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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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The landlord agent of the property we have just left is claiming

Resolved Question:

The landlord agent of the property we have just left is claiming nearly £4,000 worth of damage to the flat. We want to dispute this (while willing to pay for some items). We did not sign an inventory at the beginning of the tenancy and have only just received a copy of it when we requested it when we were moving out. We have been in the property 3 years. They are trying to claim over £600 for damage to parquet floor, vinyl floor in kitchen and for replastering in the kitchen where there has been a leak behind the sink (which we told them about and they did nothing. The same for floor damage in the bathroom - another leak we told them about and which we had to get mended ourselves. Some advice on how to proceed and/or respond to the inspection report would help, please.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hi, thanks for your question. My name isXXXXX can assist with this.

tdlawyer :

Were there others in the property with you?

Customer:

myself and my husband

tdlawyer :

Was there a professional managing agent that was familiar with the property when you took it over?

Customer:

Yes a letting agency, but they only found us as tenants then the landlord's agent took over.

tdlawyer :

Okay. I ask because this likely to come down to one word against the other in reality. That said, this is the only property you have let, whereas the agents would have been responsible for many. I wonder just what the landlord saw of the property before you took it on.

tdlawyer :

Your recollection of the state of things is likely, I assume, to be better than the agents for this reason.

tdlawyer :

This is why they usually seek a written condition report so as to stand as good evidence later on in the event of a dispute.

tdlawyer :

For that reason, I would say that in terms of one word against the other, your evidence might be better than theirs.

Customer:

We have never seen/met the landlord. Just dealt with his agent. How do we proceed to dispute the report?

Customer:

Also we cannot trace the company that is supposed to have written the report.

tdlawyer :

what deposit did you have and are they refusing to repay it?

Customer:

We paid £1,387.50 deposit... and they are trying to charge us £3,476.00 for damages. We want to dispute most of this but don't know how to go about it. It is an old property anyway and was not in great condition when we moved in. This is stated in the inventory but as I said in my original question they are trying to charge us for replacing floors, wall mounted heater, fixing windows etc.

tdlawyer :

Okay. Then have they lodged the deposit into a protection scheme?

Customer:

Yes

tdlawyer :

Okay. Then you need to write to that scheme and request the deposit be returned. If there is a dispute about that (and it seems like there may be) then you should go through their disputes process and they will tell you how to do that (the rules differe depending on which scheme it's protected by).

tdlawyer :

Then as for the rest, this is down to whether the landlord chooses to sue you. If he/she does, then you simply need to file a defence, it will a small claim and part of an informal court process if they even choose to pursue it.

Customer:

How do we find out whether things such as old wooden flooring, windows, plastering etc is the responsibility of us as tenants? This is what we want to dispute. We have been told we have to try to settle this with the landlord's agent by the deposit protection scheme.

tdlawyer :

The thing that would determine that is the tenancy agreement. It will say wha tthe tenant is responsible for.

tdlawyer :

Usually, anything beyond normal wear and tear is what you would be responsible for.

Customer:

Okay... I think we are being held responsible for things that would come under wear and tear and that they are trying to make a lot of money from us. (Given that they have had over £32,000 rent over three years is a bit much. Also the report comes from a company we cannot trace so we are very suspicious. Perhaps we need to take this further and seek legal advice. Thank you.

tdlawyer :

This would be a small claim so I wouldn't necessarily suggest you get lawyers involved as it can be uneconomical from a costs perspective.

tdlawyer :

But you could take limited advice and get a letter done for you, which is probably as far as you would need to go.

Customer:

Thank you.

tdlawyer :

Thank you too. Is there anything else I can answer for you?

tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience: 11 years experience of general practice.
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