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Ex Council Tennant - Wrongful claims of end of tenancy debt

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Ok, so my friend who has depression moved out of his council flat last April, he had about £140 of rent arrears that he has been paying every month at £10p/m.

 

Around July/August of 2008 the council sent him an invoice for over £700 saying that was for cleaning up and fixing the flat... Now I know this is complete bollox as I was there helping him move and can testify to the state of the flat.

 

When asked for a breakdown they gave rough figures, but would not give anything in writing, even when requested by letter disputing the charges.

 

The tried to claim costs for removing carpets they said were in poor condition - We pointed out that these were the same carpets that were in the property when the tenancy started and that the one in the bedroom (not removed) was in far worse condition than the one they claim to have removed. This charge was eventually removed.

 

They tried to charge for the filling of holes in walls, that were used to hang pictures from - We pointed out that when the tenancy began half the walls had walpaper hanging of them and everything needed redecorating, we pointed out that every room had been left in a good state of decor with the exception of one wall in the bathroom (we had totally tiled the other three and fitted a power shower and glass folding screen door). This charge was eventually removed.

 

They tried to charge for rubbish removal, in spite of the fact the interior of the property was completely empty, and I do mean completely as I was there when he locked the door for the last time. There was however rubbish piled up in the garden, and the councils own FREE waste removal service had been notified as had the housing officer the keys were returned to. It appears that the councils contractors have jumped the gun and were in the property within 2 or 3 days and removed it themselves and charged the council almost £300 for it. This charge was disputed in full, but has not been removed.

 

They have charged for replacement of a small cupboard door in the kitchen that broke and was never fixed by the council (even though they were told). They have also charged for replacing a small section of architrave around a door (friend removed this whilst decorating and forgot to replace it). He fully accepts these and only these two items and has informed the council in writing last summer that he is willing to pay for this and only this.

 

His letters went unanswered and late last year he started getting letters from a DCA demanding around £450. So far he has ignored these as he doesn't officially have a fixed abode (currently staying with various members of his family until his new place is sorted out in a different area).

 

The only reason the letters are going to his parents house is because the council demanded a contact address and that was the only one he could think of at the time. His folks keep sending the letters back marked 'NOT AT THIS ADDRESS' and have even written to them stating that the last time he actually resided at that address was in 1993... but still the letters keep coming.

 

Not quite sure what advice to give... having read the site a little these last few days, I was thinking that a subject access request for information from the council detailing in full all of the costs, an explanation why some charges were so readily removed and others retained, a formal dispuite of the charges and a request for the official complaints procedure.

 

Should be just ignore the letters fromt he DCA or send a letter stating the debt is in dispute.. but that would then give them reason to believe the address is a valid one and they will continue to harrass his parents.

 

Any suggestions gratefully recieved please.

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Anyone able to advise on this please.

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