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MrShed
02-08-2005, 14:19 PM
Follow up from my previous thread(Denied access to property prior to end of tenancy).

Basically, I sent my landlord a letter saying I expected to receive £512 within 14 days of the date of the letter, or I would persue matters legally. The agent has rang me today and asked if I would be willing to come to the office and discuss the matter to prevent "hitting correspondance back and forth". Is this a good idea? On one hand I want to solve it amicably, and someone said a judge in small claims would expect to see evidence of you having tried to resolve the matter informally, and this could be a quick andeasy way of finalising the issue. However, on the other hand, will this render my demands/requests for the money in my letter void? Also can someone give me a figure they think I should settle for with them if asking for £512? Like an absolute minimum? Finally, can someone tell me which method of storing deposits requires that the landlord pay the tenants back any interest accrued?

thanks in advance for the help

MrWoof
02-08-2005, 16:09 PM
Follow up from my previous thread(Denied access to property prior to end of tenancy).

Basically, I sent my landlord a letter saying I expected to receive £512 within 14 days of the date of the letter, or I would persue matters legally. The agent has rang me today and asked if I would be willing to come to the office and discuss the matter to prevent "hitting correspondance back and forth". Is this a good idea? On one hand I want to solve it amicably, and someone said a judge in small claims would expect to see evidence of you having tried to resolve the matter informally, and this could be a quick andeasy way of finalising the issue. However, on the other hand, will this render my demands/requests for the money in my letter void? Also can someone give me a figure they think I should settle for with them if asking for £512? Like an absolute minimum? Finally, can someone tell me which method of storing deposits requires that the landlord pay the tenants back any interest accrued?

thanks in advance for the help1. Sounds like the agent is worried, go to the office by all means but at your convenience, not theirs.
2. No, you are trying to resolve the matter without prejudicing your demands.
3. Only you and the agent/LL know the circumstances, without knowing how the £512 figure was arrived at how can we suggest another figure?
4. Most if not all tenancy agreements state that no interest will be payable on a deposit.

MrShed
02-08-2005, 16:36 PM
Thanks MrWoof....yes does sound as if the agent is willing to give at least something up, as otherwise he would have just sent me a letter back saying "no" :P lol

3) Yes, sorry, should have said this. Its just im sure people like paul and other experienced landlords/agents will have been in situation negotiating over deposit , and wondering, generally speaking, how much landlords are willing to budge after their initial decision.

FYI, the deductions I am disputing were:

- Cleaning of £510(£180 cleaning, £245 carpet+suite cleaning and £85 for cooker) - asking for £410 of this back(only localised cleaning required in my opinion).

- £70 for painting walls to cover up marks that were there when we moved in
-£23 to replace a pine drawer handle which only costs around £2
- £6 to replace a fluorescent light tube - which we consider fair wear and tear :P

*edit* if anyone more experienced than myself in these matters would be willing to look at the letter I sent, it explains in full detail....I'm guessing no-one would have the time to do that though....but it would be much appreciated if anyone would :)

Problem is, its obviously very subjective and based on opinions with regards the cleaning in particular. Certainly I am not willing to budge at all on the £70 for cleaning the walls, its a joke that we have been charged for this.

4) Yes, it does actually say this on my contract. However, I thought that if it was in one form of "storage" the LL was legally obliged to pay the interest? Which, if it was stored in this way, makes this an unfair term does it not?

MrWoof
02-08-2005, 17:11 PM
- Cleaning of £510(£180 cleaning, £245 carpet+suite cleaning and £85 for cooker) - asking for £410 of this back(only localised cleaning required in my opinion).

- £70 for painting walls to cover up marks that were there when we moved in
-£23 to replace a pine drawer handle which only costs around £2
- £6 to replace a fluorescent light tube - which we consider fair wear and tear :P
Certainly I am not willing to budge at all on the £70 for cleaning the walls, its a joke that we have been charged for this.

4) Yes, it does actually say this on my contract. However, I thought that if it was in one form of "storage" the LL was legally obliged to pay the interest? Which, if it was stored in this way, makes this an unfair term does it not?You think that only localised cleaning would do but in all likelyhood, that would show up other parts of the carpet and suite so I would clean all and charge for it. The cooker needs cleaning??? Thats down to you, I don't have time to clean up after a tenant so I have to pay and would most definitely pass this one on to the tenant. £85 seems high though, how bad was it? Pine drawer handle, yes, as before, labour charges, flourescent tube, yes, tenant is responsible for minor maintenance, this includes light bulbs, tap washers etc. £70 to clean the walls, to be honest, given the other cleaning charges, I would be happy to argue this one as well.
Not al LLs do work on property themselves, I don't, especially when I can pass charges on to a tenant, check local costs, I think you'll get a shock when you see how high labour charges are even in low cost areas.
As for the deposit, there are costs to the LL in keeping a separate bank account for deposits, also, over time, inflation erodes the value so any interest earned offsets this to an extent. Its not an unfair term.
Sorry if this seems harsh on you but I've only got your own information to go on and I'm looking at this from a LLs point of view.

MrShed
02-08-2005, 17:14 PM
You seem to be assuming that I am disputing these charges merely because they are high. I am disputing them because they are just false. I cleaned the cooker, it was totally clean. As was most of the house...only the living room needed a vacuum, that was about it. And no offence, but if you would charge a tenant for painting walls that wasnt that tenants fault, that doesnt make you a very good LL :|

zoe
02-08-2005, 19:53 PM
MrShed

Lightbulbs are not fair wear and tear.

If the carpet needed a hover then you cannot possibly have cleaned this properly. Hovering is not cleaning - it is removing the surplus dirt. Cleaning carpets involve cleaning with specialised equipment. I think that carpets and suits should always be steam cleaned at the end of any tenancy.

The door handle might have cost £2 but how much for the time to purchase and fit.

Zoe

MrShed
02-08-2005, 20:52 PM
OK, legally or not, lets talk common sense here.

- Yes, light bulbs are not wear and tear. But a fluorescent tube, which lasts 10-15 years, I would say it is unfair that the tenants who happen to be in the property at the time of it failing have to pay, and I cannot see any argument against this. To be honest i cudnt care less about payin £6 for a tube, but its the principle of the thing.

- If a landlord thinks carpets and suites should be steam cleaned between tenancies, then fine, But do it at their expense. It is not a tenants responsibility to return the property in some kind of showroom condition, if the landlord wants it like this, they can pay. But the property was cleaned to the condition it was when I entered the property.

- Yes fair enough about the drawer handle, but regardless, it does NOT cost £20 labour to fit a drawer handle.

zoe
02-08-2005, 21:31 PM
You have to return the property as you found it. If it was in show room condition when you took it on then it needs to be cleaned and returned as such.

£20 for a door handle, not sure but I reckon a handy man call out fee would be about £15 ?

MrShed
02-08-2005, 21:35 PM
Yes, but bear in mind this is a student let. The place was, sorry but no other way to describe it, a shithole.

Jennifer_M
03-08-2005, 10:03 AM
Mr Shed, if you want to argue things against your LL then argue them, but in all fairness:

- You are responsible for light bulbs in the property you rent. If you think it's unfair for you to have to pay to replace a 'second hand one' maybe the LL should remove all light bulbs before you move in and let you buy your own ?
- If it only cost £2 to replace the drawer handle, why didn't you replace it when it fell off ? £20 to buy one and pay someone to fix the drawer isn't excessive when you know how much it costs to get any workman out.

When it comes to cleaning, it all depends on what state to property was like when you moved in and when you moved out and what the inventory says. If there's no inventory then the LL is stuffed, if there is one and the property had marks on the walls and it was a shithole as you call it, you should have put it down on the inventory before you signed it.
People one day will start understanding the importance of inventories.

MrShed
03-08-2005, 10:17 AM
- Because I was not aware that the drawer knob had fallen off.....it was furniture that was in my room originally but not during the course of the tenancy.

- The marks on the walls WERE on the inventory

MrWoof
03-08-2005, 15:36 PM
You seem to be assuming that I am disputing these charges merely because they are high. I am disputing them because they are just false. I cleaned the cooker, it was totally clean. As was most of the house...only the living room needed a vacuum, that was about it. And no offence, but if you would charge a tenant for painting walls that wasnt that tenants fault, that doesnt make you a very good LL :|You did not make it clear that the cooker was clean and therefore a false charge made, nor that the marks on the wall were already there and on the inventory, if you had, my post would have been different. Also, you are now saying that the living room only needed a vacuum clean, what happened to the localised cleaning you stated was needed earlier?

MrShed
03-08-2005, 23:03 PM
That is what I am classing as localised cleaning. Very small individual jobs. The living room needed a vacuum, as did under the bed in one bedroom. And I am not so unreasonable as to try and reclaim charges made for cleaning items we hadnt actually cleaned, I would have thought that that would be without saying.