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Marbles
20-09-2006, 15:32 PM
I am currently in the beginnings of a dispute with my landlord with regard to the return of a deposit.

He is refusing to return the whole deposit, saying he will withhold the majority of it to cover the cost of replacing a shower unit and repairing some water damage to one of the bathrooms.

This damage was caused six months prior to me leaving the property. A hairline crack developed in the floor of the shower basin, which lead to water leaking and causing damage to the surrounding area, which would necessitate a new basin, along with quite a bit of work to replace tiles and do work to the plasterboard and walls around the shower.

My landlord lives 200 miles away from the property and was very slow at arranging to get it fixed. A plumber was called in, who gave an estimate for the work (£1000). The landlord said this was too expensive and the plumber was not hired. By the time I left the property the shower was still not fixed and it is only getting done now, three weeks later.

I have a couple of questions.

1) Does the landlord have any right whatsoever to withold the deposit for this? (I would assume not)

2) How good would be my chances of getting the whole deposit back through the small claims court?

Discussions about the shower were all done by telephone so there is no paper trail as such. It seems to me that the landlord is merely trying to recoup the costs of not being able to immediately re-let the property (caused by his own acts) by taking the money from me.

He only informed me about this on the telephone last night, so I assume it would be a good idea for me to ask him to put it all down in writing.

MrShed
21-09-2006, 10:35 AM
When you say the hairline crack "developed", how do you mean? Honestly, was it caused by yourself in some way...dropping something etc? Just doesn't sound like something that can start on its own.

Marbles
21-09-2006, 17:10 PM
When you say the hairline crack "developed", how do you mean? Honestly, was it caused by yourself in some way...dropping something etc? Just doesn't sound like something that can start on its own.

We don't know how it happened - the first we knew anything was wrong was when the people in the flat downstairs said there was water coming through from our flat. It was only when I had a close look at the basin (and I mean close - on my hands and knees) that I saw the crack.

MrShed
21-09-2006, 17:12 PM
OK fair enough...just trying to get a true reflection. IMO, they could maybe justify charging you for the shower basin, but none of the rest of the issues.

Jennifer_M
21-09-2006, 19:30 PM
First of all was there an inventory done at the start of the tenancy?
No inventory = no money can be deducted

Then, what kind of shower basin is it? Is it plastic, ceramic...? And how old is it?
If the basin is plastic and 30 years old you would expect some wear and tear evolving into a crack.
A tenant can't be charged for wear and tear.