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Alba Residential refusing to give back part of my deposit claiming money was needed for repair & cleaning


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I rented a flat from Alba Residental for 14 months. In those 14 months, the toilet flooded 3 times. Rather than replacing the shredder system they kept sending out plumbers who kept saying that there was nothing they could do to prevent any future blockages.

When I moved in the flat was disgusting and nothing had been cleaned. Alba sent two cleaners who surface cleaned the flat. I ended up cleaning the entire flat myself after that.

When I moved out, I left the place spotless. Alba came up with a massive list of items which they considered needed cleaning or replacement. The thing which outraged me most is the fact that they charged me £80 to replace a cracked freezer drawer (surely this is part of wear and tear, especially because the drawer wasn't actually broken, it had a minor crack in the handle, which still worked perfectly fine).

The other thing they charged me for is "dusting the bed frame." This is ridiculous because I had hoovered AND dusted AND mopped the entire house.

They also claimed that I had caused moulding in the bathroom, which was unventilated and did not have a window to air the place. Due to the fact that it is a closed bathroom, it is hard for water to evaporate. I used to leave the door open after having had a shower but minor moulding and minor stains appeared on the white rubbery bits between the bath and the wall. There is absolutely nothing I could do against this because there was no way for me to ventilate the bathroom properly. These stains are part of wear and tear and from time to time, the bathroom sealant just needs to be replaced. They charged me for this as well.

There are plenty of other things which I was charged for, in addition to which Alba refuses to refund me the agency fees which they have unlawfully charged me.

 

Does anyone have experience with this? I took photographs when I moved in but Alba is blatantly stating that they got cleaners in after I moved in (which is true) and that it is assumed that afterwards, the flat was in a satisfactory clean state. I would like to get my 25% back and I was wondering if anyone has had similar experiences and took the agency to a small claims court?

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Was your deposit protected in a deposit protection scheme.

 

If so, this may be the best way of pursuing your objection as you do not have to pay anything up front.

 

Based on your statements, I think the agency would struggle to prove that the flat was cleaner after the cleaners finished than when you moved out, so you could have a good chance.

 

I would disagree that a cracked freezer drawer is "wear and tear" but if it is as minor as you say, charging the full replacement cost may not be justifiable.

 

Have they provided a list of costs and invoices. Probably best that you contest each one individually. While the blocked loo was a pain, I don't think it is relevant now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for your response, I agree that the blocked loo is irrelevant at the moment.

 

I am currently taking Alba to the small claims court to reclaim my agency fees which they are refusing to refund.

 

How do I find out whether my deposit was protected in a deposit protection scheme? I thought this was mandatory, is it possible that some agencies aren't doing it?

 

Regards,

Kris

Was your deposit protected in a deposit protection scheme.

 

If so, this may be the best way of pursuing your objection as you do not have to pay anything up front.

 

Based on your statements, I think the agency would struggle to prove that the flat was cleaner after the cleaners finished than when you moved out, so you could have a good chance.

 

I would disagree that a cracked freezer drawer is "wear and tear" but if it is as minor as you say, charging the full replacement cost may not be justifiable.

 

Have they provided a list of costs and invoices. Probably best that you contest each one individually. While the blocked loo was a pain, I don't think it is relevant now.

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How do I find out whether the deposit was protected? I was under the assumption that agencies were obliged by law to put deposits in a protection scheme, I am assuming Alba will have done that?

If deposit is protected you need to claim deposit from scheme direct.
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Hi

 

You really need to find out which Tenancy Deposit Scheme your deposit is protected in as the landlord should have given you this information.

 

Once you find out which schemeits in you need need to apply to that scheme to get your deposit back or they mediate if in dispute between yourself and landlord.

 

You really need to get copies of the invoices.cost claimed from the landlord.

 

Have a look at these links on Tenancy deposit:

 

https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/information-landlords-must-give-tenants

 

https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/overview

 

These are the links for the three different deposit schemes:

 

http://www.depositprotection.com/

 

http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/

 

http://www.tds.gb.com/

 

From the 1st April 2013 there are two new addition to above schemes:

 

http://www.capita-tdp.co.uk/

 

http://www.depositprotection.com/insured-deposit-info

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  • 7 months later...

Dear gnuscubadog,

 

I too am having issues with Alba Residential - but not as bad as yours.

 

I rented a flat of theirs for 7 months and on moving out there was very minor cleaning which Alba said needed to be done (including "hob has a few crumbs" and "cobwebs in the kitchen corner"). Fine. But they are also trying to charge me over £80 for external cleaning of the windows. It was a fourth floor flat. To me it is unreasonable for the tenant to be responsible for external windows (which for safety reasons have to be professionally cleaned) especially over such a short tenancy. They also refuse to show me evidence that the windows were professionally cleaned before I moved in (the in-going inventory did not mention cleanliness at all so I did not keep a list of things that weren't clean and I assumed that I could not be charged for things that they could not compare to the original inventory). Is it normal for tenants to be charged for external window cleaning? Has anybody else had this problem?

 

Also, during our tenancy the shower was unusable for over 3 weeks and Alba Residential had terrible customer service. They never contacted us about when the repairs might happen and whenever we rang them we were brushed off with excuses and told to "use the bath". The flat did not have a bath. When I have sorted out the deposit I will be pushing for compensation for the almost month-long lack of sanitary facilities.

 

Alba Residential (now part of Lomond Lettings ) is an absolutely awful company.

 

Gnuscubadog, did you manage to get your deposit back?

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  • 7 months later...

Hiya! Thank you all so much for your input.

 

I paid my deposit in April 2011, just after the safety deposit scheme regulations came into force in Scotland. Alba had until November 2012 to register my deposit, however, I moved out in September 2012. Having said that, they were in possession of my deposit until December 2012 so I have been advised that regardless of the fact that my tenancy had ended, they should have still registered my deposit because the safe deposit schemes base their operations on the dates that deposits are paid and retrieved rather than the tenancy contract dates.

 

Anywho, I have submitted my small claim against them (last week) so I will let you know how I get on. Alba have notoriously bad reviews online and I will most definitely never rent with them again.

 

Thanks again guys!

 

Dear gnuscubadog,

 

I too am having issues with Alba Residential - but not as bad as yours.

 

I rented a flat of theirs for 7 months and on moving out there was very minor cleaning which Alba said needed to be done (including "hob has a few crumbs" and "cobwebs in the kitchen corner"). Fine. But they are also trying to charge me over £80 for external cleaning of the windows. It was a fourth floor flat. To me it is unreasonable for the tenant to be responsible for external windows (which for safety reasons have to be professionally cleaned) especially over such a short tenancy. They also refuse to show me evidence that the windows were professionally cleaned before I moved in (the in-going inventory did not mention cleanliness at all so I did not keep a list of things that weren't clean and I assumed that I could not be charged for things that they could not compare to the original inventory). Is it normal for tenants to be charged for external window cleaning? Has anybody else had this problem?

 

Also, during our tenancy the shower was unusable for over 3 weeks and Alba Residential had terrible customer service. They never contacted us about when the repairs might happen and whenever we rang them we were brushed off with excuses and told to "use the bath". The flat did not have a bath. When I have sorted out the deposit I will be pushing for compensation for the almost month-long lack of sanitary facilities.

 

Alba Residential (now part of Lomond Lettings ) is an absolutely awful company.

 

Gnuscubadog, did you manage to get your deposit back?

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