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Estate agent not returning deposit

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2811 views 1 replies latest reply: 27 October 2015

We just moved out of a house in England and moved back to Ireland after two years there. Now it’s been nearly 3 weeks since our tenancy ended and the estate agent has a check out report which is done by a separate company. This company has listed the most petty tiny little things, and the estate agents has come up with costs themselves, here is the list they are proposing to keep over half of our deposit: 

Checkout fee £115.20

Red pen marks and scratches to heating units and controls £20.00-compensation

Further cleaning required £120.00-compensation

Dents to fridge door £15.00-compensation

Stains and marking to top of stair left hand side £15.00-compensation

Bannister has pen marks £10.00-compensation

Several marks to all walls in bedroom two £40.00-compensation

Several blue pen marks all over bathroom door £10.00-compensation

Pen marks all over back of bedroom one door  £15.00-compensation

Stains all along top of wall by window and Several marks to all walls in bedroom one £25.00-compensation

Several marks to wardrobe door in bedroom one £10.00-compensation

Please know also that new tenants took the place two days after we left. There were cream carpets all upstairs which I professionally cleaned, we have two young kids, the stains they state was mold which I tried to remove plenty of times while we were there. There is no explanation of the further cleaning required. We spent at 1000 travelling back and forth from Ireland to clear out the house and clean it. We feel this is all wear and tear and just a way to steal our deposit. 

Also when we first rented the house it from a different estate agent who don’t charge a check out fee. This new estate agent are trying to charge 115 check out fees!! Mind blowing. 

The estate will not give us the landlords details so we can appeal to her directly.

We tried to use the deposit protection scheme but they said an email address was used to open it which we don’t have, the estate agent doesn’t know it as it was set up by the previous estate agents. 

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The address for your landlord should be on the tenancy agreement – check that first. The agent also has a legal obligation to provide you with the address of the landlord within 21 days (Section 1 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985). I’m not a lawyer but I assume this still applies even though the contract is at an end.

I’m a bit confused as to who ‘they’ is when you talk about the deposit protection scheme. Is that the agents? Were you provided with details of the tenancy deposit scheme holding the deposit within 30 days of moving in? This is a legal requirement if your tenancy started after  6 April 2007. If it hasn’t been done then you are entitled to demand the return of the entire deposit without deductions and to claim compensation of 1-3 times the deposit amount. You can also search for your tenancy deposit protection scheme yourself – there are only three schemes. Just go to the website of each one and search for your tenancy. If it’s not protected then you can take action against the landlord on the same basis as above and they can’t keep any of your deposit it all.

With all of this, it doesn’t matter whether the agents were the agents when you moved in as the landlord is still the same landlord – the agents are exposing the landlord to all sorts of issues by being obstructive like this so it’s really a good idea to get in touch directly with the landlord. You have only 3 months to raise a dispute with the tenancy deposit scheme (check this once you find your scheme as it might differ scheme to scheme) so it may be that the agents are trying to delay until that period passes. Find out which scheme has your deposit and raise that dispute asap as you’ll then be able to force the agents to justify their suggested deductions.


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