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University students deposit & carpet cleaning.

(12 Posts)
SturdyAngel Tue 20-Feb-07 12:26:53

My sister is renting a house with 4 friends. They are all very clean & tidy and have looked after the house very well. The owner had informed them she will be holding back £100 from each of their deposits to have the carpets cleaned (£500???)

The carpets aren't stained or particularly dirty. The owner hasn't even been to the house, just has decided the carpets must be cleaned.

Can she do this? My sister and her friends are deciding whether or not they are going to stay on another year- I believe even if they do, they still have to pay to have the carpets cleaned as she rents to holiday- makers during the summer.

Anyone know where they stand?

Pixiefish Tue 20-Feb-07 12:27:39

what does it say in their contracts?

SturdyAngel Tue 20-Feb-07 12:28:33

Meant to add- there was nothing mentioned about this in their contract.

dassie Tue 20-Feb-07 13:03:14

This happened to me - she doesn't have much of a leg to stand on if it is ordinary wear and tear. Unfortunately it doesn't need to be in the contract (I think it can be quite bland regarding cleaning etc).

Small claims court job I think - make sure they take pictures.

Mumpbump Tue 20-Feb-07 13:07:38

On a practical level, they could always get the carpets cleaned themselves then the landlord can't justify withholding money for this purpose. Think £500 sounds excessive...

Miaou Tue 20-Feb-07 13:07:57

we have been shafted by so many landlords over the years. In fact the only one who didn't hold back some of our deposit for spurious reasons was my last one. They know that you will have to take them to small claims court to get the money back and that most people haven't got the time/energy to do so when moving house. Definitely pursue her for the money - totally unfair and not what the deposit is for.

tissy Tue 20-Feb-07 13:08:03

this happened to me, when I was a student. there were 4 of us sharing a house, and they witheld the whole of our deposit (£250 each) for wear and tear!

We had actually IMPROVED the house! We had tiled the bathroom (it was untiled before, put some carpet in the boxroom, to turn it into a little sitting room (properly laid the carpet, not just chucked down)and had repainted a couple of the rooms that had been a bit tatty.

We took photos, and my uncle (who was a solicitor) wrote them a snotty letter threatening to take them to court, and they paid, up, but it was a struggle!

Miaou Tue 20-Feb-07 13:10:38

Mumpbump - no they mustn't do that! She will probably find another reason to withhold the money and then they will be doubly out of pocket! So many landlords see the deposit as a way of screwing extra money out of their tenants - the fact that she hasn't even been round to see the state of the carpets speaks volumes. I doubt she has any intention of getting them cleaned.

Mumpbump Tue 20-Feb-07 13:15:37

Fair point, but even if you get a judgment in your favour, there is then the question of how you enforce it. My sister and her uni friends took their landlord to court, got a judgment, but couldn't find anything to enforce it against. There is an old saying about there being no point suing men of straw. However, if they have the landlord's bank account details, they might be able to get their cash back...

SturdyAngel Tue 20-Feb-07 13:47:51

Thanks everyone for your advice.

I'm not sure what she should do to be honest. I think they do want to stay on another year, which makes it more difficult in a way as I suggested to my sister that they should all reduce their last months rent by £100. Probably not a great idea but can't see another way.

Will suggest that they get a price to get the carpets cleaned. Although judging by your experiences it looks loike they won't win either way!

Mumpbump Tue 20-Feb-07 13:50:20

Or simply not pay the last month's rent, depending on how much total deposit the landlady is holding. Agree that it's not ideal, but if they really don't trust the landlord, it's a good option...

skiwear Tue 20-Feb-07 17:25:10

try CAB sounds like she's taking the piss (especially since she will allready be deducting 10% before she pays tax!) but if they want to stay another year they may just have to accept that they have to fund the landlady's holiday savings!!!

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