Landlord being ridiculous with deposit deductions

Hi all,

I’m hoping for some advice here!

We’ve just moved out of our property and left it in absolutely immaculate condition. Unexpectedly, our landlord is trying to bill us for absolutely everything and we’re trying to figure out where we stand. We’ve lived in 10 flats around the Glasgow area over the years and never had a penny deducted from the deposit so this has floored us a little!

  1. Our bikes left a couple of tiny droplets of oil on one section of the carpet and she is proposing to bill us for the professional cleaning of all carpets in the flat. Not sure yet how much.

  2. The flat rug has a tiny grey mark and she is billing us for the professional cleaning of the rug (£70).

  3. We lost a set of flat keys 15 months ago (in another city), got another set cut and didn’t think anything else of it. Now that we’re moving out, the landlord has noticed the new set of keys and now wants to bill us for replacing all outer locks of the flat as ‘security is compromised’. I understand her perspective but feel this is absurd given we lost the keys in another city well over a year ago, the keys give no indication whatsoever where the flat is located.

These are the three main things. She also initially proposed billing us for the lining coming away from the toilet seat, ‘oil ingrained’ into the bath (no idea what this was about), a chipped floor tile along with a few other things. She hasn’t mentioned these since so I’m now sure about these.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! We can stomach the rug cost, but are dead against paying for the lock replacement, and the entire carpet getting cleaned.

Thanks,
Stephen.

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Your best bet is to contest it through Deposit Protection Scheme adjudication and let the third party decide. This way it will be out of your LL hands. I wouldn’t agree with anything at all. Tiny marks can easily be classed as wear and tear.

Nothing here suggests anything other than wear and tear refuse to pay and contact whoever the deposit is held with to contest. It’s a shame some landlords behave in this way it gives the rest of us a bad name

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Thanks for your input guys, it’s much appreciated. The only problem with the third party adjudication is that we’re now out the flat, and have no photos of how it was when we left. She has lots of photos and is literally photographing every tiny mark to use against us. Will this work against us in the adjudication process?

Stephen, in adjudication the burden of proof is on the LL because it’s tenant’s money and LL basically makes claim for it, which is up to them to prove. Just insist that it’s a normal wear and tear. With keys, you installed a brand new mechanism. If anything, you upgraded the previous lock, which was who knows how old. If LL claims that security is compromised, she needs to prove it AND adjudicator needs to agree with her.
Fear not, we had more clued on tenants, and they played the system beautifully because they knew how. You’re just a nice person. I hope you’re not too nice, though (; We also struggle with that and with fair play, and pay for it now and then.
There. Fat cat landlords are helping you out. So out of character, isn’t it? ))

Thanks for this Tim, it’s really helpful. We’ll dispute all the wear and tear things and see where it goes.

In terms of the keys, we didn’t replace any locks, just lost a set of keys and got them replaced (without telling the landlord nor thinking we had to). She’s now saying that because we lost a set (which occured over a year ago in another city), that we could be lying and keeping the keys to break in, or somebody may find the keys and enter.

Because of this, she wants to bill us for all the new locks as well as the new sets of keys to be cut. Are we likely to win this case or is it not worth disputing?

Thanks again.

You’re very likely to win on every point. Don’t hesitate to dispute it. It’s always important in situations when emotions run high, to bring an impartial party to adjudicate. I wouldn’t waste time on trying to reason with your LL, either. TBH, it sounds like she’s trying to take an advantage of you two. We dealt with similar damage ourselves. How long have the carpets been there? Were they new when you moved in? Adjudicator will want to know the carpet and runner age. Does inventory state “brand new”? How many years have you been there?

Thanks, Tim. Yes the flat had been newly done up when we moved in so any tiny blemishes obviously show up very clearly. We lived there for 2 years. Inventory however doesn’t say anything about brand new.

Well, do your part of providing any evidence/explanation of why you are disputing the claim. Leave the rest to the impartial Adjudicator. He will tell for example if a 2year old carpet should look as spotless as a brand new one and all. Good luck in all

Marks on the floor coverings caused by oil or other substances are not wear and tear. The cleaning cost of the rug sounds reasonable to me as does the lock changing as her insurance would not pay out if someone used a set of keys to gain access and she only has your word for it that they were lost in another city. It would not be fair to the next tenant for her to be casual about this.

Getting all the carpets cleaned for a single mark is excessive and wouldnt be allowed by the deposit schemes. As above you just make your case to the scheme and let them decide.

Why didn’t you make an effort to clean the oil marks? Our past tenants hired a carpet cleaning machine before they left (their initiative). Of course, they received all their deposit back.

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We’ve got messaging proof from the date that they were lost in another city, as well as the bill from the locksmith. We didn’t clean the oil spots because we didn’t jothcd them, that’s how small they are :sweat_smile:

In any case, we’ll dispute it and see how it goes. Hopefully common sense prevails.

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