Unethical, immoral and generally greedy landlord

I rented a flat during COVID in Brighton for 3 months. I was alone and had to get out of an airbnb while I waited for EU borders to open.

The landlords were dishonest and corrupt from the start. They told me it was available from 1st June and then it turned out they had tenants in the apartment paid through 10th June. I was in a crunch because I had to find a place. They moved me in on 6th June anyway because the paying tenants had left due COVID.

The apartment had issues from my first day moving in: shower broken, then no hot water, toilet broken and all kind of dirty or broken equipment. I was paying £1700 per month.

I decided to leave 1 month early when finally EU opened up in August. Paid the last month in full through 6th September. I cleaned the place in full per the lease- they did not require professional clean.

The landlord urgently contacted me Friday telling me I had to pay a professional clean and they were getting someone in over the weekend. Not legally binding.
They have now rented the apartment on Airbnb starting TODAY and are refusing to release my deposit unless I pay them this cleaning fee.

There is no shame to the entitlement and privilege of the wealthy landowning gentry of the UK. These people have no conscious or shame.

Hi Ana, sorry to hear about your experiences.

Did you create an Assured Shorthold Tenancy when you let the property? If so, it may expidite your deposit return to tell the landlord that charging a cleaning fee is prohibited under the Tenant Fees Act, risking a fine of £5,000.

You can also request the return of the deposit yourself via the deposit website. If the landlord doesn’t respond to your request to have it returned within two weeks then you can begin a process to have it returned to you without their approval.


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Hi Sam,

Yes, I did sign an Assured Shorthold Tenancy.

Thanks for the update. I have requested the return of deposit via the scheme guardian website.

I had written them that there was no legally binding obligation for me to pay for them to get it professionally cleaned - didn’t know about the Tenants Fee Act.

They were really trying to take advantage of me, I assume because I am not British so they thought I wouldn’t know things - rather insulting and potentially discriminatory.

Is there any way to block them from renting again on OpenRent? There should be some way to rate landlords- I feel like a lot of people especially foreigners that I know have a hard time with landlords and deposits.

Hi Ana,

Cool – nice work with the deposit site. Deposit schemes have really helpful phonelines too, if you need futher support with that.

Yes absolutely – if you could send any evidence that the user attempted to charge you illegal fees to https://www.openrent.co.uk/faq#i-have-more-questions, that would be very helpful. Doing so is against our terms.

As a UK tenant of 8 years, I can assure you that people trying to rip you off is the authentic British experience!


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Hi Sam,

Below is the link for a dropbox file that is the invoice for cleaning. Initially they insisted that I pay the full professional clean and claiming it was my responsibility to pay for it. That would have been £200-£300 I am sure.

The £80 is for “dusting” and for “ironing the bed linens”.

I mean if this is illegal then why do landlords do it all the time? I had a lease through OpenRent in Croydon from 2017-2018 and likewise they demanded I pay for a professional clean and deducted it from my deposit.

Cleaning charge

Hi Ana, fees were legal in 2018. The Tenant Fees Act was passed in 2019 and commenced fully in June this year.

If you email that link to our customer service team at https://www.openrent.co.uk/faq#i-have-more-questions and make it clear it is evidence of a landlord who used OpenRent and is now charging fees, then they will be able to tackle it.

Many thanks,

Ana If you want to rate landlords then no doubt you will support the rating of tenants ?


Who are the wealthy land owning gentry of the uk?

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Sam in 8 years you have been" ripped off" in what areas ? A warning for us ?


Rating of tenants already exists. Tenants already need to provide references from previous landlords. Why don’t landlords provide references from previous tenants?
Moreover, many landlords view their letting business as a business. If a business refuses to be rated, that’s a major red flag!