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michelle_stt
08-02-2010, 09:32 AM
Hi.
We started renting a property in april 2008 and are moving in 2weeks so lived here just short of 2years. The house was shabby looking and needed odd jobs doing when we moved here. We have never fallen behind with the rent and improved the house! When we moved here the gas and electric meters were the ones you have to get a reading from everymonth. They were set on a high tariff and ticking over too fast. So we paid to have card meters put in. Will the landlord refuse to give us the bond back because of this?
The following is improvments we have made to the house
New bamboo blinds all over the house.
Re-painted in magnolia for next tenants.
Cleaned carpets and cleaned house for next tenants.
Leaving neutral curtains everywhere. Previous ones were lime green!
Leaving all light shades. There were none when we moved in.
Painted the wall in the yard as it was green and black with moss when we moved here.
Had alleygates put up.
Had new loft insulation and cavity wall insulation and new tank jackets.
Also replaced the flooring in the bathroom as when we moved here the radiator was faulty and leaked a rust coloured liquid onto the carpet which we couldn't get out.
Any help would be great.

ram
08-02-2010, 10:47 AM
Will the landlord refuse to give us the bond back because of this?
we have made improvments to the house.

Changing electric meters or installing water meters is your right, and your improvements have made the property more attractive to prospective new tenants.
Some will tell you that they wished all their tenants were like you.

One or two things you have done could have been paid for by the landlord, but too late now, and I see no reason why anyone would keep your Bond ( deposit )- If it were possible, the landlord should pay you for one or two items !

Just make sure you give the list of improvements to landlord, as you have listed here, to show that you have looked after his property. ( You may be able to get a good reference from the LL because of this ) Assuming you are leaving the property in a better and cleaner state than on arrival, the landlord cannot withhold your deposit.

Deposit is only in case damage has to be rectified.

Some leases state you have to clean the property ( carpets etc ) and repaint, but you have already done this, so your deposit should be returned, and has to be returned.

Assuming your landlord is decent, then there should be no problems.

Suggest to leave a note on the electric meter, and in the kitchen, to say which gas and electric company you are with and which shops you have to go to, to get the cards refilled, as the Landlord or agent wont know, and from personal experience, it can take 6 phone calls asking if they are the supplier. ( in my case all of them said they were not the suppler ! ) So another 6 calls to the 6 electric suppliers again were made. Also, card meters are being phased out slowly, in favour of "key" meters as soon as possible.

R.a.M

michelle_stt
08-02-2010, 10:56 AM
brilliant thanks. Iv wrote a list out and kept carpet cleaning reciepts and taken photo's of the house etc. Its not that i dont think they are decent, I just want to cover myself and leave the house in a state that i would move into. Thanks again :)

michelle_stt
08-02-2010, 10:58 AM
When I moved here the landlord asked me to stay with utility warehouse which I have done. I will be calling them and requesting new cards and will top them up too.

ram
08-02-2010, 11:15 AM
utility warehouse . I will be calling them and requesting new cards and will top them up too.

Don't spend your hard earned money to give to the next tenants in the form of gas and electric, as card meters take a standing charge off every week. And in no time, the credit will be eaten up. AND, even if you leave the credit on the card, as soon as you insert it after say 4 / 8 / 12 weeks, it just deducts the standing charge, so leave the LL t sort that out. Not your responsibility, but I know you want to be kind, but the standing charge will just eat into the credit on the cards, and again in my case, I still had no electric, as the meter just gobbled up the long term standing charge and was still left with no electric, after feeding it £ 35. ( eventualy got a refund )

Just give the landlord the information. It's his house, and he is now responsible for standing charges. He is running a business, and his rent will ( or should ) cover for all these eventualities, such as no rent when vacant while looking for new tanants, -- so don't pay twice. --

R.a.M

michelle_stt
08-02-2010, 11:25 AM
Thanks :) another thing. Is my letting agent allowed to arrange someone to view the house while im still in it and arrange to take photo's to put on her site?

I got a phonecall asking to take photo's but my house is in uproar with the packing and i dont really want my stuff on show. I move out in 2weeks but technically still have another 2weeks left here. My tenancy ends on 5th march.

tom999
08-02-2010, 11:57 AM
Will the landlord refuse to give us the bond back because of this?Was a full inventory (e.g. written, photos or video) completed before the tenancy began?
Was any protectable deposit protected (i.e. if annual rent was no more than £25k)?


Changing electric meters or installing water meters is your right..This would only be true if agreement was made with the landlord and/or the meters were changed back at the end of the letting.


Is my letting agent allowed to arrange someone to view the house while im still in it and arrange to take photo's to put on her site?No, you may refuse, but it may be in your interests to come to a compromise to arrange suitable viewing times.


Above answers assume tenancy is an AST in England or Wales.

michelle_stt
08-02-2010, 12:04 PM
An inventory wasn't done. If it was I as never told. Nothing in my tenancy says anything about the meters. My bond was secured. Is it TBS? I know my letting agent told me I cant have the bond back on the day I move ready to give to the new landlord as she has to send it me in a cheque which could take upto 3weeks after iv moved.

Snorkerz
08-02-2010, 12:56 PM
As Tom999 says, you really should have got the landlords permission to change the electric meter before you did so. However, I wouldn't expect it to be a problem.

Dispute any deposit deductions you think are unreasonable. The landlord would have to prove to DPS that any damage has happened during your tenancy, and without a signed inventory/condition report he would have difficulty doing this.

You can refuse viewings etc, but as you probably want good references and minimal deposit hassle, might be worth a compromise.

ram
08-02-2010, 13:11 PM
An inventory wasn't done. If it was I as never told. Nothing in my tenancy says anything about the meters.

Usualy, if the Landlord cant prove what was in the accomodation, via inventory list with your approval, he cant deduct anything if say you take the light bulbs or water jacket ( that you paid for ). etc. Naturaly it is expected that accomodation includes kitchen sink, taps, light switches, doors etc.

Deposit.
Is what it says, A deposit for security (irrspective of the rent you pay ) if you happen to damage the property in any way. You have not damaged anything, ,and there is no inventory either. It's a refundable deposit, not a service charge. Of course the accomodation has to be inspected, and sometimes this can be after you have vacated, so this could delay the return of deposit ( would you give back a deposit without inspecting ? ) and they may want to combine inspecting with taking photos.

Changing electric meters.
From all the posts on here over last 2 years, it is reported that a tenant can change suppliers as he/she wishes. including the type of meter.
As tom999 says, if it's agreed to put back meters by agreement, then you should.

BUT.

Water. you will find that once a water meter is installed you can't change it back without consderable cost ( considerable ).

Gas and Electric. Again, if you wish to change them back to credit type, from prepay, then they will want details of your finances, bank accounts etc, ( yes they will ) and to set up direct debits as well, as they will then be giving you credit, as before you got no credit off them. And as you are leaving the property, no point in appliying to have the meters changed, as you will no longer be the tenant in 2 weeks time, unless you want your name on future bills when you have left. They need a name and an address to invoice, and they will only have yours.. Leave the meters alone.

Viewing. Best not to hinder them, if the pics are not suitable, they will soon go back and take some more when you have left, but as advised, let them in, at times to suit you.

R.a.M

Telometer
08-02-2010, 13:45 PM
You sound like good tenants. Beware that your L has the right to force you to pay to:
When we moved here the gas and electric meters were the ones you have to get a reading from everymonth. They were set on a high tariff and ticking over too fast. So we paid to have card meters put in.
put normal meters in. (For the record, card readers are usually considerably more expensive. But then you were with Utility Warehouse who are notoriously expensive.)
Re-painted in magnolia for next tenants.
have the place professionally painted. Not all L's are appreciative of DIY painting; in fact DIY painting can do considerable damage.
Leaving neutral curtains everywhere. Previous ones were lime green!
replace his lime green curtains - I hope you did not throw them away.
Leaving all light shades. There were none when we moved in.
charge you for their removal.
Painted the wall in the yard as it was green and black with moss when we moved here.
charge you for any damage as a result of your DIY work. Was your preparation really adequate?

Also replaced the flooring in the bathroom as when we moved here the radiator was faulty and leaked a rust coloured liquid onto the carpet which we couldn't get out.

I don't understand why you didn't make him pay for this.

Anyway, good luck.

Snorkerz
08-02-2010, 14:00 PM
All of what Telometer says is right, I think the message is that the standard deal with renting property is that you leave it in the same condition a when you found it (less wear and tear). What is an improvement to you, may be damage to someone else.

Example - a slimy green and black wall will function perfectly well as a wall for many years without attention - a painted wall will need to be re-painted every 3 years, at whos expense?

I don't think you will have a problem, but it is worth remembering for future tenancies that you should only 'improve' the property with the landlords written permission - for your security.

westminster
08-02-2010, 14:21 PM
So we paid to have card meters put in. Will the landlord refuse to give us the bond back because of this?
I would charge a tenant to reinstate the original meters.


The following is improvments we have made to the house
New bamboo blinds all over the house.
Your property. Take them with you and make good any holes caused by installing them.


Re-painted in magnolia for next tenants.
Unless this was carried out to a professional standard, with the LL's permission, this may constitute chargeable damage.


Leaving neutral curtains everywhere. Previous ones were lime green!
And belonged to the landlord. Reinstate them.


Leaving all light shades. There were none when we moved in. Your property. Take them with you.


Painted the wall in the yard as it was green and black with moss when we moved here.
As has been pointed out, this may now have caused an ongoing maintenance issue. Unless you had LL's permission, he may charge you to have the paint removed.


Had alleygates put up.
Again, remove and make good any holes caused by installation.


Had new loft insulation and cavity wall insulation and new tank jackets.
LL's permission?


Also replaced the flooring in the bathroom as when we moved here the radiator was faulty and leaked a rust coloured liquid onto the carpet which we couldn't get out.

Faulty radiator was LL's responsibility to fix - why didn't you report the disrepair to him. And again, if you didn't get LL's permission to replace the flooring, and it wasn't professionally installed, he would be entitled to charge you to reinstate.

Mind you, as there is no inventory check-in you're probably safe as LL has to prove you caused the damage, but personally I would be furious if a tenant took it upon themselves to carry out these kind of 'improvements' without my knowledge or permission.

michelle_stt
08-02-2010, 14:25 PM
Charge me to remove light shades!! That is utterly ridiculous. I asked the LL to renew the floor in bathroom but he said no. It is lino and can easily be pulled up. And im not quite sure how painting can damage anything. Iv improved this house so much and now after your comments I have wasted my time and money and have put my bond at risk.

michelle_stt
08-02-2010, 14:31 PM
The council put the alleygates up which are about 6ft of iron gate which I cannot simply take down. Id rather that than have the drunks from the pub stumbling up there weeing and dumping used condoms.

westminster
08-02-2010, 14:36 PM
Charge me to remove light shades!! That is utterly ridiculous. I asked the LL to renew the floor in bathroom but he said no. It is lino and can easily be pulled up. And im not quite sure how painting can damage anything. Iv improved this house so much and now after your comments I have wasted my time and money and have put my bond at risk.
As I said, LL would have to prove the damage/alterations were caused during the tenancy, and without an inventory check-in this may be difficult, though I imagine there will be evidence that the meters were replaced.

The LL is entitled to refuse to replace the bathroom floor if the problem was purely cosmetic and not a safety hazard.

Painting can very easily constitute damage, if it is a poor DIY job or violent colours are used meaning that the LL has to pay for professional redecoration.

michelle_stt
08-02-2010, 14:42 PM
I have just double checked my tenancy agreement and there is nothing about the meters. all it said was to notify the landlord if i change supplier which i didn't.

Iv also just been to sign my new tenancy with the new landlord and it clearly states that if other meters are installed then its my responsibility to reinstate original meters or i will be charged £100.

Snorkerz
08-02-2010, 15:16 PM
I have just double checked my tenancy agreement and there is nothing about the meters.But I bet it also says nothing about demolishing the house - but landlord would expect you to pay if you did!

michelle_stt
08-02-2010, 15:23 PM
I came here for help and some peoples comments have left me feeling stupid.

westminster
08-02-2010, 15:44 PM
I have just double checked my tenancy agreement and there is nothing about the meters. all it said was to notify the landlord if i change supplier which i didn't.
The contract probably says you're not allowed to make alterations.


I came here for help and some peoples comments have left me feeling stupid.

You've had many optimistic comments regarding your question of whether the LL will deduct anything from your deposit. And some less optimistic ones. It wouldn't be much help if everyone told you only what you wanted to hear - the truth is you should have sought the landlord's permission for many of the things you did. The truth is also that you may get away with it because there's no inventory.

Mars Mug
08-02-2010, 15:49 PM
This old thread may be of interest;

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=22098

michelle_stt
08-02-2010, 16:05 PM
Thank you for the link. that was helpful. Iv been a brilliant tenant as told by the letting agent and this is the only problem.

Telometer
08-02-2010, 16:42 PM
I came here for help and some peoples comments have left me feeling stupid.

Presumably you asked the questions because you were worried that changing the meters etc. might cause you to lose your deposit...


On the Utility Warehouse point, the reason L asks you not to change suppliers is because he gets a cut of your spend on electricity. Perceived wisdom is that he has no entitlement to require you to buy your electricity from a single supplier.

michelle_stt
08-02-2010, 16:51 PM
On the Utility Warehouse point, the reason L asks you not to change suppliers is because he gets a cut of your spend on electricity. Perceived wisdom is that he has no entitlement to require you to buy your electricity from a single supplier.

How does he do that? They did specifically say NOT to change which i didn't but they were very expensive and I got into £100's of debt.

Snorkerz
08-02-2010, 17:00 PM
But I bet it also says nothing about demolishing the house - but landlord would expect you to pay if you did!


I came here for help and some peoples comments have left me feeling stupid.

If my comment made you feel that way - I'm sorry. What I meant to show was that there are a million things you 'can't do' but the landlord can't list them all in the AST.

And, just to re-iterate

I don't think you will have a problem, but it is worth remembering for future tenancies that you should only 'improve' the property with the landlords written permission - for your security.

michelle_stt
08-02-2010, 17:03 PM
Thanks. Hopefully everything will be ok and my house mov can be a stress free as possibile, although my 2 young children will cause stress!