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katrinahale
25-09-2008, 10:50 AM
Hi all

me time ago I told you all about a tenant of mine not returning keys and leaving the place in a state.

Since then I had to get the enviromental health in to fumigate as the place was covered in fleas, from dogs they should not have had. I have had to pay to get a bin full of dog poo removed from the yard plus cleaning and replacement of carpet due to infestation and dog damage.
The tenants were only in for 41/2 months. I had agreed to release them early if I could find another tenant.
They had paid until the 28/08/09 but moved out on the 18/08/09 I wrote to them giving them until the 28/08 to return all keys and put the place in order. As they did not return keys I had to change the locks. They then applied to the DPS for their deposit back in full. I disputed it. The DPS wrote to them with no reply.
I then wrote to them at the forwarding address they gave me by recorded delivery on 17/09/08 setting out all damage together with all reciepts. No reply until today when I got a Text to say I had sent to wrong address and they only just recieved it (funny as it was signed for on the 18/09). They now say I am in breach of contract as I owe them 2 weeks rent for august. They also say they are taking legal advise and going to housing benefit (what for they were not claimming) and this is a good one they are collecting witness statements from local neighbours !

The DPS have since sent me a single claim form which I have returned, they say they will write to them again and if no response in 14 days they will return deposit to me.

Has anyone had anything like this any comments really appreciated

davidjohnbutton
25-09-2008, 11:40 AM
Stop worrying first of all.

Make sure that everything is documented and that you have proofs of any expenditure.

If you get the deposit from the DPS - all well and good, apply it towards your legitimate expenses. Dont worry about tenants counterclaiming because it is one thing to have a chat with the neighbours, and quite another to get them into court to give a witness statment on oath!!!

Deal with matters as they arise - not by trying to second-guess what the tenants will or won't do.

katrinahale
25-09-2008, 11:53 AM
Thankyou for your reply, you try to do everything right but you still wory when things go wrong.

I have asked the tenant not to text me but to address all correspondence to my solicitor, who knows the situation, as the text are not nice (but I have kept them all ).

How could I be in breach of contract as their agreement was until end of sept and I agreed to relase them if I found a new tenant. I did and they moved in on 29/08 but I had to give them two weeks free because of the state of the place. I did not charge original tenants after 28/08, but had to change the locks as they did not return keys. But they said they had photos of them putting keys through letter box !

If the DPS return the depost to me is that the end of it or can tenants still go to court ?

davidjohnbutton
25-09-2008, 12:06 PM
The tenants can still go to court up to six years after the event giving rise to a claim which will be the point of departure - however, that being said, it is probably unlikely that they will do so.

If the texts are bothering you, change number and take the cost of that out of the DPS refund as well!!!

Any work you do over the matter, charge at £9.25 per hour (County Courts Act rate for litigant in person) and 45p/mile travel, 90p/mile with trailer

katrinahale
25-09-2008, 12:32 PM
The damage charges are already considerably more than the deposit paid. Is it worth pursuing for the rest if I get the deposit back or just think myself lucky I got something.

as per the breach of contract thing has he got any comeback ?

£9.25 an hour maybe Im in the wrong job !

johnjw
25-09-2008, 12:47 PM
You have been very fair in allowing your tenants to leave before the end-date (especially on a 6-month tenancy) and finding a new tenant quickly. The claim for a refund of two weeks rent is ridiculous and it is hard to imagine what could be the relevance of the witness statements from neighbours.
The costs of cleaning and fumigating after dogs, changing the locks and attending to new tenants including 2 weeks rent-free, would take care of quite a large deposit.
I don't think they will pursue their claims and if they did, they would not succeed.

katrinahale
25-09-2008, 12:57 PM
Thanks John

If it were you would you chase them for money owing above the deposit paid or not.

As I am now single unexpectedley after 26yrs and my husband used to deal with this and i am a little nervous. The tenant knows my situation and cheeky * asked for my husbands divorce solicitors name.

I think maybe hes clutching at straws but I want to be prepared, why should he get away with treating my place like that. It is a lovely little cottage and he ruined it with 3 german sheppards.

davidjohnbutton
25-09-2008, 13:15 PM
In your shoes, it might well be quite stressful taking the matter through court and then you might well not get anything at the end of it all if you get a judgment and they don't pay up - it is relatively easy to avoid bailiffs and move house without leaving much of a trail.

The decision I would make, if I were you, if you get the deposit back, all well and good - perhaps leave it at that UNLESS the tenants claim against you at which point you could put in a counterclaim as well as defending.

You need to make a commercial decision, particularly if you want the less stressful way out of solving the problem.

johnjw
25-09-2008, 13:52 PM
In your shoes, it might well be quite stressful taking the matter through court and then you might well not get anything at the end of it all if you get a judgment and they don't pay up - it is relatively easy to avoid bailiffs and move house without leaving much of a trail.

The decision I would make, if I were you, if you get the deposit back, all well and good - perhaps leave it at that UNLESS the tenants claim against you at which point you could put in a counterclaim as well as defending.

You need to make a commercial decision, particularly if you want the less stressful way out of solving the problem.

I agree. It's right for you to have the deposit to defray expenses but beyond that, though doubtless you have a good case, the game is likely to be not worth the candle.