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Dds landlord, is he trying it on?

(37 Posts)
SidneyPiecrust Tue 30-Aug-16 21:47:13

Dd and two friends share a uni rent. Landlord makes them pay half rent over summer when they are not allowed to stay in flat. Dd left for summer in June a d has today been informed that flat was left in worse state ever and would. Need prof cleaning. I saw flat when d left was not in a star. Think he is trying it on, what can broke, now tearful dd do?

wowfudge Tue 30-Aug-16 22:38:01

Is this a flat she is returning to or has left? Is there any way of finding out whether anyone else has been in it?

Sootica Wed 31-Aug-16 08:11:28

Is there a proper check out inventory? She can start a dispute with whoever the deposit was lodged with and they generally go in favour of the tenant unless there is excellent evidence in the form of check in and check out photos

OhTheRoses Wed 31-Aug-16 08:14:23

And the inventory/check out took place when. I don't understand the half rent business. It's full rent.

SuburbanRhonda Wed 31-Aug-16 08:23:00

Did the tenants pay a deposit and if so, was it placed in a deposit protection scheme? If yes to both, the landlord must make a claim for any damages or cleaning against the deposit. The deposit does not belong to him, it belongs to the tenants and he must go through the correct procedures to make a claim. If the tenants disagree, they must dispute the claim.

Have a look at these two links. As a PP has said, the law is very much on the tenants' side in these cases:

www.depositprotection.com/documents/a-guide-to-tenancy-deposits-disputes-and-damages.pdf

m.england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/tenancy_deposits/getting_your_deposit_back

LurkingHusband Wed 31-Aug-16 09:33:32

Did they not take a run through with a video before they left ?

SidneyPiecrust Wed 31-Aug-16 09:40:00

Thanks for the replies. Deposit went straight to landlord unfortunately. Dd has to pay half rent of summer to secure next years tenancy. Its not an end of tenancy she is back in September.

SuburbanRhonda Wed 31-Aug-16 09:49:25

If the deposit went straight to the landlord then she is in an even better position as he is obliged to place it in a rent deposit scheme. He will have to return the deposit in full and the tenants may also be entitled to compensation because he didn't protect their deposit.

Please tell them not to agree to anything and to keep all correspondence with the landlord about this. Get your DD to read through the links I've posted so she knows what to do next.

And please tell her to learn from this - I've just gone through this same scenario with my own DD and we are both much better informed now.

SuburbanRhonda Wed 31-Aug-16 09:53:32

Just read that she intends to move back in to the same place in September. I wouldn't - he is not following correct procedures and if they aren't aware of their rights they are in a very weak position. He's counting on them not knowing that their deposit should be in a rent deposit scheme and that he can't just dip into it to make improvements on his property as if it's his own money.

NancyNamechange Wed 31-Aug-16 09:57:39

Has he been renting it out to two lots of people (one being your DD and her friends) over the summer?! That is insane! Your DD should not be paying "half rent" for a place she isn't allowed to live in!

MidnightPixie3 Wed 31-Aug-16 10:03:16

My brother was told the same when he was at uni. The landlord contacted my Dad for the payment - my Dad told him that if he had chosen to get the flat professionally cleaned it was up to him nut they wouldn't be paying for it and they had photos from the last couple of weeks they were in the flat which proved the flat was not in dire need of a professional cleaner. They never heard from him again!

He was just trying to get someone else to foot the bill!

We have discussed since that a landlord should expect to spend something on maintenance (which may reasonably include a extra deep clean) occasionally.

SuburbanRhonda Wed 31-Aug-16 10:13:57

It is of course reasonable for a landlord to do a deep clean. But to do it and then make a claim on the tenant's deposit is not acceptable, unless the LL has proof (a) that the tenant caused the property to require a deep clean and (b) that a deep clean was carried out at the start of the tenancy.

If the LL cannot prove these things, it will count as "betterment" and can be challenged by the tenant.

SidneyPiecrust Wed 31-Aug-16 10:23:16

Ddis worried he will ask them to leave if they don't agree. Very hard to find somewhere else now, busy uni town. He wants to increase the deposit rather than make them pay up front.

SuburbanRhonda Wed 31-Aug-16 10:29:42

OP, please read the links I posted.

Your DD's landlord is already breaking the law by not placing their deposit in a deposit protection scheme. And it definitely sounds like he allowed people to stay in the property over the summer if he's not allowing the tenants to live there. He's probably counting on your DD and her friends not knowing their rights and being desperate for somewhere to live.

Get them to contact their local authority housing department for advice if he is threatening them with eviction.

What does it say in the tenancy agreement about the deposit and the very odd summer holiday arrangement?

SidneyPiecrust Wed 31-Aug-16 10:43:59

He is not subletting as their stuff is still there, they are just back for the summer. The property is attached to landlords so he is around as it were. Its their final year so they don't need this which I think he is counting on.

Is landlord required by law to put deposit in a scheme?

SidneyPiecrust Wed 31-Aug-16 10:45:01

Sorry just re read post. He is breaking the !aw.

SuburbanRhonda Wed 31-Aug-16 10:49:33

And the amount of the deposit should be specified in their shorthold tenancy agreement.

He absolutely cannot increase their deposit to do home improvements. It is the tenants' money - he can't touch it unless he makes a claim on it through the correct procedures and the tenants agree to that claim.

OP, please read the links. Everything your DD needs to know about protecting her deposit is explained really clearly in them.

SidneyPiecrust Wed 31-Aug-16 10:54:19

The is for your help. I've read links, will show dd later. I can't help wondering why he was ts to increase deposit rather than get them to pay for the clean?

SuburbanRhonda Wed 31-Aug-16 11:03:01

He cannot increase the deposit as your DD will have signed the tenancy agreement specifying the amount of the deposit.

You need to address the issue of the deposit not being in a DPS. Phone Shelter and get advice from them. Or is there anyone in the student union who can advise them?

The LL doesn't have a leg to stand on. He cannot force them to pay anything.

scaryteacher Wed 31-Aug-16 11:29:09

My ds is returning to the same house for this coming academic year. The l/l has kept the deposit as ds is returning. There was a charge for a deep clean, but as four lads had been in there, so fair enough. I think it worked out at about £30 each.

Ds had to pay half rent in July, then full rent from August, but the l/l doesn't charge in June, so he is fair. He also picks up the cost of the broadband and will provide new equipment when the old is broken. Ds reported to him that the microwave was arcing, and the interior was peeling, and he was round there the next day with a new one for them.

I have net the l/l and he is very nice. We understand each other!!

SidneyPiecrust Wed 31-Aug-16 11:45:10

I've met ll and he seemed nice but is def trying it on. In his words it was left in a state the worst he'd ever seen. It most def was not the case and if it was in his eyes, why wait until tenant contacts all two months later so drop this info? Dd is so worried he will try and get rid oof them if they don't comply.

SuburbanRhonda Wed 31-Aug-16 11:46:02

Some landlords are very good, it's true. And if someone is happy to pay out for cleaning that's fine.

But in the OP's DD's case the landlord hasn't put the deposit in a DPS as he's legally obliged to do and he is threatening to increase the amount of the deposit (despite that amount being specified in the tenancy agreement) to cover cleaning costs which are disputed by the tenants.

SuburbanRhonda Wed 31-Aug-16 11:50:53

OP, I'll say it again - she needs to take advice on this. He cannot force money out of them and if he tries to evict them for this, they should follow the advice in the Shelter link I sent you and click on the part for when a landlord has not put their deposit in a DPS.

Her landlord needs to provide before and after photographic evidence of any claim that the tenants have damaged the property or left it in an uninhabitable state, which is what he seems to be implying.

What is she and the other tenants doing at the moment to resolve this?

Nobodysproblem Wed 31-Aug-16 11:52:00

I'd play the informed protective mother card. Say you've photos of the flat and was wondering if he could provide you the reference of the deposit scheme he enrolled their original deposit in, as for some reason your DD didn't get a letter stating where if was, so you can compare photos and dispute his claim if needed.

He's legally required to give all their deposit back if it's not in a scheme, plus compensation. He's unlikely to kick them out given the grief that'd cause him, but make sure she contacts the uni ASAP to make them aware as they could either get involved or find her alternative accommodation if it's needed.

Nobodysproblem Wed 31-Aug-16 11:54:01

Even throw in a 'I'm sure you protected the deposit given its a legal requirement' if needed!

Our landlord tried to do the same to us when we were at uni, the house was a dive as it had a major leak he wouldn't fix, we ended up getting our deposit back in full.

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