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Deposit Dispute


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I am fairly new to letting out my property as I'm a student now and just renting out while I'm studying.

Basically Ive been having some problems with tennants that took over my property in Feb turned out to be a nightmare fabricating problems in the flat that were either rectified or didnt exist. Then after 2 weeks said they wanted to move out. In honesty i was quite pleased as I new they were going to be a headache, so I told them fine and asked them to supply me with a date of leave in writing. They failed to do so, I asked again for a departure date so I could advertise and also informed them that I would need to view the flat to other prospective tennants during the day as I worked nights, they refused saying I could only come during the nights or weekends as their stuff was in the property. I left them for a while then again asked for a date as to when they would be leaving and they told me on that day they would be leaving and they wanted the deposit back that night. I explained that I would need to check the flat first before i even considered giving them it back. They left the flat and it was indeed in order however it did smell of smoke, additionally the flat was fully furnished when they got the flat and then asked for it all to be removed.

Because of all this, I had to advertise the flat for four weeks eventually taking £50 a month less to let it out, it stood empty for 6 weeks and cost over £100 in advertising fees. I also had to deep clean it myself to get rid of the smell of smoke.

Most of our communication has been through texts, they asked for their deposit back several times but I didnt reply until i looked into the lease. I found this part

7.4 The Tenant agrees that its liability for the Rent and for the performance of

the Tenant's whole obligations under this Agreement shall subsist, unless

otherwise agreed by the Landlord in writing as continuing obligations

until the latest of the following dates:

7.4.1 the end of the Term;

7.4.2 the Termination Date;

7.4.3 the date of the Tenant's removing from and giving the Landlord

vacant possession of the Premises.

I then informed them that they would not be getting the deposit back as costs exceeded it. I have now received a letter from them saying to give back the deposit or they will go to court.

It really is true that this has cost me a fortune in time, money and stress. I'm in my final year and really could have done with any stress like this.

The property is in scotland and under a short assured tennacy agreement.

Deposit is £ 300

Where do I stand?

Cheers :angry:

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If the rent was paid up to departure or the end of the term (whichever is later) and the flat is "in order" on inspection the tenant should expect to receive their deposit back.

If not, you could inform the tenant in writing that you intend to make a money claim to the court for outstanding rent and your costs to tidy up (you need receipts) and see what happens.

I don't think you can claim costs of finding a new tenant. That's part of your normal expenses.

Your stress is not the tenant's problem. The important factor is that the tenant has vacated and you can move on. Probably the best thing to do!

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Angelwings,

Can you tell me if you have to protect the deposit in Scotland?

If so why did you not do this?

Before you issue a new AST to anyone you need to read and understand it then you will be better equipped to deal with tenants queries/complaints. Dealing with major issues as property maintenance by text is not advisable neither is being a student an excuse for poor communication. I believe you have created your own stress through lack of experience.

Use this a learning curve, get over it and act more responsibly in future.

I hope that is not too hard on you but this is a business and you have to act business like.


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The bit that astounds me is the communication via text!!! This is a business relationship and should be treated accordingly.

Make sure everything is in writing, dated and signed.

Have copies filed at home / in the office.

If you use an agent insist of copies of everything - on letter headed paper.

If you speak on the phone - follow up with a confirmation letter.

If you email use the read receipt functionality and print out a copy to keep with your records.

Have printed receipted evidence of all financial outgoings.

Keep these records for a minimum of 7 years.

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