Jump to content


HarryHillse

Landlord Adding Damages after we left property (Tenancy finished)

Recommended Posts

When our tenancy finished we handed the keys to the Landlord and he looked around the property (4.5 year tenancy under what we believed to be an AST - however LL claims it is a non-assured tenancy agreement (Memorandum of Agreement). We meet all the criteria of it being an AST.

The LL mentioned a couple of minor issues during the handover of keys and then a couple of weeks later returned £307 of our £700 deposit (which he had not protected) together with a small list of 'damages'. We sent a letter before action stating that we were going to take him to court for non-protection of deposit and that we disputed his 'damages'. 

He responded by stating 'do what you want' and listing more 'damages' which now totalled £5000. He has now sent us a letter stating the 'damages' are around £14,000 and says if we didn't pay the £5000 by 28 February 2019 he would start court proceedings. We did not pay!! 

 

I believe he stated their were more 'damages' because I said I would take him to court for not protecting our deposit.

1.. We totally dispute the 'damages' he is claiming. What evidence would he have to supply to the court to back up his damage claims?


2. Can you advise if he can keep adding 'damages and tell us to pay a smaller amount in order not to pay a higher cost (if that makes sense)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you post up the letter (redact any personal details) of the damages he is claiming for?


Did you take any photos of the property when you left?

 

But yes you could counter-sue for not protecting your deposit, I'm sure the penalty is up to 3x your deposit? I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is not an area that I am at all familiar with – but you can be absolutely certain that if he is threatening you with an action for £14,000 then it is a complete bluff. It is well outside the small claims limit and in the circumstances that you described there is not a snowflake's chance in hell that he would take the risk of suing you and losing.

Having said that – you have to wait for people with more experience in this area to come along and advise you.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

This is the latest damage notification. The initial list when he handed back the partial deposit was for only a couple of problems - some of which don't appear on this spurious list.

 

Ref

Description

Cost

1

Indexation adjustment (1.5% as per August 2014 figure from ONS) 15/09/14 to 14/03/15 [1.4% rent increase as per second schedule of the Memorandum of Agreement dated 14th March 2014 and 3(g) of the subsequent memoranda] – Remains unpaid

£63

2

Flood damage to kitchen units under window. Independently assessed by Invisio on 31st December 2018 on behalf of Simply Business Landlord Insurance. Claim repudiated as issue has arisen as a result of Tenant negligence and not caused by

a burst pipe.

£1,420

3

Kitchen carpet tiles destroyed by flood damage caused by Tennant. Independently assessed by Invisio on 31st December 2018 on behalf of Simply Business Landlord Insurance. Claim repudiated as issue has arisen as a result of Tenant negligence. Also ‘Memorandum of Agreement’ requires Tennant to insure

Landlord Contents.

£133

4

Backs of both base units on kitchen wall opposite window have been damaged and need replacing. Units will need to be removed and refitted to do this work.

£300

5

Dishwasher damaged beyond economical repair as a result of flood damage. Half

cost of replacement required from Tenant

£200

6

Cooker top scratched and caustic substance been applied to aluminium trims resulting in oxidisation. Also, same applies to control knobs, one of which has been damaged to the extent it does not fit. Damaged beyond economical repair. Half cost of replacement required from Tenant

£350

7

Electrical issues causing tripping, earth fault detected in kitchen.

£150

8

Back door requires removal and refitting as end grain has swollen as a result of kitchen flooding by Tennant

£50

9

Staining to beech flooring in living area. Will requiring sanding out and refinishing.

£200

10

Stairs, Hall and Landing carpet ruined by Tennant. Carpets are filthy and there is a bleaching stain by the bathroom door. Independently assessed by Invisio on 31st December 2018 on behalf of Simply Business Landlord Insurance. Claim repudiated as issue has arisen as a result of Tenant negligence. Also ‘Memorandum of Agreement’ requires Tennant to insure Landlord Contents.

£390.81

11

Interior décor not maintained (Clause 3(g) (Landlord paid professional decorators

£1,170 prior to the house going on sale in 2013 to refresh the entire property). Additionally, there is considerable physical damage comprising holes in walls, scuff marks on stairway walls, chipping to woodwork (particularly at the entrance)

£1,500

12

House left in a filthy state with dirty walls, skirtings, banisters. Bathroom disgusting with crud and staining all over floor and particularly behind the toilet.

£200 cleaning charge plus £50 inspection fee provided for in the ‘Memorandum of Agreement’

£250

13

End bath panel – Tavistock Milton panel has sustained water damage through failure to maintain and has rotted where it abuts the floor. Needs replacing,

fitting waived in consideration of fair wear and tear.

£35

14

Side bath panel – Tavistock Milton panel has sustained water damage through failure to maintain and has rotted where it abuts the floor. Needs replacing, fitting waived in consideration of fair wear and tear.

£70

15

New Wickes track for bathroom door required (track spring has been distorted as a result of being forced and mechanism keeps popping out (Special Condition No.

4)

£25

 

16

Oxidising agent been applied to chrome waste in sink and in bath to the extent that underlying copper is visible. These are in need of replacement.

£100

17

Heating header tank overflow running. Installation not maintained as required by

Tennant.

£75

18

Trips to and from property organising contractors to price remedial works. (6No. at 142-mile round trips at 45p per mile)

£383.40

19

Bathroom picture missing.

£100

20

9No. Bohemian bent tip light bulbs missing and 1 No. under kitchen unit tube missing

£50

21

Dirty windows (none have been cleaned externally) and algae on extension roof requires cleaning as a result of header tank overflow which has clearly been

leaking for some time

£50

22

Replacement of bathroom taps during tenancy (Special Condition 4)

£100

23

Window in small bedroom been allowed to stand in water over a prolonged period of time. It has rotted to the extent that it requires replacement.

£100

24

Window handle broken to window in master bedroom. This has had to be re-

drilled and a special screw made

£50

25

3No. sockets with oxidisation damage that require replacement

£30

26

Impact damage to plaster on wall of small bedroom causing it to become loose. An attempt to conceal has been made with a shoddy patching hidden by a bed left by the Tennant. The wall either requires over-boarding and reskimming or the plaster removed and replacing.

£300

26

LNB detached from satellite dish which requires re-fitting

£75

27

Bathroom cabinet so badly stained it will not clean – it has been permanently stained and requires replacement

£50

28

Keys not handed over until 15th December 2018. Unpaid rent for 1 day = £25.80

£25.80

29

Lounge fire – both flame bulbs and 2No. elements not working

£35.18

30

Central heating system not maintained – seized TRV in small bedroom, leaking isolator valve to pump on incoming side in cupboard in small bedroom, leaking TRV and lockshield valves to front radiator in lounge. System drained down, new replacement valves installed and system recharged with a fresh dose of inhibitor.

£120

31

2 months loss of amenity. It was the Landlord’s intent to prepare the property for sale over the Christmas break. This was not possible given the extent and nature of the damage and the property is not expected to be returned to a tenable order until the end of February 2019. 2 months’ rent at the current market rate £1,150

pcm (Source – Zoopla mid-rate)

£2,300

32

Loss of holidays/earnings (net of bonus) for 2 weeks coordinating contractors and facilitating access to carry out repairs necessitated as a result of Tennant default.

£4,291.54

33

Trips to and from property attending on contractors carrying out remedial works.

(14No. at 142-mile round trips at 45p per mile)

£894.6

Total damages sought

£14,267.33

Already recovered

£393

Balance owed by Tennant

£13,874.33

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow this LL seems an absolute chancer. Does he seriously think that all of that is Tenant responsibility? A lot of that is a joke such as 18, 32 and 33 it goes on.

 

So did you take any photos on check in and/or check out yourself? Did the landlord provide you with a check in report or inventory when you first moved in? I doubt it if the deposit isn't even protected.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's all a complete fabrication. No photos taken when we left because there were no issues on handover. As I said he then returned part of our deposit with a couple of 'damage' claims. There has not been a flood. One of those claims is not even on the above list though.

He has not protected our deposit & had no initial or annual gas checks either. Item 1 relates to the first tenancy agreement but he has increased the rent during that period and we have had 2 more agreements since where the rent has been increased. I naturally assumed he had included this adjustment in the rent increases as stated in the tenancy agreement - beggars belief that he actually believes all this.  

The initial inventory was very sparce with no photos and no statement of condition. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If he does decide to take us to court, he and his wife are joint landlords on the tenancy agreement.  Do both their names need to be on the court papers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they try to pursue the matter, then as a claimant they need to evidence their claim. 

The things I would be looking st right now are:

Was there a check in inventory, if so how thorough is this? Does it detail information on certain bulbs and include this picture in the bathroom? Does it go into detail the condition of cabinets?

has evidence of the alleged damage been provided and evidence of the repair costs, what element will need to be deducted for wear and tear.

has the landlord provided evidence of this alleged insurance inspection? 

I would question why the landlord only noted a few minor issues and part returned your deposit. Is it possible that the property sustained some flood damage after you handed it over?

Some of the items claimed appear to be for you not maintaining the central heating/ heating tank. Surely these are landlord obligations and this is evidence of his own negligence?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be very surprised if he could get away with charging you for maintainence of the fabric of the building and central heating etc.

Satellite dish LNB, is the dish anywhere you could have damaged it?

Sounds like a chancer who deserves to be found out!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for feedback. We never had Sky or any service that required use of the satellite dish so would not have known if there was a problem with the dish. 

He is still threatening to take us to court and if he does we will counter claim for him not protecting our deposit. 

 

This is the Inventory detail from the Tenancy Agreement:

Inventory of Furniture Effects and Fittings

Loft Room Spot lights, steel desk, printer table, steel bookcase, and glass fronted bookcase.

Bedroom 1 Antique style curtain pole and curtains, secondary double glazing, curtains to fitted wardrobe hanging space, 3 light, bronzed chandelier.

Bedroom 2 Fitted cupboards with wood stained louvre doors

Landing Original fitted cupboards, brass curtain pole and tie back with curtain, 3 bulb spot light fitting.

Hallway Meter cupboard, antique style glass ball light fitting.

Sitting/Dining Room Reclaimed maple solid wood floor, antique style curtain poles (x2) and curtains, 2 seater sofa, electric log effect fire, bench seat with storage to bay window. Antique medieval style chandeliers (x2) with matching double wall lights (x2), mirror, clock, mobile door bell audio/visual alert

Kitchen Fitted units, integrated dishwasher, central heating boiler and controller, electric halogen cooker, extractor hood, hand drier, digital clock, digital scales and digital/analogue TV with remote.

Back Yard Locked shed, sun flood light, canopy and weatherproof electrics, TV, DAB aerials, sky satellite dish and 60cm Hotbird 130E satellite dish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He's having a laugh.

Half of the stuff on that list is his responsibility. 

The rest cannot be proved or needs to be quoted.

For example: he claims that there was z flood caused by you and he tried to claim through his insurance which denied payment because the damage was caused by your negligence. 

All of this will be in writing from the insurance,  including all the damage inspected.

So, if insurance documents say that the water damage was caused by your negligence, the judge will most likely agree.

With things like bathroom picture £100, he's got no chance.

No evidence of what this picture was and how much it costs, unless he kept the receipt and has a photo of the bathroom.

Got to say, judges are not impressed by shabby landlords not protecting the deposit, not doing a proper inventory, failing to have gas appliances inspected, letting central heating system deteriorate to the point of seizure, leaving rent increase open to interpretation and claiming crazy amounts to scare tenants.

Holes in the walls, concealed plaster damage, do you know anything about it?

Scruff marks don't count as after so many years it is expected to have some wear and tear.

As a landlord i redecorate my property every 6 years and this is in the contract.

LL cannot expect a perfect property after people lived in it for many years.

So  let us know what happened with the alleged flood.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you King12345.  There was never a flood and we did not damage the walls as he states. If there was that much damage surely he would have noticed in the time between us handing him the keys in the house and when he sent the initial 'damage' report and returned £307 of our £700 deposit - which was a few weeks. He is clearly very angered at us stating that we will take him to court for not protecting the deposit etc. 

 

We have a message from him stating that he was planning to spend £5000 on renovations when we left. We walked around with him during the key handover and he only mentioned a few small issues.  So small that I did not feel it necessary to take any photos of any alleged damage. 

 

If he does take us to court do both his and his wife's names have to appear on the court documents as they are joint LL's on the tenancy agreement? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Yes, both name would appear, unless one of them gives authority to act.

So, if there was no flood, why did simply business insurance inspect the damage on 31 December 2018?

What happened that made the LL open a claim?

Edited by king12345
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not believe he had an insurance inspection or they would have confirmed there was no flood. He is acting like this because we said we were taking him to court for not protecting the deposit. Also no initial or annual gas checks or prescribed information given.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What date did you hand back the keys?  If it was before the date of the supposed insurance inspection then he can't say it was you even if there was a flood.  He's a bully - and an idiot who doesn't realise he'd need proper evidence for court.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Handed the keys back on 15 December. Strange he didn't notice a flood when he walked round then! I think you are correct about him realising he needs evidence. Probably thinks all he has to do is say something, put down any cost and the judge will just agree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did he ever do any inspection?  He sound like a landlord that expected an easy pay day and is shocked that he has to spend any money on his house.  Regular inspections should cover any issues that arise; you can't just turn up at the end of a lengthy tenancy, list everything that's wrong with the property and expect the tenant to pay for improvements.  In most of these cases they are the landlords responsibility, and in all of them you'd be improving his property for him.  Also, why did he give anything back at all if there were any further issues!  Absolute chancer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No regular inspections. He only came last July to take measurements so he could make changes when he sold the house. Nothing all mentioned about anything wrong in the house. This was backed up I think by him giving us some of the deposit back. The initial 'damages' list is shown below. We totally disputed these items and wrote him a letter in a Letter Before Action as he had not protected the deposit which meant we could not get free arbitration under the scheme.

  

Strangely enough he said he planned to spend £5000 on the renovations which was the exact amount he mentioned in the second, subsequent, 'damages' update.  

 

1

Deposit 14th March 2014

£700

2

CPI adjustment 15/09/14 to 14/03/15 [2.4% rent increase as per second schedule of lease dated 14th March 2014]

(£100.80)  

   3

Tiles in kitchen by window (Special Condition 4)

(£50)  

4

End bath panel – Tavistock Milton

(£35)  

5

Side bath panel – Tavistock Milton

(£70) 

6

New track for bathroom door (track spring has been distorted and mechanism keeps popping out (Special Condition No. 4) – Wickes

(£25)  

7

Oven clean and remove grease from Kitchen Carpet (Special Condition No. 12)

(£50)  

8

Charges for transferring services (Special Condition No. 5)

Tennant to notify suppliers and details of any agreements for gas and electricity 

9

Repair to dishwasher

Quotation for fixing to be obtained  

 

Total to be returned

£369.2 less 7 and 9 above TBA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you had left the property two weeks before the insurance claim.

He's taking the mick!

Ignore his rubbish and start your own claim for the non protection of the deposit. 

The last schedule you posted is more reasonable, but as he didn't protect the deposit he's stuffed.

Go for the jugular. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

He maintains that he tried to claim off of his insurance and apparently had the 'damages' assessed by a company employed by the insurance company.  However, he has never had a gas certificate which, presumably, is a normal requirement for a valid LL insurance. If that does make the insurance invalid  - bet he didn't mention that to the insurance company!

Edited by HarryHillse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having re-read the last 'damages' claim from the LL I am a little confused.

 

He states 'Flood damage to kitchen units under window. Independently assessed by Invisio on 31st December 2018 on behalf of Simply Business Landlord Insurance. Claim repudiated as issue has arisen as a result of Tenant negligence and not caused by

a burst pipe.' but then goes on to ask for £1,420.'

 

Would the assessors give him a figure for damages after repudiating an issue? 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How's a flood caused by one's negligence?

Did you attach a hose to the kitchen tap and washed horses?

I don't understand this flood business that it's apparently your fault.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know. Can't understand it either..... LL clearly thinks that all he has to do is put down some 'damages', make up some costs and the judge will just say "ok". Don't think it works like that though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not at all, but if there are pictures of water damage the judge might consider that.

Was there any water damage in the kitchen and if so, how did it happen?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having re-read the last 'damages' claim from the LL I am a little confused.

 

He states 'Flood damage to kitchen units under window. Independently assessed by Invisio on 31st December 2018 on behalf of Simply Business Landlord Insurance. Claim repudiated as issue has arisen as a result of Tenant negligence and not caused by

a burst pipe.' but then goes on to ask for £1,420.'

 

Would the assessors give him a figure for damages after repudiating an issue? 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...