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Tenant's Deposit


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We have had a really tough time with our first tenant who was finally evicted on 25th April. The agent went ahead and used most of the deposit as rent payment (with their commission of course) , after deducting professional cleaning fees of 160 pounds. They did not ask us what other expenses we had and it was only by chance that I discovered all of the above as it was not detailed on our monthly invoice. They have done nothing to chase up the final housing benefit we are due, which is our only hope of getting any more money, as the tenant owes lots of people money.

The agent says if we disagree with what he is allowing us from the deposit, then we can go to arbitration. I have composed a letter substantiating what we are claiming, in the hope that the agent will see sense and we can sort this all out. Of course the agent stands to lose their monthly commission if the deposit money is used for repairs and not rent!

My question is, are we being unreasonable in claiming the following which were all purchases to replace willfully damaged/ missing items and not fair wear and tear?

A small rug to cover iron burns on a 1yr old carpet. A replacement electric fire as previous 1yr old fire 'kicked in'. Replacement grill pan handle. Replace missing louvre window pane.

What would be considered reasonable landlord charges for the following (We have claimed 200 and the agent only agrees to 100 pounds):

Removal of tenant's furniture involving two van loads to the tip.

Gardening involving cutting small hedge, weeding and cutting grass twice because it was so long.

Window cleaning inside and out . (Outside very dirty)

Washing net curtains which were black.

Painting damaged decor on scribbled wall.

Replacing corrugated plastic roof panel.

Had we paid for the above to be done professionally ,it would have brought the total cost to more than the deposit. Also, if we were not entitled to make a fair claim for our labours, should the agent not have told us we would be as well to pay for it to be done?

I'd appreciate any comments on the above.

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Personally I don't think you are being unreasonable but as we all know Agents will consider their financial position regarding commission before your interest (been there and done that).

There are some things that you will have to recover and maybe not expect financial payment for if there is not enough money in the pot and that means cleaning windows and cutting grass and washing net curtains comes under that heading I'm sorry to say. As you have no Tenant to discuss this matter with you are out on a limb regarding compensation money.


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  • 3 weeks later...

In case it is of encouragement to anyone else having problems with agents and deposits, I thought I'd let you know the outcome. We revised our claim, removing anything which could possibly be constsrued as general maintenance. However, we stuck to our claim for 200 pounds for all the work we had done and this was granted. We argued, that as our agent, they should have informed us that we may not receive a fair rate for any works carried out by ourselves. Next time round, we will be paying workmen to do more of the jobs. The moral is to persevere and to learn from it!

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Most of us have been there fleming......learning as you go along the dreaded pitfalls!

I actually reduced my rental properties because of the stress of dealing with bad Tenants.

I learnt also that people don't always have your qualities of fair mindness and a few other things as well when it comes to renting your property.

I also think that the Tenant is now too overprotected when it comes to a point whereby damage and loss of money and earnings is blatently obvious to the Landlord.

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