The inventory upon leaving the house commented on three holes drilled into a wall-papered wall to support a cupboard in a bedroom. It is in the agreement for a tenant to fix this sort of damage. I am happy to pay for it to be fixed, but the agents have advised they have a single contractor. I do not want to pay above market value for the cost of this repair. The agents have let us down in a number of ways and I am concerned that they will over charge us as a result of my complaint. The ways that they have mis-managed our tenancy include:
- arriving for a property viewing without the keys
- saying that the garden will be 'fixed' before we moved in, they didn't provide us with a garden, they simply flattened the weeds.
- saying the property would be professionally cleaned before we moved in - it wasn't
- saying that the faulty hot water tap was due to a problem with pressure - one of their own maintenance people came over and advised that this is not the case and that they should have it fixed
- suggesting that a moth infestation that became apparent within 2 weeks after our arrival date (at the end of winter) was due to our tenancy, when the life cycle of a moth clearly involves a period of chrysalis formation during which they are usually dormant
- providing us with vast mistakes on our leaving inventory, including requesting bulbs be replaced in the kitchen lights, despite the fact that the photo they provided us with clearly demonstrates all bulbs working, requesting replacement kitchen hood vents, yet the photo they provided us with clearly shows all vents in place, requesting removal of a bag of sundry items, yet the first inventory has a photo of this same bag being in the house prior to our arrival.
- have a damp inspector come over and find the walls 80% damp and I know the healthy acceptable limit is only 35% and both tenants in this house at the time suffer from asthma, the mould and the damp in the walls making this worse
- not fixing the front door lock despite our requests and waiting for me to get locked out of the house before they deigned to call a locksmith
- suggesting a 'sticky' back door lock is a result of our tenancy when the first time the house was visited their own agent couldn't open the door
There are other things to discuss as well, however I would be happy to pay the cost of the repairs to the wall if there are quotes provided and if they provide photographic proof that the wall is actually fixed prior to us having to reimburse them for the cost.
Thank you very much for your help.
This is obviously a checkout inventory at the end of a AssuredShort hold Tenancy.
There is no duty on the landlord to obtain various quotesparticularly if any of the work would be deemed to be needed in an emergency.
They are not under a duty to provide photographs and they areactually not under a duty to actually have the work done but the landlord isentitled to compensation in respect of the damage whether he has the work doneor not..
In the absence of anything else, the cost has to be reasonableand if the landlord wants more than a reasonable cost, then he has faced withsuing you in county court and you are faced with defending it.
If there are three holes drilled in the wall which would need abit of Polyfilla and a bit of redecoration, and depending on when the room waslast decorated, it could well need the whole wall decorating.
All the things that you complain of the agent are actuallymatters for the landlord.
With regard to the infestation, the landlord is responsible forthe cost of getting rid of any infestation which is caused before you move in.You are responsible for anything which happens after you move in.
If this ends up in court I think you can use the photographs andthe mistakes to cast doubts upon the whole of the landlord's claim.
Thank you very much for your time, I thought that may be the case regarding the decoration, so I will wear that cost, if, as you say, it is reasonable.
I have complained about the agent because (and I may be wrong) I thought they were a representative of the landlord and if any problems are not dealt with, surely that is their job, to talk to the landlord and, essentially, argue the case for the tenant. I would be happy to talk to the landlord directly, but I don't know who he/she is.
There have been several areas where I could pass doubt upon their claim. I simply hope it doesn't come to that. Thank you again for your replies, they were very informative.
If you don't agree with what the landlord is charging, pay whatyou do agree and do not withhold the lot. If this ever goes to court, that willwork in your favour.
If you are doing that, In cases like this, I never suggest making an offer. Isuggest sending a cheque. Armed with a cheque in the hand for some of theamount that a person wants, compared to an argument over the whole of theamount, (and arguments that the person may win or lose) the cheque in the handis a pretty powerful incentive to accept it.
Soconsider deciding how much you would like to pay the claimant (you need to makeit attractive enough) and send it with a covering letter headed "withoutprejudice save as to costs". That means that the person cannot produce theletter in court as any proof that you admit owing any money at all.
Tellthe claimant in the letter that you are offering this money in full and finalsettlement of all claims against you, past, present and future including legalcosts, and that by cashing it they accept it as such. Tell the person that if he/shedoes not accept it, they should return the cheque to you and if they issuelegal proceedings, you will defend them on the basis of A, B, C, whatever.
Do tell the claimant that this is notyour money (because you do not have it) and that it has come from someone elsewho has agreed to discharge the debt for you.
Tellthe claimant that if he/she does not understand the significance of the letter,he/she should take independent legal advice.
Ican tell you this approach works nine times out of 10, provided the offer isreasonable and not derisory.
For legal reasons which I will not bore you with but whichgo back several hundred years, the cheque must not come from you, but most comefrom a third party, friend, relative, solicitor, our accountant, neighbour,girlfriend, wife, husband, whoever, just not from you.
Here is some rather heavy reading http://www.voltimum.co.uk/news/2312/cm/the-law----full-and-final-settlement-.html
with regard to the agent, this is a common misconception. Theagent is the agent of the landlord not the tenant and he is to argue thelandlord's position not the tenants although any good agent will usually treadthe middle ground and try to mediate in the event of disagreement.
You can get the deeds to the house here for just 3 pounds https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/www/wps/portal/!ut/p/b1/04_SjzS0tDQwMTIxMjLXj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOKNjSxMDA1NjDwsjM3MDTxN3dyNDUNMjQ1MjPWDU_P0c6McFQH3SLFU/
but be aware that the landlord noted in the deeds may have hisaddress down for correspondence as the actual address of the property whichwill not help you.
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