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Landlord wants £1000 for cleaning after i've moved out

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Hi guys,

 

Read some pretty decent posts but I'm not really sure if they apply here. If you could offer advice I would be grateful.

 

Moved out of my property a month ago (30th June) and today received a letter demanding £1000~ pounds in cleaning charges, I paid a one off fee of £150 and NO DEPOSIT. If I'm honest we didn't clean when we left due to the place not being cleaned or ready when we moved in, probably not a good move but we couldn't move in for 5 days and when we finally managed to there were no beds/sofa's lol. Basically my landlords are a bunch of 3 cowsboys who are uni drop outs and cant run a business.

 

Anyway, got this letter which I will post once I receive it from my parents (guarantors) it covers all sorts of stuff apparently like removing blue-tack (had no posters, think my house mate had 1) for £45 etc etc. In the tenancy agreement, there are no details of these made up fee's just £125 for cleaning if required and £60 per appliance and there was only a fridge freezer and washing machine (see page 15). I've attached the blank agreement, its also worth noting that no inventory was taken/signed.

 

They don't have my new address at the moment, council do though.

 

Really I would like to know a few things:

 

What action can be taken against my guarantors to recovering these costs if I do nothing?

As there are 3 of us are we all at joint liability?

Will these unacceptable demands stand up in court as they are not in the contract?

I also wrote my own agreement before we moved in which said they had to clean and provide a bunch of stuff which we both signed, they did not meet the requirements of this agreement! (probably wont help at all)

 

 

Thanks in advance for your advice/help. Appreciate I should have cleaned up but these guys are seriously undeserving rude obnoxious little rats and don't deserve a penny.:-D

UnEDITABLE TENANCY AGREEMENT.pdf

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Just to clarify - the £1000 is for cleaning charges alone?? How large is the property? Did you sign any inventory upon commencement of the tenancy? Did all three of you sign a joint tenancy, or individual agreements? Did the guarantors sign a SEPERATE document, or the TA, and in either case, was their signature witnessed?


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

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Yes, all cleaning. We did sign the tenancy attached to the post.

 

They didnt do an inventory and I didnt sign that because they didnt have anything when i moved in!!! I'll post the letter i received once it comes through.

 

They also didnt provide a hoover for us to clean with haha.

 

The guarantors signed a separate document, was not witnessed.

Edited by kae0r

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You have missed a few of my questions (in fact, all of them bar one!). How large is the property? did you all sign ONE tenancy agreement, or did you sign seperate agreements? What did the guarantors sign, and did they sign it in the presence of a witness?


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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haha, let me try again! Property was an top floor flat, living room with kitchen, small bathroom with bath/toilet, 1 bathroom on that floor and some stairs going up to 2 more bedrooms. 5 rooms in total lol.

 

The tenants (myself and 2 others) signed the agreement in witness

 

The guarantors signed separate individual agreements with NO witnesses.

 

thanks for your help :)

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OK. In my opinion, cleaning charges COULD be enforceable, but obviously it very much comes down to the subjective position (in other words, impossible for us to tell without having seen the property and proof of the cleaning required). The onus is on them to prove, which will be difficult. £1000 for a flat clean is an utterly outrageous figure (more or less outrageous depending upon where in the country you live I guess). You will be jointly liable as you signed a joint tenancy agreement. The guarantor agreement, without a witness, isnt worth the paper its written on and is utterly unenforceable. I would be inclined to send them a simple yet polite letter - state that you have considered they comments, but you believe that the dilapidations claimed are wholly unjustified. Further state that if they feel they have a legally enforceable claim, that they are entitled to proceed to take the matter to small claims court to be decided by a judge, but that any such claim will be fully defended. Then state that you will not enter into any further correspondance with them on the matter. I suspect you'll never hear anything again.


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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Thanks for the advice, if it was to go to court and I did lose what would be the implications?

 

Would I receive a CCJ and have to fork out for their legal fee's etc etc? I'm unsure.

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Small claims court, so basically you would be responsible for court fees alone, with maybe some small arbitrary charges on top. Not legal fees. You wouldn't end upwuth a Ccj as long as the judgement is paid in full at the time. But...it's a long long way from there. If they proceed to court, come back to us. I doubt they will.


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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OK so just a quick update.

 

I ignored them to see if they would chase, they sent me an email threatening court action and how i would get a permanent CCJ if it went to court etc.

 

I said I had not received such a letter and to email the third party invoice to me (originally the letter was sent to my guarantor) and we would go from there. Once they send it over I will email back giving your advice, we will see what happens.

 

Plan is to basically drag my feet as much as possible.

 

I'm interested to find out what is required by them to take us to court, I doubt they have pictures of the property after we moved out, should I request them? Also I don't believe we signed an inventory, thought i might be wrong, should i request this is sent to me as well? If they cant provide either one I can say that they have no case and put them off taking me to court.

 

Also, if worst comes to worst will i need to hire any legal representation and what will i need to say to win? haha... all these things going on in my head!

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Wait for any court claim

 

if one occurs

 

you can then order the claimant to explain these charges with invoices etc

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They also didnt provide a hoover for us to clean with haha.

 

So you lived in your own filth while you were there?


Ash.

 

If you think I have helped you, please add to my reputation by clicking the star button to the left.

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IMO LL is not required to provide a Hoover, but Ts are expected to treat in a T-like manner eg occ brush the carpets etc.

How does OP know this 3 bed, 5 room flat had not been cleaned before moving in, he sems to have no practical experience of what is involved haha.

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I've rented for 15 years now and have never had a hoover provided - would the OP eat off the cabinets if plates weren't provided? And what about "disposables" such as bin bags/loo rolls/light bulbs??

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I wouldnt even bother dragging your heels. Just send what I've put above and be done with it.


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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My comments only apply if the premises are entirely within England, and you were granted a shorthold tenancy (under which you have exclusive use of a separate dwelling, and the landlord does not live in the same building), and you were over 18 years of age when the tenancy was granted.

 

This posting is supplemental to the information in this forum's "sticky" threads and is NOT to be read in isolation.

 

 

Tenant's Repairing Obligations

 

The tenant has a duty to treat the property in a "tenant-like" manner. This is defined by the Court of Appeal in the leading case of Warren v Keen [1953] 2 All ER 1118, CA.

 

Basically, the tenant must take proper care of the premises, and must repair damage to the premises caused, wilfully or negligently, by him, his family, or his guests.

 

But if the house falls out of repair owing to fair wear and tear, lapse of time, or any reason not caused by him, then the tenant will not be liable to repair it.

 

 

 

Disrepair

 

Only the court can decide the outcome of each individual item of alleged disrepair. All we here can do is summarise some matters which you might usefully invite the court to take into account.

 

If the landlord alleges damage, he must prove it.

 

If there is no check-in inventory, the landlord really doesn't have a leg to stand on; so the tenant is in a stronger position where there is no check-in inventory.

 

The landlord isn't allowed to improve the premises through "betterment" (replacing an old or worn item with a brand new one).

 

Likewise, the tenant is not liable for the cost of cleaning or repairing an item which was already soiled or damaged before the tenancy began. A check-in Inventory can be evidence that an item was already in bad repair before the start of the tenancy.

 

 

Read this document - Fair Wear and Tear

 

And read this document - Wear and Tear Guide

 

Those documents explain some aspects of the law regarding fair wear and tear, applying the principle that a tenant is NOT liable to pay for the cost of remedying ordinary wear and tear.

 

This link gives examples of what is fair wear-and-tear, and what is not:

 

http://www.rta.qld.gov.au/print_page.cfm?menuItemId=510.00

 

 

Also, the landlord can't ask the tenant to pay (i.e. out of the deposit) for the cost of repairs which the law requires the landlord to do. What those repairs are is explained in this FAQ -

 

Disrepairs in privately rented accommodation

 

A detailed analysis of the landlord's repairing obligations, prepared by a Barrister, is set out at -

 

Interpreting Repairing Covenants

 

 

There is a vast amount of additional information about the tenant's legal rights in cases of disrepair on the website of Shelter, the housing charity -

 

Repairs and Bad Conditions

 

 

Reasons given for resolving a dispute in the tenant's favour, in similar cases, have included:

 

1. Grossly inflated charges for the repair work.

2. No receipts produced for the cost of work supposedly carried out.

3. No competitive quotes sought for the cost of the work.

4. No mention in the check-in inventory of the condition of the item.

5. No opportunity given to the tenant to put right damage, despite the tenant offering to do so.

6. The item claimed falls under maintenance, for which a tenant is not liable.

 

The court puts great emphasis on the initial inventory if it mentions not only the items in the property, but also quite specifically their condition.


Note

 

This is a self-help forum in which users share their experiences. Assistance is offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgement; obtain advice from a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

 

This posting gives general guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law. Consult a Solicitor for specific advice before deciding on any course of action.

 

 

Further information:

 

Assured and Shorthold tenancies - A guide for tenants

 

Renting and Leasehold - Advice from Shelter

 

 

All posts are opinion only

 

 

If you've found my suggestions useful, please click on my star and add a comment

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