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Hi All,

 

I'm seeking advice on housing rental matter.

 

I've recently moved house and have been told by the letting agents of my old house, that the Landlord has submitted a claim for our Bond. She is claiming £500 of it for various things. I am aware of the process to dispute this, however the problem is I wish to counter claim against her for failing to meet her contractual obligations by not carrying out repairs on the house which we had reported. I had reported many of the problems to Reeds, such as door knobs coming off the doors, light fittings faulty, railings in doorway loose, fire needing replacing, etc. Some of the problems I spoke to the male Landlord about directly, I know this is not the ideal way of dealing with house problems.

 

Many of the issues she is trying to claim for are verging on ridiculous. For example, the fire didn't work throughout the 4years we lived there, and when someone came to look at it they told us it would be unsafe to use due to the positioning of the gas pipes, and that using it would mean carbon monoxide risks. The gas engineer sealed off the pipe and this was reported back to the landlord, however it was never dealt with. Now we have moved out the Landlord is claiming back for the missing remote control to the fire, which must have been accidentally picked up by one of the home removals men. This is not really the problem. The actual problem is that she is asking for £100 for a remote. I feel she is trying to pull a fast one by overcharging us so she can use the money to replace the whole fire fitting. :-x

 

Also, she says that the garden was not in acceptable condition when we had moved out, as there are now a "few weeds". In fact she has told Reeds that she spent the whole day weeding the garden and cutting the grass. Looking at the pictures taken by the agency upon their final check following us leaving the property, this is not true. Whilst I will admit it was not in a state that would make Alan Titchmarsh jealous, when we left the grass had been cut, we had weeded any areas that needed it and made sure everything was left in an acceptable state.

But that's not all. Two months before we were due to leave the property, the decking had begun to rot to such a state where it was breaking. Given the landlords poor record of carrying out repairs when requested, I decided to repair it myself so that no one, including my two young nieces, would break their necks on it as it was posing quite a risk.

I bought three new boards and fit them myself. I told Reeds afterwards that this is what I had done.

 

I would appreciate if anyone has any advice on the best way to get some success out of this dispute. Is there anything else I should be aware of or any tips anyone can give me? :|

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Mariner,

 

Sorry for the late response. I know the decking was a bad move but given how much of a hazard it was, and their poor record of repairing things it was the only option I could think of.

 

What is ADR?

 

Yes she is the LL. I think her and husband have split, which would explain why he never returned to repair the issues.

 

Just spoke to Reeds this morning; I've been asking them for more evidence so I can pursue my appeal. After requesting information for 2 weeks now, they have sent me the final inventory however the picture of the garden is so small you can hardly see the garden in any great detail to determine there is a problem with it. She also tells me she can't send me the log of faults I reported to them because SHE doesn't think any of those problems will matter as they aren't the specific faults that the LL is claiming for.

 

Do Reeds benefit from us going through DPS to claim? Or would small claims be a better option when trying to counter claim?

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I've decided to go to small claims court on the basis that I'm told ADR won't consider counter evidence (such as things they have failed to replace during our stay at the property) to use in our defence, and will instead only look at the problems the LL has raised.

 

Do I still need to complete the mydeposits form before raising a court claim?

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Yes I think so you can use both avenues at the same time.

Best if you have a paper trail of when you made complaints about repairs etc. and took photos of them and the condition when you left.

Was there a signed inventory/condition report when you started and again when you left, that recorded everything?

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I've requested the list of complaints we made via Reeds but they won't email it to me, they've asked me to make a written request for this information.

 

I have the inventory from when we first moved in, but the images in the leaving inventory are small. I've requested a larger one of the garden but they say they don't have one, which puzzles me because how can i have a claim against me when you can't see the evidence clearly enough?

 

Also some of the pictures from the first inventory (of marks and scratches inside property) have not been shown in the final one which I found astonishing as they would have noticed that they have been repaired by us.

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