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Check out problems

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277 views 2 replies latest reply: 05 February 2016

Hi hope someone can help us here. We did a check out with the agent and the property was left in exceptional condition …their words!

We now have the tenant saying that because there are two small white units on the wall from Virgin Media that the landlord wants removed and the whole wall repapering in two rooms. We had permission to have this installed. There is no damage whatsoever to the property. 

There is also a mark on a unit which has been photographed by the landlord after we had checked out which is basically emulsion paint which was painted on top of satin paint by the landlord which has been rubbed and come off.  

We have also been told that the landlord’s father entered the property whilst it was still ours and the heating had been switched on.  We installed a wireless doorbell as the existing doorbell didn’t work. We have now been asked to repair this doorbell that we installed.

This all seems vindictive and petty and just looking for a way to get some of our deposit.  The agent agrees with us but apparently the landlord has to give permission for our deposit to be returned even though the check out was done by the agent. 

Many thanks

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I assume at para 2 that this should read “We now have the agent saying …”

Do you have:

1. A copy of the check-in and check-out reports? 

2. Evidence of the permission to fit the shelves?

3. Evidence that you bought the doorbell eg receipt or credit card statement?

The landlord won’t be able to claim for anything not in the check-out report or discovered after check-out.

Put in writing (email if fine) that you dispute the deductions and advise that you want to go to ADR (alternative dispute resolution) with the deposit protection scheme.

Which deposit scheme is your deposit protected with?

The landlord must also release any of the deposit not in dispute within 10 days of you requesting it, so also request in writing for it to be returned.



As mentioned above, the easiest way to deal with this is to use the disputes service that comes free with the deposit protection scheme that the deposit was protected with. This will force the landlord to prove that there has been loss for which the deposit can be used to pay.

It’s also worth pointing out that ‘repapering’ is not damage, that is wear and tear and that is not something your landlord can deduct from your deposit (many landlords conveniently fail to grasp that). The only exception is if you’ve damaged the wallpaper, such as throwing a glass of red wine over it or something similar. Same goes for any ‘marks’ on anything – scuffs, small scratches and paint marks are not usually considered damage.

With the doorbell, is this mentioned in the check in inventory as broken? If so then you’re only required to return the property to the state it was in when you moved in – if it had a broken doorbell when you moved in then nothing has changed.

Landlords cannot use a deposit to put themselves in a better position than they were when you arrived (i.e. ‘betterment’) and that’s what this landlord is trying to do. The agent knows that and should be advising the landlord to stop making petty, false claims on your deposit.

Either way, as long as you have your inventories and evidence of the permissions to make changes – as mentioned above – you should be fine when the disputes service takes up the case. For legal advice give the Citizens Advice a call.

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