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Unfair deposit deductions?


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Hiya,

 

I'm sure you have heard it many times before, but be nice to get some advice on what i deem as some unfair deposit deductions. Here's an overview of my situation:

 

Move in 31st Jan 2009 with 1 other friend. Inventory done by letting agent but only deal with the landlord from then on as it is not a letting agent managed property. Paid deposit of £950. I

checked with landlord in April 2009 what deposit scheme the deposit was put in to basically be

told that it is safe and not to worry. It was not until i kept pressing and proving it was not

protected, that magically it appeared into a deposit scheme (mydeposits) a considerable time

later (July i believe).

 

During the course of my tenancy i had issues with the bathroom lights and the washing machine,

but these never got fixed due to him always moaning that he lived 100 miles away and couldn't fix

them. Probably my mistake to not get this in writing (only on the phone would he answer), but just giving you an idea how difficult he can be.

 

So i basically let him know i was leaving at the end of September and my end date of 5th

November. Come moving out day he inspected the place and discovered it needed a bit of a clean. I

could understand that as i am not the best at cleaning and we had a rush to switch between places

the previous night. It wasn't super clean, but it had no stains anywhere. Just needed a bit more TLC and more cleaning than we could do in such a short space of time.

 

I wrote and requested the deposit back on 8th November and finally got a reply from him yesterday

(16th November). He is witholding £796 from the deposit for the following reasons:

 

£450 cleaning charge. This amounts to a deep clean everwhere. This includes 2 bedrooms, kitchen, lounge/dining room, ensuite bathroom and bathroom

 

£171 (20% of £855 bill) for repainting all walls and ceilings

 

£100 for upholstery cleaning all sofas (2 x 2 seater plus stool) and dining rooms chair covers

 

£75 replacing curtain tie and cleaning windows (inside only as it's a 5th floor flat)

 

My questions are the following:

 

1) Is £450 a bit excessive for cleaning a 2 bedroom flat? I was expecting half that i'd imagine. They put that it needed 3 cleaners and trimnell carpet cleaners. Isn't that excessive?

 

2) The sofas were in similar situation to before. They obviously will get slightly dirty in 19 months use, but isn't that wear and tear? The dining chair covers were exactly same as before (i actually put them on before we left) but no mention of their condition in initial inventory. Only that they existed.

 

3) There was only 1 curtain tie in the beginning and no mention of any on the inventory. Can i contest this? The windows were the same as before and cannot see any mention on the inventory of this.

 

4) As he didn't pay into the deposit scheme within 14 days (took him nearly 6 months), is there anything with this i can do? Or is it dead in the water as i don't know how people have fared challenging this?

 

5) If i ask him to provide all the quotes/invoices, can i demand they are written proof than just an email sent from what looks like a personal email account?

 

6) How many quotes must they obtain for cleaning and other costs they claim they occurred?

 

7) Can i request photos of post cleaning etc to make sure it was done?

 

If there's anymore info you need me to provide then let me know and i will do my best to provide it. Any help with how you think i should proceed would be much appreciated.

 

Cheers,

 

Nick

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1) Is £450 a bit excessive for cleaning a 2 bedroom flat? I was expecting half that i'd imagine. They put that it needed 3 cleaners and trimnell carpet cleaners. Isn't that excessive? Yes.

 

2) The sofas were in similar situation to before. They obviously will get slightly dirty in 19 months use, but isn't that wear and tear? The dining chair covers were exactly same as before (i actually put them on before we left) but no mention of their condition in initial inventory. Only that they existed. Contest.

 

3) There was only 1 curtain tie in the beginning and no mention of any on the inventory. Can i contest this? The windows were the same as before and cannot see any mention on the inventory of this. Yes Contest.

 

4) As he didn't pay into the deposit scheme within 14 days (took him nearly 6 months), is there anything with this i can do? Or is it dead in the water as i don't know how people have fared challenging this?Not a thing you can do.

 

5) If i ask him to provide all the quotes/invoices, can i demand they are written proof than just an email sent from what looks like a personal email account?The depsoit scheme will ask for copies of the quotes/recipts.

 

6) How many quotes must they obtain for cleaning and other costs they claim they occurred?Just the one.

 

7) Can i request photos of post cleaning etc to make sure it was done?The depsoit scheme may ask for this from your LL.

 

You should contest the deductions through the TDS arbitration. You seem to have a good chance on many of the items.

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Firstly, thanks for replying Planner. It's much appreciated. Some follow up questions from your answers to anyone who may know the answer:

 

1) What is a reasonable cost for cleaning? Never had to have professional cleaning before and so not sure what a ballpark figure is.

 

2) I'm having a read of the dispute thing on mydeposits and it puts how much i dispute. Do i just have a guestimate on the cleaning or dispute it all and they will help get it to a reasonable figure? Not sure how you are meant to work that system effectively. I'm happy to put some cleaning costs but not sure what is totally reasonable.

 

3) So my next step (upon getting better understanding of my first 2 questions) would be to put in a dispute request. Let him know i am disputing it and sit tight for his no doubt counter-claim? My only issue is there was no initial pictures, but i have pre-cleaning pics of when we left. Would an inventory on its own be sufficient along with the contract?

 

4) Doesn't the landlord need to give me time to rectify his issues? I'm sure i read that somewhere, but i am probably mistaken.

 

Cheers everyone,

 

Nick

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