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Existing damage to wallpaper made a little worse but being forced to pay for total redecoration of entire room

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339 views 1 replies latest reply: 29 September 2015

When we moved in the plaster was loose causing the wallpaper to part from the wall in places , there was already a chunk of wallpaper missing and unfortunately our 3 year old ripped a little more off , the damage was reported to the landlord , they got quotes to redecoration and for a room that is 2 metres by 1 metre square they want to keep £900 of our deposit for wallpaper , re plastering,  re paint and labour costs , can they do this? 


Hi Hannah

They can’t keep any of your deposit without your consent- that money remains your until you agree to a deduction. If the damage was already there when you moved in then you cannot be responsible for the entire cost. Do you have an inventory from when you moved in?

The best move is probably to make an offer that you think is fair, assuming the landlord will probably reject it, and then raise a dispute with the deposit protection scheme protecting your deposit. The landlord will then need to prove to the scheme a right to £900 of what is essentially compensation for damage – so they will need to prove that you caused ALL the damage and that there was none when you moved in. The scheme then decides how much it is fair for the landlord to keep. It’s a much easier and fairer way than dealing with landlords who seem to see keeping part of the deposit as a normal part of rental income (it’s not). Landlords also seem to think they can claim for wear and tear and redecoration but your deposit is not for any of these things and it’s pretty cheeky (but unfortunately pretty commonplace) for a landlord to do it.

Contact the scheme soon as there are time limits.


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