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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My Landlord has made a claim against my deposit can you help

Resolved Question:

My Landlord has made a claim against my deposit can you help with this? Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, I was in the flat from March 2013 until april 2014. I returned home to Liverpool from london as I had given up work, - I retired - as i was recovering from a tumour on my right knee. The flat looked fine but when I moved in I discovered the fixtures and fittings were very old. i couldn't cook on top of the cooker because the hood didn't work, all the fittings had gone, the shower in the bedroom en suite couldn't be turned on because it was so stiff, the shower over the bath I couldn't use as I couldn't step into the bath1 - also shower screen broke so water goes all over bathroom. I complained about these to the landlord but all he kept saying was they were all fine - he lives in Surrey and doesn't have a managing agent in Liverpool - just an agent he uses to get new tenants.

 

Even though he kept refusing to do any repairs I kept on paying my rent. Because I was in and out of hospital and because the way my pensions were paid to me, I transferred them from one account into my current account to pay my bills. Sometimes if I was in hospital the rent was paid a day or so late but always in March - the rent date was 25th and sometimes it went to 26th or 27th. The landlord knew I had to go into hospital but said it wasn;t his fault so why should he suffer.

 

Then although I had always paid my rent every month, even though he had never carried out any repairs and I had to have all over washes because I couldn't use the showers, when I left the deposit scheme told me had claimed £800 out of my £900 deposit. This was because he had pointed to a clause in his 12 page tenancy agreement where he said if the rent was late he would charge interest 3% over the bank rate for each day - to be honest I really didn't notice it. But if he takes such store by abiding by these items in the tenancy, is it right that he expects tenants to abide by this even though he has ignored all the other items in the tenancy outlining his responsibilites to do repairs and maintenance - should it be it applies to all points or no points.

 

The other point is - even though he was so horrible to me, when I left I had the flat professionally cleaned and the hall carpet cleaned and 2 days after I left he had other tenants and he didn't even have to do any cleaning or painting or any of the other things landlords have to do I kept the fl;at in such good order - then he wants to keep my deposit. Is it legal for him to charge interest when he has been paid each month for the rent. Two estate agents here in Liverpool told me they had never heard anything like it and normally give 5 days to receive any rents. thank you for your help. Paula

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.

He is not allowed to do that because 3% per day is punitive and it is a basic premise of English law that any kind of interest payment on money which is due must represent a genuine level of the landlord's loss. He would not have incurred that loss.

If the dispute with the Tenants Deposit Scheme fails, although I cannot think for one moment why it should) take him to the Small Claims Court.

With regard to the various faults in the property you should have referred that to the Environmental Health Department at the local authority because they have the power to give notice to the landlord to get these faults fixed within a very short period of time and if he does not fix them, to do them themselves and charge him for the benefit.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69783
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


thank you very much would it be possible for me to quote your answer when I am filling out my defence against this payment to the DPS? I didn't know about applying to the council - at the time I wasn't very well and also couldn't get out and about to visit citizens advice etc because of not bein g able to walk very well.


 


I wonder if you would be king enough to answer one other thing, part of the £800 is a charge of £300 which he is claiming for repllacing the carpet from the front door to the living room - ab out 8 feet! - he says even though I had it cleaned it had marks on it - are tenants liable to replace such things for landlords, don't they have insurance for such things? One of the estate agents said he thinks lanldords can't claim new for old - the new tenants say he promised a new piece of carpegt but it is " still being organised " according to him. Also isn't £300 a lot for a new pwice of carpet the equivalent of a runner? Thank you

Customer: replied 2 years ago.


hi sorry for delay, doctor called - did you get my other question? I asked if you would be kind enough to let me know if my landlord can also claim £300 from my deposit as well as the interest payment, he is claiming to repla shouldn't this be coveredce the carpet (fitted runner) from front door to living room entrance - 8 feet.. He claims it has marks so needs replacing. current tenant says after 7 weeks still not fitted he is "still making arrangements". Can he charge tenants to buy new replacemtns for his flat, can he charge new for old? shouldn't this be covered by his insurance - if it was so bad - new tenants seem happy with it as I left it! thank you very much for all your help Paula

Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Hello Jo are you able to answer my supplementary question, thanks. P

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Can I please have a reply to my supplementary question I asked it over 2 hours ago, thanks you.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
You can certainly use my answer to form the basis of your defence.

Allow 10% of the cost of carpet for wear and tear during your period of tenancy. You cannot go into the property with the carpet which is really wrecked and then him expect to have a new one on a carpet which was already throwing out.

If he is charging £300 that it seems that it is an extremely expensive carpet and I would ask him to provide the receipt detailing exactly what he has paid and the extent of the carpet.

If you admit to the marks on the carpet the landlord does not have to put that through his insurance because you are liable for those marks if they will not come out. It is just the cost of the carpet which is in issue if you think that he is overcharging based upon the quality of the carpet which was already in.

He is actually entitled to charge for the carpet even does not actually spend the money on replacing it. However in that case he will not be able to produce a receipt to prove whether it is a legitimate cost or not. That is the case and this ends in court, the judge will asking for proof and in my experience he will end up getting half of that.

Let's hope that the new tenants noted the marks on the carpet so that he does not try to charge them for them when they move out.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Thank you very much for this advice it is really helpful, I am preparing my defence reply to the deposit scheme, it has made me ill worrying about him taking my deposit, I can't afford it and I owe it to my brother who lent me the deposit on my current flat so I could move, and he has now had to cancel a holiday.


 


I can't believe the landlord would do this, especially as in effect I did pay my rent every month, and despite everything I kept the flat in such good condition that the first couple to see it, took it and moved in 2 days after I left. The landlord didn't lose any rent at all, then he did this to me regarding my deposit!


 


I now know that in fact I am liable for the carpet, but do not have to pay the interest, which everyone seemed to think was outrageous, which is excellent. I do agree that seems expensive for a piece of carpet, especially when you consider that in the whole time i was in the flat he didn't spend a penny on any essential repairs. I can't believe he would spend £300 on the equivalent of a runner.


 


Thanks you again for all your help, I feel a lot better now in completing the documents for the deposit scheme.


 


Best Paula

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Thank you so much, you have no idea how better i feel now that you have given me your advice, I have rated you excellent. Best Paula

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.

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