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Moving Out - Letting Agent Difficulties (inc. Inventory Problems)

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498 views 1 replies latest reply: 31 October 2016

I recently signed a new tenancy agreement after having found a room in a shared falt via spareroom. At the time a new 12 month tenancy agreement was signed by all of the 3 tenants and the two landlords; at the time a ‘change over tenancy agreement’ was also signed (as I was technically replacing a tenant). At the time I made several requests for a copy of the inventory, as I had to pay a equivalent deposit to the departing tenant, however after a few weeks I was told via email that they had “taken a look on file and unfortunately were unable to locate a copy of the check-in inventory as the tenancy had been ongoing since 2004”; they later said they would contact the landlord to request a copy, but they never followed up. I was clear that I was concerned about the lack of inventory but I was then told “when it does come to an end and a schedule of condition is taken of the property, the majority of the areas listed would fall under fair wear and tear”.

4 months later we have just received a ‘Form 6A’ bringing our tenancy agreement to an end in January. We have since been warned that the inventory clerk will be coming to conduct the leaving inventory check and that we are severally liable for any discrepencies from the inventory or other fair deductions. 

My concern is that the letting agents have not conducted an invetory check since the initial letting began 12 years ago and despite me requesting one they never provided me with an inventory.

I’m concerned whether I am liable for anything as i technically ‘took over an inventory’ and am according to the letting agent ‘severally liable’ for any necessary deductions as I ‘took on’ the responsibilities and inventory of the prior tenants. 

I feel quite concerned that the letting agent is going to make severe charges against the property because no inventory check has been done in 12 years to see the general condition of the place, 12 years of wear and tear has certainly taken its toll! 

Any advice on my rights would be greatly appreciated.

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Okay, here is how it goes:

The move in inventory is more important to the landlord than it is important to you ! Why ? Because it provides a documented state against which deductions can be made. If the landlord doesn’t have this benchmark, how can they prove damage was caused by you ? They likely can’t. 

Ideally, you should have made your own inventory just to be safe or at least pictures of every questionable area. 

However, if you didn’t, and the landlord want’s to make any unfair deductions, you are free to dispute them with the deposit protection scheme where your money is registered. 

They will provide a free alternative dispute resolution, where an adjudicator will be appointed to review all the documents and resolve the dispute. The landlord will be required to provide an inventory and if they don’t, it’s very likely the dispute will rule out in your favor. 

Still, you do want to try and fix as much of the small stuff as possible, including doing a very very good cleaning before you leave.

Here is some more reading:

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