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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I confirm with you whether you had a professional inventory and condition report carried out at the beginning and end of the tenancy please? If not professionally carried out did you prepare a very detailed report yourself and have the tenant sign this at the beginning to agree the report?
My apologies for the delay in reverting to you. Thank you for the above information. The last point is just regarding the end of the tenancy - was an "end of tenancy" report carried out as well or was it just at the beginning? I note you refer to damage being documented and photographed.
Many thanks for this. Unfortunately the TDS regulations in their present form have the capacity to impact quite hard on otherwise well meaning landlords who have simply made an oversight. There was until a couple of years ago many a defence available to a landlord to such an extent that they rendered the TDS penalties all but toothless but these have now been closed off and a court has no choice but to award statutory compensation regardless of other arguments of merit.
However this does not prevent a landlord from seeking damages for damage caused to a property. Providing you have not already made a counterclaim as part of the tenants claim against you you can seek a claim for damage to the property. Such a claim would probably have been better as a counterclaim as it could have been dealt with at the same time and you could have sought to set off any damages awarded to you against the monies awarded to the tenant but nevertheless providing you have an agreed inventory of condition at the commencement of the tenancy and a detailed exit inventory which from what you say and post you do, you have the basis of a claim with merit.
The simplest way to issue a claim is online using the courts online issuing service:
If the tenant defends the claim you will need to provide the court with a copy of the tenancy agreement and all documentary you intend to rely upon in particular the inventories and any written correspondence.
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Sorry for the short delay in reverting to you. A tenant does not have to allow access for viewings even where there is a term providing that they must in the tenancy agreement. Such a term providing for access has been confirmed as being unenforceable under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations and unfortunately from a landlords perspective, a tenant is within their rights to refuse access for viewings.
Taking in a lodger will almost certainly be prohibited under the terms of the tenancy agreement. Providing there is a term in the tenancy agreement prohibiting taking in a lodger then it amounts to a breach of contract on their part and can be grounds for eviction and / or a claim for loss. The difficulty you may have is showing how you suffered financial loss by virtue of their likely breach of contract - if you can demonstrate that you suffered financial loss as a result of their taking in a lodger, such as damage caused to the property for example then you could make a claim for such loss.
Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?
Is there anything above I can clarify for you on the above or have I been able to answer all your questions satisfactorily?