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    • Gin and Milk
    • By Gin and Milk 11th Jun 17, 11:29 PM
    • 216Posts
    • 247Thanks
    Gin and Milk
    Former tenant now wants bond back, advice please?
    • #1
    • 11th Jun 17, 11:29 PM
    Former tenant now wants bond back, advice please? 11th Jun 17 at 11:29 PM
    Hi

    Our tenants moved out in April and unfortunately they didn't leave the house as they found it to say the least. They knew there would be deductions from their bond and that i needed to calculate the costs which they were hapoy with at the time. A couple of days later i received a couple of text messages from them to say they realised that the 'fair wear and tear' clause in their agreement was a get out clause for me not to return their deposit and went on to say 'anyway you have our money now, life isn't fair but what can you do'. I didn't respond and assumed they had more or less told me to keep the bond.
    This evening however, my husband received a text from them to request a breakdown of costs as they want some of their bond back as they are considering seeking legal advice. Do we have any accountability here given what was previously said in their text (which i still have) and also considering that it is 2 months since they left? The house has been redecorated since and is now on the market.
    My husband has replied by requesting details of their solicitor so that we can deal with them directly.
    Any advice gratefully received
    Gin
Page 2
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 12th Jun 17, 9:31 AM
    • 15,263 Posts
    • 13,594 Thanks
    AdrianC
    You have absolutely no idea whatsoever of the backstory as to how we ended up being landlords and it certainly wasn't a case of 'suddenly deciding' to be one.
    Originally posted by Gin and Milk
    Yes, it was. It really is that simple.

    You call it "snarkiness", but it's actually a wake-up call for you. You should be accepting this in the spirit it's meant - helpfulness. You are facing a VERY expensive lesson through your naivety, and you appear to be refusing to accept that the lesson is required, let alone learn from it.

    There are NO circumstances in which somebody wakes up one morning to find themselves having signed a tenancy they didn't know about on a property they didn't know they had. None. Zero. Impossible. Never happened. You made a conscious decision at some point to rent your property rather than sell it. You found tenants. You signed a tenancy. You accepted rent from them for an extended period. You declared that rent as income on your tax return (you did, didn't you?). You voluntarily undertook a business activity...

    As far as your ex-tenant's deposit goes - it's very simple. You NEED to return 100% of their deposit to them, today, and cross your fingers very VERY hard that they don't follow the route they are legally entitled to do. Stop arguing about it. Stop with the lame "Well, they said I could". Just. Do. It. Now.

    You then NEED to sit down and have a very hard think about whether you are going to continue in this line of business, but properly, or whether you are going to say enough is enough and get out of it. You need to do this before you get another tenant. If you have an ad running for the property, cancel it. If you have a tenant lined up, cancel them. If you have an agent searching, stop them. MAKE YOUR MIND UP if you're going to run this business PROPERLY, or not at all. There is no other option.

    And, yes, it IS a business.

    Edit: I've just noticed that you said you'd made that decision already, and were selling the property. OK, great. But take note in case it doesn't sell for the amount you want, and you're tempted to take it off the market. If it does sell, then this will act as a reminder for anybody else in your position of denial.
    Last edited by AdrianC; 12-06-2017 at 9:37 AM.
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 12th Jun 17, 9:36 AM
    • 15,238 Posts
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    pinkshoes
    I know it doesn't matter, but all I asked for was advice, not snarky comments. (I've never understood why people do it on forums).

    There isn't much bond left to return; which they already acknowledge. In fact if we wanted to be hard nosed about it we'd charge them in full for the redecorating the living and dining rooms given that they didn't look after it. Given that the bond itself is £425 and the decorating alone cost quite a bit more. But no, I don't want a protracted argument, I simply wanted to know where I stood. And now I do.
    Thanks
    Originally posted by Gin and Milk
    There may not be much bond left but if they seek advice they will discover that they are quite entitled to sue you for 3X the bond...

    So either take a chance, send them the breakdown and return the remaining bond, or send the whole lot back with an apology for it being late.

    Their text clearly doesn't state you can keep it!
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • Gin and Milk
    • By Gin and Milk 12th Jun 17, 9:57 AM
    • 216 Posts
    • 247 Thanks
    Gin and Milk
    Their other text does state that but i take your point.
    I will arrange to return their bond in full when i get home from work.
    Thanks
    • Gin and Milk
    • By Gin and Milk 12th Jun 17, 10:27 AM
    • 216 Posts
    • 247 Thanks
    Gin and Milk
    AdrianC

    I am not refusing anything and I'm not sure what makes you think that. I have thanked people for their help, however I have never understood why some people feel the need to post comments which are not intended to be helpful at all and I will leave it at that.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 12th Jun 17, 10:30 AM
    • 15,263 Posts
    • 13,594 Thanks
    AdrianC
    I am not refusing anything and I'm not sure what makes you think that.
    Originally posted by Gin and Milk
    Simple. The replies you've posted.

    I have thanked people for their help
    And complained about other replies.

    however I have never understood why some people feel the need to post comments which are not intended to be helpful at all and I will leave it at that.
    "What you want to hear" is rarely the same as "helpful".
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 12th Jun 17, 10:38 AM
    • 15,942 Posts
    • 39,731 Thanks
    FBaby
    here isn't much bond left to return; which they already acknowledge. In fact if we wanted to be hard nosed about it we'd charge them in full for the redecorating the living and dining rooms given that they didn't look after it. Given that the bond itself is £425 and the decorating alone cost quite a bit more.
    Even if you had protected the deposit properly, this wouldn't be the case. Wear and Tear would apply on what you can deduct, and somehow, when it comes to tenants, it is expected that the W&T process is twice as quick than for an average home owner (a concept that I find very puzzling in its significance but were we are!).

    You are stuck between a rock and a hard place. If you return the deposit, they might get suspicious and indeed, question why that could be and find out about them being able to get x3 that amount if they haven't yet. That would mean paying x3 that amount in addition. Of course, it could mean that they are delighted and move on.

    If you reply by doing as asked, ie. provide a breakdown of costs (remember W&T)and say you will return the rest, they might also be satisfied and move on. If they intend to take you to court, it might an amount that you can counter claim if the judge agrees that your deductions were reasonable.

    One thing too to take into account is that they have up to 6 years to take you to court. Not a good place to be at and potentially a very expensive lesson.
    • Lrimas
    • By Lrimas 12th Jun 17, 11:11 AM
    • 121 Posts
    • 160 Thanks
    Lrimas
    Their text didn't really say that you can keep the bond, it said that they are giving up trying to get it because they can't do anything about it.

    They have since found out that they have rights and have (rightly) asked you to follow the rules.

    Even if you hadn't broken the law the morally right thing to do would have been to send them a breakdown of what you had to do to the place (taking into account the condition of the property when they moved in and wear and tear for the length of their stay).

    For now I recommend returning the deposit. They already know they can take you to court.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 12th Jun 17, 11:51 AM
    • 15,142 Posts
    • 14,760 Thanks
    Guest101
    Seriously how does one not protect a deposit, it's been law for ten years....
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 12th Jun 17, 11:53 AM
    • 15,263 Posts
    • 13,594 Thanks
    AdrianC
    Seriously how does one not protect a deposit, it's been law for ten years....
    Originally posted by Guest101
    Well, we don't know the back story, and they didn't decide...
    • aneary
    • By aneary 12th Jun 17, 11:53 AM
    • 599 Posts
    • 455 Thanks
    aneary
    I think you may have shot yourself in the foot asking for the solicitor's details, that may have been a threat but now that you have asked for the details they may go and get one.

    If they didn't already know about the deposit scheme they will now. Paying back the whole deposit will also make them suspicious. I would see if you can come to an agreement with them before a solicitor is involved unless it's too late.
    • fairy lights
    • By fairy lights 12th Jun 17, 12:02 PM
    • 8,130 Posts
    • 27,175 Thanks
    fairy lights
    I think you may have shot yourself in the foot asking for the solicitor's details, that may have been a threat but now that you have asked for the details they may go and get one.
    Originally posted by aneary
    I was going to say, OP's husband telling them that they want to deal directly with their solicitor might have come across as a bit antagonistic.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 12th Jun 17, 12:06 PM
    • 15,142 Posts
    • 14,760 Thanks
    Guest101
    I was going to say, OP's husband telling them that they want to deal directly with their solicitor might have come across as a bit antagonistic.
    Originally posted by fairy lights


    I think - and its just an opinion - the OP and her husband said that with the suspicion that the tenants wont have a solicitor as it's too expensive.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 12th Jun 17, 12:46 PM
    • 41,425 Posts
    • 47,789 Thanks
    G_M
    The question of (tenant's) legal costs was raised some posts back.

    Another reason to return the deposit in full asap. That will stop any costs rising further. Hopefully, too, it will satisfy the tenants and be the end of the matter.

    Any drawing out of the matter is likely to simpy increase the legal costs the tenants might claim eg

    * negotiating deductions
    * returning 50% (or whatever)of the deposit
    * corresponding with the solicitor (£100 per letter they read?)

    Swallow your pride, take the loss on the chin & ring this to an end asap
    • aneary
    • By aneary 12th Jun 17, 12:49 PM
    • 599 Posts
    • 455 Thanks
    aneary
    The question of (tenant's) legal costs was raised some posts back.

    Another reason to return the deposit in full asap. That will stop any costs rising further. Hopefully, too, it will satisfy the tenants and be the end of the matter.

    Any drawing out of the matter is likely to simpy increase the legal costs the tenants might claim eg

    * negotiating deductions
    * returning 50% (or whatever)of the deposit
    * corresponding with the solicitor (£100 per letter they read?)

    Swallow your pride, take the loss on the chin & ring this to an end asap
    Originally posted by G_M
    This depends on how they intend to claim the money back if it's through the small claims court (likely) I didn't think they could claim costs?
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 12th Jun 17, 1:15 PM
    • 15,142 Posts
    • 14,760 Thanks
    Guest101
    This depends on how they intend to claim the money back if it's through the small claims court (likely) I didn't think they could claim costs?
    Originally posted by aneary
    the penalty cannot be claimed via SCC - some costs can still be claimed at small claims
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 12th Jun 17, 1:32 PM
    • 2,700 Posts
    • 2,656 Thanks
    cjdavies
    AdrianC

    I am not refusing anything and I'm not sure what makes you think that. I have thanked people for their help, however I have never understood why some people feel the need to post comments which are not intended to be helpful at all and I will leave it at that.
    Originally posted by Gin and Milk
    Sometimes you have to give "tough love" and hopefully help you and others in the future and lessons learnt.
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