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To be bracing myself for landlord to try and take all our £1,200 deposit back

(106 Posts)
Helpmepleasenow48 Mon 08-Apr-19 08:03:51

We are now the proud FTB/owners of our first home. We were previously renting for 10 years and moved to our new home 2 weeks ago
Now the property we were renting was in a state needing decoration when we moved in. Things went wrong as soon as moved in - only minor things like drawers coming out and hinges going and a mirror frame fell apart when we moved it. The upstairs toilet seat broke but it was an an unusual shape so the landlord had to order a new one and even when it was replaced the hinges weren't and ended up going rusty. The garden bricks started falling apart from frost.
Then the bathroom floor got a hole and the oven stopped working and the boiler made s terrible noise.
We reported all these things to the landlord but only the oven was fixed. Over the years she put the rent up from £750 to £995. She never visited and even left her agreement with the rental agency so they all but collected the rent. Anyway about four years ago we knew we were going to come into some money and we communicated with the landlord that we might buy the property. Basically we had it valued but she wanted more than the value, we also had building work and damp proof costed - which would have cost at least £30k.
So we put in an offer on a property nearby in November and now own it. We did our best to clean the property - we gave her a month's notice, but we think she's peed off because we didn't give her more notice/offer her more for the property. When we told her the bathroom floor was broken she told us she expected us to mend it. She said she was renting and made minor improvemts to her home. We know she's on an interest only mortgage because all her mortgage statements were sent to the address. She paid £500 a month and her mortgage is actually more than our new one! She owes £220k and we have £200k mortgage. This I digress a bit but we are pretty sure this income hasn't been declared to HMRC as I set up a limited company and rang them last week to change address they wanted to know who owned the property. I told them we rented through a letting agent.
So now worried I may have dobbed landlord in and we won't get our deposit back.

LordWheresMyShoes Mon 08-Apr-19 08:08:06

Your deposit should be in a protected scheme and technically she shouldn't be able to.

Take after photos, and find any before photos you have, receipts etc and be prepared for the fight.

LordWheresMyShoes Mon 08-Apr-19 08:08:31

Also, stop opening other people's post, it's illegal!

ATowelAndAPotato Mon 08-Apr-19 08:08:36

Right, well her tax situation is not your problem. You answered the questions you err asked, you didn’t call them deliberately to dob her in.
Is your deposit in one of the protected schemes, it should be by law and if it isn’t you have a claim against her which you are pretty likely to win.
If it is in a scheme, then the scheme acts as mediator in the event of either party having a dispute over how much deposit is withheld. This usually seems to favour whoever has the most evidence, e.g. before and after photos, written evidence of raising issues, etc.

barrelohflaughs Mon 08-Apr-19 08:11:08

Were you provided with an inventory when you moved in?

Helpmepleasenow48 Mon 08-Apr-19 08:13:56

Yes we had an inventory - the only thing 'missing' was a cap on a downstairs radiator. But the leaving inventory was more thorough than the one made when we moved in as the cap was missing but wasn't noted on the first inventory.

Laiste Mon 08-Apr-19 08:14:06

This all comes down to:

Is your deposit held in a protection scheme?

If so any deductions she wants to make need to be costed (to an extent) and can be disputed by you.

Anyone renting needs to brace themselves for attempts to retain the deposit.

We've privately rented twice in the past. Both times for 5 years. Both times on good terms with the landlord (happily chatting via email and face to face on inspections), both properties looked after beautifully by us. Both times in the end they tried to fleece us for our deposit hmm

Both times the deposit was in a scheme. So both times they failed grin

Witchtower Mon 08-Apr-19 08:14:54

As a PP said it will be protected.
But the bathroom floor is a bit of a shady area, why is it broken? She may be able to keep your deposit to repair the whole bathroom floor.

palebluewalls Mon 08-Apr-19 08:16:02

Been having a good looks through other peoples private mail haven't you OP 🙄

Helpmepleasenow48 Mon 08-Apr-19 08:18:24

Before we rented the last place we rented for two years from a lovely landlady. She was professional and gave us our deposit back.
This wasn't really so professional and I think she going to try and bill us for everything. We had a swing in the garden which we put in as the garden was quite literally falling apart.
We have photos and emails.

Annonymiss123 Mon 08-Apr-19 08:18:30

We know she's on an interest only mortgage because all her mortgage statements were sent to the address. She paid £500 a month and her mortgage is actually more than our new one! She owes £220k and we have £200k mortgage

Do you know this because you were opening her post? shock

barrelohflaughs Mon 08-Apr-19 08:18:40

Who is the deposit registered with? I'd imagine the TDS if she's using a letting agent.

The things you have mentioned in your OP sound like fair wear and tear to me; especially since you have lived there for 10 years! I very much doubt she will be able to retain anything from your deposit.

notapizzaeater Mon 08-Apr-19 08:20:20

Most houses need some sort of repairs in 10 years, hopefully she sees sense and returns it all. Did you take lots of photos?

screamifyouwant Mon 08-Apr-19 08:22:59

Stop opening other peoples post and her financial situation is none of your business.
What's the issue your worried you won't get your deposit back ? How do you know have you asked when you will get it?
It's my understanding that deposits are put in some sort of secure bond with the agency . Unless you breach your terms of residency you'll get it back . Repairs are wear & tear so should have nothing to do with your deposit.

Helpmepleasenow48 Mon 08-Apr-19 08:23:37

Bathroom floor was reported to her five years ago. It was peeling away from the shower cubicle when we moved in and the hole got bigger and bigger.
DH (who has a lot of integrity) opened the mortgage statement letter by mistake - he saw the logo on the envelope and it the same company he uses for some his business stuff. Yes we did look at it because she had just pushed our rent from £750 to £995.
It meant we were able to push back on the increase for a few months - as I had just had DC2 as an self employed as was on maternity leave.
I wasn't proud of the fact tbh

Laiste Mon 08-Apr-19 08:25:15

So is the deposit in a scheme?

Helpmepleasenow48 Mon 08-Apr-19 08:26:18

We told her we had seen it and she told us she was renting in an expensive area and her rent was more than the rent we paid her so she couldn't afford to do big repairs. She said she was very much an accidental landlord.
We were in okay terms with her - for someone who didn't fix things and left us with a noisy boiler for three years!

Helpmepleasenow48 Mon 08-Apr-19 08:26:38

Just checked deposit is in a scheme!

Helpmepleasenow48 Mon 08-Apr-19 08:27:21

scream she made it our business - see my post!

NW2SW Mon 08-Apr-19 08:27:56

Pretty sure there's a time limit to returning deposits in a scheme. If LL fucks you about too long then they can owe moe than the deposit.

Babygrey7 Mon 08-Apr-19 08:30:04

Sorry but the one who sounds dodgy here is you!

Laiste Mon 08-Apr-19 08:31:33

Yes if it's one like ours they have to declare how much they want to retain, itemise it and say why. You then reply through the scheme and if it's contended you all have to wait for it to be looked at by one of the independent people on the scheme panel. If she's taking the piss they'll refuse the claim from the LL and you'll get an agreed (between you) amount.

BarrenFieldofFucks Mon 08-Apr-19 08:32:51

She didn't 'make it your business', your husband opened her personal mail and then you used her confidential financial information against her confused

mishgs Mon 08-Apr-19 08:33:13

We had to fight for our deposit back too!!! We did some online research for approximate prices for the repairs/work and miraculously the amount the landlord requested was reduced by about 50%

ScarletBitch Mon 08-Apr-19 08:35:13

So you opened her mail?

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