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Is this exploitation?

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353 views 1 replies latest reply: 29 September 2015
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Tenant

I recently moved out of a previous rented home, before leaving, myself and the landlord agreed on fixing any damages, which were some carpets, because I got paint (a small amount) on them whilst painting the walls before leaving and a bathroom sink which has a crack on the underside of the bowl. The carpet was extremely cheap thin carpet, which after 4 years in the property has seen better days and there isn’t THAT much carpet to replace. The sink was a relic, there is no possible way I would find a colour match replacement, so he is asking me to pay for a new sink and toilet so they both match? So with these faults my landlord is claiming it will cost him my full deposit to rectify, plus overpaid rent that he owes me. I feel that this unfair, but in no way am I not trying to rectify the damages, I simply think he is asking for too much money. I don’t know what to do about this! He is being quite unreasonable and I feel like he has put me in a difficult situation.

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Administrator

Hi Charlotte

What this sounds like to me is a landlord on the make! There is a concept of ‘Betterment’ which means that a landlord cannot end up in a better position at the end of a tenancy than at the start – a new carpet and brand new bathroom suite is certainly putting him in a better position! You should only be paying a proportional amount for each of these but the crack could well be wear and tear if it’s an old sink which means you shouldn’t pay at all and, no, he cannot ask you to pay for a new toilet if it’s not damaged, that’s ridiculous.

Perhaps the best thing to do is simply raise a dispute with the scheme that is protecting your deposit and let them decide (I’m assuming the deposit is protected – if not you can make a pretty big claim against the landlord). Tell the landlord that, as you don’t agree with his assessement, it will probably save time and hassle just to let an independent third party decide. When you do that the landlord will then need to provide proof of their loss before they can access your money. The scheme will also decide whether the crack is damage or wear and tear and they will allocate a proportion of the value for you to pay (if you have to pay at all). It’s a much easier way than fighting it out with the landlord who sounds like they’re just trying to keep your deposit.

Contact the scheme soon as there is normally a time limit.

Alex

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