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Oct, 2014

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  1. #1

    Default Tenant broke agreement by having pets and leaving house dirty

    My tenant kept a puppy in the house despite specifying in agreement that pets were not allowed and left the house dirty. When the new tenants went into the house, they refused to move in and now i have lost them having the house empty for the time being. A letting Agency is trying to find new tenants but in the meantime i am losing rental income and i icurred charges for having the house cleaned up. I gave the tenant half of the deposit last month but i am holding the other half because of what has happened. The tenant is threatening with seeking legal advice. Am I within my right to withold the money from the half of the deposit to cover for the cleaning charges and the loss of income?
    I would really appreciate some advice on the matter. I have a signed agreement and I truly feel that the tenant has breached it.
    Thank you very much

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    5,117

    Default

    Did you protect the deposit in a scheme?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,146

    Default

    The tenant is not responsible for you missing rental income. You should have inspected the property and rectified any issues before starting a new tenancy. did the new tenants not view the property?

    Do you have check in and check out reports that detail the condition of the property? If yes, and the property is not as clean as when they moved in (and you have good evidence), then by all means the tenant is responsible for any cleaning costs. How did you return half of the deposit and kept the rest? was/is it in a deposit scheme?
    All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,273

    Default

    When you say you "gave tenant half the deposit last month" sounds like you failed to protect it in a Government scheme, which has been a requirement since April 2007.

    When did the tenancy start - exact date?
    When did it end - exact date?

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JK0 View Post
    Did you protect the deposit in a scheme?
    No, I did not protect the deposit with a scheme because the tenant was a friend of a family member and all i did was get a tenancy agreement from WHSmith I am afraid.

    Quote Originally Posted by MSaxp View Post
    The tenant is not responsible for you missing rental income. You should have inspected the property and rectified any issues before starting a new tenancy. did the new tenants not view the property?

    Do you have check in and check out reports that detail the condition of the property? If yes, and the property is not as clean as when they moved in (and you have good evidence), then by all means the tenant is responsible for any cleaning costs. How did you return half of the deposit and kept the rest? was/is it in a deposit scheme?
    The property was checked a couple of months earlier and it was fine. The LA showed the property to the potential new tenants when the property was still in good condition and no pet was in the house.

    Quote Originally Posted by LesleyAnne View Post
    When you say you "gave tenant half the deposit last month" sounds like you failed to protect it in a Government scheme, which has been a requirement since April 2007.

    When did the tenancy start - exact date?
    When did it end - exact date?
    Because the tenant was an acquitance, I asked him to just pay half of the rent the month before he left and i told him that i would give him the other half when he left but obviously he left in a rush because he had somewhere else and left the house in a complete mess.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,146

    Default

    Thats why you should ignore the fact they are an acquaintance when doing business.

    I dont think you have a leg to stand on legally. You seem to have no proof of the cleanliness at the start and end of tenancy, so difficult to convinvce a judge.

    On top of that, you are at the mercy of the 'acquaintance' not to sue you for deposit non compliance and ask for a penalty of up to 3 times the value of the deposit. He can do so in the next 6 years.
    All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

  7. #7

    Default

    The Letting Agency has pictures of the house in good state from when they started advertising it. Is that proof enough? They also took pictures of the state of the house after he left to tell me the reasons why the new tenants would not move in. How about the fact of having a dog despite having sign a contract whith not pet accepted? And how about the cleaning charges i have incurred?

    I have pictures of the house before he moved in and the state he left it in plus the report of the Letting agency detailing the appalling conditions the house was left in. Could i at least deduct the cleaning charges from the deposit?
    Thank you so much for your advice.

    The tenancy started the 5th of November 2011.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Yorkshire
    Posts
    24,592

    Default

    No, you cannot legitmately deduct anything from the deposit because it is the tenant's money and remains so until a deposit scheme adjudicator decides otherwise. Since you did not protect it, you cannot appeal to an adjudicator. You should return the money you have kept back and hope the 'acquaintance' doesn't sue you for non-compliance with deposit protection, as advised above.

    Yes you could sue your T for the cost of cleaning the property - the agency's photographs might help, but in the circumstances (ie with no proper inventory in place) I wouldn't bother.

    The dog is not going to carry much weight - most tenancy agremeents (including the WHS one I think) say 'no pets except with consent, not to be unreasonably witheld'. If the dog has wrecked the carpets etc then you could in theory ask for extra for the cleaning and de-fleaing - but you would be relying on your T's goodwill here, as you have no protected deposit to fall back on.

    You need to chalk this loss up to experience and learn to be more businesslike about letting.

    Oh, and sack your agent. Thery should have told you all this at the outset.
    How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive? Homer Simpson

  9. #9

    Default

    Thank you so much for your help and support in this matter.
    I guess you learn from experience, the hard way in this case though.

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