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View Full Version : Deduction from deposit for final inspection?



LandlordGuy
21-12-2011, 11:30 AM
Letting agent wants to take about £80 from deposit at end of tenancy in order to carry out a final inspection of the proproperty. Can they do this? Thanks.

johnjw
21-12-2011, 12:52 PM
If you are the LL, then you could expect to pay the Agent for this service.
If you are the tenant, then you would certainly not expect to pay for the final inspection. The agent will be working on behalf of the LL and should be paid by the LL.

Darth Wookie
21-12-2011, 13:18 PM
An unfortunate scam carried out by stupid LA's. The deposit should not be used for final inspection fees. A separate invoice should go to the LL as it is the LL's choice to have a final inspection carried out, not yours.

LandlordGuy
21-12-2011, 13:21 PM
Thanks for the replies, I did query this charge at the time of signing the tenancy agreement, I'll make sure they don't charge me.

jjlandlord
21-12-2011, 13:50 PM
Thanks for the replies, I did query this charge at the time of signing the tenancy agreement, I'll make sure they don't charge me.

Ah so you did agree to this in the tenancy agreement.
In such case I'm afraid you'll have problems trying not to pay.

LandlordGuy
21-12-2011, 13:58 PM
I didn't agree to it as such, I highlighted the paragraph and wrote a comment next to it challanging it. The agent wouldn't let me move in unless I signed the agreement but they never got back to me ref that charge.

jjlandlord
21-12-2011, 14:16 PM
I didn't agree to it as such, I highlighted the paragraph and wrote a comment next to it challanging it. The agent wouldn't let me move in unless I signed the agreement but they never got back to me ref that charge.

...
What did you write to "challenge it"?

If you don't agree to a clause, you either do not sign the agreement, or you cross the clause out + sign next to it, then sign the agreement.

LandlordGuy
21-12-2011, 15:31 PM
I wrote "queried charge with agent" but they never got back to me to about it.

jjlandlord
21-12-2011, 15:34 PM
So you did agree to it.

LandlordGuy
21-12-2011, 15:40 PM
No they knew I didn't agree with it

jjlandlord
21-12-2011, 15:46 PM
No they knew I didn't agree with it

It is explicitly in the contract that you signed, and in addition your note in the margin makes it very clear that you read the clause and had it clarified by the agent.
Again, imo it would be rather difficult to claim that you never agreed to it should you wish to raise a dispute before the deposit scheme's arbitrator..

LandlordGuy
21-12-2011, 16:07 PM
The agent never clarified the clause. I will refuse to pay it and see what happens.

Darth Wookie
21-12-2011, 16:08 PM
it's still worth remembering that neither the LA or LL can deduct this from the deposit. It's a charge which can only be made at the close of tenancy and is not deposit-deductable.
You may end up having to pay it separately though.

MrJohnnyB
21-12-2011, 16:18 PM
Without knowing the exact wording of the clause it is difficult to know the enforceability of such a clause.

jjlandlord
21-12-2011, 16:22 PM
it's still worth remembering that neither the LA or LL can deduct this from the deposit. It's a charge which can only be made at the close of tenancy and is not deposit-deductable.

I'm not convinced.
HA 2004 states:


“tenancy deposit”, in relation to a shorthold tenancy, means any money intended to be held (by the landlord or otherwise) as security for—
(a) the performance of any obligations of the tenant, or
(b) the discharge of any liability of his,
arising under or in connection with the tenancy.

Assuming that, being part of the contract, paying the fee is an obligation of the tenant, if he does not pay at the end of the tenancy, or plainly refuses to pay, agent/landlord seems in his right to seek payment through a deposit deduction.

mariner
22-12-2011, 03:02 AM
"The agent never clarified the clause. I will refuse to pay it and see what happens."

It was there, you read it, you didn't understand it.
Did you ask for clarification?
Did you strike out clause and initial change as was your right?

Check in/out inventories benefit both T & LL. LL cannot substantiate damage without both. T cannot dispute damage claim without latter. both inspections are conducted by LL or LA there is a risk of bias so T should be invited to attend the latter.
IMO the cost of both inspections should be borne equally by both T & LL

As LL I tend to pay for both. "Who pays the piper chooses the tune" as it is LL who has to demonstrate T damage yet T oft fails to check/sign either

LandlordGuy
22-12-2011, 10:53 AM
Yes inread the clause and i understood it perfectly however my challange to the agent was questioning if they could actually charge me for this. The agent was insistant that i couldn't strike through the clause, so i made a comment next to the clause. I asked for clarification of the clause but that was never forthcoming.the agent told me i had to sign for the agreement in its entirity.

mariner
22-12-2011, 16:48 PM
Then Agent was wrong. You were negotiating a Contract and either side can modify/delete clauses with other side's Agreement. Such Agreement may require a delay and modifications should be initialled by both sides or q revised Contract prepared for signing. Or other side can terminate negotiations. Once signed, the terms of the Contract are binding on both Parties. Rather than saying you don't like it and then signing, you should have just got up to leave. If LA wanted your business he may have changed his mind. Spilt milk.

LandlordGuy
23-12-2011, 11:02 AM
When you are sat in a wagon outside the house waiting to move all your worldly belongings into the house then all i could do, which i did, was note next to the clause that i didnt agree with it and it needed clarification, which i never received.

jjlandlord
23-12-2011, 11:09 AM
all i could do, which i did, was note next to the clause that i didnt agree with it and it needed clarification, which i never received.

"queried charge with agent" does not mean that you did not agree or that further clarification was needed.
It's just a comment saying that the clause was discussed.

I think a good advice here for the future would be to request the tenancy agreement to be viewed and signed quite in advance.

islandgirl
23-12-2011, 11:18 AM
just do as you say - refuse to pay and see what happens! You have nothing whatsoever to lose

LandlordGuy
24-12-2011, 18:42 PM
I did request it in advance but was told I couldn't have it until the day I moving in.