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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71156
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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We have rented a property for 14 months from a Landlord who

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We have rented a property for 14 months from a Landlord who has moved to Canada. The Landlord's father is acting for his son and we were told a couple of months ago that his son wished to sell the property. We immediately gave the Landlord a full calendar month's notice which was accepted. We moved out on 25 May 2014. Final inspection was carried out with the Landlord's father on Bank Holiday Monday 26 May. He insisted on this date as he had prospective buyers to show round the property later that day. The Landlord's father said he was happy with the final inspection but would not sign a letter we had drawn up to release our £2000 deposit saying he wished the Letting agents to attend a further final inspection. We reminded him he had dismissed the lettering agents last year but we had a copy of the original inventory. He is insisting on a second inspection tomorrow along with the original Letting agents as he is now saying to them he has found a problem. I was told by the original letting agents to take somebody with me to the inspection tomorrow. Is this all legal?

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

On what basis is he asking for a second inspection please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The Landlord's father says he must have the second inspection with the original letting agents Loveitts present as they had drawn up the original inventory and had the original photographs of when the property was let. We told him that we had a copy of the original inventory with us and the original letting details showing photographs of the property. He still said he would not sign until Loveitts had been present at the inspection. I asked him why he had arranged it for a Bank Holiday knowing that the agents would not be working that day. He said he would phone them the next day and try to arrange an appointment but we should be patient as they would probably be very busy.

Is there any reason you think this may not be legal?
Are you asking if you can refuse?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I just wonder if 11 days after leaving the property, after carrying out what we thought was the final inspection of the property on Bank Holiday Monday with the landlord's father agreeing at that inspection that the property during our tenancy had been well looked after and very well maintained, he should refuse to release our deposit, stating he needed the original letting agents to be present at a further inspection, which he has arranged for tomorrow.

Is it legal for him to insist on a further inspection with the original letting agents whom he dismissed last September? Should we be attending this second inspection tomorrow, especially after being told to take somebody else with me, when we know we left that property immaculately clean and well maintained?

Well, its not against the law for him to do that per se.

Its just that any findings at the second inspection would be undermined by the 1st.

In relation to your deposit, the rules are that he has 10 days to tell you whether he intends to make reductions and 28 days to release it but the truth is that landlords regularly breach those time limits and there are no real consequences for doing so unless the delay is huge.

In relation to the second inspection and the attendance of letting agents, he invite who he likes along to attend. What he cannot do lawfully is hold up the return of your deposit for this excuse.

It is generally better to attend at inspections if you have time to do so but if the property has been vacant for 11 days then its not likely to have changed all that much since you left it.

If he doesn't pay out within 28 days then just complain to the scheme about the retention.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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