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Furnishing "not specified"

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234 views 1 replies latest reply: 12 January 2016

Does anyone know what “furnishing not specified” means legally? Thats what is said in the (professional letting agents’) ad. Our tenancy agreement does not state whether the property is furnished or unfurnished. We were given no inventory, despite our asking for one (sadly by phone 3 years ago so there is no record). We took our own inventory but have replaced most of it (several large items) since as they were not fit for use. If we take the lot with us, can they withhold our deposit? As I say neither we or they have any records of what was in the house before we moved in, so it’s a case of our word against theirs. 

What is the legal standpoint here? Does the lack of inventory mean they can’t argue or can I expect a long, drawn out affair over a couple hundred quid’s worth of furniture? 


Hi Jamie

I’m not a lawyer but I would imagine this would be more problematic for the landlord than for you. At the end of the tenancy, when it comes to deductions from the deposit, the legal standpoint is that the landlord has to prove a right to make those deductions and until you agree the landlord has no right to your cash. That’s why inventories are so essential for landlords – they prove when damage occurred and what was in the property at the time the tenant first arrived.

Legally I doubt you’d be able to rely on anything in the letting agent’s ad – a court or lawyers would look at what it says in the tenancy agreement.

Is your deposit properly protected? It should have been protected after you paid it and you should have received Prescribed Information telling you where and how it was protected within 30 days. If it’s not protected then you can make a small claim for the return of the entire deposit in tact, plus 1-3 times the amount in compensation (protecting deposits is a non-negotiable legal requirement for landlords).

If it was protected then, if the landlord does try to make any claims on your furniture, you can raise a dispute with the tenancy deposit scheme holding your deposit. This will mean – in your case – that the landlord then has to prove that the furniture in the property is theirs not yours, which I think they’d find difficult to do! I’d gather as much evidence as possible i.e. receipts, photos, the inventory you took yourselves (did you send it to the landlord at the time?) and wait and see what happens. But it does sound like all the landlord would be able to do in this situation is call your bluff.

I would want legal advice you can speak to someone at Citizens Advice.


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