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Mehran555

Estate Agents will not return the bond

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When we viewed the property, we were told by Steve (Estate Agency owner) that he knew the decoration wasn’t to everybody’s taste and it would be neutrally decorated and the carpet cleaned.

We asked for the door to the extension to be changed as we were going to use it as a bedroom

When we moved in, the decorating and the carpet hadn’t been done, and office furniture had been left in both the bedrooms en-suite and small.

It was agreed over the phone that we could take these out and dispose of them.

We were told the landlord was not going to decorate the house but we can decorate it ourselves if we wanted.

We told the estate agents on the Monday we weren’t happy with the state of the electrics in the box to the meter. Some of the light switches were loose and the wiring to the two glass cupboards didn’t look safe. An electrician came round while we were at work and we were never told if he did anything.

The main shower in the en-suite wasn’t working properly. We contacted the estate agent who then contacted Mr Birch and were told to climb out of the small bathroom window under eaves and shake the pipes, which didn’t work. We again contacted Mr Birch who said he would put a new pump. Eventually he came and replaced the pump and problem solved for a while.

The downstairs toilet leaked into the garage and was told by Mr Birch that he had put the screwdriver through the wrong part.

The roof in the conservatory leaked and we started to have a problem with mice. We informed the estate agents but we were told if it was rat they could do something but they can’t do anything about mice.

The window in the conservatory didn’t have a lock on it and we had told them about it but nothing was done.

Mr Birch was told about all these when he came to collect his post. He told us they had mice when they lived there and they were after the dog food.

All these were told to Steve when he did the inspection on May 31st 2008.

In October 2008 we asked Mr Birch if he had a hedge trimmer so we could trim the hedges and were told his wife would come and sort it all out. They came round to have a look to see what needed doing. Mr Birch brought the hedge trimmer the next day. We then had a phone call from Mrs Birch saying Rowels had told her the garden was our responsibility and she wasn’t going to come round. Then later that week we had a phone calls from the estate agents saying the wanted to do an emergency inspection as we had let the garden overgrown.( we maintained the garden at least every week in summer time). Steve came round 7:30 pm in the dark with a torch to do the inspection and we were told everything was O.K.

Beginning of December 2008 the shower stopped working completely. We contacted the estate agents twice before the contacted Mr Birch who then came round said it needed another new pump but he was going on holiday until the 19th Dec and would sort it out when he came back. We were not happy about this as it meant we would be with out a shower for 3 weeks. We sent a letter to the estate agent 17th Dec but were told, as Mr Birch wanted to use his own contractors they were unable to get it fixed for us. And if we withheld payment of rent this would result in a late charge and the possibility of debt collectors.

We did not hear from Mr Birch until after Christmas, he came and looked said it needed a new pump and maybe a heater to stop it freezing. We then had a phone call from Rowels saying that none of the merchants were not open between Christmas and New Year so he could not get the parts he needed until Monday 5th Jan 2009. 5 weeks after we first told Rowels about it. Mr Birch was told again about the missing handle on the window, the leaking conservatory roof (which was getting much worse the blinds on the windows were starting to get watermarked) .He said he would have a day and come and do all the little jobs that needed doing.

He brought a window lock round one day when he collected his post but it was never fitted.

The upstairs toilet started to leak a little and very intermittently.

In march the gas fire in the lounge started to burn with a very orange flame and the coals started to get covered in soot. The ignition on the fire started not to work about the same time. Again Mr Birch was told when he came to collect his letters. He took the booklet for the fire so he could get a part to mend it but it was never repaired.

The toilet upstairs started to leak more often and larger amounts of water were appearing. The estate agents were told in a phone call Mr Birch came the same day but while we were both at work and my daughter was in the house on her own. He flushed the toilet and it didn’t leak so told her there was not a problem despite there being a wet towel on the floor put there to soak up the water and a large yellow stain on the white bathmat.

Then we had it and decided not to renew the contract and find elsewhere. Notice was given to estate agent that we would be leaving at the end of Jun 2009.

The property was advertised and viewing was arranged. We asked for accompanied viewings and the first ones were. We were told about a viewing which we agreed to. The couple concerned turned up no one from the estate agents came. They then asked for another viewing on the Saturday which we agreed to. They asked questions about the property and were told about the above. Then couple of hours later we received a phone call from Steve saying that I had put them off renting the house and he was going to make our move as difficult as he could for us. The phone call was witnessed by my daughter Sarah.

We left the property June 26th 2009. The carpet was cleaned. The house was left in a very clean, tidy condition. The garden had been tided and the garage swept out.

We were contacted by a third party, which was chosen by Rowels to do the inventory on June 30th 2009.

We attended the appointment and were asked to sign a piece of paper before the check, which we did. We were not showed what was written and were not given a copy of it. Also we were not given a copy of inventory when we first moved in. The guy told us that everything was O.K

We didn’t hear anything from the estate agents until 2nd of July, when a voice mail message was left regarding the bond. Then I rang them asking about it and was told they could not get into the property. I told them they need to unlock both locks, which were locked.

We again did not hear anything from them until we received a letter on 11th of July stating they were going to get some quotes to repair the damage.

There was no mention of what the work was that needs to be done.

We were never given the details of deposit protection scheme, which our deposit was registered with.

We wrote a letter on same day 11th July asking about details of work need doing and where the bond is kept and gave them until 14th July when their 10th working day was over to gave us a satisfactory answer but had received no reply.

Now I am sending them a letter before court action to give them last chance to pay uu the bond back. Anyone can help please?

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Guest Old_andrew2018

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Not quite sure what you want help with?

This is a very detailed account of things which have happened in the past. If you had communicated earlier, we might have been able to help but it is too late now. (e.g. you do not have to allow anyone into the property at all (regardless of what agreements say about inspections) if you choose to refuse. You did not have to allow viewings etc. etc.

 

Regarding the deposit. You have not been notifed that your deposit was protected. Ring these 3 numbers and ask whether your bond is held in any of these schemes. Keep details of the replies (who you spoke to etc.) If your deposit was not protected, then you can sue for return of deposit + 3xdeposit penalty for non-compliance with the deposit protection legislation.

 

DPS 0870 707 1 707

TDSL 0871 703 0552

TDS 0845 226 7837.

 

Was a proper checkin inventory done, which you signed, at the beginning of the tenancy? If not, they will not be able to prove any damage and will not be able to keep the deposit. You should NOT have signed the paper at the checkout. What were you thinking of??

 

Do you have details (copies of letters, emails etc.) regarding your requests for repairs to damage etc.?


Kentish Lass

Information given is based on my knowledge and experience and is not to be considered as legal advice

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Right, you need copies of that original inventory, and you need a copy of the exit inventory. You've helped yourself greatly as far as I can see by putting most requests for repairs in writing, hopefully you have copies.

 

If you don't have any of these items you can do SAR request to the agent for all copies etc.

 

Then you can see what is really going on. If they try to take you to Court and you have those documents I'd say you have a very strong defence.

 

I reckon though that once the agent/landlord realises you know your rights they may well go away. I hope so.

 

Good luck.

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You keep mentioning a 'bond', rather than a deposit, does this mean you are in Scotland?

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