View Full Version : Should I return the Deposit?
01-06-2007, 22:18 PM
I am new to this, so forgive me if my question has an obvious answer!
I have rented one bedroom in my house for the last 3 years and have always returned the tenants full deposit when they left. I want to ask if I have a right to withhold some or all of my last tenants deposit due to a huge problem with mould covering 2 walls. There have been no problems with mould in the room in the previous 5 years I have lived here. I have been advised that it must have been caused by condensation, with the window probably never being opened while he lived there.
Surely he has a responsibilty to inform me if anything like this is happening, before the damage is extensive?
The Lodger Agreement I had with him was for 'a room in a furnished house or flat with a resident owner'.
I would really appreciate it if someone could advise me on this matter.
02-06-2007, 05:40 AM
It really depends on the agreement you would have to send me a private message with your email adress and I would have a look at it for you.
That would be the legal route but I am not a lawyer but have been in the business for 20 odd years, If it comes to a leal situation forget about it, Mould in your own house,even due to condensation is something that if you held the deposit back and it came to court you would loose the case in 5 seconds flat.
What I would do is have a frendly chat with the lodger, tell him whats on your mind and offer to spilt the deposit 50-50. if they cick up a fuss then give them the full deposit back and se-la ve.
I know its frustrating but investing in property or making money out of property has its pitfalls as well as sweet rewards, some times its easier to just smile and write things off.
Personally if they
05-06-2007, 20:43 PM
No, u cannot withold any or part of the deposit cos of mould problems. That is your responsibility as a Landlord. I suggest u revise your legal rights. etc
You are legally held liable to maintain the property in a good, liveable standard and r also responsible for decoration and all maintenance.
Don't rip anyone off mate.
The tenant will have a fit and u could be in a difficult situation if u pursue this.
06-06-2007, 07:25 AM
If he's nto opened the window in 3 years, then the cost of new wallpaper is nothing compared to what you've had to deal with. i was gonna ask why he didn't bother to tell you earlier about the damp, but doesn't it sound like he's worreid by it!
06-06-2007, 08:00 AM
I would probably withhold some of the deposit, if I was positive that the tenant caused the problem by not airing the room. The tenant has a responsibility to mitigate damage to property that he has hired. If the damp was coming through the walls because of a leak in the gutter, for example, then that is a different situation.
The tenant would have to file a claim for the return of the deposit. The decision could go either way depending on how you present your case.
06-06-2007, 09:17 AM
I would probably suggest splitting the cost with him. Unless it's a gigantic room it's not likely to cost a fortune as surface damp seldom requires replastering, just cleaning off & repainting.
That said, if he's been a very good tenant i may let it go.
If he just has that one room to himself then he's going to keep the door closed to the rest of the house anyway, which even with an open window is not as ideal as a thru flow of air. I've got properties where the north facing walls ALWAYS suffer with this problem even though I know tenants will do the utmost to prevent it.
Cavity wall insulation helps by the way for older properties, and tenants claiming benefits can get it done free - i encourage it :-)
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