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Opinions please from Landlords/Letting Agents

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:44 pm
by Lynda
My son and daughter-in-law recently moved out of their rented flat. The lease was up on 25 March and on 23 March, my DIL, her mother and I spring cleaned the place from top to bottom - it took the three of us nearly all day. We dusted, swept, mopped and washed down all the walls and paintwork. The cooker was thoroughly cleaned and the whole place was left spotless. Dave mowed the lawn on the lowest setting possible. On 24 March a professional carpet cleaner worked on the carpets and according to my son, did an excellent job.

The agents did an inspection yesterday and report that the flat was left dirty and the lawn had not been mown. I can understand that the grass must have grown in the 3 weeks since it was done but by the date the lease was up it would still have been short. I cannot, however, believe that the flat has become dirty when unoccupied.

They also claim that there is a shelf missing from the oven. That is because the oven had to be replaced halfway through their tenancy and the new oven came with only one shelf.

They intend to charge my son and DIL most of their deposit. Do you think this is fair?

Re: Opinions please from Landlords/Letting Agents

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:03 pm
by Nick
For about 3 weeks I've been meaning to make my next blog about deposits.

You really shouldn't have any problem whatsoever. It might have made you case even more more watertight if you had taken your own photos on arrival & departure, but the responsibility for proving culpability is the agent's not yours.

If you have a receipt for the carpet cleaning that would be fantastic. Any adjudicator faced with you saying that the place was spotless, and an agent saying that it was dirty will find it very odd that a tenant should go to the trouble of having the carpets professionally cleaned, but not clean anything else!

I repeat - it's up to the agent to prove that your son & DiL were negligent, not Vice Versa.

Re: Opinions please from Landlords/Letting Agents

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:36 pm
by Lynda
Under the terms of their lease they had to have the carpets cleaned professionally and they gave the landlord the invoice when they handed back the keys.

Re: Opinions please from Landlords/Letting Agents

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:55 pm
by Ruth
Lynda - if there was no inventory or schedule or condition taken at the start of the tenancy and a check out at the end (not 3 weeks later) then the landlord/agent will not be able to prove anything, just as Nick said. What they might do is try to delay the return of the deposit by forcing you to dispute. If I were you I'd tell your Son/Daughter in Law to write a letter to the landlord c/o the agent explaining exactly how you explained it. Don't threaten just open the lines of communication. It's likely that property managers were just too busy or too many people dealing with it - wires get crossed. A doesn't know that B replaced the oven. Check out not booked.
There's normally a reason why they're being obtuse and it is often just a case of inefficiency rather than trying to get one over.

Re: Opinions please from Landlords/Letting Agents

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:57 am
by Lynda
There was an inventory taken at the beginning of the tenancy but since that was four years ago, some appliances have changed. The washing machine had to be replaced within a few weeks and the existing oven gave up the ghost after about two years and had to be renewed. Jen, my DIL was very concerned at the time about there only being one shelf as she is an extremely good cook and likes to experiment. The agents must be aware of the changes because any problems - and there were several regarding damp at the rear of the flat - were dealt with through them.

Some of the complaints about the cleaning were quite specific, i.e. the agents claim there was fluff and dust behind the toilet bowl. As the person who cleaned that side of the bathroom, I know that it was spotlessly clean when I left it and I'm sure it couldn't have got dirty since then when there was no-one in the flat to make a mess.

Re: Opinions please from Landlords/Letting Agents

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:52 am
by Nick
Lynda,

Do you know which scheme the deposit is protected with?

Re: Opinions please from Landlords/Letting Agents

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:59 am
by Lynda
No, I don't but I can find out later.

The stranges thing is that there were regular inspections by the letting agents and they were always satisfied as to the condition of the flat. In fact, when Andy saw that it was now advertised at £825 pcm and the agent told him that their rent had been kept low (£750 pcm) because they were considered to be good tenants and that the landlord preferred to keep good tenants rather than raising the rent beyond their means and necessitating getting new tenants.

Re: Opinions please from Landlords/Letting Agents

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:02 am
by Nick
That fits in with Ruth's suggestion that it's a foul up. I don't operate a deposit scheme so I am talking from theory, she's the expert. She'd probably be able to sell your house for you too!

Re: Opinions please from Landlords/Letting Agents

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:33 am
by Lynda
I've just spoken to Andy and he can't remember the name of the organisation who hold the deposit but it is an independent body.

As for selling our house - I wish someone could.

We now have new neighbours in the house opposite. They moved in this week. The house has been on the market since February of last year and was reasonably priced.

I was surprised to find that I recognised the new people as a couple who viewed this house several months ago. Now I am wondering why they did. They have bought an end terrace with garage and no extensions whatsoever. The bathroom is pink so you can imagine how old that is. The kitchen, which would measure 8' 6" x 6' 6" (ours was the same many years ago) makes our 18 year old kitchen look extremely modern. If that's the kind of house they wanted, why even consider ours which is mid terrace, has no garage but has two bathrooms, four bedrooms, a kitchen extension, a conservatory and a large, south-facing garden? The garden across the road is only 70ft long - unfenced, and there are only three bedrooms and one antiquated bathroom.

Re: Opinions please from Landlords/Letting Agents

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:06 pm
by Ruth
Lynda - if you'd like to get Andy or Jen to call me I'd happily help them draft a letter or speak to the agent (Forest Bureau?) on their behalf. It is very likely the deposit scheme will find in their favour unless the agent/landlord can stump up evidence but it takes more time and more effort.

My number is 020 7267 5252 or 07747 607467. I'm in a meeting in Epping from about 4.30 but back on the tools at 9.30 tomorrow.

Re: Opinions please from Landlords/Letting Agents

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:48 pm
by Lynda
They are out for the day today, Jen's still on Easter holiday (school teacher) and Andy is recovering from spinal surgery. The agent is Edward Taub of Buckhurst Hill although the flat is in Crescent Road, South Woodford.

They intend to discuss the matter politely with Taubs and if they get nowhere will ask for advice from Jen's uncles who are both solicitors.

Thanks very much for the offer though.

Re: Opinions please from Landlords/Letting Agents

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:35 pm
by emilylemons
Hey, this is a really important topic I've been reading up on. Did you ever write that blog about deposits and where might it be found online? Would like to direct a few friends to it. Thanks.

Re: Opinions please from Landlords/Letting Agents

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:44 pm
by Lynda
Emily, this topic is very, very old.

Re: Opinions please from Landlords/Letting Agents

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:20 pm
by Nick
Lynda wrote:Emily, this topic is very, very old.


Nice link though ;) ;) ;)

Re: Opinions please from Landlords/Letting Agents

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:27 pm
by Lynda
I should have looked at the link first.

It just seemed a bit odd to resurrect such an old topic. Especially as Andy and Jen have moved again since then.

Re: Opinions please from Landlords/Letting Agents

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:32 pm
by Nick
Link droppers are like spammers - they go round forums making posts with a link to whatever they want to promote. In this forum the software automagically changes the link to something we want to promote, and changes the link dropper's password so they can't undo the corrections. Isn't software wonderful?

Re: Opinions please from Landlords/Letting Agents

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:33 pm
by Lynda
So it wasn't Ruth who posted originally?

It's getting late and I'm tired - and old!

Re: Opinions please from Landlords/Letting Agents

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:45 pm
by Nick
Nooooooooo :D

Re: Opinions please from Landlords/Letting Agents

PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 8:22 am
by Lynda
I can't remeber. It's more than three years ago that this happened.

I don't understand why new members feel the need to resurrect old threads to post on.