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My husband and I recently moved out of a small 2 bed-semi that we rented for 5 years.


The landlady did the check out with my husband - taking almost 3 hours.

She pointed out a number of things she was no happy with in terms of cleaning

(if there was a slight mark/spot that had missed it meant we hadn't cleaned it at all and it was filthy etc) and reluctantly my husband agreed to £100 'cleaning' bill - signed the check out sheet, as did my landlady.


She sent it through to the DPS but due to no internet and started new professional jobs we didn't see it before she cancelled it and decided that she wanted to keep all of the deposit.


Her reasons for keeping all the deposit kept changing as every time we told her that it was unreasonable/not true etc she'd come up with a new reason.


She's the sort of landlord who would get fixated on one/two thing(s) regardless of the truth and convince herself it was the case

e.g. she claimed that we put the (mainly empty) boxes on the unboarded areas in the loft

- we told her that we hadn't and asked her to look,



she replied with well they were the last time I looked

- they hadn't moved since we put them up there!



She also mentioned the additional wear on the carpet of the bottom 2 stairs.

I told her that this was how it was when she rented it to us and that she had even written it on the inventory

- showed her and she mumbled something in disagreement

- has now decided that 'more wear on lower steps' is referring to a non-existent stain!

This is despite her inventory being OTT compared to others I have seen

(i.e including garden wall, electrical grate coverings etc)


guess my main questions are:

1. What would be considered the average lifespan of a mattress (1000 sprung double)? If there are marks from the metal bed frame, can she claim that it is no longer fit for purpose and therefore claim?


She says it was £377 and should last 8 years and therefore is claiming 3 years.


She told us she always gets a new mattress after she has had long term tenants hence why we had a new one as the previous tenants had been there for 4 years.


2. The sofa has about 5 threads pulled on the back corner which have been fabric glued back down but leaves v. small gaps over an area about 6cm x 4cm.

It also has a patch on the arm from where the vanish cleaning product made it slightly darker

(she requested it was cleaned and we stopped after we saw that it wasn't doing anything and making it darker).

She is claiming these things makes it now longer fit for purpose and therefore is claiming for it.


She doesn't have an invoice and on starting the tenancy she told us that it was an old sofa but still very comfortable which is why she has kept it.

She says she bought it is 2008 but I'm sure she mentioned that it was about 8 years old when we moved in in 2012!



The inventory states it was in fair condition (as opposed to her good, v.good, excellent or new that other items are).

She said that it was £800+ but using the figure £600 and states that on average it should have 12 years lifespan and so is claiming for 3 years (£150)


Thank you for any help anyone can give.

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If she says she changes the mattress after very 'long term' tenant, the last one was there for 4 years and you have been there for 5 years then she would have been going to change the mattress anyway so how can she charge you for it?


I think she is trying it on with the stair carpet and nit picking with the sofa! I would dispute these amounts with the deposit holding company!

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and photos to prove the state it was when you moved in...



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Unfortunately we only have photos taken about 2 weeks after we moved but they are just of the general rooms that my husband took to show his mum. At the same time - the landlady does not have any photos either...


We had little choice in where we were moving to 5yrs ago as we had got a place sorted

(agency fees etc paid but we were to sign contracts on the day we were moving in)

but the landlady (different one) let it out to a family friend and we found out late on the 14th when we were due to move in on the 16th.



We found the place we've just moved out of by chance, viewed on 15th and moved in on the 16th.

Therefore we didn't think about taking pictures/looking specifically at the cleanliness, specific marks etc just wanted somewhere to move into to as otherwise we would have been homeless with a fair bit of furniture but no storage!


With regards to her changing the mattress between tenants, we have no written proof that she does this :(

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Let ex LL take you to deposit ADR/County Court for resolution.

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I have seen some inventories that specifically mention the position of a weed in the garden

so being OTT is a moot point but wear and tear is just that so "more" wear and tear is still wear and tear.


As for the sofa, look for the manufacturer's label and give them a call and see if they can tell you how old it is by the design and fabric combo.

If you cant get to see it again hopefully you have some pictures of it in the background or whatever.

A bit of research will then give you an approximate age.


Mattress- well if she changes it after 4 years she owes you 1/4 of a mattress.

I would be concerned about bodily fluid stains ( or split teas that looks the same) making it unusable for a future letting rather than rub marks from the bedstead

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Aren't LL supposed to change mattress at start of every tenancy?

I've always done so and at the same time offered the chance to contribute towards a mattress that the tenant would then keep, in case they wanted a very expensive one.

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