Thats great thank you.
The first step is to check to see if the landlord protected your deposit in a deposit protection scheme. If he didn't then the above dispute is somewhat academic in that the Landlord will be required to pay to you an amount equaling three times the deposit in compensation for failing to comply with hi statutory obligation. There is now no defence to failing to protect the deposit. Either he has or he hasn't and there is now no leeway for a court in deciding how much to award you. They must award you three times the amount in compensation if he has failed to protect it. There are only three protection schemes. He can choose to use any one of them but as above must choose one. You can search online to see if he has protected your deposit:
If he has protected your deposit if you cannot reach agreement then you can choose to use the relevant deposit protection shceme dispute resolution service free of charge to settle the dispute. The starting point for how such diputes are resolved is that it is for the landlord to evidence any damage he claims you have made not for you to provie that you have not damaged something. Unless you admit to damaging something he must therefore produce an agreed inventory prepared at "checkin" which sets out the condition of the appliances in question. He must then produce evidence of the damage. If he fails on either of these fronts, his claim will be unsuccessful unless you accept it.
If he can prduce the above evidence a decision has to be made on the amount he is entitled to. This is either done on what is called the spot repair basis - whereby an appropriate sum is awarded to cover the reasonable cost of repair or diminuation of value to the appliance. If the landlord can show that this is not appropriate becuase the appliance cannot be repaired and must be replaced, then money is awarded on what is called the apportionment basis.
This works as follows. Let us assume that the oven is 7 years old (landlord must evidence age) and costs £500 to replace. According to the association of inventory clerks schedule a typical oven has a life expectancy of 10 years unless the landlord can show that it was a particularly expensive oven and therefore could be expected to last longer. If you accept are are deemed to have damaged it beyond repair, then you would be responsible for £500/10years x 3 years beng the remaining amount of useful life lieft in the oven - £150. In addition landlord would need to show that £500 is a reasonable replacement cost for the oven. You can for example show that it can be obtained more cheaply to further reduce costs.
Statistics show that landlords typically are winning only around 10% of claims brought to TDS scheme dispute services because they cannot show satisfactory evidence of damages they claim or overreach in the amounts they believe they are entitled to. They cannot claim for wear and tear, only damage and cannot expect betterment (i.e. a new appliance for an old one).
Accordingly you can use the above information to 1) decide whether you are willing to accept responsibility for damages claimed and 2) if you do how much you are willing to offer. If you cannot reach an agreement you can refer the matter to the relevant deposit scheme provider resolution process for free. Any balance of your deposit not under dispute should be released to you immediately.
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