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Issues from Mid-Tenancy Inspection


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Hi all.

 

 

This may be a long post so please be patient!!

 

 

I have had numerous issues with the attitude and practices of my landlord in the past (even being caught going through a laundry basket once for evidence of pets!!), but following a recent mid-tenancy inspection (where he was caught going through kitchen cupboards?!) I have had a letter posted to me with a number of issues raised.

 

 

I will outline some of these below and just want to know where I stand with the demands -

 

 

 

  • Numerous nails in walls to hang pictures.
  • Taken on another adult tenant, so sub-letting. The reality of this is my daughter (who is 30) has come home to live for 4 months while she finishes her Uni degree and moves back to the house she owns.
  • Landlord adamant there is a pet here and states has found hair and also claw marks on walls and stains on the carpet. Again, the reality here is my other daughter sometimes visits with her dog, which could answer the hair (at least my only guess). The carpet stains are simply from living with 2 teenagers and the marks on the walls are from moving furniture.
  • There is mould around one of the windows and I am to provide more adequate ventilation. I am not prepared to leave windows open in the middle of winter so not sure what I can do here?
  • A hammer and screwdriver were left in garden to make for easy burglary and showing disregard for the property. More a dig than anything else I feel, but I kind of take a point.
  • Locks on the garage have been changed and keys not provided to landlord. The reality of this is the landlord has not replaced the back gate which has rotten, so extra padlocks have been installed due to having expensive gym equipment in the garage and living near a rough estate. The padlocks themselves are off my daughters boyfriends bike locks, so I will most certainly not be provided keys.

 

 

During the actual inspection the landlord invited a friend around to take a look at an area he thought had damp. However, from now reading the letter it appears this friend also got involved with the inspection and they are both claiming photo evidence of what has been found. Is this allowed?

 

 

The demands that have been made are to repair all walls and have the carpet professionally cleaned. The landlord has stated there will be a further inspection in 2 weeks to assure these things have been carried out. Are these fair demands? In the past I have touched up any paintwork and deep cleaned carpets myself when I am due to leave, not while I am still living here. I cannot afford to have a carpet professional cleaned in a 2 week timeframe and cannot see how this can be demanded.

 

 

Does a lot of this not come down to how I leave the house when I leave? He has stated there will be deductions from my bond if I don't comply, but how can this be done while I still live here?

 

 

Again, sorry for the long post but I am trying to find out if this letter and these demands are fair, or just my landlord yet again trying to make my life hell.

 

 

Thanks in advance.

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The LL inspection identified several instances of damage for which T is responsible. He has given you time to rectify. If you do not, a s21 is the likely result and a bill for professional repair, ultimately deducted from your deposit. If you wish to remain, so dau can finish her Uni course, then I suggest you make an effort to comply.

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Thanks for the reply Mariner.

 

 

I'm not disputing the things he has picked up on, but the marks and stains being referred to are minimal and VERY picky!!

 

 

My issue is more with the two week timeframe given to rectify them and the demands to have them done professionally with receipts.

 

 

 

  • Why can I not leave pictures hanging and fill, sand and paint the small marks upon leaving the property?
  • Why can I not deep clean the carpet myself when I leave the property?

 

 

I have no intention of leaving the house with any issues unresolved, I would like to be clear on that, but this is my home and not a newly decorated show home...I have been here for 3 years now. NONE of the things he has demanded are detrimental to the property, just small cosmetic marks.

 

 

But that's why I'm here...are his demands reasonable, can he demand small cosmetic work is done immediately and can he deduct monies from my bond? The way I see it is if I leave when my current contract ends (highly likely now, so all this is ultimately at his loss) and amend all these issues, how on earth can that effect the bond?

 

 

Also, isn't a s21 just a notice the landlord wishes to reclaim his property at the end of the agreement? In which case this isn't really relevant, and if one was to be served I go back to my point above; how can he deduct monies if his issues have all been resolved?

 

 

Any thoughts on this, or my initial post appreciated.

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...also, is my daughter living with me really classed as sub-letting, bearing in mind she doesn't pay me a penny for the privilege? I hadn't realised being a tenant meant you couldn't have your own children live with you without prior consent from the landlord.

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Because it will be in your agreement that you just not put nails in the wall. So you must remove and repair professionally.

 

You admit having a dog in the house so its a pet, not your pet, but a pet all the same and I assume your agreement said no pets.

 

She is your daughter, she is not a child. She is an adult and therefore, unless on the tenancy agreement, she is assumed to be a sublet.

 

You are not a carpet cleaner or a plasterer, so you must get someone in to rectify the damage.

 

 

 

Two weeks is a realistic time frame for the repairs.

 

Section 21 is a notice giving you x amount of days to leave, not notice that you can stay until tenancy is up. If the repairs are not up to standard, then he will have it repairs and taken from your deposit.

 

And leaving a hammer and screw driver in the garden is asking for trouble and sounds like you ate generally not tidying up which can cause neighbours to complain to the LL resulting in swift and thorough inspections.

 

I would suggest biting the bullet, getting repair man in and sorting it quickly before you are out on your behind.

 

Harsh I know, but there are loads of people out there that would take over that tenancy so landlord.loses nothing but a messy and damaging tenant.

 

Also, read the tenancy agreement so you know what you can and cant do. It may help you defend a bit.

 

Oh, And yes, Its your responsibility to air the place to stop damp. Open a window or buy a dehumidifier.

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Slightly offended by the 'messy and damaging tenant' comment there, maybe uncalled for given you lack of personal knowledge of the situation.

 

 

The dog that comes in the house is here for very short periods of visit, maybe half hour, and usually running around in the back garden. Seems a bit extreme to be pulled up on this. I find your 'pet' remark a bit pedantic.

 

 

You say assumed to be subletting?! Let's say this assumption is wrong as she is nothing more than living with her parents for a short space of time? Does this still carry the subletting title? I'd be surprised if it did but happy to be proven wrong...subletting, from my understanding, means to further lease part of, or all of the said property. No leasing here, simply a spare bed for a family member.

 

 

No, I am not a 'professional' plasterer or carpet cleaner but what's to say I can't clean it to a satisfactory standard? And IF I can do as I say then what right is there to demand it done by someone who can write a receipt for it? As long as the mark or stain isn't there anymore then why does it matter who fixed it?

 

 

From my understanding a s21 notice is a notice a landlord can issue to say they wish for the tenants to leave AT THE END of the tenancy. Getting tenants evicted prior to this is a long and messy process.

 

 

As for the damp, it is right next to a window that has blown and has condensation in. I think I will just call the landlord up on this as maybe he could start pulling his weight.

 

 

Living alone? Another assumption? Besides, I don't see why this has anything to do with this post or you.

 

 

I feel this thread may turn into lots of assumptions made, so taking that aside if anyone has any useful info or links for me on the cans/cants from my original post I'd be happy to hear them.

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Stains on the carpet, marks on the walls. Holes in the walls. Thats seems pretty messy to me.

 

Its a pet, in the house. Os not allowed as per your agreement. Not pedantic.

 

You cant prove your daughter has not been paying you. All the landlord can see is a 30year old women lodging with you. Hence fearing that you are subletting.

 

 

Depends if you are on a rolling contract and therefore month by month and can s21 you.

If part way though, then he will s8 you.

 

You are not a professional painter or decorator or plasterer or carpet cleaner, so np you wont be able to do it as well as them. Its like saying just because you know where a heart is, you can be a heart surgeon.

 

Fair point on the window. Lets hope the landlord accepts that and replaces it. Make sure you have pictures. Please explain "blown".

 

Just giving it to you straight. If you are not happy with my input, then I'm sure someone else will be along shortly to tell you something soothing that you want to hear.

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I'm sure you've painted quite the picture in your head about the state of myself and the house I live in. However, yet again all you have done is provide a post riddled with inaccurate assumptions and not one piece of useful, factual advice.

 

 

I am not after some pink and fluffy reply all in my favour, I am simply after whether a landlord can make the demands made for slight cosmetic damage and the truth behind the subletting. I have answered the subletting question myself so forget that, I AM IN THE RIGHT. There are possibly a few grounds under s8 he could attempt to evict over, but I find this highly unlikely due to the actual condition of the property. His photos would inevitably be laughed out of court, but I thought I should answer your point all the same...not that this was ever something I questioned.

 

 

As for the pet comments, they seem to be getting a tad silly now. Yes, literally speaking its a pet in the house, but it's not kept here, it doesn't live here and it's not our pet. Surely tenancy agreements don't refer to this situation?

 

 

I have every intention of righting my 'messy' tendencies, but when and how I assumed would be up to me. I wasn't expecting to have to remove pictures while still living here to fill in picture hook holes that are currently hidden by the pictures themselves, fill and paint a tiny scuff on the corner of a wall, or pay out for a carpet to be professionally cleaned for a barely visible stain. These are all things I planned to do upon leaving to leave the house in the best possible condition.

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Hello there.

 

I don't suppose the guys trying to help you are making a personal attack. Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but I don't think you've posted up the terms of your tenancy agreement. I think it would be useful to know what it says about the matters you're querying.

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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No, not at all a personal attack. I'm trying to give you a point of view. The landlord has seen his house with dog hairs in, holes in the walls, tools strewn in the garden and a female occupant who lives there and is not on the tenancy.

As HB has suggested, if you post up a copy of the tenancy agreement, we might be of more help.

 

But at the moment, ad a landlord, I would be asking you to rectify the STRUCTUAL damage to the walls, and also the stains that could potentially ruin the carpet if left longer. There are mo assumptions on what you have done to the house, as you have told us what you have done.

 

And upon looking through an online tenancy agreement, it specifically states that hooks, nails, screws or any other item may not be drilled, hammered or otherwise placed into the brickwork of the property without prior written consent.

 

Out of interest, I spoke to a landlord just now and he states that you can clean the carpets as long as you produce a receipt showing that you hired a professional carpet cleaning machine. Walls in his properties must be repaired by a builder or plasterer with the relevant qualification. You may hire someone or he will.

 

We need to see in your tenancy what it says you can and cant do to advise fully.

 

I'm.sorry if you see my posts as some sort of attack, its not.

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Yes, it is your home, but the LL/owner's capital asset and you are the temp custodian, with T rights and responsibilities.

Yes your dau can stay over as a permitted occupier (lodger), even if she is paying you rent. but it would have been best to have LLs permission, which prob would not have been unreasonably withheld. (as per pets) Another adult staying long-term will increase wear & tear & pot damage, so LL could have required a higher deposit at start. I presume LL fully referenced you before granting T. Your dau (lodger) seems to be staying for her own convenience (Uni) and LLs are wary of 'guests' for fear of a 'contrived Occupancy'. As for cleanliness/damage, would you, as a new T, accept it's current condition & rent, without complaining to new LL? Prob not.

A 'blown' uPVC unit means the airtight seal has failed. Unless the glass is shattered, LL has no duty to repair/replace, pane is still fully functional.

 

 

As for s21, you are correct, it permits repo of property at end of fixed term, or later.

Correct s21 can be served at any time during specific AST, without time limit & LL can apply for cost of hearing & subs bailiff action be applied to T. (min £280)

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You say you've been there 3 years. Does this sort of picky inspection happen all the time, or has it only happened recently?

 

Are you currently within a fixed term and if so, about how long left till the end? Is your deposit protected?

 

The real issue is that you are at risk of being evicted if you can't get on with your landlord. However in my opinion he is being mostly unreasonable and picky.

 

There is an issue with fixings in the wall as repairing a fixing is difficult to do properly (so there are no visible marks) and there are proper fixings available that cause very little damage. That said, the damage is done now and the LL should not worry till he gets the house back.

 

Carpets potentially suffer if they are left dirty for a long time. But again, if it is a minor issue then being told that you must clean them in two weeks is not realistic. That would be more true if there is a risk of landlord issuing Section 21 - you could clean carpets now and then have to clean them again in two months' time when you need to leave.

 

LL cannot control your life to the extent of banning visitors with dogs. That is unreasonable whatever the contract says.

 

Mould? Depends on how much. I live in a modern house that is adequately heated and ventilated, but one window gets a bit of mould around it that is dealt with adequately by periodic wiping down with mould remover.

 

I would say to Mr GrumpyToSayTheLeast that making personal attacks on people so as to live up to your name is not helpful. And yes it was a personal attack to talk about someone being "messy" etc. and it wasn't expressed as a "point of view". Plus there are plenty of repair women who could do an adequate job of fixing some holes in the plaster.

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You say you've been there 3 years. Does this sort of picky inspection happen all the time, or has it only happened recently?

 

 

 

Are you currently within a fixed term and if so, about how long left till the end? Is your deposit protected?

 

 

 

The real issue is that you are at risk of being evicted if you can't get on with your landlord. However in my opinion he is being mostly unreasonable and picky.

 

 

 

There is an issue with fixings in the wall as repairing a fixing is difficult to do properly (so there are no visible marks) and there are proper fixings available that cause very little damage. That said, the damage is done now and the LL should not worry till he gets the house back.

 

Carpets potentially suffer if they are left dirty for a long time. But again, if it is a minor issue then being told that you must clean them in two weeks is not realistic. That would be more true if there is a risk of landlord issuing Section 21 - you could clean carpets now and then have to clean them again in two months' time when you need to leave.

 

 

 

LL cannot control your life to the extent of banning visitors with dogs. That is unreasonable whatever the contract says.

 

 

 

Mould? Depends on how much. I live in a modern house that is adequately heated and ventilated, but one window gets a bit of mould around it that is dealt with adequately by periodic wiping down with mould remover.

 

 

 

I would say to Mr GrumpyToSayTheLeast that making personal attacks on people so as to live up to your name is not helpful. And yes it was a personal attack to talk about someone being "messy" etc. and it wasn't expressed as a "point of view". Plus there are plenty of repair women who could do an adequate job of fixing some holes in the plaster.

Its not his carpet and its stained.

Mould could have been cleaning and should have been reported should it have continued. Holes in the walls causing damage to plaster and brick work and random tools lying about in the garden. Thats pretty messy as far as I'm concerned. I believe my comment was fair and not meant as an attack on him personally.

Oh ffs, a repair person then. There. That better? My point being a suitably qualified PERSON. And filling a hole in the wall is easy, repairing it to a decent standard is very different.

 

The landlord can stipulate NO PETS IN THE PROPERTY so yes, he can control that.

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Mould could have been cleaning and should have been reported should it have continued. Holes in the walls causing damage to plaster and brick work and random tools lying about in the garden. Thats pretty messy as far as I'm concerned.

 

You have an overactive imagination. The tenant has already been "told off" by the landlord and doesn't need you to repeat a telling off with added embellishments. I suggest you leave the keyboard and go and clean this morning's dust off your lightbulbs.

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Practical Advice -

 

Do the simple things to keep the peace - clear the condensation mold - we all get it - either use a specialist product or a bleach solution, apply with gloves.

 

Daughter is staying with you ? She has own home ? She is having an extended holiday... take copy of a bill / ctax or something to prove she has own residence.

 

Hire a Rug Doctor - 20 quid for a saturday, although practically it is better to do in spring so you can air properly, less you cause more condensation mold.

 

Pick up the misplaced tools in the garden. The addtional locks will be removed end of tenancy.

 

AS for the picture hook holes etc, it would be normally expected to make good on 'departing', you could engage with ll to ascertain what colour paint (he should have a record of code / manufacturer) you need to do this. Stipulate that this will be done when you vacate - whenever that may be.

 

Take your own pictures.

 

Get a pet hair rubber brush so sofas / carpets / curtains - again about five quid. Have a quick go over once the 4 legged friend has gone.

 

Note that this does not reference any laws / rights but is IMHO a middle ground to maintain ll - tenant relationship

 

N

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