we rented a place in Wiltshire this Summer and our baby was sick on the carpet. I did my best to clean it, but I felt it really needed some Vanish and I wasn't able to get it a the shops available, so I told the housekeeper about it when she arrived to check us out. The landlord claims that he was unable to clean the carpet and wants to charge us 900 quid to replace it. We paid a 750 quid deposit and so he obviously has not refunded it. I told him I was very surprised to hear that the stain didn't come out, and could I have invoices for a professional cleaning and quotes from the carpet company. It has now been 6 weeks and I have heard nothing. I just sent him an email to bump things along and he has told me that he will chase up the carpet company that gave him an invoice but the carpet in the room was a special type that would not respond to cleaning because of its texture. My point now is that he should not have had such a carpet in a rental property especially not one advertised as baby friendly. Does anyone have experience of going through the Small Claims Courts for this sort of thing? Is it worth the effort?
This seems OTT to me and he is looking for an excuse to get a free carpet! Have you looked at photos of the cottage to see if the carpet has changed? Did you book through an agency who you can talk to? Could you send him a letter asking for evidence within 14 days or you will go to small claims court? Have you spoken to CAB?
Hello - thanks for coming back. I haven't spoken to the CAB, but they have some great information on their website about the process involved in going to the small claims court and it doesn't seem such a frightening process. I need to talk to DH to make sure he is on board, but I agree with you - I think I need to ask him to submit the evidence that it was not possible to clean the carpet (i.e photos) and an invoice for cleaning and carpet quotes etc within the next 14 days or I will take the matter further.
Rosemary as a holiday landlord and regular tenant a security deposit is very normal though this particular one is very high. dinosaur as a landlord who has been on the flip side firstly I would find out if he has before (ie the day you took the property) and after (after attempted clean by professionals) photos if he has not there is a good chance you will win in the small claims. This summer we had a guest whose little boy was tightrope walking the bedstead!! fell and cracked his head open - blood every where. Understandably they whisked their little one straight to hospital to get him fixed up. By the time they returned the blood was pretty soaked in. However, my amazing housekeeper managed to get it out of the carpet and duvet. The duvet cover and pillowcases were beyond hope - the total cost to the guest was £90 for all the extra cleaning and replacement linens. If you used any kind of agency it is worth talking to them.
Thank you all so much for taking the trouble to come back. I really appreciate all of your advice and am just drafting a response to the landlord now in a final attempt to resolve the issue before going to the small claims court.
Herscaryness I like very much your formula for deciding our liability. Do you have experience of this being used in a tenancy deposit decision?
You could also factor in the fact that the property is a letting property so therefore wear and tear on the carpet would be potentially greater...
You ought to go to the CAB and get legal advice on this, to take this to small claims. The most this guy should get is cleaning charges and potentially a very small amount of compensation if a stain really won't come off (doubt it)