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Deposit Dispute with Letting agents/landlord

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254 views 3 replies latest reply: 15 March 2016
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Tenant

I would like an opinion/help/advice on how to take the next step on the issue I am currentyly having with the letting agent with regard to my deposit.

Could you please help me with the below questions? Your help is much appreciated. My deposit is protected by mydeposits.co.uk (government protected scheme) but I think going to Court makes more sense (to get compensated for the agony/stress/time I lost while at work replying to emails and stressing out about the process).

1. Do you know, if according to mydeposits.co.uk or any other government protected scheme, the check-in inevntory needs to be signed by both parties in order to be valid? The letting agent says no, as long as they have it it is fine.

2. Are emails a strong proof to prove that the letting agenst are lying? Asking £300 for scruffs (to be pained again) that pre-existed is ridiculous and obviously the flat has not been painted for the past 10 years. I have emails chasing them for the check-in inventory and no reposnse or we will get back to you…

3. Are iPhone pics valid as they are digitally dated? 

4. Asking for £175 for professional cleaning since there was nono done when I moved in and also it is not part of the AST but mentioned in the check-in inventory (which by the way I never received for 16 months and only sent it to me when I said that I am moving out….)

5. £135 for a broken chest of drawers from Ikea (which is worth £90) which I have asked them to replace and they did not come back to me during the tenancy (hoping thwy will deduct it from the deposit which now I can see their tactics)

Finally, when they sent me the ‘fake’ check in inventory, 2 days before the end of the tenancy, I got suspicious of how dodgy they are and asked to be part of the check-out process. They promised they would call me and they did not. She said that they did and it went on voicemail. Obviously that never happened and I asked them to provide a screenshot of the calls of the ladty that performed the inventory to verify that. They never got back to me.

I know I have a case so that’s why I would like to get them to court and set an example and also get compensated for the stress and the time I lost defending somethign is unresonable and unjustifiable and at the same time them sitting around waiting to see if people will sue them or not. Ridiculous! This market needs to be regulated by someone and not these government protected schemes which are not really helping tenants. This is my view.

They cannot go on doing that (according to them that is a regular thing, I have that in writing on an email, that was what they said to me when I said I am not agreebale to the deductions and that I will go via the ADR route). 

Thanks and apologies for the lengthy emial but I am sure people out there have had similar bad experiences (1st for me in the 13 years I’ve been a tenant).

 

Look forward to hearing form you.

 

Regards,

George

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Administrator

Hi George

I think if you went to court before going through the process of raising a dispute with the deposit protection scheme that held your deposit the courts would see that as incurring unnecessary court costs when it could have been settled for free by the scheme. Raise a dispute now with the scheme and the landlord will have to prove a right to make deductions.

1. There’s no requirement for an inventory to be signed but it helps the landlord a)if the inventory is signed and b) if the tenant was present because if those two things have happened then a tenant can’t dispute the inventory. In your position, because you weren’t allowed to be there, you can simply say that the damage could have been caused after you handed back the keys and that you clearly didn’t agree with the inventory because you didn’t sign it.

2. Scuffs are wear and tear – wear and tear is not damage so they cannot claim for that.

3. Yes they should be.

4. If the tenancy doesn’t require you to professionally clean the property when you leave then where is the obligation coming from? If they can’t point to where the obligation comes from, it doesn’t exist.

5. If you can prove how much the chest of drawers cost then you would have to pay that amount, less an allocation for the age of the item. Landlords cannot profit from a tenant’s deposit by putting themselves in a better position than they were at the start of the tenancy.

The best approach is to use the mydeposits disputes service – that will prevent the landlord from making unwarranted deductions from your deposit. I agree that there isn’t enough in place to deter landlords from having a go at making extra cash like this but you spending money on taking them to court won’t help if you don’t have a decent case. However, there is a time limit on the disputes service (3 months usually) so if this runs on beyond that time then you won’t have access to the disputes service and your only option would be to take them to court.

Alex

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Tenant

Hi Alex,

Many thaks for your prompt reply. Very helpful. I would like to get compensated for my time/energy list/stress I am going throgh and the only way to do that is via the Small Claims court. Is that correct?

If the inventory is not signed where is the validity then? Who tells me it occurred in the first place? the 3rd partyy company that wants repeat business? This and many many other reasons want me to go to court.

Via the dispute services the best outcome is to get my money back if I am lucky, otherwise I will be asked to compromise on something is unresonable and most probably done on purpose. What would you do? would you still go to dipsute resolution if you have had the evidence to prove what they are saying is not true and they are doing that on purpose? We need to set an example, people need to know and be careful of these estate agents as this sector is not regulated by no one and lots of people get victimised as they feel they have no case.

Thanks again for all your advcie.

George

 

 

 

 

Photo
Tenant

Hi Alex,

Many thaks for your prompt reply. Very helpful. I would like to get compensated for my time/energy list/stress I am going throgh and the only way to do that is via the Small Claims court. Is that correct?

If the inventory is not signed where is the validity then? Who tells me it occurred in the first place? the 3rd partyy company that wants repeat business? This and many many other reasons want me to go to court.

Via the dispute services the best outcome is to get my money back if I am lucky, otherwise I will be asked to compromise on something is unresonable and most probably done on purpose. What would you do? would you still go to dipsute resolution if you have had the evidence to prove what they are saying is not true and they are doing that on purpose? We need to set an example, people need to know and be careful of these estate agents as this sector is not regulated by no one and lots of people get victimised as they feel they have no case.

Thanks again for all your advcie.

George

 

 

 

 

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