PDA

View Full Version : Tenant moving in before refurbishment



Direct
13-08-2011, 11:08 AM
Hello everyone.

I have an incoming tenant who needs to move into my property quickly, but I have an appreciable amount of cleaning, repairs and replacements to do first, including carpets. There is an inventory and there is expected to be a contribution towards the cost from the outgoing tenant's deposit, which is held by the DPS. The cleaning can be scheduled before the incoming tenant moves in next week, but the tradesmen cannot fit in the other remedial work until later. I hope that the new tenant would allow access for carpet fitters and agree to sign a fresh inventory but that I suppose that can't be guaranteed.

I'm wondering:
- do I need photos of property before replacements and repairs for the DPS?
- should I move in the new tenant based on a new inventory that only reflects part of the work that I plan to get done? I am concerned that I could have difficulty later.

Thanks for any help!

mind the gap
13-08-2011, 11:11 AM
Was the original tenancy contract agreed and signed on the understanding that all the works, etc., would have been completed before new T moved in?

In other words, whose 'fault' will it be it that the house is not in an ideal state when he moves in - your new T's (for wanting to move in 'early) - or yours (for being unable to get it all done before the date originaly agreed)?

The answer to these questions will help us help you better. (It's not meant to sound judgemental!)

Snorkerz
13-08-2011, 11:16 AM
If I had just moved all my stuff into a new property, I would be mightily displeased if I had to shift it all around a fortnight later to allow carpet fitters to do their job. Have you spoken with your new tenant about this?

So far as inventory is concerned - you do the inventory with the property in the state it is in when the T moves in, including tatty carpets. If you have to claim for damage to new carpets at the end of the tenancy, you use the dated receipt as proof of their new condition on date X.

Direct
13-08-2011, 12:00 PM
I think my real question has become clearer:

Would the DPS agree a claim for damage by the old tenant if I have obtained a quote but the new tenant is moving in before I can replace the carpets?

Snorkerz
13-08-2011, 12:39 PM
Yes.

Is the checkout inventory agreed by the tenant? (signed?)
Were they at the checkout?
Were they invited to be at the checkout?
Who performed the checkout inventory?

Direct
13-08-2011, 13:00 PM
Yes.

Is the checkout inventory agreed by the tenant? (signed?)
Were they at the checkout?
Were they invited to be at the checkout?
Who performed the checkout inventory?

- yes to first three questions. Last question: I did.

Snorkerz
13-08-2011, 15:33 PM
Thats fine, the signed checkout inventory is your proof.
Had you not had that, an inventory carried out by an independent inventory clerk would have held much more sway with an adjudicator than a DIY one (on the basis you may be just a little bit biased).

Direct
13-08-2011, 16:03 PM
I appreciate your comments. Thanks.

westminster
13-08-2011, 19:05 PM
- yes to first three questions. Last question: I did.
Take note that the deposit scheme adjudicators place less weight on inventories carried out by the landlord, as opposed to an independent clerk.* Also note that adjudication is not compulsory; you can opt out and settle the matter in the county court (and the general view is that you are more likely to get a fair judgment in the county court).

* See 'A Guide to tenancy deposits, disputes and damages' - the official guide for all three schemes, downloadable here:
http://www.depositprotection.com/document-library/processes.aspx

Direct
13-08-2011, 19:38 PM
Take note that the deposit scheme adjudicators place less weight on inventories carried out by the landlord, as opposed to an independent clerk.* Also note that adjudication is not compulsory; you can opt out and settle the matter in the county court (and the general view is that you are more likely to get a fair judgment in the county court).

* See 'A Guide to tenancy deposits, disputes and damages' - the official guide for all three schemes, downloadable here:
http://www.depositprotection.com/document-library/processes.aspx

In the reference you give here, the DPS doesn't openly say that it places less weight on inventories carried out by the landlord, though I imagine that you are speaking from personal experience, to which I defer.

If then the DPS does look less favourably at inventories that have been agreed between landlord and tenant, then that would tend to reinforce the impression that Deposit Protection legislation is merely a burden on the honest landlord and tenant, who do not need an inventory clerk to help them establish the truth.

westminster
13-08-2011, 22:32 PM
In the reference you give here, the DPS doesn't openly say that it places less weight on inventories carried out by the landlord, though I imagine that you are speaking from personal experience, to which I defer.
No, not my personal experience. See paragraph 2 of the section entitled '2. INVENTORY REPORTS AND CHECK-IN/CHECK-OUT INSPECTIONS'. I quote: "Tenancy deposit protection schemes do not disregard, out of hand, inventories that are not prepared by independent companies or individuals. However, they are likely to place less weight on their contents."

Direct
14-08-2011, 00:22 AM
So it sounds as if an inventory clerk is necessary then. It feels a bit like paying protection money. Anyway thanks for pointing this out.

mind the gap
14-08-2011, 09:55 AM
So it sounds as if an inventory clerk is necessary then. It feels a bit like paying protection money. Anyway thanks for pointing this out.
Ha! That does indeed seem a good analogy. Preparing a detailed and thorough inventory is not neurosurgery. Most literate adults who can also count, could produce one if they wanted to.

It is totally illogical of the schemes to take this approach, since if the tenant has agreed the check-in inventory (regardless of who prepared it) and the LL has evidence to support any claims he wishes to make from the deposit following the check-out inventory,why should it make any difference who prepared the inventory in the first place?

If the tenants haven't agreed the check-in, I could see the DPS's point. But usually, they have. They have also had the chance to modify it to reflect the true state of the place, if the inventory is too 'glowing'. Plus, any omissions on the LL's part can only work to the T's ultimate advantage.

Sounds like a job creation scheme for inventory clerks, to me.

Direct
14-08-2011, 10:15 AM
Ha! That does indeed seem a good analogy. Preparing a detailed and thorough inventory is not neurosurgery. Most literate adults who can also count, could produce one if they wanted to.

It is totally illogical of the schemes to take this approach, since if the tenant has agreed the check-in inventory (regardless of who prepared it) and the LL has evidence to support any claims he wishes to make from the deposit following the check-out inventory,why should it make any difference who prepared the inventory in the first place?

If the tenants haven't agreed the check-in, I could see the DPS's point. But usually, they have. They have also had the chance to modify it to reflect the true state of the place, if the inventory is too 'glowing'. Plus, any omissions on the LL's part can only work to the T's ultimate advantage.

Sounds like a job creation scheme for inventory clerks, to me.

I have to agree. If indeed the DPS literature really is so bold as to say openly that they don't trust an AGREED inventory as much as an inventory clerk, then it looks to be no better than a scheme to redistribute income from landlords to inventory clerks, coupled with a public insult to landlords and tenants generally.

westminster
14-08-2011, 11:11 AM
I have to agree. If indeed the DPS literature really is so bold as to say openly that they don't trust an AGREED inventory as much as an inventory clerk, then it looks to be no better than a scheme to redistribute income from landlords to inventory clerks, coupled with a public insult to landlords and tenants generally.

ADR is not compulsory; there is always the option of the county court, which will consider evidence on its own merits.

You can, if you wish, make T liable for the cost of the inventory check-out (LL pays the check-in). This is a fairly standard arrangement in tenancy contracts.

Direct
14-08-2011, 11:24 AM
ADR is not compulsory; there is always the option of the county court, which will consider evidence on its own merits.

You can, if you wish, make T liable for the cost of the inventory check-out (LL pays the check-in). This is a fairly standard arrangement in tenancy contracts.

That sounds reasonable, if one has faith that a county court would never be swayed by the outcome of the DPS/ADR process (!) But then, I thought that part of the reason for having DPS, ADR etc. was to avoid the burden of court action.

As to the cost of the inventory, either way, it seems that someone is being persuaded to pay, whether it be landlord or tenant and the only winner is the inventory clerk.

westminster
14-08-2011, 11:43 AM
That sounds reasonable, if one has faith that a county court would never be swayed by the outcome of the DPS/ADR process (!)
As I said, ADR is not compulsory. Therefore, if you (or the tenant) opted out, there would be no ADR decision to 'sway' the court. The scheme would hold the disputed sum pending the court decision.

The advantage of bypassing ADR is that it makes enforcement easier if LL wins the CC claim. If LL uses ADR first and loses, then the scheme will return the money to T, so LL has the additional hassle of enforcement if he wins a subsequent court claim.


But then, I thought that the part of the reason for having DPS, ADR etc. was to avoid the burden of court action.
Yes, that's the idea, and it may be that the court would ask LL (or T) why they opted out of ADR. If I were in this situation I would simply draw the court's attention to the parts of the guidance which appear to indicate that ADR is not impartial (the sentence I quoted is by no means the only questionable thing in the guidance - for example, it says that LLs must provide 'bank statements which show arrears outstanding', which is obviously a nonsense, and not a word about T having to provide evidence of payment).

Direct
14-08-2011, 11:55 AM
Thanks for the extra info Westminster. The more I hear, the harder I find it to have confidence in the DPS. I wish you were in charge of it - but I'm sure you're glad you're not!