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What is a reasonable compromise here?

(15 Posts)
SelectAUserName Wed 05-Mar-14 13:58:34

We have just left a rented house (I have posted other threads about this) in which we lived for just under for years.

About a year after we moved in, my DH got into conversation with the LL about the row of garages behind the house. The LL said we could use the end one FOC although it was full - and I mean full - of stuff which we would have to clear. Also it wasn't suitable for a car as the door only opened about 3-4 feet off the ground due to being broken.

We paid for hire of a skip, cleared it out, cleaned it up as best we could and used it for storage. Unfortunately, it turned out not to be much good for that either as the roof leaked and a lot of our stuff was spoiled. When we moved, we chucked quite a bit out (hired a skip for the purpose) but due to an unexpected family emergency, we didn't get everything cleared out before the skip was collected.

The man who rents the garage next door to ours asked what was happening to it when he learned we were moving. We obviously didn't know. He said he would speak to our LL as it would do for his little trailer which can be covered with a tarpaulin so incoming rain wouldn't be a problem. He also asked what we were doing with various bits and pieces and we said he was welcome to them.

When we moved out, there was probably about 1/3 of the garage still full. Some of the stuff - shelving units, a few wooden things to use on a woodburner etc - was for the guy next door who hasn't had a chance to move it yet, the rest was rubbish - not as in household waste, but as in stuff we had stored which had been spoiled (boxes of books, mostly, but a few other things).

The landlord is insisting we either return and empty it or pay for it to be emptied. We never had any sort of contract for the garage, the house is not being advertised to let as having a garage, it can't be used in its current state as a garage for a car (although there is enough space for NDN to get his trailer in and out) and we have left it in the same state in which we first got it - better, in fact, as our old stuff is neatly stacked in the back third and it is generally cleaner and tidier. Yes we had free use of it for three years but that has in fact ended up costing us money in real terms due to the items that have been ruined.

If he had been reasonable about other stuff - like the damp in the house - I would consider offering to pay half the cost of a skip, but he has been such an arse since we gave notice that I am tempted to say "it's in better shape than it was when you let us use it, now piss off and leave us alone". But IABU, aren't I? Or is he?

Finola1step Wed 05-Mar-14 14:05:44

If the garage was not part of the written contract between you and the landlord, then it is tricky to say that you have to clear it IYSWIM.

However for a significant period of time, the LL has allowed you to use the garage free of charge. Yes it was full of junk when you got it. But as you had it FOC, then I think the decent thing would be to clear your stuff.

AddToBasket Wed 05-Mar-14 14:06:01

If you paid to have it cleared out the first time and didn't charge him for that skip then I can't see what grounds he has for charging you for one now.

judyandthedreamofdonkeys Wed 05-Mar-14 14:07:02

as long as your happily in your new house with references etc id completely ignore him to be honest. sounds like he is trying it on

SelectAUserName Wed 05-Mar-14 14:13:31

Judy I would, but we haven't received our bond back yet. It's bit complicated as our AST was for 12 months until mid-Sep but due to an enforced job change requiring a relocation we had to give notice in January and activate the two-month break clause. The two months is up in mid-March and he has ten days from then (so I understand it) to return our deposit, so while we have our references and are happily installed in our new house, he still has about �1,000 of ours. He is already threatening to charge us for redecorating the house despite us drawing his attention on many occasions throughout the tenancy to the unacceptable levels of damp/condensation which were not caused by us - there was another thread on the damp topic recently so I don't intend to rehash that here - but one way or another I get the feeling he is looking to keep as much of our deposit as he can.

BookABooSue Wed 05-Mar-14 14:20:25

I would clear the garage. Yes, you paid for the initial skip but really that money was instead of paying rent for the garage for 3 years. I don't think it's fair to then equate that to having to pay for a skip now. It sounds as though you intended to clear it until you had a family emergency. I can understand why the emergency took priority but that doesn't make the clearing the LL's responsibility. Plus I'm sure you'll be able to clear it yourself much cheaper than the LL will charge to clear it. I know it sucks but I think it's fair.

WillieWaggledagger Wed 05-Mar-14 14:28:33

if you can i would clear it yourselves. is it possible to do a few car journeys to the tip?

you and the landlord have to come to mutual agreement over the return of the deposit, and how much would be retained, otherwise a dispute may be raised and evidence would need to be produced regarding why he/you think X amount should be returned. given that the garage is not mentioned in the contract i don't know what the likelihood of the LL winning would be. but tbh if you can resolve the problem now then i would

SelectAUserName Wed 05-Mar-14 14:39:01

Unfortunately we're now 150 miles away, I'm now working full-time in my new job and DH is disabled so returning to clear it ourselves is no longer an option.

The pragmatist in me says I should just agree to pay for a skip, the stubborn mare side wants to fight it and see which way the DPS arbitration decision would go...

judyandthedreamofdonkeys Wed 05-Mar-14 14:41:02

how annoying op i hate when landlords hold you to ransom like that...looks like you dont have much choice really if you want your deposit back.

psynl Wed 05-Mar-14 14:57:36

your ex landlord has a responsibility for decorating and redecorating (bar contract clauses stating otherwise) thats one of the few advantages of being a tenant!
If the garage isn't full size and is only 1/3 full surely a few trips to the tip would sort it out in an hour or so, esp getting ndn to take the wood at the same time? I'd only do that though to simply end the dispute promptly.

SelectAUserName Wed 05-Mar-14 15:12:02

psynl Apologies if my ramblings weren't clear (hardly surprising!) The garage is full size but isn't capable of being used for a car as the door doesn't open high enough - it's an up-and-over door which is broken so sticks between three and four feet off the ground.

As we're 150 miles away it would be a 300 mile round trip plus several trips to the tip once there, and a day's doggy day care as we couldn't leave the dog for that long and couldn't take him with us as there'd be nowhere to put him safely once the car was will be cheaper just to pay for a skip, I think.

FoxesRevenge Wed 05-Mar-14 15:57:40

I think you should pay to have the stuff removed.

TwittyMcTwitterson Wed 05-Mar-14 19:23:01

Is it your stuff? If so, yes pay to clear. Or speak to your ex neighbour if you feel the stuff is now his responsibility.

The LL may have been a prick, I've had it too after being kicked out with a two week old baby after I asked him to get our heating working. But all your stuff should be gone

WooWooOwl Wed 05-Mar-14 19:30:28

I think you need to pay to clear the stuff if you can't do it yourself or get the neighbour to take it.

The other issues you have are not relevant to the arrangement with the garage, and whatever arrangement is now in place with the neighbour is irrelevant as well.

You moved his stuff out because you wanted to use the space as it was, that does not give you the right to leave all your unwanted crap there now you have left.

wowfudge Wed 05-Mar-14 19:31:31

Pay to have it cleared and ask the person who does the job to send you photos of it once cleared. Not worth the hassles over your deposit.

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