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Landlord advice please? Possible breach of contract(18 Posts)
Last week I moved out of a property. The tenancy doesn’t end until next month so no final inspection has been done yet.
This is quite long but please bear with.
A few weeks ago I told my LL my usual cleaner was doing my end of tenancy clean. He said he was looking for a good cleaner and would I recommend her? I asked her if she was looking to take on new clients and she said yes, so with her permission I passed on her number.
Anyway he has been texting my cleaner about my end of tenancy clean saying this isn’t done and that isn’t done. He shouldn’t have been doing this anyway as she was employed by me, not him. Anyway he’s said that certain things are dirty. I have pictures that my cleaner sent last week after she did the end of tenancy clean to prove that they are, or were, clean.
This isn’t all however. He said last week he was having the place redecorated and there have been contractors in painting. Clearly they have dirtied things and he now expects my cleaner to go and clean again.
This is a breach of contract surely? He has interfered with the state of the property before the final inspection was conducted so the inspection is now meaningless?
AIBU to tell him the condition of the property is no longer my responsibility and demand my deposit back in full as he has breached the terms of the contract?
And, when I began the tenancy I was charged over £100 for an inventory fee, presumably for the inspection after I left the property. As the inspection will now be meaningless as the LL has interfered with the condition of the property, would I be within my rights to demand that money back?
I had a situation very similar to yours with the last property I rented.
We left a couple of weeks before the end of the tenancy and were returning to clean over a couple of days.
One day I walked in to find that the bathroom had been ripped out and all the walls had been repainted. The LL had let himself in and started working on it despite the fact that the tenancy hadn't ended yet.
I complained to the letting agent and stated that I wanted my deposit back in full due to breach of contract and that the inventory that I signed previously is now worthless.
I recieved my deposit back in full with no problems. Tbf the LL was a decent fella which helped.
Your LL has shot himself in the foot now and you will be entitled to your deposit back in full. Has the LL protected your deposit?
There was paragraphs in that!
Grrrr I hate this app!
Yes the deposit was placed with the DPS.
You should request your deposit back via DPS and inform your landlord. He’s not got a leg to stand on as far as I’m aware. I’m currently going through the DPS process as my previous LL decided to ignore my requests for deposit to be returned
Has he suggested you won't be getting your deposit back though? Maybe you're worrying needlessly?
As far as I know inventory fees can no longer be charged (since June 2019), but if you moved in before then it was probably legal.
The issue here is that he wants the cleaner to do extra cleaning presumably at Ops expense.
I would message and say that any additional cleaning is now at his expense due to the fact that the property has been dirtied by his workmen and that you expect a full return of the deposit
There was an issue with the worktop that I reported and the letting agent did nothing about. Further damage occurred because the problem wasn’t address. He has asked me about it and I have explained the situation. He is the type to deduct deduct deduct. The flat was an absolute shithole when I moved in, it’s in a much better state now. There were loads of problems on the inventory that weren’t addressed when I moved in some of which still haven’t been addressed.
The other thing is that the property was managed by the letting agent but now he seems to be doing it directly with me. I have a whole stream of texts to prove this.
I’m not sure where I stand with the worktop issue. I will contest it if he tries to deduct me for it as I reported it and nothing was done, but all that aside, he’s now breached the agreement so it’s no longer my responsibility, surely?
Are you still paying rent until the end of the tenancy?
If so he has no right to come in ,decorate or anything without your agreement until the last day of the paid for tenancy.
Your check out inventory should have been booked for this day and your cleaner working to have the place cleaned by that time.
If he wanted to bring in decorators he should have agreed an early end date with you, no rent payable from that date, inventory then etc.
In court he wouldn't have a leg to stand on, when he tries to withold the cost of cleaning from your deposit, disagree and go to mediation and court if necessary, it will go in your favour if you document everything.
The other issue is that the inventory company have refused to allow me to be present at the check out inspection, which is due to take place at the end of next week. They say it’s because of Covid but it’s a bit rich considering you can go to the pub on Saturday.
the whole thing has been a clusterfuck tbh.
Hello OP. I am a landlord.
Its true that your landlord had no right to enter the property without your permission (or giving you notice) while your tenancy is still in place.
I think you're right too, your landlord shouldn't be conversing directly with the cleaner about any work that you engaged the cleaner for.
The DPS will not give him any part of the deposit without your agreement, so if you dispute any deductions he claims, make sure you have proof. Photographs directly after the clean are the best evidence you can have and the DPS will be fair. In future, you ought not have the clean done until right at the end of the tenancy, or else potential damage (leaky pipes, etc) may mean another clean is necessary, so always book the clean for the final day.
I think you will be treated fairly by the DPS but personally its always better to have a conversation, (not text) so I would encourage you to call the landlord and let him know that you have already paid for a full clean, his workmen entered the property during the tenancy unannounced which is a breach of your agreement, and have meant a further clean is necessary and you don't expect to be charged for that. With regards damage, you know fair wear and tear is allowed but if you have caused any damage the landlord is allowed to deduct for it as he will need to put it right.
If you have photos of the whole property you will be fine as that’s your proof. If you don’t then it’ll be hard to prove the condition you left it in as legally you’re obliged to keep it clean until the end of the tenancy whether you live there or not. If you have proof he has been entering the property (even the text stating it wasn’t clean is proof he is going in) then keep that evidence. Keep everything in writing. If you can, go back and get photos of the condition the painters have left it in. Don’t engage in conversation, speak through the agents and encourage your cleaner to stop contact with him as it sounds like he’s after a free/cheap clean at your expense.
OP you have nothing to worry about! The inventory inspection will be useless and waste of time because you can argue that any damage they find could have been caused by your LL or workmen.
I'm surprised it hasn't been cancelled already.
He hasn’t communicated with me about the clean, he texted the cleaner directly. She rang me earlier because whe was pissed off. I have a whole library of photographs to prove the clean was carried out.
I take the point about the clean being on the last day, but I expected the property to be locked up and left. Yes any subsequent leaky pipes etc would have been on me, but that’s quite different to the LL unilaterally deciding to get decorators in.
As far as I’m concerned now the state of the property is no longer my responsibility. I have proof the clean has been done which he cannot argue with. The other issue is something that I have a record of reporting, and the damage happened because the issue wasn’t resolved. I should be in the clear and I will be writing to him to tell him I expect my deposit back in full, plus the inventory fee as now the check out inspection is rendered meaningless.
Did you give him permission for the building work?
No, he texted me the other day saying he was thinking of having it redecorated and recarpetted, it definitely needs it, but that was it. The next day the painters were in.
I have all the texts, so he can’t argue with that either.
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