Republic of Ireland Law
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1. At the outset, the sad fact of life is that there is nothing to prevent anyone making a claim at any stage in relation to something. The law does not prevent people making claims. It merely adjudicates upon them. So here, if your former landlord makes a claim that you scratched her living room floor, she will have to prove this fact through reliable evidence. The fact she made no complaint when you left five months ago will be one factor which a judge will take into account when assessing the merits of the claim and the credibility of your previous landlord. Obviously the fact that no complaint was made when you left will weigh heavily in any decision maker's mind when assessing the claim. However, it will be the issue of credibility of her claim which will be important.
2. Ultimately, whilst I cannot give you any guarantee that the claim will be struck out, the merits appear to be on your side.
When I left 5 months ago, the estate agent sent me a final email saying there was nothing to worry about and that my landlady had spent the day in the house and all was fine + that she had told her I was an excellent tenant. My landlady also sent me a text thanking me for being her tenant.
5 months on and I get accused of all types of breakages and then of scratching her whole living room floor. In the 3rd email she says they fixed all the items such as finding flies in lamps, saying the fridge door is broken and that a lampshade is missing... but they cannot afford a new floor?? I feel sick as I just don't understand how 5 months on, I can be accused of all types of things which obviously is her way to lead to her asking for a new floor. How can someone do that when clearly, had the floor been scratched to the extent of requiring a new floor we would have noticed it and the agent would have when I moved out??
Do inventories not count for anything? She also claims I broke a garden table which is not even on the inventory also a small clock and a lampshade that has yellowed.
3. Yes, inventories are important. They go to show what was included in the rental agreement and what was not. However, if you had taken pictures of the place when you left, this would be best evidence of the state of the rental when you left. Alternatively, you might have some previous photographs which will show the condition of the place. Just because your former landlady cannot afford a new floor does not mean that she will be able to foist the cost upon you. So stand your ground and refute liability. Make clear your position.
4. Be aware that the estate agent will be an important witness. So get a witness statement from them early on. The estate agent's evidence will be key, so ascertain their position early on.