Deposit cleanliness dispute


I left my rental last month after 9 years. We’re now in a disagreement about cleanliness…
It would seem there was a standard expected that was not provided in my contract (or any subsequent renewals) and there wasn’t a check in /property condition report provided. The check out was also completed without us, the tenants, present despite asking how to complete this process. For example, we were not aware to clean behind the fridge, under the toilet or the front door hinges.

The LL has taken all sorts of photos to prove we’ve left the flat in a “worse” state but I have nothing from 2014 that shows/reports the volume of issues present when I moved in (including damaged white goods that predate my full tenancy!). I’ve not had any proper “inspections” in the tenancy - a 5 min walk around at most with nothing in writing.

I’ve been asked to contribute to the professional clean that’s been undertaken of the property and the separately arrange oven clean totalling £250.

If I seek to dispute, am I being unreasonable? Am I expected to submit evidence - I don’t have anything, just my word which feels quite weak.

Hi. If disagree, dispute it through DPS adjudication. You’re not requied to provide any proof, claimant does. If there’s no check-in report, LL will have nothing to go on. They’re just trying it on. Even with report it’s hard to win, but without - impossible.

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Thanks for the reply - appreciate it.

I double checked my contract and it states I should have a signed property condition form & inventory which hasn’t been supplied either in 2014 or any subsequent renewals. It also notes the “proper” way to conduct a check out which also didn’t happen.

I guess I don’t have anything to lose re disputing other than the delay for the deposit return.

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From the Landlord Law Blog

All deposit disputes are dealt with on the basis that the deposit money belongs to the tenant. So if the landlord wants to make a claim, he must prove his case on the ‘balance of probability’.

This is normally done by having an inventory which is checked and approved by tenants when they move in. And then having a checkout meeting when they move out where the items on the inventory are checked again. If any damage is found to something that was undamaged at check-in, then this is the landlord’s proof that the damage was done by the tenants.

If there is no inventory proof or if the tenant can show that the item was damaged at the time they moved in, then the landlord will not be able to uphold his claim.

What you should do is challenge the deduction and request that the matter be dealt with by adjudication. All the deposit schemes have a free adjudication service. You will find details about them and how they work on the scheme websites.

There are time limits for referring landlord claims to adjudication, so you need to deal with this promptly. If you are confused about what to do, all the schemes have free telephone advice services where you can ring up and speak to someone.

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You should have left it in the condition you got it in 2014. Without an inventory, nobody will know how it was, so the ll will have a hard time convincing DPS.


This LL is a complete amateur or just trying it on. Hasn’t got a leg to stand on unless you utterly trashed the place. Go to adjudication. The LL is very unlikely to get anywhere and the case should be decided in your favour quite quickly once the lack of evidence is clear.

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Just decline the deductions. The landlord should quickly learn that they wont be able to enforce their demand.

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