I hope someone here can offer me some advice as I’m feeling a bit stuck and don’t know what to do.
I am currently about to leave my first rented property (rented privately) and, despite a great relationship with my landlord throughout, I now have a major issue with him trying to withhold my deposit.
When I moved in 13 months ago it was agreed that I could redecorate as I wanted but I would put it all back to neutral colours if he wanted that before I left. No problems I thought.
Fast forward 13 months…. I decided that now I have split with my girlfriend this place is just too big plus I have a part time job 20 miles away that is killing me in petrol costs and I wanted to move.
I found a lovely little place right next door to my job and decided to take it. I gave my landlord 5 weeks notice as soon as my credit check cleared and my application was accepted as this property is via an agent. That is 1 week more than I was required to give but made it easier to deal with as it was exactly half a month.
I asked him to come round and inspect the property to let me know what needed doing for him to be happy.
He came round 3 weeks later ( this is 2 weeks ago now). I tried to get him round earlier but he was first on holiday and then busy at work. I didn’t mind that much as 2 weeks would have been plenty of time to decorate and do anything else he wanted.
He looked round and told me that I could leave all the rooms as they were on the condition that I also left all the curtains, carpets, blinds and lampshades I had added after decorating (around £350 worth of stuff). I agreed to this as most of the stuff would not suit my new place and redecorating was going to be a big job.
I happily cracked on preparing for my move.
I had arranged to get the new property 1 week before I had to leave the current one so I could sort out decoration and carpets for the new place (they were a bit rough) all with the new agents consent.
I got my new place 2 days ago and have been cracking on sorting it out.
I got a phone call yesterday from my landlord saying that his new tenants did not like the décor and that he would want the rooms repainted after all, I explained that I would not have time now as I was busy sorting out the new place and waiting for deliveries etc and that he had told me (I have this in writing in the form of a text message) that I did not have to decorate.
He is now telling me that I will not be getting my deposit back to cover the cost of redecoration!
Since I was all set to do this and the only reason I did not is because he told me I didn’t have too I find this incredibly unfair.
Where do I stand on this issue? I simply cant do the job myself now as there is no time and I don’t feel I should lose £500 just because he has made a deal with the next tenants and changed his mind.
I would also like to point out that I have now discovered that he did NOT use a government approved scheme for my £500 deposit, it is “securely in a bank account” according to him.
What do I do? Should I withhold the keys until I get my money back? I am due to surrender this property on Friday 20th but I don’t fancy giving it back in a better condition than I got it when I’m being screwed out of £500.