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Matt J
Matt J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience:  LLB(HONS)
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I am a GDL graduate. I'm now being hassled by my previous landlor

Customer Question

I am a GDL graduate. I'm now being hassled by my previous landlord/flatmate regarding a carpet stain (small two patches on his "choir" carpet caused by my dog last year). He refuses to pay back the £250 deposit and my parents have served written notice of 14 days - he replied late stating he is entitled to all of it.
We've said we can negotiate on what is reasonable as it will not cost so much to clean two small patches. IT has not affected his getting a new "lodger".
He states S 11 of the LTA 1985 doesn't apply to him because I was a "lodger". Could you clarify this point please?
I have got a quote from a domestic carpet cleaning service for £50 to do his whole stairs, hall and landing (despite the stain only being on his landing and a stair). Wouldn't this be reasonable for him to keep the £50 of my deposit and pay the rest back?
He is also blatantly lying, as I had gone and bought carpet cleaners last year to clean the stain and now he states they were his!!! Do I go to court?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Matt J replied 1 year ago.
Hi I will try and help
Expert:  Matt J replied 1 year ago.
Did you simply use a room in his house, or did you have a separate part of the property that you used as yours (i.e a granny annex for example)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The thing is that, there was never a written contract. After conducting some research of my own I found that a verbal agreement is still legally valid. However without any clauses referring to damages and who is responsible for repairs and obligations, it seems like he is just adding on whatever he wants to after I have moved out, so that he can keep all the money, despite the other damages he is referring to not being caused by myself (only the stain on the carpet was my pet's fault).I had a bedroom but the living room and dining areas were shared. The rent was paid monthly by direct debit, and even early on one occasion when he had requested (for his holiday expenses or something similar).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He has also replied late to our written notice, stating out whether we agree or disagree to the damages he has referred to.He basically stated I had caused1. water damage - to this we disagreed, because we were all present at the house a few months ago when a leak had occurred from the boiler room, which is most likely the cause of the damage he refers to now (I had notified him immediately of this leak as soon as I saw it coming out on the landing and the walls). My room was just opposite the boiler room.2. stain on the wall - we disagreed to this, because the stain was already there when I moved in and would be impossible for me to have done anyway because of the height restriction (it is all the way at the top corner and I am too short to reach it).3. the carpet stain by my dog - agreed to this, but we said £250 is unreasonable, whereas we could negotiate the amount to be deducted from the deposit so he could pay for the cost of cleaning. He refuses to accept this, claiming he is entitled to all of it - despite him not having a single quote or receipt, it is hard to imagine that this is reasonable because he just argues that he now has to "live with the damage" and change the whole carpet. This is the most expensive and unreasonable alternative.We would know, because we also run a B&B and allow pets. We've had professional cleaners come and clean the whole carpet (of about 50 metres length) which cost £200. So it is hard to see how two small patches could possibly cost £250. HE argues it is because he has a "choir carpet". However, I don't think he has really spent enough time searching for an appropriate cleaner, because I called round this morning and got a quote of £50 from a domestic cleaner.What should I do?
Expert:  Matt J replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. You are correct in that the verbal agreement is as binding as a written one. The lodger status you enjoy isn't the same as a "tenancy" and so doesn't enjoy the same status under the usual Housing Act and Landlord and Tenant Act. However the principle of reasonableness still applies to the contractual arrangement between you. Just because there is a small stain on a carpet doesn't entitle him to a brand new carpet. This take no account of how old the carpet was when you moved in, how expensive it was, what damage was there already. It basically puts him in into a better position than he was at the start. This is not the principle of restitution for breach pf contract which is to compensate for loss. He is over compensating him and so I think if you sued him a Court would award a value of the loss to the damage to the carpet (i.e. to the cost of the repair of the carpet, or diminution in value of the carpet, which is likely to be the same amount)
Expert:  Matt J replied 1 year ago.
I hope this helps. Do ask any follow up questions. If you are happy then please leave positive feedback so I can be paid for my time. The question wont close and if you think of any questions later down the line you can come back to the question and post again
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for clarifying. What do I say in response to his email? Do I say that he is being unreasonable and that we would pursue legal action from the courts? I have read that this would not require a solicitor or barrister as legal disputes regarding landlord/tenancy deposits are common.Please let me know, thank you.
Expert:  Matt J replied 1 year ago.
Yes. If he is unwilling to negotiate then you will have to take it to Court. You wont need a Solicitor and take issue proceedings on line here :- https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome

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