Acceptable reasons to withhold deposit

My tenants have just vacated my property, couple of things I’ve picked up one which are quite significant, the tap in the kitchen over the sink is literally come away and you can’t secure it back from underneath the sink. There is damp that has climbed up the window wall in the bedroom. Neither of these have they ever advised me about, if they’d have told me I would have been able to get both fixed and stop the issues progressing. As I’ve only just found out now after they have moved out (with no word) im wondering if this is neglect rather than wear and tear because they didn’t advise me or allow me to fix these issues and should I withhold some of the deposit? Any thoughts would be gratefully received.

do what you feel is fair, taking into account wear and tear. If they contest it with your deposit scheme you will need to have good inventory photos.


Didnt you spot these things on your quarterly inspections?

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I would be inclined to deduct more for failure to notify you, although depending on the extent of damage, the repair bill may not be any higher than if it was addressed immediately.

Thanks for your feedback Mark. I don’t wish to be unreasonable, but I’m not sure this fits wear and tear …… I’m flabbergasted why they didn’t mention it as it’s clearly not something that happened overnight

Do you have a check-in and check-out report?

You could mention it to the tenants re deducting cost to fix and they may be ok with it. Otherwise, you will need to take things further and will need the reports as evidence. Then you need to decide whether the time and hassle of persuing a claim agaist the tenants is worth it. (I had to persue tenants for costs above their deposit so I found it worth it - and I won in the end)

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I seriously doubt that the deposit scheme will let you deduct anything for jobs that sound like theyre the landlords responsibility to fix. I think they would also conclude that theyre the landlords responsibility to spot, through a regular inspection regime.

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Yes, annoying that it wasn’t mentioned. Taps coming loose like that is a common problem. Condensation is always a grey area too.
Ideally you should have checked before they moved out and try to negotiate.

You cpuld propose a small deduction. If they agree fine, if it goes to arbitration through the deposit scheme I think you would be unlikely to get anywhere…

I personally would let it go


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Work out costs for sorting the problem prior contact

Contact them about these and why they were not notified and what they are prepared to pay towards it.

Try to let them lead on an offer or contribution

Normally a good AST will say if notification is not given then consequential damage will be down to the tenant. So if the tap was loose, that’s your responsibility but if but letting it be loose and get worse which resulted in the tap being unable to be tightened due to resulting damage, sorting this is at the tenant cost.

50/50 bleach and water should attack your mould do it twice then once with a stronger bleach mix, leave at least an hour between applications.

Try to agree things mutually as prolonged discussions with the deposit scheme will result in the tenant possibly not getting their balance for some time which they won’t want. You will need evidence and independent reports to validate your claim

Record via email, follow up visit reports, everything you do

Good luck

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Broken tap, LL responsibility.
Damp in bedroom, if its rising because of damp proof course failure, LL problem.
If the damp is because they didnt open windows ( bedrooms are the worst places for condensation, we all breath and sweat a lot in bed). Then its tenant responsibility.

Many tenants have this problem because they refuse to heat and then open the windows, cost of energy ect.

take some photos get it fixed keep the receipts and try and deduct it. when you get challenged by the tenant the outfit who hold your deposit are unlikely to side with the LL. My deposits are the worst in my experience

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let it go, not worth the hassle, not notifying when the problem occurred is way down the adjudicators list, you won’t win. sadly tenants don’t want intrusion to their peaceful enjoyment of the property and donot report if they can manage! Too much rights for the tenants at the cost of landlords.

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