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tripvan

Landlord trying to steal my deposit.

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OK...apologies if you've already read a story similar to this a 100x, just wanted to get some opinions my case.

 

I moved out of the house I had been renting for 2 years with a group of other students a couple of weeks ago. The landlord now wishes to keep £250 of our £1250 deposit for 'cleaning costs'. We've been communicating by phone so far, but after our last conversation I asked for a written list to be sent to me of what his issues were, but from talking to him on the phone I know that basically what he is charging us for is grease and mould in the kitchen, mould in the bathroom, a small amount of general cleaning, and removing garden waste. He's stuck a bunch of pathetic things in there as well like 'missing curtain hooks, buying new curtain hooks, labour for going to the shop to buy curtain hooks'. My housemates all agreed a small amount of cleaning needed doing after we left, so we agree he can keep £50 for that, which we believe would provide a cleaner for around 6 hours which would be more than enough to get the house clean. But he isn't accepting that.

The issue is somewhat complicated (or simplified) by the following:

 

The landlord never created a 'check in' inventory of any sort at the start of the tenancy, so the condition of the house was not recorded. In fact the condition was pretty poor, and we left it in a better state than when we found it, he hadn't visited the house prior to the last tenants moving out and us moving in.

 

He failed to protect our deposit- We signed our contract after April 2007, plus we renewed with him in June 2008, so there is no excuse for not protecting our deposit.

 

He showed no interest in the house for the majority of our tenancy, he visited the house only once, a couple of months ago to inspect and let us know if there were any issues that would prevent us getting our deposit back, and he said it was fine.

 

I feel I've got a strong case, especially since he broke the law by not protecting our deposit. Some points I was wondering about:

1. While the lack of a 'check in' inventory prevents him from accusing us of damages, does it protect us from claims about the cleanliness of the property? I.e. can we say the house was inherited with grease and mould issues (both true) and we actually left it in a better state than we found it, or would it be expected, since keeping the house clean is part of the tenancy agreement, that we should of left the house immaculate?

 

2. Is it too late for him to put the deposit in a scheme now?

 

3. Should I ask for the return of the undisputed deposit?

 

4. Since he failed to make an inventory or protect the deposit, would I be justified in saying return my full deposit or I'm going to take you to court to reclaim it?

 

Thanks.

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Guest Old_andrew2018

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I'd write to him demanding all your deposit back within 14 days or you'll start legal proceedings without further notice. No check-in inventory = no deductions in my view. If you don't get it go to money claim online and sue for the deposit + 3 X the deposit.

 

The legislation says that he has to protect the deposit and notify you of the scheme that its in within 14 days. However, the courts are taking a wide interpretation of this and there is an argument that, because the legislation has been badly drafted, only a tenant can sue for the failure to protect. If you've left, you are no longer a tenant.

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