I was in a small shop for 18 months and though it was a bit damp there were no problems. Lease terminated a few months ago, but apparently a key wasn't returned.
Since then new tenants are in and work is being done. We had an email saying that there was a large area of damp discolouration that had 'been developing throughout the tenancy but had not been reported so the damage is worse' This isn't true and we were not given a schedule of dilapidations. They are also saying the electrics don't work.. but they do.. I can see new tenants using them! This is two months after end of lease. They are saying we must pay for the work, but when we exited everything was fine.
The work could be structural as they are alleging a significant leak. They are also trying to claim that the tenancy hasn’t ended even though there are new tenants in. Their agent is assisting in this. Can they do this?
Did the landlord or his agent do any kind of inspection when you handed the property back? On what basis are they claiming the tenancy hasn't ended? You can't still be a tenant if there's someone else using the property at the landlord's doing.
My DH had this with a very large office building (300+ staff in it). I'm sorry to say they had to just suffer the cost in the end, the way the lease was worded on dilapidation a meant that it was very much down to the LL's judgement. It's harsh
On the termination, who terminated it? There must be some email/documentation to show this? And as pp said, how can you still be tenants if there is someone else in situ ?
What was the letting check-in and check-out procedure ? My agents always use an independent assessor, who writes detailed reports with photos, so we can compare before / after. If we disagree about any damage, then the relevant amount of the deposit is retained while it goes to arbitration. If my assessor misses something, I can't normally ask the tenants later to pay.
If you have received your deposit back, the LL / agents accepted the property in that state and it is too late now for them to claim damages UNLESS: . you didn't report PROMPTLY a problem that you noticed, but was not visible, so it has worsened. . you have done something mad to deliberately hide damage
It all depends on the wording of the lease However there is a fair chance it will say you need to leave the shop in the same state as you got it in or else pay for the repairs to get it back into that condition. That would be fairly standard Suggest you get legal advice
Sorry if I misunderstood I thought you had said there had been a damp smell As damp problems normally buildup over a period of time the? of when it started would be relevant But if it's just made up sent them a firm denial of liability
Sorry, OP, but you still haven' clarified what process you went through to end your tenancy. What paperwork was there? Did you get your deposit back? was there an inspection? Did you terminate any business rates accounts/utility accounts etc relating to the property.
When you say the property "was a bit damp" during your tenancy what do you mean? Just a smell, or more than that. Do you have evidence of you reporting it to the landlord?
As pp have said you need to clarify what process was followed to terminate your lease. Did it expire or did you operate a break option? The issue with the key not being handed back, and the LL claiming the lease has not expired makes me wonder if you operated a break option.
Also, do you know if it was it full repairing or, internal repairing only?