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To think my friend should get her deposit back?

(23 Posts)
MerryMarigold Mon 31-Oct-16 13:43:44

My friends have been renting a house for almost 5 years. They are the perfect tenants - always paid rent on time, looked after the house, shoes off when you come in, cleaned it well etc. etc. They did not kick up a fuss when landlord spent ages getting roof fixed. Anyway, now the estate agent doesn't want to give them the deposit back for what I think is reasonable wear and tear. Apparently (she said) after years 'wear and tear' kicks in, and they are 2 months off that. There are no stains on carpet etc. but obviously it doesn't look brand new. Nothing at all is broken, other than a small patch of paint on one wall where they put bluetack and it came off. This is a 3 bed house in London, so I don't know what the rent is exactly but I would estimate over 1K. The deposit is a month's rent. Agent knows my friends are really nice pushovers so I think is playing them. What should they say or do?

MerryMarigold Mon 31-Oct-16 13:45:08

Sorry, after 5 years 'wear and tea' kicks in.

specialsubject Mon 31-Oct-16 13:45:36

Your friends should take five minutes to read the how to rent booklet on gov.UK, if england or wales. Then they will know their rights and that the agent is wrong.

Deposit protected?

Squiff85 Mon 31-Oct-16 13:46:47

I think there should be a separate agency holding the deposit, so they can appeal it.

Are you sure you're getting the truth here? We've rented a few times and although we've had some deposit held back, we have always had the majority returned (even with some damage etc)

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Mon 31-Oct-16 13:50:10

Wear & tear "kicks in" as soon as you move in. Obviously six months wear & tear is a lot prettier than six years, but it still applies. Agents are clearly full of bullshit.

Gwenci Mon 31-Oct-16 13:50:39

By law their deposit has to have been kept in a deposit protection scheme.

If it has been then they can challenge any suggested deductions through an arbitration service.

If it hasn't been kept in a scheme they can sue the agent. It's the law that deposits are held by a third party.

Stefoscope Mon 31-Oct-16 13:54:28

The estate agents can't charge for 'betterment' eg to replace carpets if they are not damaged and look a little tired (as you'd expect after 5 years) and they must allow for reasonable wear and tear. Neither can they insist the property be professionally cleaned on leaving if it wasn't when they moved in.

Did they have an itinerary stating the condition the carpets, walls etc were in when they moved in? Also the agent must provide a breakdown of costs if they are making deductions for damages. In my experience, agents will try it on and try to keep deposits unlawfully, you do have to persevere and communicate with them in writing. Shelter can be helpful at explaining what is and isn't lawful on the matter of returning deposits.

MerryMarigold Mon 31-Oct-16 13:58:23

Thanks so much. I am going to go with my friend and meet the agent as she is far too nice (we have just spent the entire morning cleaning to a pretty professional standard - and then she tells me the agent already said they won't be getting much of the deposit back due to the damage which is due to the leaking roof the landlord didn't fix!!). This is great, very helpful.

harderandharder2breathe Mon 31-Oct-16 14:03:36

The five years is bullshit. Wear and tear applies to any tenancy, obviously 5 years you'd expect more than 6 months, and that should be taken into account

Smellyrose Mon 31-Oct-16 14:15:08

The deposit will be held by a third party and she can appeal against any deductions. I've done so before and found them very fair (they found in my favour)

shovetheholly Mon 31-Oct-16 14:18:29

Good luck! She is very fortunate to have a kickass friend like you to protect her. They are bastards trying to do this to her!

Trifleorbust Mon 31-Oct-16 14:24:04

Total nonsense. Unless they have damaged anything, or agreed before they moved in to pay for certain things when they moved out, they should get back their full deposit.

TheProblemOfSusan Mon 31-Oct-16 14:24:16

Agent is full of crap. Document it all - make sure they take TONS of photos when they leave, showing exactly what the place was like, and keep a record of all the bullshit the agency is spouting, especially this crap about wear and tear.

And if they try to take anything off the deposit (that isn't actually reasonable), have her refuse to agree with them. Either they'll eventaully back down and return all the money or they'll let you take it to a tribunal at which point they run the risk of having to give back far more than the deposit actually is.

The key thing is though that your friend does need to agree to reasonable deductions e.g. clearning it was in a state, repainting if they've mashed up the walls. There may be something in the contract about not using blutack, for instance. But if the estate agent is taking the piss they will back down before going to a tribunal because of how muchit might cost them.

However they can also mitigate this by leaving it in a good state - I always go round and touch up marks on the walls, for instance.

Also, if their deposit isn't in a scheme and they started the contract or renewed it after a Aprinl 2007 then they might be quids in: the government can make the landlord pay it all back and in some cases pay back three times the amount...!

babynumber3eek Mon 31-Oct-16 14:51:54

If it is in a protected scheme she will have to agree to money being withheld and can appeal not just the damage (e.g. I don't agree the carpet is damaged) but the cost of repair (e.g. It doesn't cost £50 to take bluetack off a wall).

My DH did this with his last tenancy and our appeal was fully upheld and we got his deposit back as the landlord has to provide full evidence.

LivingOnTheDancefloor Mon 31-Oct-16 15:06:22

Wear and tear starts from day 1.

Also re damage caused by the damaged roof, I had something similar, damaged caused by a leaking bath, and when the check out inspection took place I asked the cause of the damage to be noted. I got my full deposit back.

7eline Mon 31-Oct-16 15:21:47

*Also, if their deposit isn't in a scheme and they started the contract or renewed it after a Aprinl 2007 then they might be quids in: the government can make the landlord pay it all back and in some cases pay back three times the amount...!*

This. Press the agent to say which deposit scheme is used. He must say (he must have said so from the start actually). By the sound of his 'wear and tear' nonsense, I would not be surprised there would not be one.

MerryMarigold Mon 31-Oct-16 18:19:29

Well, I went and the 'person' was already there. I was expecting the estate agent, but this person was apparently someone independent making a report. confused Is this a thing? Anyway, I still took lots of pictures. And told him about the ceiling damage that was caused by landlord not fixing roof. He said the house was very clean smile and said there should not be a problem with the deposit unless the house had been professionally cleaned beforehand in which case a professional clean comes out of the deposit.

Niaus267 Mon 31-Oct-16 18:25:40

I assume the person carrying out the report was doing an up to date inventory? Some letting agents pay for another company to carry this out (I work for a letting agency & this is what we do). You've had some great advice re: the deposit scheme and what classifies as wear and tear, so I'll not repeat it! Hope your friends get things sorted, and that any future agents are more reasonable. They do exist, honestly.

Happymumof3tob Mon 31-Oct-16 18:44:09

i can honestly say that in every house i have lived in the landlord has tried it on. it has nothing to do with estate agents. the landlord decides if he is happy or not. overtime this has happened for general wear and tear. no damage at all. and every time we have appealed it and got the majority of our deposit back. minor deductions which is fair to be honest. but you can appeal it. and if it wasn't protected. legally it should be. make sure it is.

user1474627704 Mon 31-Oct-16 19:13:04

and said there should not be a problem with the deposit unless the house had been professionally cleaned beforehand in which case a professional clean comes out of the deposit

Still rubbish, they can't deduct for that.

OlennasWimple Mon 31-Oct-16 19:16:36

Its been fairly standard in the places I've rented for it to be professionally cleaned at the start of the tenancy and therefore has to be returned in the same state - ie professionally cleaned. Usually paid for by us upfront, but once we agreed it could be taken off the deposit instead

Your friend's agent sounds like a crook - I wonder why the profession has such a bad reputation hmm

BippityBoppityBullshit Mon 31-Oct-16 20:24:18

user i work with my Dad who is an independent inventory clerk and they can deduct professional cleaning costs if it was noted on the check in inventory. In some cases it is even written into the agents contract. Merry it is worth looking back at your friends contract and original check in report.

Merry having an independent is a good thing- My Dad treats tenants and landlords the same and won't stand for landlords trying to take the piss. He had a memorable incident of a landlord trying to go after him for money because he wouldn't fiddle the check out to make the wear and tear seem like damage. Hopefully your friends deposit is protected. Wear and tear replacements are just a cost of letting a property- LL should factor them in to their spends!

MerryMarigold Thu 03-Nov-16 12:10:40

Not too bad in the end. They deducted 260 for oven and carpet cleaning. I said it was up to my friends if they want to check contract and query whether it was done professionally prior to them coming in (it wasn't as they used their own carpet vacuum thing which my friends saw them doing). I don't think they will bother making a fuss though as they are getting majority back and in the middle of a nightmare building project!

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