PDA

View Full Version : Moved because of repairs, landlord won't return deposit



dave2010
13-03-2009, 08:41 AM
Hi,
I have recently vacated a property after 2 years, the main reason for leaving the property was the lack of repairs I had spent the past 2 years without a working front door. A major fire risk due to the layout of the house. Several other repairs were also outstanding and the condition of the property was poor. The LA told me I could redecorate and were pleased when I paid for new carpets and flooring to replace the original carpets that were torn fusty and stained. Before taking the property I also asked if it was ok to keep a dog at the property before moving in.
Unfortunately I never had written permission for the decoration, I did how ever write letters about the outstanding repairs. The LA carried out inspections every 5 months each time the outstanding repairs were logged and the LA liked the improvements that I had done and went on to write a glowing reference for my new property.

After 12 months it became clear the repairs weren’t being carried out and finally a water pipe leaked into the lounge while I was at work, when I came home my TV was soaking wet and my sofa was drenched.( the house was let unfurnished) The LA called an emergency plumber to stop the leak. I had to purchase a new TV and eventually a new Sofa. I never asked the landlord for compensation but was left with an ugly hole in the ceiling, in addition to other repairs still outstanding.
Finally after 2 long years, I saved the deposit and moving costs to leave!!

After I left I expected my deposit to be returned only to be told by the LA the L is refusing to refund as the property had been decorated without written permission and listed damage that I am accused of doing and for keeping a pet at the property and finally erecting a shed without permission. Unfortunately I don’t have or ever had an inventory when I moved in.

What should I do? Can I sue L for not completing the repairs hence why I left?
All I want is my deposit money back so I can close the last 2 years. I feel the L is just trying to keep the money. and i am upset that i look like a bad tenant The property was taken on in the dec before the protected Deposit scheme came in to place. I always paid the rent on time and never held payment back, hoping the repairs would finally be sorted out.

I have been told i have to write a letter to LA to dispute the claims, I am worried what to next?

Thank you in advance for advice.

Borat
13-03-2009, 11:55 AM
Working on the presumption the tenancy hasn't been renewed... grey area if the deposit needs protecting at this point.... then you should write a letter to the landlord titled 'LETTER BEFORE ACTION' stating that you dispute any deductions and requesting the full amount of the deposit within 14 or 28 days- your choice. If it's not returned then you'd have to look at small claims court. Court fees can be claimed back if on low income. Should probably visit local CAB or Law centre if your not comfy writing the letter- an if it's a charity... BE NICE IF THEY CAN'T SEE YOU STRAIGHT AWAY AND IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT LEAVE A DONATION:D

dave2010
16-03-2009, 13:08 PM
Thanks,
How do I stand on claiming compensation for the repairs not being carried out? everything i have read says never stop paying rent and the L has to carry out repairs (excluding damage and minor issues) what happens legally when they don't?

Poppy
16-03-2009, 13:21 PM
It would seem that your landlord was very lax. You should have promptly attempted to deal with the repair issues through the letting agent. I think you could have taken action citing section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. But you've moved out. (I wait to be corrected.)

How complex do you want this to become? Return your deposit? Claim on the landlord's insurance for your damaged possessions? Claim from the landlord personally for your damaged possessions? Claim compensation? Or a combination?

jta
16-03-2009, 13:22 PM
Hi,
I don’t have or ever had an inventory when I moved in........

I have been told i have to write a letter to LA to dispute the claims, I am worried what to next?
Thank you in advance for advice.

Dave, that bit above seems to be the crucial thing, if you have never had an inventory then there is no evidence to back up the Landlord's claims.
Point this out to the LA when you write to them, if they have any sense they will see they are backing a loser and recommend the LL pays your deposit back in full, if he wont, go ahead with a small claim, he would have to produce the evidence he is relying on.

Borat
16-03-2009, 13:25 PM
The best peopele to force the landlord to do repairs are he Local Councils Environmental health/Private Rented Sector officers. If you ring them... at least in this area they do the inspection within 10 days and send a notice of the work to the landlord. If the work is not completed they can, potentially, do the work themselves and charge the landlord.

Lee-Parker v Izzet (1971) has established that, to use rent to pay for repairs, or to offset the cost of repairs against arrears, the tenant must carefully follow (in order) the steps below:-

1-give the landlord notice of the disrepair and a reasonable time to remedy it; then

2- inform the landlord (preferably in writing) that s/he will do the repair her/himself unless the landlord complies with her/his obligations; then
allow a further reasonable period for the landlord to do the work; then

3- obtain three estimates for the cost of the work from reputable builders; then

4- write to the landlord again, enclosing copies of the estimates and reminding her/him of her/his obligation to do the work, giving a further reasonable period to carry it out. The letter should warn that, otherwise, the tenant will do the work her/himself and deduct the cost from rent; then, if there is no response

5- arrange for the contractor who gave the lowest estimate to do the work, and obtain (and send to the landlord) receipts, with a request for payment; then

6- if the landlord does not pay, the tenant may deduct the cost from the rent (but not other charges such as service charges), then send the landlord a breakdown of the amount and period of the rent to be withheld.

Even if you follow the correct procedure, depending on you current status the landlord may still be able to start prceedings to get you out!

jta
16-03-2009, 13:36 PM
T
Even if you follow the correct procedure, depending on you current status the landlord may still be able to start prceedings to get you out!

Borat. The OP has said he has already left, his concern now is getting his deposit back. Further, a LL can always start proceedings to regain possession through a S21. at least if the tenancy is not regulated.

One does one's best doesn't one?

Borat
16-03-2009, 14:37 PM
Borat is having a bad day..... sorry!!

Borat
16-03-2009, 14:39 PM
Borat. The OP has said he has already left, his concern now is getting his deposit back. Further, a LL can always start proceedings to regain possession through a S21. at least if the tenancy is not regulated.

One does one's best doesn't one?

Tenant should continue to pursue small claims route as Borat has already suggested.

Agree that landlord can start proceedings via s21 on AST but usually enforcing ones rights to repairs gets the landlords goat a little and makes him more prone to do this... surely you would agree!!!

jta
16-03-2009, 15:29 PM
enforcing ones rights to repairs gets the landlords goat a little and makes him more prone to do this... surely you would agree!!!

No, I don't. Except in the most dire case, All that's likely to do is result in a S21.

Since we're chatting, do me a favour and drop this third person thing, it might be ok for a comedian, all it does here is make you sound daft.

mind the gap
16-03-2009, 15:44 PM
No, I don't. Except in the most dire case, All that's likely to do is result in a S21.

Since we're chatting, do me a favour and drop this third person thing, it might be ok for a comedian, all it does here is make you sound daft.

:)I'm glad someone said that... othewise I would have had to do one of my damning psycholinguistic exposés on him, like wot I do from time to time, y'know.

Borat
16-03-2009, 16:44 PM
Borat fears no examination. If you wish me to leave i can do that......

jeffrey
16-03-2009, 16:45 PM
Borat fears no examination. If you wish me to leave I can do that......
"Me"; "I". Good words to see; at least we're making some progress...

jta
16-03-2009, 17:56 PM
Borat fears no examination. If you wish me to leave i can do that......

No, I wouldn't go that far, but try to understand, there are a lot of people who come here that use English as a second language. Your posts, if written in the third person, are going to confuse them. That's if they understand the form at all. Some have less education than others, some are dyslexic, some may even suffer from other afflictions that make it difficult for them to understand the written word. Your use of the third person is just irritating to me, I'll let others make their own comments. Like everyone else, you are welcome, I would suggest, however, that you take the time to read a lot and post a little in the early days, that way even you might learn something. I do. Every day.

dave2010
25-03-2009, 12:43 PM
Thanks everyone for your advice, I wrote to the LA asking them to forward the letter to the L, in the letter I stated I disputed the claim and requested my deposit returning within 14 days, I also asked if my deposit was held in a deposit scheme.
The LA wrote back suggesting the L is going to take court action for damages to his property unless we drop the claim (damage we never caused) and they are holding my deposit for 5 days and will then return to the L.
I have started to prepare court papers but who should I claim against?
The LA carried out inspections every 5 months and were always happy, they gave a glowing reference to our new LA , they also noted the repairs at each inspection. At no time have I ever dealt with L direct always spoke to LA. It was mentioned that the L may of not visited the premises after the previous Tenants left as they left the tenancy early. The LA have lost or claim to of not received my letters requesting repairs or their inspection reports.
As I mentioned all I want returning is my deposit and to put the whole experience behind me. I am worried the L is going to pursue a claim for damage I didn’t cause and or raise funds to fix his repairs at my expense.
For this reason I am hoping someone can advise what I can potentially claim to hopefully secure the return of my deposit and prevent the L making a counter claim?
In particular can i claim compensation for the rent paid whilst waiting for repairs? Can i claim moving costs for deciding to move out from the property due to the lack of repairs?
Can I claim damages to my property caused when a water pipe leaked?
And finally what is the position regarding deposit protection before the guarantee schemes was introduced? After the inital 6 months should it of then been protected?
I really appreciate your advice and hopefully avoid taking court action.

dave2010
26-03-2009, 07:34 AM
Thanks everyone for your advice, I wrote to the LA asking them to forward the letter to the L, in the letter I stated I disputed the claim and requested my deposit returning within 14 days, I also asked if my deposit was held in a deposit scheme.
The LA wrote back suggesting the L is going to take court action for damages to his property unless we drop the claim (damage we never caused) and they are holding my deposit for 5 days and will then return to the L.
I have started to prepare court papers but who should I claim against?
The LA carried out inspections every 5 months and were always happy, they gave a glowing reference to our new LA , they also noted the repairs at each inspection. At no time have I ever dealt with L direct always spoke to LA. It was mentioned that the L may of not visited the premises after the previous Tenants left as they left the tenancy early. The LA have lost or claim to of not received my letters requesting repairs or their inspection reports.
As I mentioned all I want returning is my deposit and to put the whole experience behind me. I am worried the L is going to pursue a claim for damage I didn’t cause and or raise funds to fix his repairs at my expense.
For this reason I am hoping someone can advise what I can potentially claim to hopefully secure the return of my deposit and prevent the L making a counter claim?
In particular can i claim compensation for the rent paid whilst waiting for repairs? Can i claim moving costs for deciding to move out from the property due to the lack of repairs?
Can I claim damages to my property caused when a water pipe leaked?
And finally what is the position regarding deposit protection before the guarantee schemes was introduced? After the inital 6 months should it of then been protected?
I really appreciate your advice and hopefully avoid taking court action.
Oh yes, the rent was always paid to the LA and not the landlord and the Landlord address is not written anywhere in the lease, would that suggest the LA has an interest in the property i am so confused as to who i should address the claim to....

jta
26-03-2009, 07:50 AM
Dave. You have a right to have the LL's address. The agent is bound to give it to you by law. Your contract is between you and the LL, there is no contract between you and the LA, unless they are subletting to you, (It's possible they might have a rental agreement themselves with the LL and then sublet.)
Have you kept copies of the letters you sent to them? Do a search on this site to find other threads on the subject, there are plenty of them. Incidentally, there was a recent thread that held that 'where the T did not have the address of the LL, there was no liability to pay the rent'. Whether that could apply to you or not, I'm not qualified to say, but I'm sure someone will.

dave2010
26-03-2009, 09:53 AM
Thanks everyone.....

The LA advised verbally the landlord is planning to counter claim for ££££'s redecoration and new carpets for the whole house on the grounds that they the house had to be returned to neutural colours on vacating,

I think I have enough to get going.....

To sumarise:
The claim is against the landlord not letting agent.
The inventory is a key document that in this case is never existed although I am unable to prove the poor condition when I moved in neither is the Land Lord.
Keeping a pet, The pet was on premises (never goes in the house) during the inspections and was never flagged as an issue, is evidence that this was agreed either verbally or written.
I beleive reading other posts these inspections confirm the house was kept in good condition and no issues where highlighted that I needed to address, the outstanding repairs were logged at each insspection, LA hasn't forwarded coppies yet. Also the LA wrote a glowing refrence for the new property. I have coppies of some of the letters requesting repairs but not all.
How do I stand for claiming damages to possesions when a water pipe burst?
how much is reasonable to claim for not having a working front door and other repairs not being completed? 25% of the monthly rent?
Can i claim moving costs for moving out from the property due to the lack of repairs?
anything I might be able to add?

dave2010
26-03-2009, 14:21 PM
I hope this all still makes sense........