To pay under Duress means to pay under pressure.
It means that you have paid it just get rid of the matter without
necessarily agreeing that you owe it. It gives you the option of then suing to
get some of the money back.
People very often do that and pay a bill that they do not agree to
so that it does not affect their credit rating and then they sue the creditor
to get the money back.
There are two potential issues and two potential defendants with
regard to the cleaning and without looking at the property it is impossible for
me to say which is the correct route.
If the cleaning is inadequate for what you paid, you sue the
It may be that you got £100 worth but that was not enough to do
what was needed. Just because you paid £100 does not necessarily mean that was
sufficient. I obviously cannot comment on the competence of the cleaners
If the cleaning is inadequate for the purposes of the landlord,
then you have to pay the landlord.
It comes down therefore as to whether the cleaning was indeed
inadequate for the purposes of the landlord or the landlord is looking at
making £300 for doing nothing.
Remember that the agent is alleging damage caused by the cleaners.
The cleaners will of course say that they didn't force anything because they
are not going to say "oh yes we gave it a good yank and it came away in our hands".
I also cannot imagine that the flat downstairs will imagine the water or would
make it up. It is easy enough to ask them.