Is my landlord making unfair deductions to my deposit? | The Tenants' Voice
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Is my landlord making unfair deductions to my deposit?

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761 views 1 replies latest reply: 15 February 2016

A little backstory:

I left my previous tenancy in November of last year. The agency didn’t put in a repayment request for my deposit until January; too late for me to use the ADR. The landlord wants to deduct £160.00 from the original amount of £325.00. I immediately clicked “dispute”, of course this was ignored and the request for £160 was resubmitted.

The following “reasons” for the deduction are as follows (quoted directly from an email sent by an agency representative):

2 x Walls required re-painting, appeared you had attempted this and check out was done when paint was wet, on drying the quality was not in keeping with the condition of the walls when the room was let.  This is considered tenant damage/tenant repairable/chargeable.

The mattress and bed base required replacement – this is considered a landlord expense, fair wear and tear.

A hole was found in the wardrobe – this was not noted on the original inventory so considered tenant damage/chargeable.
Room and windows required re-cleaning.

Are these legitimate reasons to charge £160? The agency hasn’t provided any itemised invoices, reciepts or quotes, something I think they’re required to do?

Are they essentially trying to charge me for redecoration? Also, can they assume that I was responsible for the hole in the wardrobe door?  I’m not, but I don’t think I have any evidence to dispute that, unfortunately, however the inventory at check-in made no mention of any damage to any part of the room.

I think the only thing they can charge me for is cleaning costs, but I’m not sure.

Incidentally, I think it’s worth noting that the deposit paid is actually for a different property. When I first moved to Nottingham I rented a property, through the same lettings agent, at 160 Burford road, under one landlord. A month later I moved to 44 Maples street, again with the same agency, but under a different landlord. Can the deposit be transferred between properties? The rent was different for both properties so should I have had part of the deposit returned? Not sure if that makes any difference.

Any help/advice would be hugely appreciated. Thank you.

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Hi Robin

I’m a bit confused by what has happened here – I’m not a lawyer but, no, I very much doubt that your deposit could be transferred between two properties. 

In terms of the other damage – are they charging you for the mattress? Wear and tear is not something tenants ever pay for so you definitely don’t have to cover that cost. In terms of the hole in the wardrobe, it’s difficult to know whether this is something you should pay for. In theory, if it wasn’t noted on the check in then the landlord has a case for saying it was your damage. However, if it’s the kind of hole that would be created by normal use of the wardrobe then it’s more likely to fall under wear and tear, which you wouldn’t pay for. With the painting, it’s difficult to say without seeing evidence but it does sound rather like they’re trying to keep your money for everything they can. They can’t charge you for redecoration so unless you did a terrible job on the painting then they’re clutching at straws.

It’s worth asking for evidence that the painting is not of decent quality and definitely demand to see all the receipts or quotes for any work done. Even though you’ve missed the ADR deadline you can still make a small claim against the landlord in the courts and in that situation the landlord/agent would have to be able to prove that they were entitled to keep your money – that would require all of these things (receipts etc) as evidence so they should be able to provide that proof now.

Another point here is the protection of your deposit – did you receive information within 30 days of paying over the deposit that it was protected and where it was protected? You should have received this every time the tenancy was renewed and if you haven’t then you’re entitled to make a claim against the landlord for the return of the entire deposit and compensation of 1-3 times the amount of the deposit. It’s worth looking into that if you don’t think the deposit was properly protected (especially given the fact that it was paid for a different property) and if you haven’t been given that information (called ‘Prescribed Information’).

Given the above, I think it’s worth you speaking to someone at a law centre or citizens advice. They might be able to help you fight the proposed charges and you may also have a case for claiming deposit compensation or arguing that the deposit doesn’t even apply to this property (I can’t really judge that without knowing all the facts).


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