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sghiminini

Landlord refusing to return my deposit and deposit is not protected

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Hi,

 

I would need some advice on my case, as I believe that my landlord is trying to keep all my deposit unlawfully. I'll try to keep it short:

  • My tenancy started on July 2008; the agency prepared an inventory which I still have. I moved out two weeks ago, my tenancy lasted 4 years and 4 month
  • I never received a TDS certificate; I also asked my landlord a week ago about it but he's avoiding the question. I checked the website of the deposit schemes but I couldn't find any information about my deposit.
  • My landlord didn't give me enough time to clean the flat; the day I was moving he sent a friend to check the flat and get the keys from me. I told him that I wanted to clean the flat after moving all my stuff, yet when I was returning from the first trip to collect more stuff I found his friend that had already cleaned the living room and he was moving on the bathroom. I was still collecting my stuff.
  • When I asked him for the deposit, he claimed that the flat was dirty and that he had to change the carpet, clean the sofa and change the mattress. He claimed I was responsible for all these repairs.
  • I never stained mattress, carpet or sofa. Sofa was dirty to usage, and it was 2 years old when I first moved in.
  • The carpet was hovered during my tenancy, but I believe that it was all due to tear and wear. It was also in "fair conditions" when I moved in according to the inventory
  • The mattress was also old; I never stained it. It has gotten old due to usage (I lived there for over 4 years)
  • I offered to pay for cleaning of the sofa and for toaster / kettle (which I threw away by mistake, I thought they were my gf), but I didn't accept responsibilities for other repairs, which I believe are due to tear and wear
  • He gave me a list of costs sustained by him to make the repair and he didn't accept my claim of tear and wear. He also has some pictures taken by his friend while cleaning (showing the carpet and some of the appliance dirty, along with a shot of the sofa dirty)
  • There is a picture of the mattress, however too little is shown that he can prove that I damage it
  • I asked for all receipts, but he didn't provide me all of them. The carpet one is missing, along with his friend's cleaning payment. The receipts that he sent me do not match his breakdown and one of them is just a bank transfer
  • The main issue is that the garden door has started having issue in closing properly around 2 years ago. I never reported this to him because it was not a problem. Basically there are twin doors and one of them needs to be slightly lifted in order to close the other door. It looks like the door joint is down 1/2 centimetre. He asked about this, and he now said that he had a quote of £2100 because he has been told that the door is broken and it needs to be replaced
  • When I asked for the quote, he sent me a PDF with a quote for the full door (it's 4 glass panels, two moving ones), and also the quote includes full replacement of the bedroom window (which the problem is apparently condensation)
  • Apparently he has been told that "it looks like force has been applied to the door". I never had done anything to push the door down; it simply started after 2 years of usage

 

Bottom line, he doesn't want to give me back anything of the £850 of the deposit on the ground that he had to make the repairs mentioned above, and on top of that he has to foot the bill to replace door and window. I think that he's trying to take advantage of me and use my money to redecorate his place. I feel that he's been unfair with tear and wear judgement and I really want to take him to court and trying to get my money back

 

I also feel like he's using the garden door issue as intimidation; I don't think that I'm liable for it, but I fear that he can use this against me in case I take him to court. I also think that it is not reasonable to change the whole door just to fix a door that is not closing properly.

 

I wanted to get some legal advice but it is quite expensive and I don't want to spend some more money if I can't recover it later. I would really appreciated some advice / opinion on my issue before to proceed legally.

 

Many thanks in advance,

A disgruntled tenant

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