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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71042
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Ended a tenancy and handed keys back to the independent person

Customer Question

Ended a tenancy and handed keys back to the independent person who had just carried out the inventory.
two days later the estate agent holding my deposit insist I have to pay for a new kitchen floor because the fridge and other appliances were turned off and water damage has occurred.
I disagree that it is my responsibility
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

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

In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

What type of contract is it?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972 it was privately rented on a six month basis via an estate agent. the inventory was taken by another company who did the inventory when I moved in and out, he noted that the oven was not cleaned when we moved in and that the fridge and freezer had not been defrosted or cleaned. he said on the moving out inventory that the cooker was still not entirely clean but he would recommend that if there were any charges I should only be liable for 30% towards oven cleaning, he noted that the fridge and freezer were indeed cleaned and defrosted prior to hand back.

the estate agents are trying to take 180 for cleaning the oven and surrounding cupboard, and a further 150 for floor damage which they say occurred two days after I handed the keys back due to me turning off appliances, they argue that all appliances should be left switched on which I disagree with.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for the information.

I'm afraid that it is your responsibility to leave the property in a condition not likely to cause damage. Even moving away from the fact of a rental contract and its obligations you have a general duty to take reasonable care of other people's property.

However, I'm not sure i see how turning off the appliances would lead to that amount of damage. Clearly it would lead the fridge and freezer to defrost but that doesn't normally cause the floor to be damaged.

If they can prove that you did cause this damage then you are liable I'm afraid although it seems unlikely.

In terms of the oven, you are under a duty to return the property in the condition that it was in upon the date you moved in. The landlord cannot improve his property at your expense. If the oven wasn't clean then he cannot clean it at your expenses

Also it seems to me that if the appliances were turned off then they must have been defrosted. He cannot have that both ways.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

many thanks, I will argue to reduce the amount they are claiming

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
No problem.

All the best.

Please remember to rate my answer.