Landlord wishing to avoid using DPS for repayment | The Tenants' Voice
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Landlord wishing to avoid using DPS for repayment

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623 views 1 replies latest reply: 19 April 2016

Hi, we had been living in our property for 3 years and 10 months. The landlord has always been quite involved in the property, despite using a letting agent, and it was him who we had most contact with. During our tenancy he put the rent up several times, and then came round and told us he felt we needed to keep the place more tidy. We felt we were keeping a reasonable level of cleanliness, but to avoid argument, agreed we would get a cleaner as we both work full time. The landlord suggested a cleaner, but the price was high, so we chose to use one we found. He turned up at the house on the day without our consent, and then sent us an email saying he had looked round, and there were still bags under the sink etc….

We moved out last Monday, and the in-laws spent the day cleaning. Our tenancy ended on the Wednesday so on Tuesday, we met him at the property, to see what else needed doing. He walked round, and pointed out two cracked fridge drawers, and stated the basement needed mopping, the carpet downstairs needed a clean, and the carpet in the spare room needed replacing. We stated that we had lived in the property for nearly four years, so we didn’t feel we should pay the full amount. He said that we also needed a cleaner to come and do 7 hours work. We felt this was over the top 

The landlord then proposed that we avoid using the DPS and we pay for things, and he will refund full deposit. We were unsure about this, but he then used coercion by saying that if we didn’t do it this way, he would claim for lots of other things additionally. We had allowed him in to the property at our inconvenience for fours day  prior to the tenancy ending to allow him to paint which he said was to freshen up for the new tenant. He then said if we went through the DPS he would claim over £490 for the painting. 

We were uncomfortable and felt somewhat at threat, so agreed to pay for the carpet. He sent an email that night confirming that all that was needed was £30 for fridge drawers (he claimed to have a found another broken one) and £70 in cash for the cleaner. We felt uncomfortable giving him the money directly, so instead we went round the next day and asked to meet the cleaner and pay her directly. He said she had not arrived, and that she would be coming at 12 and working will 6. We  commented this was not therefore 7 hours work, and he became quite vocal. We said we would go through the DPS. He shouted abuse about the state of the house. He later has sent an email saying the contract states that pets are not allowed at the property without landlord permission (we had a cat that we asked about prior to moving in and he agreed to) and also threatened to try to obtain forms from the guarantor we had at the start of the tenancy (no forms had been completed and therefore there is no guarantor in place in reality). 

we’re feeling really uncomfortable and upset. He has got £260 for a brand new carpet out of us, and now is going to create more and more on a claim. He has told us he will lie. We did no checkout as he was so unpleasant and he didn’t offer us one, and we have requested a copy of the inventory which he had ignored. Any advice?

sorry to waffle on, just feel so fed up. 

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Hi Sally,

Sadly this sounds like a quite clear case of a brash Landlord forcing you to agree to charges you didnt wish to- which is not on.

Whilst it is best to avoid a ‘dispute’, any negotiations should be fair and professional and, if needed, a Landlord or Agent should support any claims with a counter-signed inventory, check out report, photos, invoices (if applicable), etc. You are not unjust in asking a deduction request to be justified. For an organised and professional person, this should not be hard for them to do.

Landlords are also require by law to allow for ‘fair wear and tear’. As such, as you suspect, a Landlord cannot demand full value for a carpet that is several years old- he has to allow at least 10% every year.

I advise that you write to him, stating thatyou feel you werew misled by the Landlord as to the validity of the proposed deductions. As such, you request the immediate and full return of all such monies and that any and all deductions are filed with the DPS as a dispute.

It is your responsibilty to now contact the DPS, raise the dispute and commence proceedings. I would also advise them of how you have been treated by the Landlord to date and any ensure that you back this up with any evidence you may have to support the various claims you have made.

In future, always be open to such discussions however, if you feel a Landlord or Agent really is being unreasonable then simply raise a dispute. Only the amount in dispute is delayed (whilst they review, adjudicate and allocate funds accordingly) all other funds have to be returned immediately.

I hope this is helpful- please let us know how you get on?

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