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Completely OTT dilapidations bill - hide or fight??


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Having moved out of a commercial unit at the end of the lease the greedy landlord is smacking me for a £700 redecorating bill. I painted window sills and one room when I moved in, and hired a guy to repaint it magnolia when I moved out (as I mostly live abroad), on their request. The unit in question is a VERY old brick building, empty space, concrete floors. Suitable for storage only really. However, I got multiple messages saying the decorating was below parr and they wanted skirting boards sanded/repainted etc. etc. No damage was done - actually impossible to damage anything in that building. I feel he's trying to screw me for doing up this outhouse to make it more rentable for him. No dilapidations were carried out by the previous tenant when I moved in.

 

He warned me he'd have to redecorate at my expense, which I assume he's done. His bill is ridiculous. I haven't seen any photos of the shoddy work either, but I did choose to ignore his requests for payment. He has now written formally giving me 30 days to pay but I'm determined not to give in. I am still abroad and could choose to ignore him. However, as a sole trader my address is listed at my parent's house.

 

My question is what would you do in my position? I will be going back to a different property in UK next month, but any solicitor's letters could be presented to my folk's home even if I do not live there? I have little doubt he'd use his lawyer.

 

Or, should I reply disputing his bill and taking it as far as it will go. Worst case scenario is a CCJ I guess, but to be honest if credit is the only resultant problem from that it will make little difference to me.

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  • 1 month later...

My question is what would you do in my position? ..... I have little doubt he'd use his lawyer.

 

Hi, my experience of dealing with commercial property disputes is limited, but I'd certainly be setting out - in writing - why I disputed the charges. And I'd probably be writing from 'abroad' so that the (unspoken) message was that, well, I'm abroad... Keep it factual and well documented too, so that should he pursue matters you can, more easily, demonstrate to the Courts that you are reasonable and can been seen to be reasonable

 

Not replying, to my mind, allows the Landlord to continue as he is. Call his bluff and be done with it... oh, and aside from checking what the lease said, little I can add...

 

At the very least this message will serve as a bump!

As for me, happy to help out. I am not a Landlord, but I have been in the past. I am not an Agent, but I have been in the past. I am, therefore, a has been, so always seek independent and suitably qualified advice elsewhere before relying upon whatever has been posted here :-)

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