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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3493
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I have a property that I rented through a Lettings Agency,

Customer Question

I have a property that I rented through a Lettings Agency, however, they have let my last tenant go and refunded the tenant's deposit telling me that there were no 'issues' with the condition of the property, which is totally the opposite, the flat is filthy, carpets ruined needs redecorating etc before I am able to let it again. The Agency have not responded to my calls, and I wrote a letter that I hand delivered to them on 19th August, explaining the position with the property, asking for them to return the keys to me and provide copies of inspection reports that have supposidly been carried out and copies of the inventory siged by the tenant upon moving into the flat and upon moving out. I've heard nothing back from them. Please can you advise where I go from here? Many thanks. Rebecca.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.

ajlaj01 : Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. Were the agency suppose to do an inventory and schedule of condition?
ajlaj01 : Were the agents supposed to arrange a formal checkout and was your tenant required to clean the property?
ajlaj01 : How much will it cost you to rectify the issues with the flat and put it into a condition suitable for letting?
ajlaj01 : Kind regards AJ
JACUSTOMER-7fmsesbo- :

Hi, yes the agency were fully managing the flat and were responsible for quarterly inspections and for ensuring the property was in decent condition before returning the tenant's deposit. They should have carried out a final checkout with the tea

JACUSTOMER-7fmsesbo- :

with the tenants and gone through the items on the inventory and cross referenced the condition of furnishings, carpets, curtains, cleanliness of kitchen/bathrooms etc The tenant was responsible to make good any damage (i.e marks on walls etc, clean the carpet,). So far I have paid £650 for the flat to be decorated, I have to renew the carpet at £1200, and also am having to pay £11 per hour for a cleaning company to come into clean kitchen, oven, appliances, bathrooms, windows ad so on

ajlaj01 : Hi. Thank you. Was the redecoration only required because of the damage caused by the tenants? I am going to write a response now please do not be concerned if you don't hear from me right away I will get back to you.
JACUSTOMER-7fmsesbo- :

Hi, no not entirely as it was due to be re-decorated at some point as it's been let for a few years without fresh decorating. However, the tenant attempted to patch up the walls with mis-matched paint which resulted i

JACUSTOMER-7fmsesbo- :

in patchy walls, also the woodwork in the living room was yellow and I think that the tenants smoked in there. Kitchen walls in a bad way and same as the ceiling in the bedroom, this was caused by the tenants. The tenants cleaned the carpets with a hired machine called rug doctor and I have been advised by a carpet cleaner that the carpets were left sodden and the procedure stretched the carpets and never went back again. The ensuite bathroom had a leak a while ago, and the leak caused the carpet in the bedroom to go black and mouldy behind the door, I was unaware of this, and pass the responsibility onto the Agent for not getting it cleaned at the time, or notifying me of the damage. Hence, I have decided to re-new the carpets.

ajlaj01 :

Hi, Thank you. You cant claim for full redecoration you can only claim to put the flat back to the condition it was in before the tenants arrived.

ajlaj01 :

You have the following options: 1) Ask the tenant to pay. This will be really difficult as the agent has already released the tenant.

ajlaj01 :

option 2) The agent is potentially guilty of breaching the implied contractual term under the supply of goods and services act 1982 s.13 to supply the service with reasonable care and skill. By not conducting a proper check out they are in breach of this section and therefore liable to pay you for all damages that are a forseeable consequence.

ajlaj01 :

I would write to them and state the following:

ajlaj01 :

(i) Tell them how much loss you have suffered;

ajlaj01 :

(ii) tell them they have been negligent and in breach of S13;

ajlaj01 :

(iii) Tell them why they have been negligent i.e not done a check released the deposit etc;

ajlaj01 :

(iv) demand they pay you for the loss;

ajlaj01 :

(v) Tell them that if they do not cover the damage you reserve the right to complain to Trading Standards and or take county court action.

ajlaj01 :

If they do not respond or offer compensation you will have to consider taking them to the county court.

ajlaj01 :

I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards AJ

JACUSTOMER-7fmsesbo- :

Thank you. I will write to them with final costs & copy of receipts once the work is completed. I'll charge them proportionally for the decorating and carpet costs. How would I go about taking them to county court? Also they still have keys to the flat and have not returned them despite numerous requests, does that put them in breach of contract as well?

ajlaj01 : Hi thank you.
ajlaj01 : https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome. You can start a money claim here or at your local county court.
ajlaj01 : if you are not going to use them again then you should terminate your retainer with them in writing and ask for the keys back also in writing. If they don't return them then they may be in breach of contract as well.
ajlaj01 : (sorry there should not be a question mark there typo)
ajlaj01 : (Never mind it was auto corrected)
ajlaj01 : kind tegarfs
ajlaj01 : (regards)
ajlaj01 : AJ
JACUSTOMER-7fmsesbo- :

Hi yes I have asked for the keys i writing but have heard nothing back, do you feel I have a case to take this further? I have spent a lot of money on the flat just to get it to rentable standards also lost at least 6 weeks rent because I have had to mess around trying to contact them and then then the work being carried out. Can I also put loss of rental income @ £750 per month in my claim?

ajlaj01 :

Hi, Thank you. Yes £750 is a foreseeable loss so you can claim it as well. Before you bring a claim I would recommend you write to them first asking them to make a contribution to you loss. Make sure you schedule your loss as well to the agent. Kind regards AJ

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