Extra charges after leaving property

Hi. I just moved out of a privately rented house, we had quite a few issues with the landlord - he refused free insulation, insisted on tryjng to ‘fix’ thing himself rather than spend money. After 11 years, there gas been some wear and tear, but we cleaned everything and fixed what we could, including installing new taps. We havent had an EPC since 2020, and today
I got a letter stating he is taking us to court for £5000. He listed things that needed changing, including a new front door and whole new kitchen. There was literally nothing wrong with these. My mum recently passed away and we know he wanted his son to live there eventually. I believe he is trying this thinking i have inherited, so he can do out the house. We have driven past, he had ripped most of the place out within a week after we had left.
Does anyone have any guidance, or advice on where I can go for help? Ive never been in this situation before!

Is this a pre-action letter or is it a court form. If it is a court form, follow the instructions on it.

FWIW anyone can sue anybody for anything so don’t worry about it. However most claimants win because defendants muck up the paperwork and fail to read the court’s instructions.

Just because a claimant asks for it, doesn’t mean they’ll get it - but a lot try it on.

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The landlord is unlikely to get very much if anything based on what you’ve said. He is not entitled to a new kitchen at your expense. With regard to the front door and all other issues, it depends what the problem is and whether he has evidence of the condition of the item at the start of the tenancy, (such as photographs and a detailed inventory signed by you). After 11 years, most of the contents will be assumed by the deposit scheme or a court to have depreciated to around zero value anyway.

I would wait an see what he does to back up his letter. If you get a solicitors letter or notification of a court hearing, then get some legal advice from the CAB or Shelter. Its entirely down to him to prove his case, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it at this point if I were you.


did you take any pics at any time ? this sounds like a " try it on" job by a greedy so and so


Thanks guys. It’s not an official document, he’s just typed a letter. It tells me to reply within seven days, but it doesn’t even have a date on it.
I’ve spoken to AdviceLink who say he hasn’t gone through the process, and will cost a fair bit to take me to court. I really don’t know how he’s got the bottle to do this, there is not even a fraction of that owing. A few worn bits of carpet on the stairs, and a crack on the sink. I’ve gone from upset to angry now.
Am I right in thinking it is more on him first of all to prove these costs?

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All on him to prove , he will fade away

I hope you’re right!

As above, all on him to prove. Difficult since he has ripped the stuff out you say.

Anyway the court form, if you get it, will ask you to acknowledge which you should do within 14 days. This is an important first step. Then you’ll have 30 days from the date in the top right corner to send in a defence. After that there will be a series of forms which are essentially scheduling dates for a hearing. Sometime later, the claimant will be asked to pony up a second fee if they want the scheduled hearing to go ahead.

It’s not that simple for people which is why most get caught out by the process more often than the claim.

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Is it an expensive process? Wondering how much it will cost to defend.

As long as the amount is under £10K it stays in the Small Claims track. Costs of about £200 go to the winner as long as the judge agrees to award costs. Not every judge does, especially if the claimant could have sorted the issue without going to court.

Claimant has to do all the running and has to prove their case on the balance of probabilities. But since the evidence has been removed and the C will be relying on images, they’ll have to be very good images to convince anyone. C gets one shot at this and can’t come back.

Thank you, that is good to know. It seems unfair that I would have to pay to attend court.