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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71140
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I rented a property that was given to us (my partner and I)

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I rented a property that was given to us (my partner and I) in a horrendous condition. We took pictures of the mess/damage to the property also contacting the landlord's agents regarding the fact that there were no working fire alarms and the window on the front of the property was removable from the outside.
A year (ish) later we have decided to move to another property. We are being charged £215 (of our £550 deposit) for garden maintenance (which I'm ok with) but we've been quote to pay for the cleaning of the oven which is in a better state than it was handed to us.
Mainly I'd like to know what my rights are since I feel it is unfair that it is acceptable to be handed a property in the state it was in and then be charged for the rectification of said state. Any advice would be deeply appreciated.

Does the contract say that you are liable for cleaning?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm not sure off the top of my head but the agent told me (via email) that the property must be handed back in a similar condition to which we found it (that's practically word for word)

If that is right then the condition it was in at the outset is relevant.

Some contracts do purport to make you liable for the cost of deep cleaning.

If the contract goes no further than saying it has to be in the condition it was in when you took it over then they need to prove the condition it was in then and the deterioration.

They won't get away with making you pay to improve upon the property.

HOwever, I suppose you would have to sue to challenge that. They will deduct it from your deposit anyway. You could complain to the scheme if this is an AST.

Can I clarify anything for you?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok, so if for arguments sake it does state that we are liable for cleaning in the contract, the agents get away with handing the property to us in that state?The deposit is with the Deposit Protection Service, would filing a dispute with them be an avenue worth going down?

If you didn't complain at the outset about the condition of the property then it will be difficult to claim damages now.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We took pictures and forwarded them to the agent before we moved in purely in case this happened. No official complaints were made other than emails sent to the agents highlighting the issues - does that count towards anything?

In principle you could bring a claim but a year after you move in it is not going to succeed in practice.

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