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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71048
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi, this is GA, a doctor...tenent..after finishing my contract

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Hi, this is GA, a doctor...tenent..after finishing my contract and leaving the flat, the landlord refused to return the deposit and asked me to approve that, otherwise he'll summon me in court for the expenses of damage repairs. I had informed him about problems in the toilet base and shower room 2 months before my contract ended, but he did not attend to address these and only came on my sign out. I will raise a despute on the deposit (DPS), but has he got the right to do so? What legal action shall I take.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What is the nature of the faults?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

loose toilet base with leak of water from it (I had informed him about that by phone 2 months before the end of tenancy but there was no leak at that point...i had not chased him as I was out of the property most of the time as i had started working in another place, my wife was still in the property though)...damage and wear in the shower room ikea wooden cupborad...a 1x1 cm outer crust chip shave of the shower base...damage in the kitchen tap (i told him i had the tap and bought a new pipe but could not fit it in, but he did not want it and said I will change the whole system?!..he repainted the flat, but I had handed it over in a clean condition....the damage in the worktop (5x 6 cm partial surface burn due to hot object, which I admitted I am happy to cover which expenses via my insurance)'s worth noting I stayed in that property for 2 yrs and 4 months and never called him for any maintenance ...never costed him a penny...I used it in a fair way...lived with my wife and a 2 yr old (now) much family or friends visits!

He does have a claim against you. On your specific points
1 It depends on the cause of this. Generally speaking, a tenant would not be responsible for a leaking toilet base unless he can prove you caused it which is not likely.
2 It depends how this came about. It isn't really clear what it is.
3 You are liable for a surface burn in truth.
This will basically come down to whether you caused the damage or whether it was there at the outset or whether it was just reasonable wear and tear. It is only if he can prove that you caused the damage that he can recover from you.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes please I need an answer to my query

I admitted I am liable for the burn and took steps to cover the expenses for that I informed yourself

My question was, "has he got the right to summon me in court?" which he confirmed will do as I disagreed to leve the deposit for him.

And what legal action shall I take to cover myself, especially that I invited him to assess the property and repair the other damages, I told you about, almost 2 months prior to the end of the tenency agreement?

Yes, he has.
The points that you mention are a non issue. There is one single issue and that is mentioned above. Were the faults caused by your unlawful actions or by reasonable wear and tear. That is the only issue in which the court will be interested.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks a lot

What do you mean by unlawful action? The toilet base leak must have been casued by my daily usage, but nothing extraordinary.

Do I need to inform any authority (type of legal action from my side) that I had asked him to come and address the damages 2 months prior to end of tenency bt he was reluctant to preserve my rights?

If this goes to court, what are the possible consequences...would such a summon affect my CRB if the court advised he was right...if court advised he was wrong, what would be my rights?


Generally speaking, a tenant would not be responsible for a leaking toilet base unless he can prove you caused it which is not likely.
If something has been caused by normal use then that is wear and tear.
The fact that you informed him is a non issue save for the fact that I suppose you could argue that it isn't really consistent with wilful damage.
This is a civil action so it would not affect your CRB check. If the court found in your favour then you would not have to pay.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks a lot

Do I need to appoint a solicitor for court....and if the court favoured my side, would he pay the costs of my solicitor?


No, you can self represent.
This will be a small claims court sum so you won't get costs but there won't be any.
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