invoices for the cleaning and handyman. Both came from the letting agents 'sister' cleaning and maintenance companies, of the same name hmm

I can't believe the LL is doing this to us. Without this money, we don't have anything available to pay a deposit on a new property.


Juno77 Sat 25-Jan-14 08:53:13

egg because when we viewed it, they assured us it would be fully cleaned before we moved in.

The property itself was actually a beautiful property, perfect for us and really near DS school. In an area that is 90% big, detached houses and this was in a very rare (new build) block of flats. So we took it, partly because they said they'd clean it and partly because we could afford it.

FinallyGotAnIPhone Fri 24-Jan-14 23:48:49

I've noticed a few references to the small claims courts on the thread. We had a similar situation over 10 years ago now the ll withheld 1000 of our 1500 deposit - though it was before the deposit protection days... This was non returning of a cheque.

Anyway we took her to the small claims court which was a stressful process to be honest and dragged out over a few months and involved writing letters (think we too took caB advice) and going to the small claims court twice (can't remember why we went once and had to go back a second time) but in the end we got the majority of the money back. Not the full grand but 800 quid or so. Good luck OP.

BrianTheMole Fri 24-Jan-14 23:40:20

Don't worry op. Their inventory is unsigned by you. So it means nothing. I don't think you have a problem here in terms of getting your money back. Explain what you have here to the TDS. But it will be fine. The agency haven't covered themselves and they are trying to bluff you.

HaroldLloyd Fri 24-Jan-14 23:32:59

It's unlikely they can make this stick without an inventory, I don't think. Trying it on.

I am a landlord and a tenant. Therefore a thieving scum AND lowlife! grin

CelticPromise Fri 24-Jan-14 23:30:48

This happened to my parents. They disputed and Erin the whole amount. Landlord was a changer. I'm sure you'll get it back, good luck.

eggsandwich Fri 24-Jan-14 23:21:31

WHY! would you move into a property that was obviously so bad in the first place I would of thought that if it was that disgusting and smelt of smoke when you went to view the property then you would of rejected it. The LL obviously does n't care about his property or prosective tenants to lease it out like that.

Joysmum Fri 24-Jan-14 22:02:25

Hissy that's actually not true.

Juno77 Fri 24-Jan-14 22:01:02

Just to update/clarify:

The dispute is with a letting agent, a big, well known one. Not the LL personally.

I have applied for the deposit back and we were told that the agents have applied for the same amount. So we raised a dispute.

I have to give my 'evidence' and my side of the story, basically, (which I have written largely using the very helpful post above from hoochy.

The independent agency who hold the deposit will act as arbitrator and decide who gets the money.

I guess if we lose I could consider court but I don't know if this dispute would prejudice the outcome.

Anyway, I will submit my defence and let you all know.

Applefallingfromthetree2 Fri 24-Jan-14 21:21:51

Write to the landlord and threaten to take him to the small claims court, this is easy to do and from what you have told us you will win. Then the LL will also have to pay the court costs.

Hopefully a strongly worded letter will be enough to make him pay up. Don't lose your nerve-stand up and fight!

HesterShaw Fri 24-Jan-14 21:15:01

special, you can't blame someone for thinking that way, if they are treated as a second class citizen, simply because they don't have the money for a house deposit. An old friend of DH's parents who we saw at a family function cornered us and was moaning about being a LL, and his attitude was that anyone who has to rent is a low life. I said something about a rented property, and he said"Oh you're a landlord too are you?". "No, a tenant," I answered. He looked very surprised.

specialsubject Fri 24-Jan-14 20:51:59

BTW all those whining that ' all landlords are thieving bastards' might want to find the other thread, where tenants have stopped paying rent and are removing carpets and flooring before running away. The OP there is the landlord and is stressed beyond imagining and may even lose her own home.

she isn't saying 'all tenants are thieving bastards'.

most people aren't crooks. Some are but they come in all occupations.

babiesmakemecrazy Fri 24-Jan-14 19:56:03

Me and my partner had a similar problem. When we moved out of our flat, I deep cleaned it and even painted fresh to make sure we got our bond back. He then text me saying he was keeping 300 due to mess, cleaning etc. I was convinced he was doing this because we were a young couple. I looked into our rights etc and I found that if you go on the Deposit Protection Scheme website enter your log in details etc and request the money back if the landlord disagrees it automatically goes into a case where the LL has to pay fees etc so then the LL generally gives it back. If it goes to court he pay fees and could end up paying you up to 3x the cost of your bond, so it's not worth it for the LL. They'll just be trying their luck with you. We got our bond back after requesting it off the DPS site, we let him keep 50 to clean carpets as we had a cat and didn't mind paying that.

RandomMess Fri 24-Jan-14 19:42:55

Juno I hope you get back your money in full, they are being complete gits.

Hissy Fri 24-Jan-14 19:38:00

The only way they can insist on professional cleaning by you, is if they can prove it was cleaned professionally FOR you.

You only need return the property in the condition you received it in.

Get legal advice, go to the CAB or equivalent, and relax, they genuinely don't have a leg to stand on, and you might wnd up with 3x your deposit back.

Was the safety certificate stuff up to date too? If not, that's a potential criminal matter.

hooochycoo Fri 24-Jan-14 19:34:23

Nope. Yes I think they are all gits.

Best of luck. CAB can walk you through the small claim's court proceedings if need be . Stressful though.

Juno77 Fri 24-Jan-14 19:25:17

I wonder. Or, all they all the same really. Thieving bastards.

I don't suppose yours would have the initials LL? Formerly, AR?

hooochycoo Fri 24-Jan-14 19:05:40

No problem , glad it helps. make sure you send it recorded delivery. We had the same problem with needing the deposit for our new flat quicker than we got it back, so we got an interest free credit card and then paid it back and closed the account.
I'm in edinburgh too, I wonder if it's the same letting agency?

Pumpkinette Fri 24-Jan-14 18:43:15

If OP is in Scotland the deposit scheme has a different start date and set of rules.

Juno77 Fri 24-Jan-14 18:24:23

hoochyhoo That is absolutely amazing. I have basically cut and pasted that for my dispute. I am SO appreciative.


Oh, and I will definitely be following everyones advice re photos and inventory etc for the next tenancy!

Ican - It is the east branch (I assume - Edinburgh). They are quite new for us, as we were with another company but they bought them over during our tenancy.

I will, of course, update you on what happens.

ICanSeeTheSeaFromHere Fri 24-Jan-14 17:05:24

Juno, the company I think you are referring to is well known for their 'in house maintenance team' charging the earth.
Are you dealing with the east, central or west branch? A friend works in a service that provides advice and they hear a lot about the central (west end) one.

hooochycoo Fri 24-Jan-14 15:05:09

The tenancy afterwards I took photos when I moved in, boxed up everything I could from the inventory and stored it in the top of the cupboard, and took photos when I left. I would never rent a flat without doing that again.

hooochycoo Fri 24-Jan-14 12:09:43

we had pretty much the exact same happen to us. i've copy and pasted an edited version of the letter we sent that got us our deposit back. the CAB helped us write it. You'll obviously need to edit in your specific details.


Re: Deposit for xxxxxxx

We are writing concerning the deposit we paid for xxxxxxxx, as we are not happy that our deposit of xxxxxx has not been returned to us.

You will be aware, as we are, of the leglislation around the return of security deposits that states that deposit deductions are for property damages caused by a tenant's abuse or neglect (but not fair wear and tear). You will also be aware that an inventory should be shared between the tenant and landlord at the beginning of the tenancy, stating clearly what fixtures, fittings and furnishings are in the property at the beginning of the tenancy and their condition. Further to this, you will doubtless know that it is also necessary that any proposed retention of deposit be accompanied by itemised billing and receipts.

Bearing this in mind, I am therefore not prepared to accept any of the points made in your correspondance of xxx.

-End of tenancy clean.

We dispute this excessive charge as the property was clean and tidy when we left the tenancy.

-Handyman charge to reinstate the door closers and wardrobe handles. We dispute this, these handles were not on the wardrobe when we moved in - they were inside it. We never moved them, we never used them.

-Missing/damaged items - Cutlery/Utensils/Chopping Boards/Iron/Bedding.

add in explanation

-Replacement bed due to damaged slats.

We dispute this, as the bed was already damaged at commencement of our tenancy

In addition to all of the above points, we ask you to note that as there was never any inventory given to us with our contract for us to refer to at the end of our tenancy. Therefore we strongly dispute any alleged damage or neglect to any alledged property, fittings or fixtures, as we have strong concerns that there is no objective legal way to adjudicate whether the alledged damage occured during our tenancy.

We would also like to remind you that you carried out a check out inspection on xxxxx dates and reported the condition of the property was good. We would ask that you provide us of copies of these inspection reports.

We’d like to take this opportunity to state that we are also deeply disappointed at this dispute, as we took time and care to look after the property and considerable effort to clean and return it in good condition at the end of the tenancy.

Therefore we'd be most grateful if you could return all xxxx of our deposit as soon as possible, or provide independent itemised and receipted documentation of any portion of it you still wish to contest.

If it is not returned within 14 days, we will unfortunately be forced to take further action to retrieve it.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,


ophelia275 Fri 24-Jan-14 11:50:11

Don't worry you will get your money back. They have broken so many rules and not done things according to the rules. There is a procedure you need to follow to get your deposit back. Phone Shelter and they will explain it to you in detail. Do everything in WRITING and send it all recorded delivery. Good luck!

ophelia275 Fri 24-Jan-14 11:47:22

Phone Shelter asap for advice 0808 800 4444.

traininthedistance Fri 24-Jan-14 11:22:43

*contempt not complaint! Bloody phone, sorry!

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