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Hi,

 

My housemates and I are currently having trouble getting a reasonable amount of our deposit back from our landlord.

 

After various letters to and fro, we've eventually managed to get an itemised and priced list (a month after the end of the tenancy), and I would be interested to hear what others have to say about this before we reply.

 

 

  1. The landlord is claiming a large sum of money for cleaning services, on three occasions. Two were midway through our tenancy, when the landlord decided the house was too messy, and let cleaners in without our knowledge or consent (the contract states he is allowed to clean the house if he wishes mid-contract). The third was at the end of the tenancy. We had left the house in immaculate condition (far better than when we moved in), but the landlord claims he *always* gets cleaners in regardless of the condition of the property (this is written into the contract). My concerns here involve the illegal access to the property, the enforceability of the clause allowing the landlord to charge us for cleaning mid-tenancy whenever he wishes, and whether if the landlord *always* cleans the house at the end of the tenancy, regardless of the condition, then does that count as maintenance (and is therefore not deductible from our deposit)?
  2. We are being charged for cleaning carpets. A number of these were noted as being dirty when we moved in. There were seven of us living in the house, so many of the carpets were heavily trafficked -- can we claim some of the cost of this as wear and tear (and obviously entirely deduct the charges from the rooms which were already dirty)? Again, he has claimed for cleaning of *all* carpets -- surely this counts as maintenance?
  3. He claims he was taken to court because we didn't pay our council tax. We are all students, and therefore exempt. We registered our exemption a month before the end of the tenancy, and he has no evidence (because he didn't do it) of asking us to do this earlier, or telling us he was supposedly having legal issues due to us not acting sooner. He is claiming for his 'court costs' which we were never given the opportunity to avoid (aside from possibly registering earlier; but this has never been an issue for any of us in our long combined history of renting houses).
  4. He is claiming an enormous amount of money for supposedly 'repairing' paint damage from pins in bedroom walls. He has told us (and other prospective tenants this year) that he repaints the whole house every year (unfortunately no documentation of this). Admittedly there would have been a few holes left in the walls (and probably a few marks on some), but I don't think repainting an entire wall or room is a reasonable reaction to this, and I definitely don't think it was >£400 of damage.

Any of your opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Edited by gymgymgym
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Was the deposit protected? If so speak to whoever protected it. If not then you may need to seek advice from CAB or other advice service and get them to check your contract/tenancy.

Work for my local CAB but my views and advice are my own. Try AdviceGuide or Adviceline (08444 111 444) for CAB help ;)

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Yes, the deposit was protected. We have the option of opening a dispute with the DPS, but would like to try first of all reaching a sensible agreement with him (unlikely), or at the least would like to know where we stand on the issues outlined above.

 

Thanks for the reply,

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Put the proposed deposit deductions in dispute with the rel scheme. LL may decline, in which case his only alt is County Court claim. Some of those contract conditions look iffy.

Unless C Tax was included in rent, you should have registered student exenption with Council at start of T so LL may have some claim for Court costs etc.

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