LL claiming 3 times deposit in damages

Last thread I promise. So we have had notification from LL that she is assessing damages to be £6,400 against a deposit of £2300. Major items she has included are:

Paint touched up with wrong colour + damage in ceiling due to leak £1,500. Our defense. The check in report noted patchy paintwork in most rooms. I informed the landlady about the leak in the kitchen ceiling within 2 weeks of moving in. She said the leak has happened before and all 4 shower curtains need to be closes. I told her there were only 3 shower curtains in the bath.

She is claiming that we were hostile and she couldn’t show the property so has lost rent. In reality there was a rat infestation which we reported to the council and wasn’t resolved. We never resorted to name calling or anything of the sort and never refused anyone access to the property. £2,500

We were late paying rent for 2 months during our tenancy. I told her I was between jobs and would pay as soon as I could. She got debt collectors involved and is charging us their costs £700.

I feel this is ridiculous. What do people think?

Just dispute the costs and let the deposit scheme adjudicate. That’s what they’re there for.

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You’re dealing with quite a challenging situation. It’s frustrating to be faced with such hefty damages claims, especially when some of the issues were already present or beyond your control. The discrepancy in paintwork was noted in the check-in report, and you promptly informed the landlady about the ceiling leak, so it’s unfair to hold you solely responsible for those costs.

Similarly, the rat infestation and subsequent difficulties with property access are issues that should have been addressed by the landlord promptly. As for the late rent payments, it’s understandable that you were facing financial constraints, and involving debt collectors seems excessive given the circumstances. It might be worth seeking legal advice or mediation to contest these charges and ensure a fair resolution. Hang in there!

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My rat infestation cost around £8,000 to fix. If, between you and the landlord, you both let the situation get out of hand then it can cost that much in terms of ripping up floorboards to find and kill them, having vacant property for months, doing building work to block up all points of entry, putting it all back again, redecorating, etc.

Did you try and reclaim that cost from tenants?

LL not concerned with properly remedying the rat situation TBH. Won’t spend anything like the money you have spent on the house.

LL has already rented out the house to more tenants without getting rid of the burrows in the garden.

no because the root cause was that the builders had once moved a toilet, but they left the original waste pipe in place and uncapped, and this was basically a super highway for sewer rats to enter a void under the floor, and one food was around there was no stopping the rats. yes the tenants had left the food out but the main problem was caused by the builders. However, later on I wished I had because I found the house insurance does not cover rodent damage.

Your painting a bad picture of your landlords actions and from what your stating regarding your situation it would certainly gain a sympathetic response on here however, there are two sides to a dispute and it would be appropriate to hear the other side before passing opinion.

You must dispute it through the deposit scheme. The onus is on the landlord to justify their claim. It will be down to what’s in the tenancy agreement and comparing the check in inventory with the check out report. Wear and tear excluded. If there is no check out report that won’t help her position.

If she used debt collectors was that after a court order for the arrears? Unless it was and assuming there are no outstanding arrears now, I can’t imagine her being awarded those costs.

Deposit schemes generally side with tenants. In this case her claims seem unreasonable so it’s not likely she’ll be awarded anything like that amount.

If you don’t go that route it leaves her open to take legal action. Best avoided

You have several separate issues here.

Damages - the amount a Landlord can claim is the actual cost. If they appeal to you deposit protection scheme to retain all or a proportion of your deposit it is up to the Landlord to provide evidence. You can dispute that evidence but must accept the schemes ruling. They are usually fair.

The Landlord can also appeal to the courts . Whoever takes a case to court (in this case probably the landlord) pays court costs initially but if you lose you will be likely ordered to pay the landlords court costs and any fees they pay to solicitors to represent them in addition to their claim - and vice versa if you win.

If she claims you were hostile she will have to provide evidence, and if you claim she is acting unreasonably you need to provide evidence.

Landlords can claim reasonable costs of Debt collection in court and whether they are awarded will depend on her providing receipts (the costs being reasonable and proportionate) and evidence that she was reasonable in pursuing that course .

My opinion is you should offer to pay what you think is a reasonable settlement to avoid court disputes if you thin she will go through with it.

If you are totally sure you are in the right then let it go to court but be sure you are in the right.

IN the end it doesn’t matter what an internet forum like this thinks - its what a court decides based on evidence.

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Totally agree with Mark , there is two sides to ever story and the times I’ve heard tenants think they are right is loads , only the dps can resolve this or you or LL go to court and be prepared for costs and getting a reference is also a factor and the stress of it all !