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Landlord problems

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    Hi everyone,

    We moved into our flat a year ago. We had no inventory check. We just moved out and left it in very good condition; there was only some minor water damage on the floor and we moved around some of the furniture (though I don't think that's against the tenancy agreement!) I took photos of the flat when we moved out, it was very clean- cleaner than when we moved in, though I have no proof of that. Our agent has been extremely unhelpful and offered us no advice in terms of this.

    I just got a text from the landlord saying he was very unhappy, though I can't imagine why. I'm worried he's going to take our security deposit. In terms of being a landlord he's been very unprofessional; his wife and son have dropped by often to pick up mail, fix up the TV etc and we've allowed him to do that, and we even moved in a few days late and out a day early to be nice. I don't think this counts as anything legally, but still...if he claims our security deposit, what rights do we have against him?
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    (Original post by meiming8)
    Hi everyone,

    We moved into our flat a year ago. We had no inventory check. We just moved out and left it in very good condition; there was only some minor water damage on the floor and we moved around some of the furniture (though I don't think that's against the tenancy agreement!) I took photos of the flat when we moved out, it was very clean- cleaner than when we moved in, though I have no proof of that. Our agent has been extremely unhelpful and offered us no advice in terms of this.

    I just got a text from the landlord saying he was very unhappy, though I can't imagine why. I'm worried he's going to take our security deposit. In terms of being a landlord he's been very unprofessional; his wife and son have dropped by often to pick up mail, fix up the TV etc and we've allowed him to do that, and we even moved in a few days late and out a day early to be nice. I don't think this counts as anything legally, but still...if he claims our security deposit, what rights do we have against him?
    I'm a landlord myself. He'll make a claim for the security deposit, but you should dispute it. You'll each need to give evidence for the claim. There should've been some photos taken prior to you moving in, did he do that? Unfortunately, you taking photos before you left won't count, unless they were witnessed by a third party.

    Furniture being moved - a non-issue. Water damage, you will be liable for that if it was your fault. You say water damage, to what extent?. He seems like he's very unhelpful and non-professional as you said.

    Hope it helps

    edit - also, is the deposit held in a government deposit scheme? If not, it's illegal not to these days to use these schemes (protects the tenant in cases like this to a certain extent).
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    (Original post by ash1011)
    I'm a landlord myself. He'll make a claim for the security deposit, but you should dispute it. You'll each need to give evidence for the claim. There should've been some photos taken prior to you moving in, did he do that? Unfortunately, you taking photos before you left won't count, unless they were witnessed by a third party.

    Furniture being moved - a non-issue. Water damage, you will be liable for that if it was your fault. You say water damage, to what extent?. He seems like he's very unhelpful and non-professional as you said.

    Hope it helps

    edit - also, is the deposit held in a government deposit scheme? If not, it's illegal not to these days to use these schemes (protects the tenant in cases like this to a certain extent).
    Hi ash, thanks for the help- really appreciate it. My photos still have dates on them, does that make any difference? No photos were taken at the beginning of the tenancy to my knowledge by him or by us. Water damage, some of the floorboards in the kitchen got a little damaged, but nothing huge. The washing machine was broken and in the time between it was getting fixed the floorboards got a bit soaked. We don't really have any evidence if my photos can't be used, but neither does he as far as I'm aware.
    Our security deposit is with the deposit protection service, the link is below:

    http://www.depositprotection.com/
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    (Original post by meiming8)
    Hi ash, thanks for the help- really appreciate it. My photos still have dates on them, does that make any difference? No photos were taken at the beginning of the tenancy to my knowledge by him or by us. Water damage, some of the floorboards in the kitchen got a little damaged, but nothing huge. The washing machine was broken and in the time between it was getting fixed the floorboards got a bit soaked. We don't really have any evidence if my photos can't be used, but neither does he as far as I'm aware.
    Our security deposit is with the deposit protection service, the link is below:

    http://www.depositprotection.com/
    Was the washing machine yours or part of the furnished part of your agreement? If it wasn't yours, then the fault for the water-damaged floorboards is with the landlord.

    Even though the photos have dates on them, if they weren't witnessed, who's to say the date wasn't changed on the camera... (not at all suggesting you did, but in the eyes of the tribunal (or whoever decides) this is what they could think).

    No photos at the beginning, could go in your favor, it's the landlords responsibility to do this, so he can't prove either way if the state of the flat/house is different from when you first moved in.

    The floorboards - to be replaced, do you think individual ones could be replaced or would they all have to be? Out of interest, how much was your deposit? As they can only claim the amount it would cost to restore the flat/house. This is only assuming that if they did deem it to be you who caused the damage.

    The law is highly on the side of the tenant so i don't think you will have much trouble. Keep a note of all contact between you and the landlord, and who initiated it. It's against the law for him to demand money - it's seen as a form of harassment.

    Wish you were my tenant! - having to evict mine due to non-payment of rent
    To be honest - all of what you've said is highly in your favor. I hope the deposit people see it in the same way.
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    (Original post by ash1011)
    Was the washing machine yours or part of the furnished part of your agreement? If it wasn't yours, then the fault for the water-damaged floorboards is with the landlord.

    Even though the photos have dates on them, if they weren't witnessed, who's to say the date wasn't changed on the camera... (not at all suggesting you did, but in the eyes of the tribunal (or whoever decides) this is what they could think).

    No photos at the beginning, could go in your favor, it's the landlords responsibility to do this, so he can't prove either way if the state of the flat/house is different from when you first moved in.

    The floorboards - to be replaced, do you think individual ones could be replaced or would they all have to be? Out of interest, how much was your deposit? As they can only claim the amount it would cost to restore the flat/house. This is only assuming that if they did deem it to be you who caused the damage.

    The law is highly on the side of the tenant so i don't think you will have much trouble. Keep a note of all contact between you and the landlord, and who initiated it. It's against the law for him to demand money - it's seen as a form of harassment.

    Wish you were my tenant! - having to evict mine due to non-payment of rent
    To be honest - all of what you've said is highly in your favor. I hope the deposit people see it in the same way.
    The washing machine was his. The bottom cupboard has some peeling paint/moss on a section, but it's really minor. It's sort of unsightly, but it's a fairly small patch and it doesn't affect the house negatively. The floorboards could probably be replaced individually. They're also not awful; I guess they're a bit waterlogged but it isn't really damaging the flat. We didn't really notice it- you can still walk in the kitchen but I guess it's a little unsightly. Apart from that we left it spotless, it was filthy when we first moved in! Our deposit is quite big, around 3000 pounds (1000 each) so really worried about it. I sent him an email about the washing machine a while back in which I stated that there was no water damage so hopefully that will stand up.

    Thanks once again for your help, quite nervous about this and my flatmates are pretty useless so I appreciate it!
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    (Original post by meiming8)
    The washing machine was his. The bottom cupboard has some peeling paint/moss on a section, but it's really minor. It's sort of unsightly, but it's a fairly small patch and it doesn't affect the house negatively. The floorboards could probably be replaced individually. They're also not awful; I guess they're a bit waterlogged but it isn't really damaging the flat. We didn't really notice it- you can still walk in the kitchen but I guess it's a little unsightly. Apart from that we left it spotless, it was filthy when we first moved in! Our deposit is quite big, around 3000 pounds (1000 each) so really worried about it. I sent him an email about the washing machine a while back in which I stated that there was no water damage so hopefully that will stand up.

    Thanks once again for your help, quite nervous about this and my flatmates are pretty useless so I appreciate it!
    He hasn't got a leg to stand on then. If you want clarification, perhaps contact the citizens advice bureau, free advice on matters like these.

    £3000 is a fair amount, he might be pulling a fast one, hoping you don't know your rights etc. Some people have and would cave and forfeit the deposit because they don't want the hassle. DO NOT do this. Best thing to do is check in a few weeks if a claim has been made. I think the Deposit protection scheme won't give back a deposit for a few months after you leave the residence (waiting period). If he does put in a claim, as i mentioned, dispute it. It may however take a good 3/4 months to get your money back.... especially if it goes to court, but hopefully it won't go that far. Keep a note of all correspondance between you both - will help in court.

    Hope it goes well for you
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    1. Go on to the Deposit Protection website and login here with your deposit ID and surname. Your landlord will have provided you this. https://www.depositprotection.com/login

    2. As your tenancy has ended you can submit a claim for your deposit yourself via your account (don't need to wait for your landlord).

    3. Fill out the forms, request the full amount of your deposit back. If the landlord has not performed an inventory which you have been provided or signed then he cannot prove the house is in worse condition than it was before the tenancy started. If he tries to claim for any random damage then say that it was like that at the start of the tenancy. It is completely up to the landlord to prove this, not the tenants.

    4. Your landlord has 14 days to respond to the claim via their account on depositprotection.com - if they do not then I believe the deposit gets awarded back to you. If they do respond and disagree with your proposal then make sure you dismiss all of their arguments and state that you left the house in a better condition than you left it. Again you are in a very strong position if the landlord does not have a dual signed inventory from the start of the tenancy and its very unlikely that the deposit protection adjudicator will rule in favour of your landlord.


    Go and do it now, your landlord will hope you forget about your deposit or cave in to their demands.
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    (Original post by tsnake23)
    1. Go on to the Deposit Protection website and login here with your deposit ID and surname. Your landlord will have provided you this. https://www.depositprotection.com/login

    2. As your tenancy has ended you can submit a claim for your deposit yourself via your account (don't need to wait for your landlord).

    3. Fill out the forms, request the full amount of your deposit back. If the landlord has not performed an inventory which you have been provided or signed then he cannot prove the house is in worse condition than it was before the tenancy started. If he tries to claim for any random damage then say that it was like that at the start of the tenancy. It is completely up to the landlord to prove this, not the tenants.

    4. Your landlord has 14 days to respond to the claim via their account on depositprotection.com - if they do not then I believe the deposit gets awarded back to you. If they do respond and disagree with your proposal then make sure you dismiss all of their arguments and state that you left the house in a better condition than you left it. Again you are in a very strong position if the landlord does not have a dual signed inventory from the start of the tenancy and its very unlikely that the deposit protection adjudicator will rule in favour of your landlord.


    Go and do it now, your landlord will hope you forget about your deposit or cave in to their demands.
    Thank you! I've just done it and I'll update as the claim goes through. Thanks so much!
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    (Original post by ash1011)
    He hasn't got a leg to stand on then. If you want clarification, perhaps contact the citizens advice bureau, free advice on matters like these.

    £3000 is a fair amount, he might be pulling a fast one, hoping you don't know your rights etc. Some people have and would cave and forfeit the deposit because they don't want the hassle. DO NOT do this. Best thing to do is check in a few weeks if a claim has been made. I think the Deposit protection scheme won't give back a deposit for a few months after you leave the residence (waiting period). If he does put in a claim, as i mentioned, dispute it. It may however take a good 3/4 months to get your money back.... especially if it goes to court, but hopefully it won't go that far. Keep a note of all correspondance between you both - will help in court.

    Hope it goes well for you
    It is good advice to never just cave, although I have had landlords become very aggressive (should have heard the screaming and shouting from one after he tried to claim the deposit and I simply asked for the protection details) so always try and keep calm.

    It won't go to court if the arbitration service goes with the tenant, the landlord is bound by that decision and guarantee the money to the tenant - the landlord could take civil action separately after this for the damage to the property but would have no chance.

    And £1000 is fair if you are in some areas with slightly higher rents, as this means at least £500pm rent. I have studied in two places where you wouldn't find a single place that costs that much.
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    (Original post by ash1011)
    Was the washing machine yours or part of the furnished part of your agreement? If it wasn't yours, then the fault for the water-damaged floorboards is with the landlord.

    Even though the photos have dates on them, if they weren't witnessed, who's to say the date wasn't changed on the camera... (not at all suggesting you did, but in the eyes of the tribunal (or whoever decides) this is what they could think).

    No photos at the beginning, could go in your favor, it's the landlords responsibility to do this, so he can't prove either way if the state of the flat/house is different from when you first moved in.

    The floorboards - to be replaced, do you think individual ones could be replaced or would they all have to be? Out of interest, how much was your deposit? As they can only claim the amount it would cost to restore the flat/house. This is only assuming that if they did deem it to be you who caused the damage.

    The law is highly on the side of the tenant so i don't think you will have much trouble. Keep a note of all contact between you and the landlord, and who initiated it. It's against the law for him to demand money - it's seen as a form of harassment.

    Wish you were my tenant! - having to evict mine due to non-payment of rent
    To be honest - all of what you've said is highly in your favor. I hope the deposit people see it in the same way.
    Hi ash- the landlord just emailed me. He was quite aggressive, saying we were negligent and it took a lot of people to fix the flat. He said the list of things that are broken was really long and dared us to ask him for the huge list but didn't write it out himself. He offered for us to write him a private check for $270 altogether, $90 each if we dealt with this privately, but told us that if we involved the agent he would double this to the full amount of $540.

    For $90 each I don't really care, but the email clearly looks like he's coercing us and if we pay it to him privately he could still claim the deposit. I don't want this to turn into a full blown court issue so I'd be willing to pay the $90 for no hassle, if he goes through the security deposit site properly. What do you think I should do? Thanks for the advice once again, hugely appreciate it!
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    (Original post by meiming8)
    Hi ash- the landlord just emailed me. He was quite aggressive, saying we were negligent and it took a lot of people to fix the flat. He said the list of things that are broken was really long and dared us to ask him for the huge list but didn't write it out himself. He offered for us to write him a private check for $270 altogether, $90 each if we dealt with this privately, but told us that if we involved the agent he would double this to the full amount of $540.

    For $90 each I don't really care, but the email clearly looks like he's coercing us and if we pay it to him privately he could still claim the deposit. I don't want this to turn into a full blown court issue so I'd be willing to pay the $90 for no hassle, if he goes through the security deposit site properly. What do you think I should do? Thanks for the advice once again, hugely appreciate it!
    I'd consider it blackmail, if it was me I would just inform him that you are forwarding the threat to the police as blackmail and pressing charges just to see how he reacts - but that is just me I like screwing with lowlifes like this.

    Unless you are like me take the email to the CAB for advice if you need it and just stay strong. He has nowhere to go, he is actually trying to blackmail you (with proof as you have the email now) and stood no chance even before this. With this he is even more screwed.
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    (Original post by meiming8)
    Hi ash- the landlord just emailed me. He was quite aggressive, saying we were negligent and it took a lot of people to fix the flat. He said the list of things that are broken was really long and dared us to ask him for the huge list but didn't write it out himself. He offered for us to write him a private check for $270 altogether, $90 each if we dealt with this privately, but told us that if we involved the agent he would double this to the full amount of $540.

    For $90 each I don't really care, but the email clearly looks like he's coercing us and if we pay it to him privately he could still claim the deposit. I don't want this to turn into a full blown court issue so I'd be willing to pay the $90 for no hassle, if he goes through the security deposit site properly. What do you think I should do? Thanks for the advice once again, hugely appreciate it!
    There's zero chance of him claiming any of your deposit through the deposit protection scheme so he's trying a last gasp attempt at trying to salvage some of your deposit. You won't need to go to court if the case is resolved through the deposit protection scheme, someone independent from DPS will adjudicate and make a decision which will be posted on the DPS website (which will be a full return of the deposit to yourself if there is no inventory). Do not reply to him or answer phone calls and certainly do not pay him privately.
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    (Original post by meiming8)
    Hi ash- the landlord just emailed me. He was quite aggressive, saying we were negligent and it took a lot of people to fix the flat. He said the list of things that are broken was really long and dared us to ask him for the huge list but didn't write it out himself. He offered for us to write him a private check for $270 altogether, $90 each if we dealt with this privately, but told us that if we involved the agent he would double this to the full amount of $540.

    For $90 each I don't really care, but the email clearly looks like he's coercing us and if we pay it to him privately he could still claim the deposit. I don't want this to turn into a full blown court issue so I'd be willing to pay the $90 for no hassle, if he goes through the security deposit site properly. What do you think I should do? Thanks for the advice once again, hugely appreciate it!
    As mabrookes said, this is blackmail. DO NOT pay him. If this is done privately, what's to say he doesn't turn it around and say you offered it to him, and he still goes for the deposit, thus making it look like you are guilty. He sounds like a right bastard(scuse my language). He knows at this point that he won't get the deposit (unless he's completely delusional). Do not respond to this offer. It's about time to stop contact now and see how it goes.

    I know it seems much better to just pay him and be done with it, but you can't trust him, you have to be careful about this.

    He says he doesn't want to involve the agent, because simply, they know the legality of his actions and knows they will recommend a deposit dispute (which the agents know will go in your favor, but they have to say it anyway).
    As before, make sure to keep all correspondence.

    Don't suppose you have any solicitors in your family do you? It's getting to the point where you might need some legal advice (blackmail etc). Or friends of a friends type thing? Paying for one is a bit much at this point (i think...).

    You say agent, he does have an estate agent to manage his portfolio? If so, give them a ring and ask them for some advice, they've been in situations such as this before. If this is the case, did the estate agents do routine 3 month checks? Could help your case.

    Keep us updated Hope it gets sorted for you. If the aggression from him escalates, contact the police, you shouldn't have to deal with the harassment.
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    (Original post by ash1011)
    As mabrookes said, this is blackmail. DO NOT pay him. If this is done privately, what's to say he doesn't turn it around and say you offered it to him, and he still goes for the deposit, thus making it look like you are guilty. He sounds like a right bastard(scuse my language). He knows at this point that he won't get the deposit (unless he's completely delusional). Do not respond to this offer. It's about time to stop contact now and see how it goes.

    I know it seems much better to just pay him and be done with it, but you can't trust him, you have to be careful about this.

    He says he doesn't want to involve the agent, because simply, they know the legality of his actions and knows they will recommend a deposit dispute (which the agents know will go in your favor, but they have to say it anyway).
    As before, make sure to keep all correspondence.

    Don't suppose you have any solicitors in your family do you? It's getting to the point where you might need some legal advice (blackmail etc). Or friends of a friends type thing? Paying for one is a bit much at this point (i think...).

    You say agent, he does have an estate agent to manage his portfolio? If so, give them a ring and ask them for some advice, they've been in situations such as this before. If this is the case, did the estate agents do routine 3 month checks? Could help your case.

    Keep us updated Hope it gets sorted for you. If the aggression from him escalates, contact the police, you shouldn't have to deal with the harassment.
    Hi again, thanks everyone for the advice! Going to ring the bureau today and get some advice. Our agents are beyond useless so I don't really want to get them involved. They were doing flat viewings near the end of our tenancy (and our flat did look really messy at that point, so I don't want to get them involved and have them say that we did damage the flat) but they never did any 3 month checks. I don't really know what you mean by manage his portfolio, but to rent the property we did go through an agent. To be honesty the agent was extremely lax and unhelpful...the deposit isn't managed by the agent though, is it? It's managed by deposit protection, so I don't need to involve the agent anymore, do I?

    Thanks everyone once again for the advice. We definitely won't pay him privately. He's been really dodgy this whole time, and this just tops everything!
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    Hey everyone- I don't know if anyone is following this thread anymore, but we decided to have everything settled through a third party and then the landlord dropped his case. So we're getting our full deposit back! Thank you for your advice everyone, probably would have ended up paying him the 90 pounds if not for your help!

    Btw if anyone is reading this- do NOT use Pinnacle Properties if you are in London, they are absolutely horrendous to work with. They let the landlord get away with all sorts of stuff, were incredibly unhelpful through the process, tried to intimidate us into paying the deposit to him, didn't reply to our emails, the tenancy agreement was full of holes- just absolutely horrendous and completely unprofessional. This was our first rental property and it was an absolute mess. I'll be warning the next tenants of this flat how horrible the agent and the landlord are once they move in.

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