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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11288
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Hi I am Alan Jamieson and I am living abroad and renting my

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Hi I am Alan Jamieson and I am living abroad and renting my house in Scotland. We hired Your move to represent us on all our letting matters. I rented my house in May 2013 and eight months after I discovered our tenants changed wall papers in the bedrooms without our consent. Your move failed on reporting this to us on their six monthly report, it was me and my wife who went to Scotland and saw the walls in our house the day we went in the house to get some things we left there. We had to terminate their contract not only because of the wall paper but also because of the general state of the house, they were not looking after of the property at all so we were concerned about the damage that could be caused. It was difficult for them to leave the property and we were forced to agree an extension twice before they moved out of our property. They broke bedroom furniture, destroyed computer desk and two leather sofas, there are missing items from our kitchen, the Venetian blind 2 meters tall and 3meters wide is broken, walls all over the house are disgusting and the wall papers haven't been replaced.They left the house without paying the last month rent as well and the deposit we have from them is £825 which is not going to be enough to cover items and bring the house back to what it was before, we have just received a quote for cleaning the house and that is over £200 alone. We are also questioning the competency of your move as we feel they let us down, they said that they can only get the deposit from the ex tenants and nothing else so we will have to pay for anything over and above. Can you please advise? Thank you .
Thank you for your question.

In terms of your contract with Your Move, what do consider they could or should have done to stop the tenants damaging your property and were they negligent in any way for failing to supervise the tenancy? Have you had an explanation from them as to why there was no report about the removal of the wallpaper? What difference would e matter being reported to you have made? You have to consider all of these questions in the context of whether you have a remedy against the agent.

I think you might have difficulty in making a claim against Your Move. There are limits to what an agent can actually do to protect a property in their care. Inspections can be carried out on giving reasonable notice. Typically they take place at no more than 6 monthly intervals. Their failure in their duty to report to you will not bring your wallpaper back.

You can argue that you should retain the deposit against cleaning and damage. Your deposit should be a deposit scheme so the appropriate representation should be made to which ever scheme it is in so that the deposit is paid to you.

Thereafter any balance of sums due arising from damage and cleaning has to be addressed to the tenants via court proceedings if necessary, the costs of which would also be claimed from them. It does mean instructing a solicitor and meeting legal costs in the first instance. You have to assess whether these tenants have any money and are worth suing. Presumably the agent has some information on file about them from when they applied for the tenancy.

Happy to discuss further.

I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for your reply. I have asked for the security deposit to be retained which is £825 but we have had quotes for the cleaning and redecorating which is over £1,000. This does not take into account missing items which will take the cost upwards of £1,500 and an insurance claim that I have had to make for contents damage. This is the first time we have rented our house and it has been a nightmare. The tenant is also one Month's rent in arrears that has been outstanding since the 15th June.which Your Move are pursuing. So I am not sure of the tenants ability to pay but I would like to know if we take this further legally and he cannot pay what are the financial consequences for us. For your information, he failed to move to other properties as he did not pass the credit reference checks but he is renting another property in the same street as our house which I am assuming is a private let. Your help is very much appreciated.
Is the total cost to you likely to exceed £3000 or will it be below that amount?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
My estimate is between £2500 & £3000. I am including in this, replacement costs for sofas and a computer desk due to damage which my insurers going to assess tomorrow. There are also missing items such as a rug and some kitchen utensils, cutlery, crockery etc. but I am still waiting on a missing items list from Your Move so do not have a true cost of these. If you include the £568 outstanding rent then it will be over £3000.
Will retaining the deposit take that below £3000 though?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes, it will be around £2000-£2250
In that case you should instruct a solicitor to raise a small claim action in the sheriff court, once you have quantified your loss. The action will be based on breach of the contract of lease as a suit of which you have suffered loss and damage. As you are abroad you will have to instruct a solicitor to act for you. Unfortunately in a small claim action, which is for cases with a value of below £3000, the maximum award of expenses you can get towards your legal fees is £150. So even if you win you will be paying a proportion to your solicitor at about £180 per hour depending on who you instruct.

You also want to be sure, before proceeding, that the tenant is employed and has a wage that can be arrested in the hands of an employer as it doesn't sound like he has any assets to pay the monies due to you.

That is one of the problems in being a landlord; even assuming you get your court order, if there are no assets and no earnings, a recovery can be difficult if not impossible.

Happy to discuss further.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Many thanks for your help and advice. I think this is going to prove difficult as you say and at a considerable cost to us and so I don't think we will take this further. As I said your move are pursuing the rent arrears and so if we get that and the £825 security then I think that is as much as we will get and so leave it at that. Thanks once again. Alan
You're welcome. Please leave positive feedback on the system so that I am credited for my time.
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