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View Full Version : Deposit Deductions...Advice Please!



HH123
09-01-2008, 01:15 AM
My tenant started her six month AST in 2005 which then ran as a periodic tenancy for a further 18 months during which the rent was always paid on time. The tenancy contract however was a standard issue contract and didnt mention anything about maintainance of the small front and rear gardens. When she moved in I made sure that the gardens were tidy, that garden equipment was supplied with the house and that she was aware that she would be responsible for the basic maintainance. Unfortunately she didnt lift a finger for the two years of the tenancy despite numerous verbal and written requests (copies held) and offers of assistance with disposing of the Amazonian jungle growing steadily around the house. Basically, she was a bone idle slob inside and outside. When she recently moved out, she left the house dirty and with some minor damage, some inventory items missing and the garden like a forest. Consequently I have held back a large proportion of the deposit. I have itemised in writing all the time and costs incurred by myself in cleaning the property, sorting the garden and replacing/repairing etc....17 hours in total which I have charged at £10 an hour. I have pictures to show some of the uncleanliness and state of the garden. However the tenant reckons she has pictures showing it was clean (which it wsnt!) and that the garden wasnt included on the contract (which is true, silly me!) HOWEVER!!!....in amongst the waste paper left at the property was her original contract and inventory sheet, LOL!

So, questions: 1) As the contract was dated 2005 and not re-issued, this is outside of the Deposit Protection Scheme area, yes? 2) Can she take me to the small claims court without being able to produce her original contract and inventory? 3) If she can, how can either she or myself prove when our photo's were taken and which way is the case likely to fall?

pcwilkins
09-01-2008, 07:37 AM
1) As the contract was dated 2005 and not re-issued, this is outside of the Deposit Protection Scheme area, yes?

Yes.


2) Can she take me to the small claims court without being able to produce her original contract and inventory?

Yes. And I'm not sure you can charge her for the garden if the agreement didn't say she was responsible for it. It may be that T is responsible for garden whether TA says so or not; I'm not sure of the legal position, someone else will no doubt advise.

Remember in court it will be up to you to prove that deductions were justified, not up to her to prove that they weren't. It sounds like she is responsible for the cleaning of the house (providing it was clean when she moved in and you can prove it) and the missing inventory items, but I'm not convinced about the garden, as I say. Your "numerous verbal and written requests" probably don't have much legal significance, I don't think, because she never agreed to maintain the garden --- unless of course T is legally responsible for garden even if TA doesn't say so.


3)how can either she or myself prove when our photo's were taken and which way is the case likely to fall?

Ideally, when T moves in you should get them to sign and date backs of photos, and again when T moves out.

If you have a set of photos each, and neither of you can prove when they were taken, it's all a bit up in the air and I wouldn't like to speculate on the outcome.

Peter

Colincbayley
09-01-2008, 08:01 AM
The garden forms of the property, even if it is not detailed that the tenant must maintain it.

As such I think it is only fair and correct to deduct the costs from the deposit.

jeffrey
09-01-2008, 08:55 AM
The garden forms of the property, even if it is not detailed that the tenant must maintain it.

As such I think it is only fair and correct to deduct the costs from the deposit.
Yes. If a property is defined only by postal address and not plan, it should include the full extent (i.e. with paths, accesses, gardens, etc.); if L does not make specific exclusions desired, the gardens etc, must be considered as included.