Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • cinereus
    • By cinereus 19th Apr 17, 10:55 AM
    • 2,611Posts
    • 911Thanks
    cinereus
    Landlord withholding deposit - court costs?
    • #1
    • 19th Apr 17, 10:55 AM
    Landlord withholding deposit - court costs? 19th Apr 17 at 10:55 AM
    My landlord charged me £150 for "cleaning costs" even though I cleaned the property to a professional level after leaving. I was there for less than 6 months and the tenancy agreement I signed only allows for £80. Even so, I believe I have a case Indeed, the government’s own guidance from the Office of Fair Trading states in Guidance on unfair terms in tenancy agreements September 2005:

    4.4 Cleaning charges – a requirement to pay for cleaning at the end of the tenancy may be unfair if it is vague or unclear about the basis on which money will be demanded, or the extent of the cleaning involved. Such a term is more likely to be fair if the amount of the charge is expressly limited to reasonable compensation for a failure to take care of the property (see also our views below on excessive charges).

    4.8 Excessive cleaning charges – as a matter of normal practice in short lets, reflecting the common law, tenants are expected to return the property in as good and clean a condition as it was when they received it, with fair wear and tear excepted. We therefore commonly object to terms that could be used to make the tenant pay for the property to be cleaned to a higher standard than it was in at the start of the tenancy, or that require cleaning regardless of whether or not this is necessary for the tenant to comply with their normal obligations with regard to the state of the property.
    My argument is that demanding a “professional cleaning” when the property is already clean or has been returned in a superior condition is unfair in law.

    I am unable to go through mydeposits because they failed to issue the Prescribed Information at the start of the contract (I've asked for deposit guarantee certificate numerous times)and did not give the required information about how disputes should be made as well as the timescale. They then ignored my dispute for over three months so I can no longer go to mydeposits for adjudication. In fact, they kept the whole deposit the whole time for months after the tenancy!

    After a lot of begging, I finally got this back but I want to go to small claims to get the £150 back. Do you think I have a strong case? And do they have any right to claim legal costs from me?
Page 1
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 19th Apr 17, 11:38 AM
    • 295 Posts
    • 183 Thanks
    saajan_12
    • #2
    • 19th Apr 17, 11:38 AM
    • #2
    • 19th Apr 17, 11:38 AM
    I would write a final Letter Before Action to the LL requesting the £150 to be paid within 7 days and very briefly outlining that the property was left in the same or better level of cleanliness (pen, paper, keep a copy). This will show that you have made every effort to resolve it outside the courts. After 7 days if you receive no response, file a Money Claim. If you win, the LL should also be liable for YOUR court costs (e.g. filing fee, not solicitors or anything). Their failure to respond to your LBA will show these court fees were unavoidable for you to recover your remaining deposit.
    • cinereus
    • By cinereus 19th Apr 17, 4:36 PM
    • 2,611 Posts
    • 911 Thanks
    cinereus
    • #3
    • 19th Apr 17, 4:36 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Apr 17, 4:36 PM
    Do you think my case is pretty watertight? They've just responded to my LBA by saying they aim to take it to court!

    I obviously think I must win but my understanding is they could claim up to £200 in costs if I lose?
    • Arleen
    • By Arleen 19th Apr 17, 4:43 PM
    • 738 Posts
    • 519 Thanks
    Arleen
    • #4
    • 19th Apr 17, 4:43 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Apr 17, 4:43 PM
    Do you think my case is pretty watertight? They've just responded to my LBA by saying they aim to take it to court!

    I obviously think I must win but my understanding is they could claim up to £200 in costs if I lose?
    Originally posted by cinereus
    We don't know as we didn't read your contract or see before and after photos of the property. And you are correct that if you lose then, LL can claim even more money from you, for example for travel expenses.

    So make sure that the juice is worth the squeeze, letter before action is a good time for both sides to contemplate that.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 19th Apr 17, 5:58 PM
    • 38,861 Posts
    • 44,097 Thanks
    G_M
    • #5
    • 19th Apr 17, 5:58 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Apr 17, 5:58 PM

    I am unable to go through mydeposits because they failed to issue the Prescribed Information at the start of the contract
    so claim the penalty.

    (I've asked for deposit guarantee certificate numerous times)and did not give the required information about how disputes should be made as well as the timescale. They then ignored my dispute for over three monthsso I can no longer go to mydeposits for adjudication.
    if the depot was registered, why did you not raise a dispute?
    if not registered, why not claim the penalty?

    In fact, they kept the whole deposit the whole time for months after the tenancy!
    Who? Mydeposits or the landlord?

    After a lot of begging, I finally got this back but I want to go to small claims to get the £150 back. Do you think I have a strong case? And do they have any right to claim legal costs from me?
    Originally posted by cinereus
    So you got the deposit back yes?

    So why are you £150 out of pocket....?

    Read:

    * Deposits: payment, protection and return
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,466Posts Today

7,337Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @itvMLshow: We are filming tomorrow in Torremolinos! If you're in the area, head to Branigans on Av. Palma de Mallorca between 5pm-6.45p?

  • RT @mmhpi: ??The money and mental health manifesto - 10 steps to boost #mentalhealth & financial #wellbeing for Britain #GE2017 https://t.c?

  • In Spain in a restaurant ready for filming in Torremolinos tomorrow (do come and see us if you're there) watching #mcfcmufc #CTID

  • Follow Martin