View Full Version : Trying to hand back a Property
01-03-2006, 08:37 AM
My 6 month AST finished on 28th Feb and I am trying to hand back the property to the Landlord.
I vacated the propety in January as I purchased my own house and the landlord also decided to sell the property so it was ok with both parties.
However since I vacated the property I've been trying to hand over the keys and get an inventory done with no response.
The AST finished yesterday, what is the best way to proceed ?
Write, recorded delivery to landlord asking for time to hand over keys / go through inventory and generally check the property & return deposit?
My phone calls are being dropped and emails being read but ignored.
01-03-2006, 09:36 AM
I would write both recorded delivery and one by ordinary post saying that you want your deposit back and outlaying your difficulties in handing the keys back and inspecting for inventory etc.
Give the landlord 7 days to comply. As you still have the keys, get back in with a video recorder and film and photograph how you left it so that you can counter any counterclaim when/if this gets to court. Say that if deposit not returned within 7 days, inspection/handover or not, you will put claim into county court.
That should concentrate the landlords mind a bit!
01-03-2006, 10:35 AM
7 days is very quick to get the deposit back. I'd like to see evidence of final payment of bills etc before letting the deposit go. Also, the LL doesn't have to have the tenant present for the check out.
01-03-2006, 15:34 PM
Its not unreasonable to impose a 7 day deadline when the landlord is dropping your phone calls and reading emails but not responding!
01-03-2006, 18:05 PM
I'd like to see evidence of final payment of bills etc before letting the deposit go.
Why? They are nothing to do with the landlord, who cannot be pursued for them.
02-03-2006, 08:47 AM
The 3 times I have had tennants leave I have given the deposits back once the inspection is complete (on the hand over day). Seems a bit unreasonable to make them wait for thier own money.
02-03-2006, 09:15 AM
Yeah, until you find the prawns hidden in curtain seams which take 3 days to mature...
02-03-2006, 09:20 AM
... nah prawns in the curtain pole are much more fun! ... or a kipper down the back of the sofa! ... Prawns in the curtain seems are easy to spot! ... ones in the curtain poles are not spotted!
Hehe! .. I shall be checking ALL curtains and poles on hand over day!!!... We supply unfurnished so no worries about the kipper!
On the other hand.. I don't agree with hanging on to the deposit for "Bills" purposes. Once an Inventory has been signed the money should be handed over. In this respect maybe if possible a meeting say a few days after the tenant has left, with the tenant if you like .. to check for anything that may take a few days to mature! That way everyone is covered! ... Still need to find if my sister got her money back..... off to text her :D
02-03-2006, 18:06 PM
You certainly don't want to be returning the deposit on handover day, that's crazy. Quite apart from the 'maturing prawns' scenario (which I have to say I've never had to contend with!) it's perfectly possible for a tenant to conceal serious damage during the 'check-out' inspection; eg, positioning a chair leg over a cigarette burn in the carpet; re-hanging a broken door using papier-mache or blu-tack or something - I'm sure many LLs have real examples. If you delay return of the deposit until you at least have the opportunity to go over the place alone, with a fine toothcomb, then you have some chance of recouping the cost of the damage (even if you've already signed it off as OK with the tenant upon handover).
I agree that LLs don't actually need evidence of all bills having been paid, for the reasons stated; however I still make it a condition of returning the deposit (a) because if all the bills have definitely been paid, then it's zero hassle for me in fielding future demands from the utility cos etc; and (b) because it gives me an excuse not to return the deposit immediately (it avoids having to tell the tenant that actually you don't trust them and that as soon as they've gone you're going to turn the place upside down looking for all the damage they've concealed...!)
I've never had a tenant who's objected to that policy, and I return the deposit as soon as they produce the evidence (which may be as soon as 2-3 days after vacating).
03-03-2006, 09:29 AM
it's perfectly possible for a tenant to conceal serious damage during the 'check-out' inspection...If you delay return of the deposit until you at least have the opportunity to go over the place alone, with a fine toothcomb, then you have some chance of recouping the cost of the damage (even if you've already signed it off as OK with the tenant upon handover).
You're going to have to be very careful with this sort of thing though. Tenants don't usually get the opportunity to amend check-in inventories after they've signed them off, and the same reasons apply to landlords adding things in after the check-out.
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