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Old inventory

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254 views 1 replies latest reply: 01 March 2016
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Tenant

We recently vacated our rental property after 3.5years. The place was rented since 2002, I moved in Aug 2012.

We lived in a share house and had 5 tenants over the 3.5 years I was there.

When I moved in the house is from the 1960s &  was in ok condition. However, the carpets were severly stained, the kitchen counter had melted, some of the light fittings didnt work & there was a hole in a door.

We requested an inventory to ensure that everything was in order when we left the premesis. The inventory was from 2002 ie 14years old.

Can someone please inform me of what is reasonable wear & tear on a property in regards to the kitchen counter, carpets, door & light fittings.

The kitchen has other holes & is falling apart from poor workmanship.

How can we contest any of this considering the previous inventory is 14years old.

Thanks for your time, please ask if you want any more information.

SEAN

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Administrator

Hi Sean

You should have an inventory from when you first moved in – this records the state of the property when you arrived – and another separate inventory that you/the landlord fills out when you leave that records the state of the property at that point. The difference between the two effectively shows you what has happened to the property in the intervening years. So, when you left, the inventory that was filled out should have been filled out for the property as it is now, not the property as it was 14 years ago.

It’s the landlord who has to establish that any damage is due to you before deductions can be made – basically they must prove you have caused damage that will result in financial loss to them and that’s the only basis on which they can deduct money. 

What is wear and tear will vary with each property – it wouldn’t be possible for us on here to tell you what is and what isn’t without seeing the property. However, normally small scratches to paintwork, small carpet marks, skirting board scuffs, faded fabrics etc would be wear and tear. Some items might stop working as a result of wear and tear, such as a kettle and a loo seat might be expected to crack as a result of 14 years of use, for example. A good measure is to look at whether normal use of a property would result in something happening – for example, tenants repeatedly walking across a hall carpet for 14 years might cause it to become threadbare.

Depending on when your tenancy was last renewed, your landlord may need to have protected your deposit with one of three tenancy deposit schemes. If that has been done then you can raise a dispute with the scheme if you believe the landlord is trying to make unfair deductions and the landlord will have to prove a right to keep the money. If the landlord has not protected your deposit when they should have then – as a separate issue – you can claim compensation for 1-3 times the amount and the landlord can’t make any deposit deductions.

If there was no obligation to protect the deposit then you may need to tell the landlord you will take them to court if they try to make unfair deductions from your deposit. You would then make a small claim for the amount you believe unfair and the landlord would have to justify the deduction to the court.

Given that there’s lots going on here it might be worth speaking to someone with legal experience at Citizens Advice or a law centre to get an idea of what you can do with the situation you’re in.

Alex

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