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PeppersGhost

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  1. The clients stated are the managing agents. I wonder if I should now change the title of the thread as I'm going to ignore Lowells (for now), or see how the deposit dispute turns out. Have finally heard from the managing agents re. checking out the property. They are trying to charge 720.00 for cleaning and damages, which I will have to dispute via mydeposits. The only legit things they could charge me for are a) cleaning the oven. My cleaner did a brilliant job overall but ovens are not her forte. b) a mark on the carpet where some candle wax dripped. c) a plastic curtain bracket, where I hung curtains up and couldn't get the middle bracket back up - I suspect these are cheap by the dozen somewhere like Homebase. I'm suspicious that none of these were mentioned but they want 50 quid to deep clean the dishwasher. (Uh?). So the summary of their letter today is "you are owed about 2.5k deposit return, you still owe us 6k in arrears, please can we have the 3.5k by return". My question to the forum is now, if they take me to County Court, would the hearing be the appropriate place to: a) counter the claim with their harassment (and would mentioning their sharp practice re deposits confuse matters there) and how that actually held up my ability to move out (I had to rest due to high blood pressure) b) plead my financial circumstances - no work due to virus, so stuck in this property I could no longer afford but moved as soon as I could c) point out that they couldn't have rented it to someone else during that time anyway Or are the CC just going to say "the point is whether you legally owe the money"? Would I be able to argue these points myself, if relevant, or do I need legal representation? As I said at the outset, worst case scenario is that CC finds me liable, I get a CCJ against my name, but I can ask to pay in very small instalments.
  2. Thank you. I'm prepared for them to keep all my security deposit, but it needs to be set against the rent I owe, they can't possibly claim I've caused hundreds or thousands of pounds in damage. The mydeposits scheme is supposed to mean that my deposit is safeguarded/ringfenced, but from speaking to other former tenants, they just made up things to charge them for, like 300 quid for cleaning. So if there's a balance owing to the agents, I should just wait to see if they bother taking me to court? They know I have no money and I've told them I'm not scared of a CCJ affecting my credit. I will ignore Lowells, who are signing their emails "Lowell Solicitors"; should I write one email saying that the amount is in dispute and I will only deal directly with the agents? Or just blank them? Thanks
  3. Dear All, thanks so much for taking time to answer me, I will read through these replies properly after breakfast. Really appreciate your time and wanting to help. In answer to a couple of questions: 1. it was an expensive flat. I could afford it when I took it on, started to struggle with rent late last year, couldn’t get anyone to share (second bedroom I used as office is tiny). I knew the landlords wouldn’t let me out of the lease early, so I planned to stay till end of March, find somewhere cheaper. Lockdown messed up plans. Lowell’s mention my “staying months after I gave notice” - I gave notice in January that I would leaving before the lease was up. Couldn’t do that, Govt told us all to stay put. 2. The checkout will be completed this coming week. A worry for me is that there may be rain damage that they will try to charge me for, but the video should cover me there. (There was a spot on balcony where rain came into flat during heavy downpours - I put a plant in a pot there which blocked it, and it dried out. Some peeling to paintwork which would need touching up. Pointed this out to landlord during inspection last year. They said to keep eye and report if it got worse.) Other than that, fair wear and tear and not much of that, I never wore shoes indoors, don’t smoke. My cleaner cleaned inside cupboards, doors, skirting boards so it looks pretty immaculate. 3. I spoke to two former tenants who had trouble getting their deposits back, landlords tried to charge them hundreds for deep cleaning and spurious damage accusations. One still in dispute with them. Will continue in a bit and try not to ramble. Thanks
  4. Hello, I have a *slightly* complicated situation which I would appreciate help in unpicking. I moved out of a rental property last month. My lease expired at the end of March, and due to the COVID restrictions I could not move until May. I also had next to no income for March, April or May, again due to COVID. I did tell the landlords and they harassed me with constant emails until I told them firmly to stop, as it was making me ill (verified) which held up the moving process. I am now on Universal Credit, which pays a very small amount, plus a small pension (which UC deducted from what they assess I need to live on, so let's say £350 a month. That's my income.) I am awaiting my deposit return from the landlord, they owe me £3,500, and according to Lowell's I owe around £6k for March-May (which includes about £400 of charges). I am waiting for the return of my deposit, but have been warned by previous tenants that I am unlikely to get it all back, the landlords have tried to charge them for various items. (I'm prepared to have to pay a small amount, but I had it cleaned when I moved out and video'ed my walk-round in the presence of a friend, who is a retired lecturer. Not in Law, sadly.) (Having harassed me to move or pay up, they are now saying they haven't been able to perform the check out because of the lockdown.) I have told both the landlords and Lowells that when I receive my deposit back, I will immediately pay that on the rent account, and I intend to do that. Meantime, I am getting letters from Lowell, demands that I fill in their income and expenditure form etc. which I don't think they have the authority to do. My thoughts are: if I let them take me to court, worst case scenario is that I will be judged to owe them the £6K, but I can ask the court to let me pay this in small instalments and Lowells won't be allowed to bother me. My credit rating is of no interest to me. My hopes are that if they pay me the deposit, I will only owe around £2.5k. I'm assuming from reading about Lowell's that they aren't going to be reasonable and accept £1250, in view of the fact that the landlords harassed me and held up my moving, and that my situation was bad due to COVID. (They couldn't have shown or let the house in May anyway.) My further hopes are that I would be able to ask the court to set some of that 2.5k aside, due to my circumstances, but I don't think County Court hearings are set up to do this. Should I get legal help? A lot depends on the outcome of the deposit situation, if they try to stiff me on that I will dispute it, I have photographic evidence plus a witness that the flat was left fairly pristine (there's some minor marking which is well within "fair wear and tear"). Should I write back to Lowell's and just acknowledge receipt of their letter? I have given them a "c/o" forwarding address as I am living with family for the time being. I would add (before anyone trolls me!) that I am actively seeking work, I had some savings which have now gone, and if I get a well-paid job, I can pay the debt in full, although I still would not be willing to write off a deposit that is owed to me - I'd pay the 2.5k. However, given the current climate, which is affecting every business I'm able to work in, I'm not holding out too much hope of getting work before Lowell's take me to court. Thanks PG
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