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Thomas
Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7473
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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I have a small terraced house which I rented out t a friend,

Customer Question

Good Afternoon, I have a small terraced house which I rented out t a friend, when she moved out I went to the property to check that everything was in order, when I entered the property I noticed straight away that her dog had chewed the carpet on the stairs, I also noticed that it had chewed an area of the wooden floor in the kitchen.
I took a 500.0 deposit prior to her moving in to cover any damages. Obviosuly I am not happy that the carpet and kitchen floor have been damaged by the dog chewing. I have said to her that I am in the process of acquiring quotes for the carpet to be replaced and the kitchen floor to be replaced.
She has come back to me and said that she is not willing to pay for a stair carpet it should be repaired the same with the kitchen. The carpet company I bought the carpet of no longer exists so there is no way I can have a match and I am not willing to have a different colour and type of carpet on my stairs.
I have said to her that I am not withholding the deposit out of spite I am firstly going to find out how much it is going to cost me to correct the damage she has left and whatever is left from the 500.00 and will happily repay. She is not happy with this she wants only to pay 100.00, basically to patch the stairs and patch the kitchen.
Am I approaching this incorrectly.
Thank you.
Katy
She has obviously gone on the internet and has forwarded me a letter re the my legal duties re the deposit and her rights. Which has upset me as I rented my property to her and partner as a friend doing a friend a favour.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 1 month ago.

Hi,

Did you let the property under an assured shorthold tenancy?

Tom

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
No we didn't. It was purely done from one friend to another
Expert:  Thomas replied 1 month ago.

Hi,

Yes, but did you agree a fixed term that you would rent the property to her?

If so, what was the fixed term?

Tom

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 month ago.

Hi,

Are you able to respond to the above post in order that I may provide you with an answer please?

Kind regards,

Tom

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi Thomas, we agreed we would review the tennacy every 6 months
Expert:  Thomas replied 1 month ago.

Thank. I will be able to answer by 930..

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 month ago.

Hi

Thanks for your question. I will try to help.

The difficulty is that of you agreed a fixed term (for example that she could stay for 6 months) then her tenancy will be regarded as an assured short hold tenancy even though you did not have anything in writing.

This gives her certain rights, which I suspect you might not be aware of. If you took a deposit the deposit must have been lodged into a tenancy deposit scheme in order to protect the deposit. This is applied very strictly and all tenant’s deposits must be lodged in this scheme.

If she has now left the property and her occupation has finished then unfortunately you will have to return the whole of the deposit to her without deductions. This is because you have not lodged the tenancy in a government backed tenancy deposit scheme. In such circumstances she could apply to court for the return of the whole deposit and potentially a fine payable by you to her of three times the deposit amount. This is as a result of landlord historically abusing tenant’s deposits and there is really no flexibility in these circumstances.

If I were in your position I would return the whole of the deposit to her and just leave it there, because if the dispute becomes acrimonious then she may seek advice and be told that she can apply to court for the return of the whole of the deposit and potentially also a fine of three times the deposit amount payable by you and obviously this will leave you in a much worse financial position. You would also have to put up with the hassle of court proceedings which is obviously something that you would wish to avoid.

In future I would read up on tenancy deposits on the following link, to avoid the same honest mistake happening in the future.

I am sorry.

My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back. Please remember to leave positive feedback using the stars at the top of the page.

Kind regards,

Tom

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 month ago.

Hi

Is there any further information you require?

I just want to ensure that you are satisfied, so please let me know if you have any further queries on the information I have provided. If you have no further questions then please do leave positive feedback using the stars at the top of the page.

Kind regards,

Tom

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