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Landlord charging the rent to do the repair after tenancy ended

Hi All,

I need help in understanding the rule regarding my landlord charging the rent to conduct repair.

I have terminated the tenancy after giving 2 months notice. When I asked for my deposit back he sent me an email with all the cost to repair. Its almost 50% of my deposit amount.

And in the end he had written a threatening line to agree for the cost:

I am proposing to not charge for the following items in a good faith effort to reach agreement on the amount to be deducted from the deposit. However, if we cannot agree to the charges above, I reserve all rights to charge you for the items below.

Front door:
3.1 The front door (where modification was made without permission and a large house number has been stuck. The house already had a number plaque above its door. (£100 incl. material)
2.2 and 2.3 Cleaning (under the refrigerator, extractor hood filters)
Cleaning after the above repair work is completed (£200)
Cost of labour (I have considered labour cost on the basis that all the above work is carried out in one go. If some items are staggered, then the labour cost may change).
Cost of painting doors (£400)
Full cost of replacing the burn marked and damaged worktops: £300 (£250-£350)
Labour cost to resilicone all around the kitchen worktop and in the bathroom: £50
Replacing the bathroom sink which is chipped: £100
Cost of vacant property whilst the repair work is carried out to the property: 10 days (£630)

I am particularly looking for advice on the last item where he is charging me rent to coduct the repair. Can someone tell if it is legal to charge rent while conducting the repair after tenancy terminated? Thanks in advance.

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He can’t charge you for the time the property was empty. He can also only charge the cost of repainting doors if the paintwork on each was damaged beyond normal wear and tear. Other than that, those damages all sound like they qualify. What were the other things he wants you to pay for?

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Hi,

Thanks for the reply. Please find his other charges below.
I am okay with him charging all the small works. But my contention is those big cost.

  1. There is no heating in the Conservatory and got the wooden wall. During the winter time it would completely become wet and just touching the paint would leave a mark.
  2. He is charging £300 to fix bathroom floor. Only one tile is chipped and it is due to the grout was worn off and I have asked him to fix it.

His other charges:

**Hallway:**

4.2 - bannister at the top of the stairs is marked. This is due to stair gates that you fitted but did not rectify after its removal. (£75) We'll also need to paint the doors otherwise the colour difference between the doors and the bannister would be stark. However, I am not proposing to charge you to paint the doors (which will be approx. £400) in an effort to reach agreement.

4.6 - No thermostat. Radiator valve cap is missing. (£5)

4.9 - Bottom panel of the storage unit (next to the front door) is damaged. More than a foot of 'formica' is broken. (£50)

**Living room:**

5.9: Damage to corner of window sill. Replacing this would be expensive (labour and material) and hence I propose a repair cost. (£50)

**Living room 2 (middle reception room):**

6.4: Door stopper is broken. (£5)

6.6: Radiator valve cap is missing. (£5)

**Kitchen:**

7.2: Conservatory (lean to) area is heavily marked. Redecoration cost: £100

7.5 Box covering the boiler pipes is missing. You had sent me a photo that this had fallen and broken. Since you did not replace it, we'll have to get it done. Remake cost including tiles: £180

7.9 One additional broken freezer box. (Two drawers are noted as broken but one already had a missing portion at the time of check-in so only one is chargeable): £41.49

7.9: Two fridge door trays are cracked £66.97 from eSpares: £62.98 plus postage £3.99)

7.10 Door for the under sink unit has water damage. (£70)

7.11 Worktop unit has burn marks (this is not considered normal wear and tear as any hot items should be placed on a heat protective mat): £50 (cost of replacing this will be considerable including labour £250 plus but I am only proposing to charge you a fraction of the cost).

7.11 The separate worktop above the washing machine is chipped. This will require to be replaced. £50

7.11 Silicone all around the sink has mould (this is likely due to the surface not being wiped clean regularly). Worktop around the sink is heavily damaged due to water. £10 (only material cost)

**Bathroom:**

11.4 One tile has chips on edge. Unfortunately the chips in the tile are big and to avoid damage to the floor and water seepage, it will have to be replaced. All the floor tiles will need to be replaced as it's not possible to replace only one tile. (£300 incl. labour)

11.8 Silicone around the sink has mould and will need to be replaced (charged with item 11.9)

11.9 Silicone around the bath has mould and will need to be replaced (£10 only material cost)

Hi David,

Can you please point me to any template which I can follow to reply to him? Thanks for your great help.

Regards

Whilst it appears that some of the charges the landlord is applying appear high, other charges not so high, 10 days loss of rent could also perhaps be a bit on the high side, if the LL chooses to pursue the matter through the court and the Judge feels that you have not engaged with the LL to resolve the matter swiftly then you could well be charged a proportion of the rent if not all of the lost rent. Having recently been involved with the court, Judge awarded loss of rent and all of the court costs against the tenant.
The list of damages seems to be extensive, are you in possession of before and after proof? Along with this how long have you been the tenant?

If you start responding to the list, I suspect this is going to get complicated and drawn out and may still result in deadlock. Some of those items I do not think are claimable and I think your best bet would probably be to ask for ADR with the deposit scheme. They will decide what he is entitled to after weighing up evidence from both sides. I think you may also get a better outcome.

Think this just shows how the systems/opinions differ, very interesting
When our tenants refused to allow prospective tenants to view, the DPS ADR ruled that lost rent could not be claimed as there was no proof that the property would have been re-let in this time anyway.
As David122 says you may well get a better outcome using the Deposit Service ADR scheme.

How long have you been a tenant there?

If it’s six months the damage listed sounds excessive but if six years for example, personally I would be a bit more lenient.

Work out what you agree with and what you don’t and make a counter offer.

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Mr_T You are right of course you never know what may happen, we have always tried and managed to resolve amicably over the 30 or so years of being a LL, the DPS guide lines were quoted at length by the tenant in court, in reply the Judge said they are guide lines this is a court.
I would add that many emails were sent to the tenant to try and resolve the matter over a six month period resulting in the tenant stating that they refuse to communicate further.

Loss of rent is a theoretical loss, not a real loss and the deposit schemes won’t entertain it. I understand that it can, in some circumstances be sued for in a court, but the standard of proof required is much higher and its more difficult to do.

If the LL spent just a hundred quid at the beginning to have a professional 3rd party inventory done combined with a professional post tenancy inventory for accurate comparison I think you don’t have a leg to stand on and I would be grateful you can walk away with half your deposit. By the way if the LL entered the property before the 2nd inventory all his inventories are invalidated as he could have broken stuff himself. Therefore if you have a text or e mail saying he has been in the property and x and z is wrong with it but his post tenancy inventory inspection date is after that then its not worth the paper its written on. Conclusion - without independent inventories you can claim tiles were already broken ( unless you have already admitted in text or e mail it was during your tenancy ) and have a chance but for the amount of money you are losing from your deposit you may be better walking away this time.

Thanks for your reply.

I was a tenant for 4 years with family of 2 children.

Yes, Both check-in and check-out invertories are there.

I was a tenant for 4 years. The property was refurbhised with substandard materials and poor workmanhship as it was evident from every couple of months something or the other breaking.

Just to make it clear, the above list of costs are the first email the LL has sent to me. I haven’t started negotiating with him. Before I start negotiating with him I am looking for some guidance as how should I start negotiating with him. Anybody has any template or examples? Thanks.

You draw up a list of what you think is damage beyond fair wear and tear, you make an estimate of how much the repairs should cost, you discount anything else and you make him an offer. If you don’t think you can do that, just ask for the deposit scheme to settle it. You can force this by just declining his proposed deductions.

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Thanks David. Thats a great start to make I believe.