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View Full Version : However Tenant admitted to disposing of table and chairs - what can I do?



lottiep
03-10-2011, 12:30 PM
My tenants gave notice 1 month ago, after 3 years under an AST. Nothing problematic, just usual late payments, however all paid up now. When I visited the property to show prospective tenants around I noticed items of furniture has disappeared, upon query the tenant assured me these were in the garage as they did not suit his taste. I had no reason to doubt the claim.

After a subsequent viewing I asked where the table and chairs had gone, the tenant admitted he had taken the table to the tip as the lag had broken, and could not remember where the chairs had gone.

I hinted that the replacement cost of the table would have to be considered when the deposit was returned, and the tenant threatened me stating that as the deposit was not put in a scheme he could take me to court and sue me if I didn’t repay the full deposit in cash at the same time he gives the keys back. I do admit I did not conform to the correct procedures regarding deposit schemes, however the tenant has admitted to disposing of the table and I suspect chairs.

Please can anyone advise of a suitable way forward? I have the deposit in cash as the tenant has requested, however I am loathed to pay back the full amount without any deduction for missing furniture.

Snorkerz
03-10-2011, 12:39 PM
Okay - so you are breaking the law and are cross that the tenant has thrown away a broken table.

Hmm - sympathy problem here.

Do you have a signed inventory or condition report from the start of the tenancy showing that the table/chairs existed, and their condition?

lottiep
03-10-2011, 12:45 PM
Yes - inventory and also pictures to show condition of the property.

The table was a large solid oak table, it was not broken at inception of the AST, and the tenant has confirmed this!

Snorkerz
03-10-2011, 13:44 PM
Well, obviously, the tenant can sue you for the return of the deposit. You in turn can counterclaim for the table and chairs. You would be unlikely to get the full replacement value though due to age.

If the tenant commences a claim for non-protection of their depost before the end of the tenancy then the penalty is 3x the value of the deposit.

Of course, you could protect the deposit NOW for free at www.depositprotection.com (http://www.depositprotection.com) and both comply with the law and avoid that potential problem. With DPS, if the tenant disagrees with your deductions you can use their free arbitration service (ADR) which is both quicker and (obviously) cheaper than the courts.

lottiep
03-10-2011, 14:01 PM
Great - thanks for the advice - next time I will be fully prepared and avoid this stupid
oversight!

Snorkerz
03-10-2011, 14:04 PM
Great - thanks for the advice - next time I will be fully prepared and avoid this stupid
oversight!You'd better be - the Localism Bill that is just about to be passed is going to tighten up deposit protection one heck of a lot.