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any landlords of student properties on here?

(13 Posts)
Ponders Mon 08-Aug-11 20:20:56

Do you generally expect the students to pay, out of damage deposit, for normal repainting before next tenants move in?

DS1 & 5 friends have paid £23400 rent over the last 12 months for a not-particularly-nice house in Newcastle. Over the last week they have worked really hard to leave it clean & tidy, have filled a few holes in walls & painted over with paint that was in the house, but in one room the paint doesn't match.

Landlord/agent expects them to pay the full cost of repainting the room.

(Also the oven had to be replaced halfway through the year; it's a dirt cheap Beko oven, about £275 fitted from Comet, landlord/agent wants over £500)

This is unreasonable, isn't it? I've seen Sarah Beeny telling new buy-to-let owners to budget for redecorating the whole house every year - not to expect their tenants to pay!

Using the tenant deposit protection service they are going to refuse the landlord's attempts to get them to accept a minimal repayment of their deposit, & go to arbitration if they can't negotiate a reasonable settlement, but it makes me so cross how some landlords treat students as cash cows angry

Gonzo33 Tue 09-Aug-11 05:50:06

I do not let to students because my place is not near a university, but my first question would be why is the LL asking for the money for a cooker? Did the students break it? If so the money is normally requested at the time of a breakage as opposed to the end of a tenancy as far as I have been aware.

In relation to the painting of the room, if it doesn't match then yes the LL can request the room is painted all one colour - quick trip to B&Q for some cheap paint and rollers would do the trick as long as the room didn't look patchy.

I am sure that someone who rents to students will be along to give you better advice in a moment, but those are my thoughts.

Blueberties Tue 09-Aug-11 06:08:16

You are right to go to the TDS. I'm not sure what the answer is but they will sort you out.

Just a word of warning : don't expect to be able to respond to what the landlord claims. Put EVERYTHING in the first report to the TDS. Every bit of paper, every receipt, every detail about what happened, every possible reponse to what you imagine might come up.

The TDS are very fair. And your son will get the money back fromthe deposit straight away that isn't in dispute.

Blueberties Tue 09-Aug-11 06:09:05

by which I mean if the depost is one thousand, and teh landlord claims 700, then three hundred comes back straight away

Ponders Tue 09-Aug-11 09:42:17

Thanks for replies smile

Gonzo, yes, the cooker was broken - apparently first one & then another of the elements stopped working, which they never got around to reporting hmm, but then someone stood on it or something & the glass cracked. They will pay for it, of course, but not £200 more than what it should have cost!

They have handed the keys back now so they can't paint it themselves but in any case, having paid the landlord £23K over the year, should they have to pay for someone else to do it?

Blueberties, I don't think they've got much in the way of paper evidence - just the printout from Comet of the same cooker & their price to deliver & connect. But I'll get him to note down what he can remember.

I wondered if they should go to the CAB first, to find out what the landlord can & can't claim for?

Gonzo33 Tue 09-Aug-11 12:22:00

Ok, so re: the cooker they jointly should pay for the cooker and it's fitting. In relation to the painting they could be liable for that room. even if they are it shouldn't cost that much. I had a painter and decorator in to do my house in February and it cost me £200 for the lounge, hallway, landing, and all ceilings and woodwork. That included all materials. That wasn't mates rates either.

Fizzylemonade Tue 09-Aug-11 12:36:53

Ponders - just in case your son goes into another rental property, film and photograph everything when they move in.

Provide any evidence of damage or the likes to the landlord straight off so that later it can't be said it was the current tenants.

Landlords can't claim for "wear and tear" and to be honest when you have students in your property you can bet your arse that due to the number of people there will be more than normal wear and tear.

I can see why the LL wants the room redecorated but it shouldn't cost an arm and a leg and you need to state the make and model of the oven installed so he can't overcharge for that.

I think with most student properties that they are redecorated more often than normal lets.

Was the property under the university as recommended? Could you contact them to help out in any way? Our university did (going back many years)

MrsFlittersnoop Tue 09-Aug-11 13:20:58

I am gobsmacked at the rent your DS and his friends have been paying! Even for a 6 bedroom house, that is a huge amount of money for a student let!

I'm afraid many landlords feel perfectly entitled to claim for "fair wear and tear" out of the deposit. Every single time we tried to claim back our rental depositsin London we had hundreds of pounds deducted for things like dry-cleaning the curtains (which we knew was never done because the new tenants moved in the day after we left angry ).

javo Tue 09-Aug-11 16:00:13

I used to rent to students (and have also rented myself). As a LL I always refunded the deposit fully -you expect students to give the house a hard time (they usually pay more rent than a professional let). As a LL you cannot claim for wear and tear - people are living in the house so it will get used . I just used to repaint most years - very surprised your son and his friends had to do repainting and filling themselves and then be penalised! for it. This LL is really milking it - thank goodness for the TDS, I hope they sort it out. The LL obviously is a bully and thinks he is living in the bad old days where LL's could basically keep the deposit for the most spurious of reasons.

My pet hate as a LL was when tenants didn't report problems and they escalated and cost a lot to repair due to them being left(but I think students are worried they will be blamed or need to tidy up when you come with the workman to have a look see). I would still dispute the cost of the cooker - LL's can claim a certain percentage for wear and tear each year on their tax so this one is trying to get paid twice!
Good luck with the TDS

javo Tue 09-Aug-11 16:02:56

Also did your son find the house throughthe Uni letting office? - if the LL advertised there he probably had to sign up to a good conduct type agreement (I had to with the London UNis service)so you should report his behaviour there too - the uni housing office can also give advice about your grievances.

Ponders Tue 09-Aug-11 19:25:44

Thanks for new replies!

Gonzo, our house badly needs redecorating - mostly living room & hall/stairs/landing, & mostly paintwork - I'd assumed it would cost much more than that, I will get some quotes, DH will be thrilled! (Previously I did all out decorating but none has been done properly for 10 years & now I feel too old & tired...)

MrsFlittersnoop, it's £75 per room per week, & a 12-month let. With bills it's probably costing a similar amount to halls - those seem to be c £100 per week these days sad - & compared with student houses my DDs shared in Leeds & Manchester between 2002 & 2008 it's par for the course. DD1's landlord in Leeds owned several houses, being a landlord seemed to be his full-time job. It sounds as if you shouldn't have been charged for dry-cleaning the curtains even if it had happened hmm

Fizzylemonade, new landlord seems (so far) like a much more reasonable person all round, & it's through a different agency too, but I will suggest that to him (photographs etc). I don't think there was any university input with either the last one or new one.

javo, great to hear from the other side & you sound like a wonderful landlord! If you don't mind I'll send DS the details of your reply about what student LLs should & shouldn't expect.

Ponders Tue 09-Aug-11 19:40:50

all our decorating grin

Ponders Wed 10-Aug-11 22:31:12

Have just had a bit more inf from DS1 (have edited it a bit, but included key points!)

1) needn't have bothered cleaning & painting because landlord intends to charge for it all to be done professionally anyway

2) The guy said that costs are £100 per room to paint and that they're all going to have to be painted because of things like blu tack residue on the walls

3) We had wooden floors and the sofa that was in the house had a broken leg and made scratches whenever moved which apprently shouldn't have been a problem because "we shouldn't have been moving them at all"

4) he kept insisting that "student landlords aren't here to milk you for all you've got"

5) He also said that if we went to tribunal, they would usually side with the landlord over things like the oven becuase we didn't argue it until now (I know, I know...) and in as many words implied not to bother with it. And also that he didn't expect us to get much of our deposit back

6) Even if they did have to repaint and bring in cleaners it wouldn't cost £1,800? They really are thieving, thieving bastards.

1) so all their efforts are discounted hmm
2) £100 per room for a bit of blutack? (& they're really small rooms, apart from the living area)
3) they shouldn't have moved the sofa? are these people for real?
4) no comment!
5) tribunal usually sides with landlord? this makes me think landlord would very much prefer them not to go to tribunal
6) £1800 for a £300 cooker, a few scratches on a floor, removing some blutack & touching up the paint???

(NB guy inspecting only works for the landlord - it's not his house. landlord is a cat's-arse-mouthed woman angry)

DS1 says thanks very much to all of you for your helpful information & intends now to push the dispute all the way.

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