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User_Removed 14 271 United Kingdom
23 Jul 2007 10:09PM
Hi everyone, I was wondering if there are any people out there who are savvy on the legal issues of property tenancies & security deposits on rented accomodation along with both parties considerations?

Thanks in advance,


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SuziBlue 15 16.2k 10 Scotland
23 Jul 2007 10:39PM
There are so many sharks posing out there as landlords. The deposit does not belong to the landlord - it is your money - and should be paid back to you when you leave the property unless there is some damage or work that legally warrants a payment or part payment from you. That was the case at my last place, where because I was leaving quickly to take up my current job I offered the landlord (who in fact was a very decent landlord) as much as he needed from the deposit to sort out the flat.

I believe the law has been changed so that a deposit cannot be held by a landlord but has to be held by a third party so that these ghastly landlords won't be able to withhold payment any more.
User_Removed 14 271 United Kingdom
23 Jul 2007 10:43PM
Thanks SuziBlue,my fiancee & I are having a few issues re our landlord & the general definition of "fair wear & tear"!!
SuziBlue 15 16.2k 10 Scotland
23 Jul 2007 10:56PM
In that case I'd suggest a trip to your local CAB or a short talk with a solicitor dealing with Landlord and Tenant issues. Obviously without knowing all the details it's impossible to say whether your landlord is being fair or not in his or her demands for repair - but they can't just withhold money without being able to justify it.

My landlord before the last one was a complete and utter shark and is still wriggling - his excuse for withholding payment? irreparable damage caused by a cat. I didn't have a cat. Then it was because the flat was left dirty - I'd had the whole place thoroughly cleaned by a professional cleaner - at my expense - because I was about to go into hospital and was too ill to do it myself. And so on and so on.
User_Removed 14 17.9k 8 Norway
23 Jul 2007 10:58PM
EDIT: Agree with Suzi's input re the Citizens Advice Bureau...

They are excellent and worth a visit - especially where these matters are concerned.
randomrubble 13 3.0k 12 United Kingdom
23 Jul 2007 11:05PM
Bear in mind that if you each earn much above min. wage the CAB won't talk to you...

The Law regarding deposits was not retrospective, so it would only apply to recent tenancies. Also the landlord can still hold a deposit, but there must be indemnity in place.
User_Removed 14 271 United Kingdom
23 Jul 2007 11:10PM
Thanks both of you. The problem is we are his first tennents & he was not aware of the term "fair wear & tear" even though it's in the tennancy agreement that we all signed.

Like you SuziBlue we cleaned the appartment thoroughly & had the carpets professionally cleaned throughout. He's claiming the whole appartment needs repainting & the carpets need re-cleaning (fair wear & tear?????) all for 400!!!!

Oh what fun!

User_Removed 14 271 United Kingdom
23 Jul 2007 11:11PM
Randomrubble, I'm on Incapacity Benefit & my fiancee is on a low income at present.
jaspernina 11 1.0k Wales
24 Jul 2007 1:07AM

Quote:Bear in mind that if you each earn much above min. wage the CAB won't talk to you

I recently used my CAB and they didn't ask me about my earnings, savings or wealth! You could also use their website.

whipspeed 13 4.2k 22 United Kingdom
24 Jul 2007 11:01AM
Chris, do you rent privately from him or through an agency?
Hazelmouse 11 376 United Kingdom
24 Jul 2007 1:03PM
As an ex employee of CAB I would recommend talking to them - no rules on earnings except when they hold a Legal Aid franchise for the subject concerned.

You can go through small claims court to reclaim deposit but must do your best to settle amicably before resorting to court.

As we are currently tenants I took the precaution of photographing the rooms the day we moved in - good evidence for state of property when taken over.
randomrubble 13 3.0k 12 United Kingdom
24 Jul 2007 1:22PM
Apologies for the misinformation, and thanks for the corrections. The branch we recently tried to talk to about some property and tenancy related issues told us they couldn't help because of my salary. I guess it must have been to do with the Lega Aid scenario.
User_Removed 14 271 United Kingdom
24 Jul 2007 4:58PM
Hi all, thanks for the responses. we've managed to get an arbitrator to sort out the situation. It appears from the CAB, 2 solicitors, 4 letting agents, etc that we are in the right. So hope it all goes ok from now.

SuziBlue 15 16.2k 10 Scotland
24 Jul 2007 11:31PM
That's great news, Chris. Hope you get the money back soon.

KenTaylor Plus
13 3.1k 2 United Kingdom
25 Jul 2007 12:23AM
Keep at it Chris and you should win. First tenants you say, then he skimped on his homework regarding `fair wear and tear`

Of course there are landlords who try and grab all the deposit on the grounds of cleaning and restoring it to an acceptable standard.
I used to have a contract with a company that have property to let who are first class. Despite this there were some flats that were filthy and almost wrecked inside the twelve month period of inspection needing thousands to put right. Every flat is photographed by the company when ready to let as a reference for future disputes. I see that Helen did the same.

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