Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Problems getting deposit back Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Hi, my boyfriend and I recently moved out of the room that we were renting in a house full of other people renting. The landlady decided she wanted to move back into the house and gave us all a few months to get out.

    After I had left the house, but my bf was still there, one of the other people living there broke the washing machine. Their clothes were quite clearly in the machine so we're guessing it was probably them but obviously don't know for sure. Either way, it wasn't us and no one is owning up to it so apparently we all have to pay for it.

    She also said that she was getting the house professionally cleaned.. So we have to pay for that too. I don't really see how that's fair- the house wasn't immaculate as 6-7 of us lived there, but we had a cleaning rota and it was never a complete tip.

    I have no clue what our rights are, if we even have any... Can anyone help?

    She's charging us £85 for a broken stool which was blatantly not worth that, £45 for a wooden chair (we don't know why!), £150 for professional cleaning, £150 for washing machine to be repaired. We're splitting this between 3 rooms of people (we were pretty much all couples apart from one girl.

    Also, after a bit of googling, I've discovered that she should have put our deposit in a deposit protection scheme. We don't think she has because she won't give us the details of the scheme and we've asked twice. Anything we can do?

    Thanks in advance guys
    • CV Helper
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    CV Helper
    (Original post by rakata)

    She also said that she was getting the house professionally cleaned.. So we have to pay for that too. I don't really see how that's fair- the house wasn't immaculate as 6-7 of us lived there, but we had a cleaning rota and it was never a complete tip.
    If the house wasn't exactly as clean as it was when you moved in, then it's perfectly reasonable to make you pay for cleaning. Saying 'it was never a complete tip' doesn't make the situation sound very good, tbh.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by la fille danse)
    If the house wasn't exactly as clean as it was when you moved in, then it's perfectly reasonable to make you pay for cleaning. Saying 'it was never a complete tip' doesn't make the situation sound very good, tbh.

    I wasn't there when everyone moved out and hadn't been for around 2 months so I have no clue how messy it was but another girl that lived with us said she cleaned. Don't suppose it makes a difference but the house wasn't the cleanest when we moved in, the person who lived there before left so much crap/gunk in the oven and covered it with foil and stuff and we had to clean it. Anyway, we hovered every week, washing up never piled up that much, I dunno, that's what I mean by "not a complete tip". It wasn't immaculate, obviously, there were tons of us living there, but it was never revolting, so not sure why it would cost £150 to get it professionally cleaned when it probably only needed a good hovering or something (obviously I don't know, wasn't there) *shrugs*
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    If there were 6-7 of you, how much was the total rent over the year? If it was over about £25k then she won't have had to put it into a deposit scheme.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by snu)
    If there were 6-7 of you, how much was the total rent over the year? If it was over about £25k then she won't have had to put it into a deposit scheme.
    Rooms were £280 each per month so it wouldn't have been over £25k, plus one room was empty for a while then other people moved in as we were moving out (not sure why, she wanted the house empty?!). Thanks for replying anyway
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I don't think it's unreasonable for her to be getting it cleaned especially if she's now moving in, can't find a price for something like this on the internet as I'd imagine it'd vary depending on size. Also, it sounds like more than just the washing machine was broken so someone (or all of you as the onus falls on you all) wasn't taking care of the stuff.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    Was their a final inspection of the house? This is when the landlady and the tenants are present to check the house is in fit condition when you leave.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by haz220807)
    I don't think it's unreasonable for her to be getting it cleaned especially if she's now moving in, can't find a price for something like this on the internet as I'd imagine it'd vary depending on size. Also, it sounds like more than just the washing machine was broken so someone (or all of you as the onus falls on you all) wasn't taking care of the stuff.
    What I want to know is if it's right that we're paying for her to clean it. I guess I'll never know lol

    I sat on a stool and it snapped (it was plastic), we opened the cupboard doors and they broke, tried screwing them back on but it didn't help, dunno why she's charging us for another chair, and the handle on the washing machine broke, I guess they tugged it too hard, I have no clue. So it's not like we had parties and smashed everything up, we just used things as they were intended to be used and they broke..
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Rian1988)
    Was their a final inspection of the house? This is when the landlady and the tenants are present to check the house is in fit condition when you leave.
    I guess she inspected it but we weren't there. A girl living with us moved out before us and she refused to inspect her room them, instead she does it when the girl is back home in France presumably on purpose so she can keep our deposits.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    you need to look over your contract to see what that says about the items and about the deposit. Yes she should have put your money in a deposit scheme but you can still have the money taken off you through this scheme, it just means its held by a 3rd party. You would have got details at the start of the agreement if that was the case. You can go to Citizens advice also. If the washing machine broke whilst some one was washing it then it was an accident, If thats the case then you should not be charged for it. She should just get it repaired or fix it. However its the responisbilty of the house mates to inform her that its broken. I think she can take money for the cleaning...
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by rakata)
    Hi, my boyfriend and I recently moved out of the room that we were renting in a house full of other people renting. The landlady decided she wanted to move back into the house and gave us all a few months to get out.

    After I had left the house, but my bf was still there, one of the other people living there broke the washing machine. Their clothes were quite clearly in the machine so we're guessing it was probably them but obviously don't know for sure. Either way, it wasn't us and no one is owning up to it so apparently we all have to pay for it.

    She also said that she was getting the house professionally cleaned.. So we have to pay for that too. I don't really see how that's fair- the house wasn't immaculate as 6-7 of us lived there, but we had a cleaning rota and it was never a complete tip.

    I have no clue what our rights are, if we even have any... Can anyone help?

    She's charging us £85 for a broken stool which was blatantly not worth that, £45 for a wooden chair (we don't know why!), £150 for professional cleaning, £150 for washing machine to be repaired. We're splitting this between 3 rooms of people (we were pretty much all couples apart from one girl.

    Also, after a bit of googling, I've discovered that she should have put our deposit in a deposit protection scheme. We don't think she has because she won't give us the details of the scheme and we've asked twice. Anything we can do?

    Thanks in advance guys
    I dont disagree that the owner is paying for a Professional Clean, i think i would if i had 7 people living there not treating the house as there own and half heartedly cleaning each week, i would. But for the chairs and washing machine, i think shes taking the p*ss a bit for the price she has stated. All you should do is say replace the stool and chair with a reasonably matched price stool and chair and to give you the reciept, then she isnt making any money on what she has replaced.

    Same for the washing machine, get a quote off a engineer and split the cost that way, dont let her try and make money off you, say you will get it done.

    As for the house deposit, i cant help you there as i am not to sure but it will be good to hear the responses as i will be looking to rent out a house soon and will be taking alot of advise before i do.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    It does sound a bit dodgy that she won't inspect rooms with you and waits until you've left, that way you can't challenge her when it comes to her keeping your deposits. Unless you've got photos of what the house looked like before and after you moved in and out, I don't think there's anything you can do as you can't prove you left it in the same state as you found it.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Here is the official information... Linkage

    If you began renting after April 2007 then the government has this to say about your deposit (which had to be paid into a protection scheme):

    "Failure to protect a deposit has serious consequences for the landlord. Firstly he or
    she will be unable to gain possession using Section 21 (Notice Only) of the 1988
    Housing Act and, secondly; the landlord can be fined up to three times the
    amount of the deposit if he or she fails to protect the deposit within 14 days of
    having received it."

    I would ask her again politely (ideally in person to gauge her reaction) and if not send her a letter regarding this. Threaten her with legal action and she'll probably just give you all your money.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    [QUOTE=crazyspacemonkey]Here is the official information... Linkage

    If you began renting after April 2007 then the government has this to say about your deposit (which had to be paid into a protection scheme):

    "Failure to protect a deposit has serious consequences for the landlord. Firstly he or
    she will be unable to gain possession using Section 21 (Notice Only) of the 1988
    Housing Act and, secondly; the landlord can be fined up to three times the
    amount of the deposit if he or she fails to protect the deposit within 14 days of
    having received it."

    I would ask her again politely (ideally in person to gauge her reaction) and if not send her a letter regarding this. Threaten her with legal action and she'll probably just give you all your money.[/QUOTE]


    I agree with this as I wrote to mine and said if she did not provide me with a break down of what she used the money for or my deposit back then I would take legal action, she sent me a cheque for all my deposit - £10 which was for getting the fridge freezer cleaned.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by rakata)
    What I want to know is if it's right that we're paying for her to clean it. I guess I'll never know lol

    I sat on a stool and it snapped (it was plastic), we opened the cupboard doors and they broke, tried screwing them back on but it didn't help, dunno why she's charging us for another chair, and the handle on the washing machine broke, I guess they tugged it too hard, I have no clue. So it's not like we had parties and smashed everything up, we just used things as they were intended to be used and they broke..
    Unfortunately I'm assuming your deposit was to cover all the items in the house so if anything is broken your deposit goes (if it says that in whatever documentation you were given). Maybe you could suggest replacing the items broken like for like? That might work out cheaper.

    If it's just the handle of the washing machine you can find cheap parts plenty of places, if it works perfectly then no need to replace.

    I'm not sure about the cleaning, I think she's probably within her rights to ask you to pay for it. Check your documents again...and if she does have the right to demand the money then unfortunately you'll just have to learn from mistakes and don't get yourself into a similar situation again.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by rakata)
    I sat on a stool and it snapped (it was plastic), we opened the cupboard doors and they broke, tried screwing them back on but it didn't help, dunno why she's charging us for another chair, and the handle on the washing machine broke, I guess they tugged it too hard, I have no clue. So it's not like we had parties and smashed everything up, we just used things as they were intended to be used and they broke..
    Did you report these at the time? Other than perhaps the handle on the washing machine that all sounds like fair wear and tear.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    The way I look at deposits for rented property after the last fiasco I had with a landlord is that it's just an extra month's rent that's a bonus if you get any of it back. She's being a little unreasonable, I think, but at the same time, she can't really charge you for reasonable wear and tear, only deliberate/accidental damage. The washing machine is wear and tear IMO.

    I would give RICS a call (I used to work for them) on 0870 333 1600 and they should be able to put you through to the Professional Information team, who are Chartered Surveyors and they can give you some professional advice about this situation for free.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mad Vlad)
    The way I look at deposits for rented property after the last fiasco I had with a landlord is that it's just an extra month's rent that's a bonus if you get any of it back. She's being a little unreasonable, I think, but at the same time, she can't really charge you for reasonable wear and tear, only deliberate/accidental damage. The washing machine is wear and tear IMO.

    I would give RICS a call (I used to work for them) on 0870 333 1600 and they should be able to put you through to the Professional Information team, who are Chartered Surveyors and they can give you some professional advice about this situation for free.
    My deposit is £400 and I expect to get it all back.

    I got all mine back -£15 last year for "cleaning". I wish I know what the 8 hours I spent cleaning on the day I left was for then...

    It was left nicer than when I moved in. :mad2:
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    You should have spent a weekend cleaning the house thoroughly if you wanted to avoid the professional cleaning charge.

    And you should report broken things as soon as possible. If you leave it till you vacate the property and they find the damage it looks like you broke it on purpose and were trying to hide it.

    Having said that I've been through all this. Dont accept their first offer, you can probably get them to meet you half way. The Citizens Advice Bureau were v. helpful when i went to see them aswell so thats worth a try and it scares the hell out of your landlord

    Unfortunately its common practise for landlords to start off suggesting massive and unfair reductions from the deposit just incase you dont understand how it works and pay it all without questioning them (especially if youre students.)

    If the deposit is held by a third party they cant have any of it back either until you agree to their terms. So unless you need the money ASAP I'd just be stubborn until they agree to meet you halfway on the costs.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Nick_000)
    My deposit is £400 and I expect to get it all back.

    I got all mine back -£15 last year for "cleaning". I wish I know what the 8 hours I spent cleaning on the day I left was for then...

    It was left nicer than when I moved in. :mad2:
    Same here. It took a solicitors letter to get them to pay the deposit back, and even then they managed to negotiate only a partial return. They were trying to con me out of my entire bond saying that the landlord wanted a "contribution for the electricity" (which was included in the rent).
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Has a teacher ever helped you cheat?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Write a reply...
    Reply
    Hide
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.