Are these fair deductions? | The Tenants' Voice
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Are these fair deductions?

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757 views 1 replies latest reply: 11 April 2015

Hi everyone,

My wife and I moved out of our 2 bed, 1 bathroom flat recently that we’d rented for 2 years.  The check out report that we received has a few things on there that we think are a little much given a number of factors.

£10 sofa clean – no problem, I can think it might have needed it as we did have a newborn baby in there.

£5 kitchen plug replaced – expensive, but again it was missing when we left, but is on the inventory for when we moved in, so we’re ok with this.

£60 redecorate walls in living rooms – now, we had a problem with our heating that required all the radiators to be replaced.  The radiators were much smaller than the originals, and as a result the lack of paiting around them stands out.  This isn’t our problem though, right?  If he got a different type of radiator installed, then he should cover the decoration required as a result?

£20 new freezer seal due to mould – this was going to be a whole new fridge freezer, but the kicker is when we moved in we asked him to remove it as we had our own (that was actually clean).  The inventory states there’s a broken seal on the freezer section from when we moved in.  Is this our responsibility?  We’ve asked him to remove it but he’s not done so and he didn’t leave it in  good repair, should we have to pay this?

£6 new seal for pipe under sink – this did get taken by the movers accidentily, so no probs.

£10 contribution to new toilet seat as replaced without permission (not like for like) and doesn’t stay open – Now, I’m 6ft 8in and weigh 20st.  The toilet seat cracked the second i sat on it as it was a cheap, £5 job from tescos.  We bought a nice sturdy wodden seat from Ikea that I knew could support my weight, and it’s been fine for 2 years.  The seat worked when we left, and it’s better than a like for like as it’s not a cheap one.  As for permission, I have an email of me explaining that I broke the seat and that we’d replaced it, and it came back as ok with no problems.  How is this an issue now?  We also replaced the curtains without permission, but they’ve missed that one off…

£15 hob clean – we had someone come over especially to do this for us.  I don’t know though, I mean I didn’t see the place after it was done so it might not have been a good job who knows. I can’t prove it anyway as they just say that it was dirty and needed cleaning so…

£126 total

When we moved in as well the place was filthy, with cat excrement and hair in a lot of corners and all over the curtains.  We asked for a cleaner to be in there before the move but it never happened.  My wife spent 2 days cleaning everything fully with a steam cleaner, and we rented out a professional carpet cleaning machine and a pressure washer to make sure it was sparkling before we moved in.  We didn’t charge for these, but I’m very tempted to issue a drop hands offer as a result of all this.

Any ideas / advice?  I feel like they’re going for more than they should, but i’ve no problem with a few of these.  The biggest issue I have is that they want money for cleaning when they didn’t do as they asked when we moved in, and actually we only have to return the property as we had it rented to us.  I mean, I’m sure I could find some cat hair and cat poo to put around the place if they really want…

Any help would be massively appreciated!

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Hi Matt

You’re only responsible for anything you have damaged or anything that is missing. The deposit you pay is not to cover redecoration and shouldn’t be used to put the landlord in a better position than they were at the start of the tenancy. So, the living room walls are definitely not your problem. The freezer depends on whether it was you not cleaning it properly that led to the mould – if it was old and mouldy beforehand then no, you shouldn’t be responsible for that either.

With the toilet seat, if you’ve got that email then I really don’t think they can charge for that. Finally, re the cleaning do you have evidence of the state the place was in when you arrived? If the tenancy requires you to leave it as you found it and you can prove it was a mess then you’re fine. If it requires a certain standard of cleaning then you could be responsible.

If the landlord insists on these then it might be worth raising a dispute with whichever tenancy deposit scheme has your deposit – they will ask both you and the landlord to provide evidence (like that email you have) as to why the deposit should be retained or not. They’re independent and the landlord has to abide by their decision so it’s much easier than getting into an argument.



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