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Hi, I am hoping to receive advice from people who know more than myself about the following problem.

 

I have recently moved out of a 1 bedroom flat and left the place clean and tidy. My contract states the following:

 

"The tenant agrees to pay the cost of a check out of the inventry and schedule of condition listing all the fixtures and fittings in the premises and the condition thereof at the expiry or sooner termination of the tenancy"

 

I was last week invoiced by the letting agency (who do not manage the property as such but do some things on behalf of the landlord) for £210 for a check out inventory. The landlord pays the check in fee, apparently.

 

I have checked the website of the company who did the inventory and they charge £50 to do this for an unfurnished, 1 bedroom flat (as per the property I moved from). So, I don't know what is going on, but I requested the invoice from the inventory company to the agency and I was sent one showing £175. I was advised by the agency that they have to charge VAT on top and I'm lucky as usually they would charge profit on top!!! In addition, the agent was getting angry at my asking for the invoice.

 

That's the first issue. Am I being ripped off, and what do people advise I do next?

 

The second is, I was asked whether I want to pay this by BACS or deduction from my deposit (protected by the DPS scheme). I have read that an inventory fee is not enforceable as a deduction from the deposit. My application for my deposit to be returned was rejected last week. I think the agency are in charge of the code and releasing the money.

 

So, I said that I will deal with the inventory fee separately, and I will resubmit for my full deposit. To this I was told that it's fine, but they have to receive £210 from me first before they will release the deposit.

 

I am a little stuck. Can they legally withold my deposit until I pay them this extortionate fee?

 

I would appreciate any help and sorry for the long post, I wanted to provide as much information as possible.

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You should also have a pin to the deposit aswell as the agency. It will be different from theirs. and NEVER give them it. This stops landlords from taking money out for petty things. You can argue the case through the scheme. So someone neutral is looking at both sides of the story. Also they have up to 10 days after you moved out of your property to give you your deposit back. They cant hold longer than that. May I ask the name of the letting agency?

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You must claim the deposit direct of the scheme, nothing to do with agent/LL, they then have the opportuniity to inform scheme of any deductions, which you can dispute.

\the scheme must forward monies not in dispute within 14 days. ( inventory costs is not a valid deduction ).

If you cant agree on deductions, you can use ADS scheme or take LL to court.

as for the cost of inventory, it must fair and I would not be happy about paying anything to be honest! they are doing this for the LL not you.

If sum not agreed in advance then suggest you negotiate it dowm or pay nothing.

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Thanks for your replies. I am hoping that I hear from the agent soon as they have gone very quiet now I have re-submitted the deposit refund request and stated that I will address the inventory fee separately.

 

10 days have alread passed since i moved out, but I am at the mercy of the landlord/agent responding to my DPS request, I think?

 

The agency is called myhome myhouse. Re. the inventory fee, I have asked why £175 was invoiced when the third party charges £50 for the service. Again, no response! If I have to pay the fee due to the wording of the contract, as you say it will be a reasonable amount that I pay, certainly not £175 plus VAT!

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Claim deposit direct from the scheme, no need to go through agent or LL.

You can do it on line with reference no the agent or LL have given you.

If they have not that is illegal.

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they have done that yes, and i have requested the amount, but the landlord/agent has to agree to release the funds it seems? it's via the DPS. if the ll/agent again reject my request i think i can then open the dispute service. however, the DPS told me that we have to agree on an amount that is to be refunded and an amount in dispute?! that seems silly to me, as no amount should be disputed from my viewpoint, they feel that £210 should be due to payment of an 'inventory fee'...

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NO, you claim the deposit back from the scheme direct! they then advise LL who can advise you and the scheme of any deductions if any, which you can dispute.

the scheme then releases the amount not in dispute, usualyy within 14 days.

the remainder in dispute if not agreed can be referred to the dispute resoluion service or you can take LL to court.

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