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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71040
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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For the first time ever, I have a tenant vacate a property

Customer Question

For the first time ever, I have a tenant vacate a property after 5 years and at the pre-inventory check out a week prior, I itemised all the things to be replaced, repaired, cleaned either by the tenant or I would arrange at their expense. The tenant seems to be in denial regarding his redecorating, carpet removal, missing items and the prior condition until I reminded him of the tenancy agreement, photos etc that he had signed. At this point I also realised they had broken the tenancy agreement no less than 16 times. I am now in the process of trying to claim for the excessive wear and tear, smells and cleanliness (particularly caused by them getting an unauthorised puppy). They seem to think that they left the property in a better condition than when they took it on - so we will probably be going to arbitration.
Question - is the arbitration more in the favour of the tenant than landlord? i.e.. do many landlords actually win?
How much will typical arbitration cost me?
There is another issue here in that the tenant has paid an extra months rent - which he has not asked me to return. This does not make up the full amount I am looking for but I could settle for that just to close the issue off.
Question - am I able to take this money as part or all of the money owed to me and then just let him have the deposit back or chase him for the small balance ?
Do we have to swap any/all monies on the same day?

Any advise would be much appreciated. Kind regards,
Lorraine Riley
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

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

Whats the value of the damage roughly please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

For Jo C.


Total is £898 - including ( £75 damaged items, £134 missing items, £414 cleaning 3 bed house (as everything very sooty), carpets, rugs, venetian blinds and curtains laundered, £275 for replacing lawn (now bare, scattered with small stone chippings - used as dog toilet)


Damaged and missing items have used the cheapest replacement from argos/tesco etc.


Had a negotiation with tenant this morning and the only area I could concede on, is the garden, bringing that down to £623 for the remainder. This was a one off offer and he wasn't happy with that so if I have to go down the legal route, I'll claim for the full amount.


Rental is £760 per month.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Thanks. How much is the deposit please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

For Jo C.


Deposit is £1025 (one months rent which was £725 then plus £300 extra to ensure carpets professionally cleaned and any potential damage caused by the agreed dog as per the extra clause in the contract).

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
I see. There is an excess.

On your first question, I'm afraid that arbitrators are generally in favour of the tenant not the landlord. Generally speaking their starting point is that the money is the tenant's not the landlords. Arbitration is free though if you are using a tenancy deposit scheme.

I'm not sure what you mean by question 2? If you can give me more information on that then I can probably offer more.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

For Jo C.


The final rent of £760 was paid end August. They have made an overpayment of one months rent end of Sept. maybe they didn't cancel the mandate - I have no idea why.


This means that I have £760 of their money. Should I take this as part or full payment of outstanding monies and return the whole deposit. This would give closure and save arbitration. I am sure most people would, but I am not sure if I can legally do this.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
It isnt really strictly the way you should do things but many debts are resolved in that way.

It would then be for them to sue at the small claims court and bear the burden of proof.