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End of tenancy advice please

(16 Posts)
99percentchocolate Thu 23-Jun-16 10:59:20

Our tenancy on a rental property ended a week ago and we left it in a good, clean condition. We asked about the check out process and tried several times to get hold of the agent but to no avail. In the end we had to post the keys through the letterbox.
We also asked when the check out inventory was to take place as we wanted to attend. We were emailed the following day and informed that the check out visit was taking place a couple of hours after the time the email was sent. We didn't see the email until after the check out had been completed. We replied that we were disappointed that we hadn't been invited to attend and requested a copy of the inventory. This was on Saturday and we have still not received this.
We emailed on Tuesday requesting the return of our deposit and initiated this though our Deposit Protection Schene website. Neither ourselves not the DPS have heard from the landlord or agency.
To complicate matters, the deposit was not protected until 6 months after we moved in.
My question is, how long do we give them to respond? Shelter says that the deposit should be returned within ten days of the end of our tenancy but the DPS says they have 14 days to respond before we start a single claim.
Does anybody have any experience of this and know how long it takes?
We are hoping for a response today but they have a history of not acting until either the last minute or not at all so I'm trying to prepare for this eventuality.

dollylucy Thu 23-Jun-16 11:01:31

Just keep on them
I'm a landlord and it always amazes me how slow estate agents are about this.

99percentchocolate Thu 23-Jun-16 11:04:03

We're going to send another email tonight to see if that spurs them on - fingers crossed.

DoesAnyoneReadTheseThings Thu 23-Jun-16 11:04:23

If your deposit isn't registered immediately aren't you entitled to 3x your deposit back? (Not 100% sure, it's something I read on here but might be worth making enquiries?). If you are maybe mentioning that will get you your deposit back a bit faster.

OurBlanche Thu 23-Jun-16 11:04:56

As you and they only have 7 days to question the Check out then the clock is ticking - that 7 days is NOT LAW but it is normal practice. That you have effectively been prevented fro being present is also a concern... as is the issue with the deposit and your not having had a copy of the Ingoing Inventory

1. Did you ever have a copy of the ingoing inventory? Did you sign it/ have a check in?

2. Are you sure your deposit is secured?

3. They should return the deposit within 10 days and, once you have raised an issue they have 14 days to respond.

Your answer to Q1 makes a difference to the possible outcomes

99percentchocolate Thu 23-Jun-16 11:13:56

We had a copy of the ingoing inventory but it was dramatically different to the reality so refused to sign it in that form. We provided a more realistic copy and the agency came out to check that. We signed the revised copy.
Deposit is definitely now secured but wasn't for 6 months. We didn't realise this until we got the email and letter to confirm it had been protected. We queried with the deposit scheme as to whether it was a delay on their side or the agents - they confirmed it was the agent who had delayed paying in.
Worried that we only have 7 days to contest the check out - what happens if we haven't received it to query?
We're definitely entitled to up to 3x the deposit but aren't going to mention for another couple of days as we want to keep them on side at the moment. If they don't respond today or tomorrow then we'll ask for the compensation.

BaboonBottom Thu 23-Jun-16 11:17:08

Is it an independent check out company?
I am wondering if you can ring the one who did the check in to see if they did the check out. That way you could get a copy from them.

DoesAnyoneReadTheseThings Thu 23-Jun-16 11:17:40

I think if you email something like this 'hi, please could someone call me on xxxxxxxx to discuss how I claim 3x my deposit as it wasn't protected for six months' you'll have your deposit in your account by 6pm.

OurBlanche Thu 23-Jun-16 11:25:44

I knew I had misworded that bit...sorry. If you don't get the check in for some days then it becomes less useful to the LL for any claim. It should be a contemporaneous document, done the day you moved out, not after a few days when other people could have been in and out. They can't withhold it from you and then use it to retain any monies. Don't worry, you should have a reasonable time from the day you receive it to question it.

Inventory: you did your own check in and they accepted it, so that becomes THE inventory. That is perfectly normal, happens all the time. My Inventory has columns for tenants to fill inform check in and out. It is their record of the condition of the property. Did you keep a copy? When you do get the check out was it done against your amended inventory.

Do keep chasing them, do keep the DPS in the loop and definitely have at them for the delay in registering the deposit.

Good luck.

99percentchocolate Thu 23-Jun-16 11:38:42

The inventory was done in house unfortunately so no joy there either.
They seem to be pretty determined to make things harder for themselves for some reason. We've kept our copy of the inventory - it'll be interesting to see whether they have used that or the original one they drafted. That's a good point about people coming in and out. We actually had to stop viewings as we moved out a few days before the end of the tenancy in order to clean it properly. One day I came over to pick up some rubbish and mow the lawn again and found the house stank of cigarette smoke, the floors were covered in mud, and there were cigarette butts littering the driveway and garden. (We don't smoke) We were furious given that we'd spent five hours the day before cleaning the place to a very high standard.
We're not going to contact them today as we shouldn't be having to nag them - we will contact them tomorrow afternoon though and raise that it has now been a few hours shy of 7 days and mention the fact the deposit wasn't secured in time and that we are open to negotiate reasonable compensation - particularly in respect of the delay this week. Monday will be ten days so up until then we'll be reasonable about any deductions and compensation, etc. After that we'll refuse any deductions and will be pursuing for the return of the full deposit and compensation up to 3x the value of the deposit.

99percentchocolate Thu 23-Jun-16 11:39:29

And thank you for the advice!

OurBlanche Thu 23-Jun-16 11:45:25

No problem. As you might have guessed it is my job smile I haven't been called to a tribunal yet. I hope you don't mind my using your experience to practice on smile

OurBlanche Thu 23-Jun-16 11:47:46

You didn't take pictures of the mud and cigarettes did you? Or did you text or email to complain? Any record of what you found would be very useful to you if they make a fuss. You would have proof that they contributed to any cleaning / damage issues.

99percentchocolate Thu 23-Jun-16 11:51:13

I did take photos of the mud and cigarettes in fact - I phoned them to complain but they replied by email so the complaint is in writing too. They also admitted causing the mess and offered to clean it up.
They also (and I think you'll like this) told us to stop cleaning the property or rectifying anything wrong with it from that point on as they'd let it now. This was a couple of days before the end of the tenancy.
And feel free to use us as practice! I really appreciate the advice.

OurBlanche Thu 23-Jun-16 11:55:54

smile Well, they are being numpties then! Keep at them for the deposit return in full. They are making life difficult for themselves.

99percentchocolate Thu 23-Jun-16 12:01:33

Will do! Thank you!

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