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Tenant claims furniture was already broken


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I'm new to this forum, so apologies if this question has already been answered somewhere.

I have been sub-letting my flat (with permission of the landlord) for the last 3 months. I have had two sets of tenants, the latest of which have been there for just one month. On move-out day I went to do an inspection of the flat prior to returning their deposit, and found that one of the beds had been broken (among other things, but this is the only thing that they have disputed so far.)

The tenants are claiming that the bed was already broken when they moved in, but as they never mentioned this to me, and as I have had friendly email communication with them throughout their tenancy, I'm finding it hard to believe. Surely they would have mentioned something to me in the half-dozen emails we have exchanged? And if they had told me it was broken when they moved in, I would have done something about it. They are also claiming that they had to 'put up with' a blocked sink and broken washing machine - but these were never mentioned to me either, until they moved out of the flat.

My own tenancy with the landlord has now ended, and I am waiting for the results of his inspection to receive my deposit. I'm very concerned that he will charge me for the cost of replacing the bed, and so have told the tenants that I will only partly repay their deposit until I have heard back from the inspection.

My only worry in withholding some of their deposit, is that it is possible the sub-tenants who were there before them may have broken the bed. However, this is not something I noticed when checking the flat after they left. And again, I would have expected the current tenants to have mentioned this as soon as they found out. I don't want to charge them for something they didn't do. But at the same time, something about the story doesn't ring true.

Does anyone have any advice on how I should proceed? Thanks

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Always make sure you have a check in inventory & a check out inventory otherwise.......its your word against theirs.

Nothing much you can do about it if you didn't have a check in inventory other than return their deposit in full and put

it down to your inexperience.

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Any blocked drains/sinks is down to the tenant as anything that blocked it was put in by the tenant. Unless there is a fault with the pipework.

A broken washing machine is normally down to the landlord but if it isnt reported that is the tenants fault.

Though I agree with RL post above, there is nothing to stop you trying your luck and make a deduction from the deposit for the bed but if the tenants make a issue of it you will need to back it up with an inventory. But your landlord will need you do the same to you also and if he hasnt got a inventory he cant either. If he does have inventory that you signed you should have known better and made sure you got one done for your tenants.

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