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Problems with both old and new landlord

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I’ve just transferred from one rental property to another and I have concerns with both the old and the new landlords.

The old landlord lives a long way from the property therefore he deals with an agent and an independent inventory / checkin/out agent.

Firstly while preparing for the move I realised that I never received a countersigned copy of my tenancy agreement nor any confirmation that my deposit had been paid into a deposit protection scheme as promised by the landlord. I was also asked to pay for both the checkin and the checkout though I since learnt that this is not normal practice.

I actually left the property the day before my contract end date therefore I have not seen nor signed the checkout and inventory documentation however the landlord did call to tell me that I would receive this within a few weeks and that thereafter we would negotiate what part of my deposit would be retained.

This really concerns me as the apartment is in perfect condition (I was there for 8 months for 4 days a week only) with no damage to report. The contract states that

“As soon as practicable but in any event no later than 15 days after the delivery up of possession by the Tenants to the Landlord, the Landlord shall provide the Tenants with an account of the deposit and shall pay to the Tenants by one cheque such amount of the deposit as remains after deduction of any amounts drawn by the Landlord under clause 4(2)”

It would seem that the landlord has assumed that there will be deductions and that these can take some weeks to process.

One final point: I still have some keys and have continually asked the landlord where he wants them sending and even offering to courier them to him. He just says he doesn’t know yet. A new tenant is already in the property.

Now to the new property. It was a nightmare to get into, with the date being changed constantly by the landlord via the estate agents.

Although I had the contract ready to sign I received an updated version at 5pm on the day prior to checkin. The updated version stipulates that no one in the property shall wear shoes likely to cause damage to the floor. My instructions were to sign (electronically) and pay the deposit by 5.30pm or there would be a further delay which would have caused me to have to book into a hotel. I signed and paid.

At checkin there were several issues. It is a new build therefore there are items incomplete and some faults. One thing noticed was that the floor which is brand new wooden laminate has many large scratches and marks. Most of these will have been picked up by the checkin agent but I fear many will have been missed. Other problems relate to fixtures and fittings not working or being faulty.

I have now received an email from the agents saying that they updated contract which I signed was the wrong version and that I need to sign a new one. They have sent this over and it contains another new clause which states that “the tenants agree to take care of the wooden flooring throughout the tenancy”

To my mind I already signed a contract before moving in but importantly the floor worries me. The landlord lives in the same block and has the same flooring, so they know it’s susceptibility to marking. If I sign this I may be setting myself up to losing my substantial deposit on a new floor when I vacate the property. I have two small children who run and play like kids do. I don’t want to spend my time in fear of them marking the floor. Am I being over cautious or should I sign?

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