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Hole in the wall

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406 views 1 replies latest reply: 24 June 2015


We have just moved into our new flat where there is quite a big hole in the wall of the bedroom. We asked for it to be repaired but the agency claimed it wouldnt be possible unless they changed the whole wall (boyfriend, who knows about masonry, says it’s not true at all but anyway). I hear now that they are deducting from the previous tenants’ deposit for the hole and I am wondering if, because they are deducting from the deposit, it means they are legally bound to fix the hole?

In France it works like that, you cannot deduct from deposit unless you provide bills to prove the cost of the fixing, the money cannot just be deducted and nothing happens. 


Hello again

It’s the same situation here – the landlord/agent must provide proof that they are entitled to keep a percentage of a tenant’s deposit. However, in the UK most tenants don’t understand that the deposit remains their property until the landlord proves the right to a proportion of it. Deposits here are held by tenancy deposit protection schemes and they provide a disputes resolution service for tenants to make sure a deposit isn’t unfairly withheld but, again, most tenants either don’t know about them or don’t use them.

Is the hole in the wall mentioned on the inventory? It’s important, if it’s not, that you get this in writing now so that they don’t try to charge you for it. There’s no legal obligation on the landlord to fix the hole unless it’s dangerous in some way or unless you requested it be fixed as part of the deal for signing the tenancy agreement. However, you might want to write to them and say you understand the previous tenants were charged to put the damage right and request when that putting right is going to happen. You could mention your boyfriend’s expertise and offer to provide them with quotes from someone who could do it for the price that they deducted from the previous tenant.

It’s very difficult to get agents to get off their butts and do repairs because, unless it’s serious disrepair, there’s nothing other than the will of the tenant to force them. But it helps to be quite definite that this needs to be done and they are going to do it. Another option is to go directly to the landlord and tell them you understood from the agent that the hole would be fixed and ask when that’s going to be done. The address should be on your tenancy.


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