PDA

View Full Version : Landlord Demanding £1240 for Damage Already Done To House When We Moved In



Anzelak
06-11-2009, 23:59 PM
Hello folks,

I’m after a little advice. I really hope you can help me.

We left our old house at the end of June last year after university finished. The landlords were absolutely terrible. We moved into an absolutely filthy house that had not been cleaned. The sofas were soiled, oven unclean and thick layers of dust covered the place. It took about three days to clean up. Importantly, on the first floor the walls were covered with blu tac marks. I don’t think they’d even checked the place as when I moved in there was still a girls DD bra hanging from the light fitting.

My bed broke in December and I rang at least a half dozen times each week to have it replaced. I was sleeping on the mattress on the floor. Eventually when I dishonestly claimed I’d contacted a lawyer a bed magically arrived the next day – this was around three months after having slept on the floor!

The problem is this: they are after £1240 from the previous residents of the house. There were five of us. I don’t have the letter – it is a 7 day notice demanding payment from my mother, the guarantor - but I’ll give you a general outline. They’re claiming for stuff like repainting first floor bedrooms because of blu tac (which were already present) and excessive staining in the first floor hallway (which was already there, it looked like maybe a drink or something). They have also claimed for the soiled sofas (which have always been that way) and general cleaning of the house. The place wasn’t by any standards clean but it was certainly in a better state than we found it. We did however leave three or four bin bags which they have apparently had to pay to remove – I couldn’t contest this.

The offenders are Wavertree Property Link and they seem to be a company handling a large amount of houses. We were particularly badly treated because they had taken over from the agency we were with and they ‘were struggling with the new houses’. They notified us of this takeover. They demanded rent we didn’t owe, for example, on a couple of occasions.

The problem is we took no photos and did not write down the damage or state the house was in when we moved in. The best I have is some digital photos which aren’t timestamped that do show maybe two or three photos I’ve blue tacked to the wall but also a heavily marked wall. It doesn’t seem like we have a leg to stand on – but this really is crap. Is there anything we could do?

Additionally, they have already kept £50 in a deposit from each of us that was supposedly to cover damage.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. If you require any more information I will do my level best to provide it.

Please give me a helping hand, or point me in the right direction if there’s elsewhere I can go for help. Thanks.

mind the gap
07-11-2009, 00:19 AM
The agents sound hopeless, don't they? Did you sign a check-in inventory when you moved in?

Is your deposit protected in a scheme and have you been supplied with the details of this?

Anzelak
07-11-2009, 00:30 AM
We did not sign any inventory list.

To be honest, I don't think it's protected in a scheme and I don't have any particular interest in getting the £50 deposit back. Not worth the hassle. I was just glad to be shot of them - and obviously don't want to pay any part of the £1240.

Anything else I can answer :)?

Snorkerz
07-11-2009, 00:44 AM
We did not sign any inventory list.

To be honest, I don't think it's protected in a scheme and I don't have any particular interest in getting the £50 deposit back. Not worth the hassle. I was just glad to be shot of them - and obviously don't want to pay any part of the £1240.

Anything else I can answer :)?
Pretty certain that without an inventory they'd be unable to prove what condition the place was in when you arrived, and therefore couldn't prove it was in a worse state when you left... If they threaten you with court, the onus of proof will be on them - let them try proving to the judge that there was any difference in condition.

Anzelak
07-11-2009, 00:49 AM
Pretty certain that without an inventory they'd be unable to prove what condition the place was in when you arrived, and therefore couldn't prove it was in a worse state when you left... If they threaten you with court, the onus of proof will be on them - let them try proving to the judge that there was any difference in condition.

Very grateful for your help matey. If anyone else has anything else they can add that would be grand. Still going to speak to the CAB on Monday - see what we can do.

Poppy
07-11-2009, 01:21 AM
My basic advice would be to inspect rental properties a whole lot more carefully. Look for dirt, soiled sofas, unclean ovens, thick layers of dust, blu tack marks - stuff that you have spotted too late in the past. Cast a critical eye over everything before deciding to take up the tenancy. If you spot crap, get the landlord/agent to put in writing all promises to rectify. If they don’t, rent elsewhere – you’ll be a lot happier.

Bear in mind that Citizens Advice Bureau staff are usually only as good as the individual across the desk that day.

mind the gap
07-11-2009, 09:00 AM
Very grateful for your help matey. If anyone else has anything else they can add that would be grand. Still going to speak to the CAB on Monday - see what we can do.

I agree with Snorkerz. LL will struggle (and fail) to prove tht the property was sparkly clean when you moved in and filthy when you vacated. I would sleep easy. If it makes you feel any better you could send a short letter to the LL advising that you have clarified your legal posiiton vis a vis his demand for money, that you are satisfied that you owe him nothing and that any claim he makes would be thrown out by a court in the absence of a detailed check-in inventory agreed and signed by you. You may also wish to remind him that - as he knows very well - you did in fact leave the property in a better condiiton than you found it. Say that he may keep your £50 to cove the expense of removing the four big bans of rubbish, but that any further claim will be vigorousl contested.

Good luck - don't be bullied by him or his agents.

islandgirl
07-11-2009, 10:08 AM
can't the OP threaten to sue for 3x deposit if it was not put in a scheme? Hopefully this threat would get the agent to back off?

mind the gap
07-11-2009, 13:32 PM
can't the OP threaten to sue for 3x deposit if it was not put in a scheme? Hopefully this threat would get the agent to back off?

Well, they could, but as the deposit was only £50, it's probably not worth bothering about. LL would only stand to lose court costs and £150 which is a lot less than what he's claiming at the moment.

Anzelak
07-11-2009, 17:18 PM
Again, thanks very much for your words of wisdom folks. It's been a massive help.