Eight month rental - carpets damaged. What to do?(22 Posts)
We let our three bed semi-detached house to a middle aged couple, and their parents. Near to moving in they asked if their three "well behaved dogs" could also live there.
Although initially not keen on this, we were reassured that the dogs would be kept downstairs. They moved in...with five dogs.
The house was in decent condition, although two bedrooms and lounge had very dated carpets. Clean, but chintzy. The rest of the house was painted fully, and was immaculate when they moved in.
The hall, stairs and landing were recarpeted before they moved in. The wooden floor in the dining room was sanded and varnished.
Half way through the tenancy they decided to carpet the dining room - at their own expense - with the same carpet we had put down on the halls, stairs and landing.
The garden was immaculate with a very god lawn prior to them moving in.
- carpets all covered in dog hair. This I should think will come up. (See below re their cleaning plans).
- carpets in each room all have at least one large stain (coffee / tea kinds of stains).
- the new stairs carpets are snagged on almost every step. Possibly the dogs' claws?
- the lawn is destroyed. Clearly the dogs have pee'd on it. It's about 50/50 grass to very unsightly patches of soil (I can post pictures).
- the dining room carpet they put down was done without underlay. The carpet was glued down and on checking, it's left huge patches of glue / carpet backing all around the edges of the lovely wooden floor.
They moved out Saturday - they paid for a clean on Monday, but have only paid £50. We agreed they could do this, but, having checked the house today, it's clear that £50 won't cover the level of cleaning required. I could post pictures of the bedroom carpet. I say carpet, it's so caked and covered in mounds of dog hair that in parts you can't see the carpet.
So, I'm not bothered massively about the cleanliness as Monday's clean will take the edge off that. But what to do about the snagged and stained carpets, the wooden floor that's now damaged, and the ruined lawn?
Please don't just say never let to dog owners! We really did try to avoid this but rather feel they've pulled the wool over our eyes.
Deposit was paid (one month's rent), and is with the deposit protection service.
you need to raise deductions ASAP with the deposit scheme, comparing condition against the full inventory that (I hope) was done and agreed by both sides before they moved in. That is your only possible proof that they have done this damage, because if it is word against word you are out of luck.
you'll get nothing for the dated carpets, as the age of the item is taken into account when deciding deductions. But damage (clawed, stains) on the eight-month-old ones will get you something as that isn't very long for them to depreciate. Ditto the glue damage on the floor. Obviously the recompense is limited to the value of the deposit.
the work needed to restore the lawn may or may not be allowed for, but it is worth a mention. I don't see how dogs can be stopped from excreting in a garden though, and it does wreck lawns.
lessons; if tenants want to alter/redecorate, get thorough agreement as to what they are doing and how they are doing it. Whether you will ever rent to dog owners again is your call.
Thanks for the response special
I don't think we'd let to dog owners again as it's clearly very, very hard to limit damage.
Do we now contact the deposit protection people with the inventory, and the damage done? Do we set a suggested charge for the new carpets and the lawn?
not sure of the actual detailed process - never had to do it (so far) and it depends on which scheme you use. But they are there to guide you and all the info you'll need will be on their website.
if you've got an agent involve them - under your control.
"Obviously the recompense is limited to the value of the deposit"
Unless there's something in the contract about being able to request more money if the damage is more than the deposit? I'm sure all tenancy agreements I've had (as a tenant) have had this in.
Why did they not have the house cleaned themselves? There is no way £50 would cover it! The last end of tenancy clean I had cost £350 for a 3-bed flat! We don't have pets either. I don't understand why they were recarpeting rooms on a short term tenancy?
A professional carpet clean (and/or rug doctor) can work miracles on stained carpets. No idea why dogs' claws have snagged the carpet, none of my friends who have dogs upstairs have this issue (but labrador sized dogs) - guess they may not be walked much.
Male dog wee doesn't trash lawns as much fwiw...
They'd intended to be there much longer (they said), but have moved due to work. They carpeted the dining room as the dogs' feet were so noisy on it.
We were told the cleaners were coming today, but so far haven't heard back and we simply can't wait around at the house all day as we both work full time. We sent a message to the tenant to ask what time the cleaners were coming, to which they replied they weren't sure and that we could "book another cleaner". Maybe they know they're going to lose a portion of the deposit and don't care?
What would be a reasonable deduction for the damage to the new carpets? A percentage of the cost? We have receipts etc.
And for the lawn? Any ideas? The thing about it being 'inevitable' with dogs is that they ought to have made it right, or notified us.
The snags on the carpet on the stairs are predominantly on the upright part of each step. Just towards the bottom (if that makes sense!)
It might've been something else which caused the snagging - the dogs were definitely walked, although as far as I know, only once a day.
Depends how long their claws are so if they're walked on roads or just soft paths.
I don't see how they've pulled the wool over your eyes; they told you they wanted to move three dogs in and you said yes.
Claim back the cost of repairs /replacements from the deposit that's the point of it.
Sensible tenants with dogs work really hard to keep the house nice or they get rubbish references. We are strict about dog not being upstairs, have and use a carpet cleaner and maintain the lawn to the best of our ability (mole city not our problem!!!) and make sure no lawn digging happens by no toys outside/unsupervised time in the garden.
I disagree, noeuf. We were told three dogs and five moved in.
We were told they'd only be downstairs as the tenant's mother couldn't stand them upstairs, but it's very clear the dogs have been in all of the rooms, and have slept in the master bedroom.
Decent curtains are also stained with mildew in master bedroom too. Do we get them cleaned and charge for them too?
Er...how to we check for fleas?
Get quotes for absolutely everything curtains the lot.. submit it to the TDS.
Am I right in thinking its only cat fleas that infest houses with dog fleas preferring to stay on the dog?
There are guides on t'internet that show you what to do in the event of a dispute
Have a look on landlordzone for advice. They will give you lots of information.
It's customary for dog owners to be charged an additional deposit. Not an LL now but I always charged 6 weeks deposit, so with dogs that would be 10 weeks.5 dogs? No.
Your claims should be backed up by facts (estimates). If you have full agreed inventory verified by 3RE party is best, then you can claim full costs via court.
I hope you don't mind me asking, but is this your first time letting a property? I don't understand how you could have agreed a 50 quid clean even if there were no dogs there! Particularly prior to inspection! Is the agent / inventory reporter doing a closeout report with both you and tenants present?
I would check your communication regarding the cleaning first; if you've already written 50 pounds is accepted as your fee to bring the property up to standard,and skipped a professional checkout then tenants can submit that you agreed 50 was the done deal and any damage was sustained after their tenant was over to avoid paying you any further damages.
I used to rent a property with two very large, very fluffy dogs. An additional clause was put in the contract to agree "a full professional clean of the carpets" at departure. I thought this was perfectly reasonable so it could be something you'd consider in the future.
When it comes to the garden, get a guy round to quote to bring it back to its former glory, as with everything else, and ensure it is charged from their deposit. I've always been under the impression that at the end of a tenancy you return the house in the state in which you started it, minus wear and tear of course but after 8 months this should have been sod all.
Also, did you ever agree in writing the three dogs? If so, and you can prove they had five, there could be some breach of terms you can do them for. Not sure, but I know I'd try if my house was trashed after 8 months!
Have the tenants handed back the keys at the end of the tenancy? If so, I would not consider giving access to their cleaner as this should have been before handing back the keys at the end of their tenancy.
Your only hope is to organise a clean & deduct it from their deposit , or do the clean yourself. Hopefully the tenants will agree to that. It will be better if you have receipts for work done rather than charging for your own time.
If not, it's going through the dispute resolution scheme - not for the faint-hearted. The deposit schemes like to see very strong evidence that you have incurred expense before they allow deductions. And very detailed photos/signed inventory showing condition before & after.
My last tenant left the place filthy; despite a signed inventory & photos, he disputed the charges, it went to arbitration (takes about 2 months) & he won. In the meantime I had to pay for professional cleaners (£200 for a 1-bed flat) to get it up to standard for the next tenant. Just had to chalk it up to experience, but it was a very stressful process.
The schemes seem to be of the view that you must provide a watertight case for deductions & date-stamped photos, etc. It is regarded as the tenants deposit unless you can provide solid proof that deductions are justified.
So I would just crack on with registering the deductions with the deposit scheme & getting the work done in time for the next tenants. If the ex-tenants don't dispute it, that should be ok.
If not, good luck.
You will know if there are fleas because the next tenants will tell you - when they tell you they're leaving after the first week.
We had a change of tenants last summer. The clean was £450. Luckily we had a very thorough inventory with pictures. I raised every single item that was wrong against the deposit, marks on walls, unclean curtains, absolutely everything that didn't disappear with the clean. We got about £650 for the state of our garden as it was perfect when they moved in and they didn't touch it for an entire year. It was like a jungle. Our agent provided the costs for us to put against the deposit when I gave them the enormous list.
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