Please help us our LL and agent are in cahoots and we have no chance…do we?? | The Tenants' Voice
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Please help us our LL and agent are in cahoots and we have no we??

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883 views 4 replies latest reply: 13 June 2016

Hi all

sorry for the long one here. So we lived in our property for almost 3 years. We loved the house but from day 1 we knew the LL would be a nightmare. Sadly we were proved right. The “managing agent” (thats a laugh) were very sided with the LL and hated him as much as we did (as they often said what a pain he was and how out of order he was being). Several things went wrong with the house (Leaking roof, fencing blown down, garden gate blown off) and every time he either wouldnt do anything about it or took (literally) a year to fix (garden gate and fence) he never did fix the conservatory roof….

So we have moved out after getting an S21 (due to the fact that we complained so much at having to wait for 6 months for a new dishwasher). we were told our last day was Jan 31. We found a property but needed to move in at the end of Dec in order to not lose it. We told the agent this over 6 weeks before our move out date) and told them we needed to use 4 weeks of our 6 week deposit to cover the last months rent (or we couldnt move as i couldnt afford the new deposit and rent etc).

Wrong? Maybe so, but the LL was such a nightmare throught the tenancy (did i mention the quarterly inspections as well as him coming over every other month under the guise of having to pick something up??)

Anyway, i was told the checkout report had been done (by email from the agent) and we would get the report soon. This was on the same day that my old neighbour said the LL was in the property (surely that isnt allowed is it? For the LL to go to the house beofre the checkout report had been done? What is to stop him from doing things in the house (like marking the walls or floor etc)??

So the list for the report says we owe him £10K. I have tried to pur the list below as to be honest it is laughable. I agree i owe the December rent. But the rest of it is pathetic isnt it? £3000 to decorate the house when it wasnt decorated when we moved in and the previouis tenants moved out? £500 to clean a house?

There are things in there that are completely erroeous or were agreed that we could remove when we moved in (TV cabinet, picturesi n lounge) the issue is that these were not removed from the inventory which is an oversight on my part. The other thing is that he had 3 locked rooms in the house where he stored his things (1 reception downstairs, 1 bedroom and the garage). looking back we were mad to take the house in the first place….. 

description comment Estimate Fair wear & tear lifespan depreciation claim Recoverable from tenant
December rent   1575     100% 1575
January 2015 rent   1575     100% 1575
January 2015 council tax   250     100% 250
Gardening replacement turf (trampoline damage) hedge trim etc 500     100% 500
Full house clean   500     100% 500
replacement locks no keys left 150     100% 150
Skip & labour   250     100% 250
Missing TV unit missing 150 not applicable as missing   100% 150
Damaged/shredded double mattress   150 6 years 2 years 67% 100
curtain cleaning   120     100% 120
blinds cleaning   60     100% 60
light cover – cooker extractor missing 25 not applicable as missing   100% 25
Dishwasher repair (access not provided)   75     100% 75
kitchen unit knobs (2) missing 20 not applicable as missing   100% 20
Kitchen work top replacement (knife cuts)   600 8 years 6 years 25% 150
Fire door chain  missing 30 not applicable as missing   100% 30
decoration rooms   3000 5 years 2 years 60% 1800
decoration kitchen & bathrooms   1000 3 years 2 years 33% 333
decoration stairs & landing   1000 3 years 2 years 33% 333
TV remote kitchen missing 25 not applicable as missing   100% 25
kitchen crome bin missing 100 not applicable as missing   100% 100
heating timer cover missing 25 not applicable as missing   100% 25
utility room bin missing 25 not applicable as missing   100% 25
halogen spotlight bulbs missing or blown 30 not applicable as missing   100% 30
laundry basket missing 40 not applicable as missing   100% 40
bathroom bins * 4 missing 50 not applicable as missing   100% 50
baskets to swivel bathroom cabinet missing 20 not applicable as missing   100% 20
replacement toilet seats stickers 80     50% 40
bathroom  mirror missing caps *3 40 not applicable as missing   50% 20
bathroom unit   100 6 years 4 years 0.333333333 33
lock turn WC door missing 25 not applicable as missing   100% 25
toilet brushes missing 20 not applicable as missing   50% 10
towel ring missing 15 not applicable as missing   100% 15
oak floors heal indents (sand, polich & wax) 500 10 years 4 years 0.6 300
smoke alarms missing 50 not applicable as missing   100% 50
smoke alarm damaged   80     50% 40
hallway picture missing 40 not applicable as missing   100% 40
living room nets missing 20 not applicable as missing   100% 20
2 leather sofas scratched & nicked 1000 6 years 3 years 50% 500
living room clock missing 30 not applicable as missing   100% 30
phone missing 50 not applicable as missing   100% 50
modem missing 25 not applicable as missing   100% 25
living room picture missing 40 not applicable as missing   100% 40
window cleaning (including conservatory roof)   200     100% 200
nets dry cleaning   120     100% 120
d.table & chairs   550 6 years 3 years 50% 275
carpet stains   200 7 years 3 years 57% 114
radiator valve covers missing 20 not applicable as missing   100% 20
bedroom curtains & nets torn & nicked 150 7 years 2 years 0.714285714 107
voile pole missing 15 not applicable as missing   100% 15
light shade bedroom 2 missing 20 not applicable as missing   100% 20
padded mattress missing 75 not applicable as missing   100% 75
under bed storage missing 100 not applicable as missing   100% 100
wardrobe knobs * 3 missing 20 not applicable as missing   100% 20
replacement wardrobe heavy large scratches 250 6 years 2 years 0.666666667 167
bed frame finial missing 20 not applicable as missing   100% 20
electric meter door missing 30 not applicable as missing   100% 30
water meter door missing 30 not applicable as missing   100% 30

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I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything quite like this! First of all, has the landlord/agent protected your deposit with a tenancy deposit scheme? This is a legal requirement and should have been done within 30 days of you moving in (info here). If this hasn’t been done then your landlord is breaking the law and you’re entitled to apply to a county court to get the deposit back and for compensation (which could be several times the amount of the deposit). If the deposit has been protected then the scheme will give you access to a dispute resolution service and they will decide what is fair for the landlord to keep in terms of your deposit and what is not. Both you and the landlord would need to produce proof/receipts/quotes etc and present them – numbers can’t just be pulled from the air.

Obviously you owe for the rent and presumably for the bills as well. If you didn’t leave keys then there may be a clause in your tenancy that means they can charge you to change the locks. As to the rest, when an item is ‘missing’ is this because it’s actually missing or was it not there in the first place? Did you take any photos when you moved in that could prove items were missing and did you sign an inventory that said items he’s marked as missing were present? That could be a bit problematic as there’s nothing to prove that you didn’t take or destroy things. Does your tenancy require a professional clean? 

With respect to ‘decoration’ etc I think your landlord has failed to appreciate the difference between maintenance, damage and wear and tear. He seems basically to be billing you to redecorate the house and prepare it for new tenants. Have a look at what your tenancy says but usually these costs shouldn’t fall to a tenant – you should only be responsible for paying for items/fixtures/parts of the property you have damaged or taken with you. So, if you had punched through a wall you would have to pay to rebuild and repaint the wall, but not to redecorate the entire room if the rest was undamaged. This is what the Association of Residential Letting Agents defines as wear and tear (i.e. what tenants should be obliged to pay for) and there’s no mention of redecoration because the landlord feels like it. Of course I haven’t seen the property but it doesn’t seem that this cost should fall to you.

Given the size of what the landlord is trying to claim it is probably advisable to seek legal advice – there are law centres all over the UK where you can get free advice or you can try the Citizens Advice Bureau. They will be able to give you more of an idea of where you stand based on the specifics of your situation. The reality is that the landlord would have to take you to court for what he/she has decided you owe over and above the damage deposit and that would mean a court judging whether what the landlord is claiming is actually reasonable on the basis of your tenancy agreement obligations or whether they are just trying their luck. If it’s the latter the threat of having to justify this in court can be enough to put many landlords off if they’re not being entirely honest.  

Keep the check out inventory (does it come with photos?), get some quotes of your own for the work that he’s mentioned (even if it is completely fanciful) and for the missing items and get some legal advice on your situation (you might also want to ask them whether the locked rooms affect your tenancy agreement/enjoyment of the property in any way). If you feel that some of what he’s asking for is reasonable then you could offer an amount yourself as a settlement or you could simply offer to replace the missing items yourself so that you can control the costs (it might be too late for that but it shows you’re making reasonable attempts to resolve the situation).  Do everything in writing, keep all your correspondence with the landlord and gather any info that might help. 

It’s pretty scary to be hit with a bill like that but often it’s more the case of a landlord getting greedy and misunderstanding the law than a cost you have to bear.

Good luck



Thanks so much, a very well rounded answer compared to another forum i have been on where i am facing all kinds of abuse. The deposit is protected and i did take pics of the damage to walls and carpets when we moved in but im not sure how i can take pics of things that are missing šŸ™‚

I know what you mean tho and i dont have any proof that the agent said we could remove the items in question. Sone of the things like the phone that is marked as missing, isnt, its just in the wardrobe in the bedroom for example….but he is still claiming for it…..Really nasty landlord as it turns out. I dont owe for the bills, they are up to date (not the council tax for the month of Jan he is claiming for) but how can he claim i owe the rent for jan when he has the house back? also if he was allowed in before the check out report had been filed how can he claim for anything? I have proof he was in the property before the checkout report was filed in the form of a neighbor who saw him enter….. 


Haha very true.  I meant anything that might have been nailed down!

With the rent, you need to pay rent until you’re legally allowed not to, regardless of whether you’re in the property. If you had a break clause that you activated then the last rent payment would be in accordance with that. If you were still contracted until 31 Jan but the landlord agreed you could move out earlier that would be a ‘surrender’ of the tenancy – if you have proof that the landlord agreed to that in writing then there should be no issue over that rent. If you don’t have proof of that then unfortunately you may have to pay it if moving out was solely on the agreement of the landlord.

The check out situation is difficult – normally this last inventory is done on the move out day and normally we’d say it’s best to be there when it’s done and then take a signed copy with you. However, I would imagine there must be some sort of protection in this situation, especially if you can prove the landlord was in there and in the light of the ‘creative’ billing – your best bet I think is to contact a law centre with the info I gave you as this is probably a legal point.

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Hello, just like to add something to the sound advice you’ve already had from AP.

Your case sounds very much like a landlord taking advantage of you. The landlord may feel you know nothing about how things are done so is conjuring up all he can to literally rip you off. AP’s advice is good and I don’t want to muddy up that water by suggesting anything, however my point is . . .

I work for a new company, which is based on a letting agency from Denmark. In Denmark it’s the tenants who are abusing the landlords for compensation from the courts, for not supplying as advertised and much more like that.

Why not reserve the pressure on to your landlord? If you write an email to this company they will probably help you. Their site is and email is They not actually trading yet but they’re all busy organising things. Say that Oliver suggested (that’s me) and mark attn of Leslie Radon.

I had a landlord rip me off in Northampton. She was a right liar. Kept my money to repair her old sofa which was broken when I moved in. I didn’t notice it till when i sat on it.

Keep in touch, please. And good luck.


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