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Extortionate bill 5 months later

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127 views 1 replies latest reply: 16 March 2017
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Tenant

I moved out of my previous rental property on 17th October and have today received a solicitors letter stating that we owe £3400 for repairs to the property! They are asking for painting costs, replacement cooker, new carpets, skip hire the list goes on. When we moved in to the property, the LL advised that he had not cleaned or replainted the property but if we were happy to do this ourselves he would not take a deposit or bond. We were happy with this and spent the money instead on painting and deep cleaning the house. The only thing not cleaned up was the lower part of the garden which was full of old furniture and he said he would get this cleared himself. When we were cleaning we realised that the carpets were beyond repair and LL agreed and arranged for new carpets to be delivered, this took over a year and when they arrived they were placed on our stairs and no one arrived to lay them. My partner offered several times to do this himslef as he used to work as carpet fitter but the answer was always no, LL would arrange for someone to call around. The carpets were never laid. Fast forward another 2 years and I fell pregnant, we could not live in this property with a baby so sought alternative accomodation, spoke to LL who accepted verbal notice and declined my offer of written notice due to no deposit to return. When we left he sent a neighbor around to collect they keys as he as too busy to attend.

I am now 8 months pregnant and face a bill of £3400 that I do not beleive to be correct but don’t know where to start, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.  

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Tenant

Hello Helen, 

You made several mistakes that now may hinder your ability to protect yourselves: 

1. You never made a move-in inventory to record the state of the property when you walked in.

2. You never made an addendum inventory after the initial restoration works. 

3. You never made a check-out inventory before moving out. 

If you had, you would have clear evidence of the state of the property. The landlord can now claim you left it in worse conditions than you really did. 

What you need to do is request a breakdown of the quotes. You want this itemised and detailed, so you can discuss. When you get the list, you want to start negotiating with your landlord about the costs and look into reducing these to a minimum. 

Your landlord may be entitled to some contribution if you left the property dirty or with some cosmetic damage. However, they are not entitled to purchase a new cooker, if the old one was in perfect working order when you left.

You would have had more leg to stand on with some proper inventory being done, so now it’s all about haggling and trying to sort this out of court. Otherwise, there is no telling how things will play out. 

It’s very possible that the landlord is just probing for how much they can shake off of you, as they likely have zero evidence as well. If you have written communication, emails perhaps, this can also give you some advantage.

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