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  • FIRST POST
    • Pancake1302
    • By Pancake1302 13th Feb 18, 1:01 PM
    • 4Posts
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    Pancake1302
    What can a landlord deduct from a deposit?
    • #1
    • 13th Feb 18, 1:01 PM
    What can a landlord deduct from a deposit? 13th Feb 18 at 1:01 PM
    Can a landlord deduct from a deposit for alleged breach of tenancy agreement when there is no loss to them from the breach?

    Based in Scotland.

    Thanks.
Page 1
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 13th Feb 18, 1:10 PM
    • 11,661 Posts
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    Pixie5740
    • #2
    • 13th Feb 18, 1:10 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Feb 18, 1:10 PM
    Can a landlord deduct from a deposit for alleged breach of tenancy agreement when there is no loss to them from the breach?

    Based in Scotland.

    Thanks.
    Originally posted by Pancake1302
    Landlords can deduct money from the deposit for:

    damage you, as a tenant, may do to the property
    cleaning bills if you have left the property in poor condition
    bills that are left unpaid, for example fuel or telephone bills
    any unpaid rent.

    Not paying rent would be a breach of the tenancy agreement and the landlord could deduct money for that but if the landlord hasn't suffered a loss due to a breach then it's unlikely money can be deducted.

    What was the breach?
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 13th Feb 18, 1:15 PM
    • 1,113 Posts
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    saajan_12
    • #3
    • 13th Feb 18, 1:15 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Feb 18, 1:15 PM
    Deposit is for LL's losses as a result of tenant's breaches or failure to fulfill their obligations from the agreement. This includes property damage, unpaid rent, agreed charges (e.g. late fees/checkout fees etc)...

    What is the alleged breach and what are they intending to deduct?
    • AvocadosBeforeMortgages
    • By AvocadosBeforeMortgages 13th Feb 18, 1:37 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    AvocadosBeforeMortgages
    • #4
    • 13th Feb 18, 1:37 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Feb 18, 1:37 PM
    What's the breach and how much are they trying to deduct, and on what grounds?

    Almost on principle, however, I'd dispute it via the deposit protection scheme it was registered with (was it protected?) and if it's something like you've kept a goldfish in a no pets flat and there's no damage, you'll get your full deposit back.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 13th Feb 18, 2:04 PM
    • 2,353 Posts
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    Comms69
    • #5
    • 13th Feb 18, 2:04 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Feb 18, 2:04 PM
    Landlords can deduct money from the deposit for:

    damage you, as a tenant, may do to the property
    cleaning bills if you have left the property in poor condition
    bills that are left unpaid, for example fuel or telephone bills
    any unpaid rent.

    Not paying rent would be a breach of the tenancy agreement and the landlord could deduct money for that but if the landlord hasn't suffered a loss due to a breach then it's unlikely money can be deducted.

    What was the breach?
    Originally posted by Pixie5740
    I'd still argue the toss on this one, 9/10 the bills are unpaid when tenancy ends, but are paid shortly thereafter - final bill only arrives 3-5 days after the tenancy ends
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 13th Feb 18, 3:26 PM
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    Pixie5740
    • #6
    • 13th Feb 18, 3:26 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Feb 18, 3:26 PM
    I'd still argue the toss on this one, 9/10 the bills are unpaid when tenancy ends, but are paid shortly thereafter - final bill only arrives 3-5 days after the tenancy ends
    Originally posted by Comms69
    That depends on whose name(s) the bills are in.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 13th Feb 18, 3:33 PM
    • 2,353 Posts
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    Comms69
    • #7
    • 13th Feb 18, 3:33 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Feb 18, 3:33 PM
    That depends on whose name(s) the bills are in.
    Originally posted by Pixie5740

    Ye I suppose so, but if they're in the LLs name, I'd question why the tenant was paying them (CTL etc.)
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 13th Feb 18, 3:54 PM
    • 1,113 Posts
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    saajan_12
    • #8
    • 13th Feb 18, 3:54 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Feb 18, 3:54 PM
    bills that are left unpaid, for example fuel or telephone bills
    Originally posted by Pixie5740
    I'd still argue the toss on this one, 9/10 the bills are unpaid when tenancy ends, but are paid shortly thereafter - final bill only arrives 3-5 days after the tenancy ends
    Originally posted by Comms69
    Not just a timing issue, unpaid bills in the tenant's name aren't the LL's business, but instead an agreement between the tenant and provider. Possibly if the LL actually suffers a loss due to the tenant's actions e.g. by misreporting the meter readings / dates..
    • buggy_boy
    • By buggy_boy 13th Feb 18, 4:07 PM
    • 139 Posts
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    buggy_boy
    • #9
    • 13th Feb 18, 4:07 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Feb 18, 4:07 PM
    Loads of times tenants give the end date to the council and utilities of the day they start their new tenancy, there can be a few days to a few weeks overlap... Tenants are liable for bills until the tenancy is ended not when they move out. Councils and utility companies will seek the money from the landlord (especially councils) then it does become the landlords problem...


    Think we really need to know what the breach was and how much they are deducting. Seems a bit of a loaded question from someone with just one post...
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 13th Feb 18, 4:09 PM
    • 2,353 Posts
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    Comms69
    Loads of times tenants give the end date to the council and utilities of the day they start their new tenancy, there can be a few days to a few weeks overlap... Tenants are liable for bills until the tenancy is ended not when they move out. Councils and utility companies will seek the money from the landlord (especially councils) then it does become the landlords problem...


    Think we really need to know what the breach was and how much they are deducting. Seems a bit of a loaded question from someone with just one post...
    Originally posted by buggy_boy
    Actually the council tax issue is more complex. Tenants on a SPT are not liable for C Tax once they vacate.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 13th Feb 18, 4:11 PM
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    Pixie5740

    Think we really need to know what the breach was and how much they are deducting. Seems a bit of a loaded question from someone with just one post...
    Originally posted by buggy_boy
    If I was a gambling Pixie I would put money on the tenant having a pet.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 13th Feb 18, 4:12 PM
    • 11,661 Posts
    • 16,408 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    Actually the council tax issue is more complex. Tenants on a SPT are not liable for C Tax once they vacate.
    Originally posted by Comms69
    Tenants in Scotland won't have a SPT
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 13th Feb 18, 4:12 PM
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    Comms69
    If I was a gambling Pixie I would put money on the tenant having a pet.
    Originally posted by Pixie5740
    or changing the locks
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 13th Feb 18, 5:19 PM
    • 16,426 Posts
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    FBaby
    Loads of times tenants give the end date to the council and utilities of the day they start their new tenancy, there can be a few days to a few weeks overlap... Tenants are liable for bills until the tenancy is ended not when they move out. Councils and utility companies will seek the money from the landlord (especially councils) then it does become the landlords problem..
    Indeed, got a tenant who called to cancel the utilities 3 weeks before they actually left. That's because the husband did leave early and made the call as under his name, whilst his wife and children remained for another 3 weeks. The utility company automatically billed me the LL despite showing them a copy of the ast (with a fixed term date after the date they were charging me with), a copy of their note to say they had left three weeks after the date they told them they had left. They were adamant that legally they had to go with what the tenant told them regardless of the proof I could submit.

    The ADR thankfully cleared that one up and awarded with the cost of gas/electricity and water for that period with the same evidence.
    • buggy_boy
    • By buggy_boy 13th Feb 18, 6:33 PM
    • 139 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    buggy_boy
    Actually the council tax issue is more complex. Tenants on a SPT are not liable for C Tax once they vacate.
    Originally posted by Comms69

    Who told you that? Its totally wrong, you will find in pretty much every tenancy agreement that the tenant remains liable for all utility and council tax bills until the end of the tenancy.
    • Pancake1302
    • By Pancake1302 13th Feb 18, 6:45 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Pancake1302
    Thanks all for your replies!

    The alleged breach is not reporting damage in the house (not caused by us). The damage didn't worsen over time. They are attempting to deduct the whole cost of the repairs for the damage on the basis that they couldn't submit an insurance claim due to the time passed since the damage occurred. They have however refused to provide us with their excess information and we've now found out that they never intended to submit a claim due to a high excess but they are still attempting to deduct the whole sum from the deposit.

    Is this something that they're likely to be able to claim a deduction for?

    If only it had been an illicit pet - that would have at least brought me some happiness!
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 13th Feb 18, 7:15 PM
    • 1,113 Posts
    • 751 Thanks
    saajan_12
    Thanks all for your replies!

    The alleged breach is not reporting damage in the house (not caused by us). The damage didn't worsen over time. They are attempting to deduct the whole cost of the repairs for the damage on the basis that they couldn't submit an insurance claim due to the time passed since the damage occurred. They have however refused to provide us with their excess information and we've now found out that they never intended to submit a claim due to a high excess but they are still attempting to deduct the whole sum from the deposit.

    Is this something that they're likely to be able to claim a deduction for?

    If only it had been an illicit pet - that would have at least brought me some happiness!
    Originally posted by Pancake1302
    Why so cryptic.. what's the damage you didn't report?

    So X damage occurred which you could have noticed but failed to report? If yes, then a breach of your obligations.

    If you had reported in a timely manner, LL's cost would have been £(excess). As you didn't report, it wasn't covered by insurance/warranty, so LL's cost is £(full cost).

    So your breach HAS has resulted in a loss for the LL = £full cost - £excess. That's what you're liable for, from the deposit. What they intended to claim is not your business, they don't actually have to do the repair. The cost-excess is still their mitigated loss and that's what you have to repay.
    • hammy1988
    • By hammy1988 13th Feb 18, 7:22 PM
    • 100 Posts
    • 65 Thanks
    hammy1988
    Thanks all for your replies!

    The alleged breach is not reporting damage in the house (not caused by us). The damage didn't worsen over time. They are attempting to deduct the whole cost of the repairs for the damage on the basis that they couldn't submit an insurance claim due to the time passed since the damage occurred. They have however refused to provide us with their excess information and we've now found out that they never intended to submit a claim due to a high excess but they are still attempting to deduct the whole sum from the deposit.

    Is this something that they're likely to be able to claim a deduction for?

    If only it had been an illicit pet - that would have at least brought me some happiness!
    Originally posted by Pancake1302

    Reminds me of when I rented, tiny fray on the stairs from feet going up it, I argued it was wear and tear, she argued that they'd need to replace the carpet on the stairs for the next tenants. It went on for ages no one budging and I gave in to save hassle and was £250 short on our deposit. Go forward two months, I call at the old house to check for letters and boom, the SAME carpet still on the stairs with the new tenants. I was fuming!
    • Pancake1302
    • By Pancake1302 13th Feb 18, 7:43 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Pancake1302
    Why so cryptic.. what's the damage you didn't report?

    So X damage occurred which you could have noticed but failed to report? If yes, then a breach of your obligations.

    If you had reported in a timely manner, LL's cost would have been £(excess). As you didn't report, it wasn't covered by insurance/warranty, so LL's cost is £(full cost).

    So your breach HAS has resulted in a loss for the LL = £full cost - £excess. That's what you're liable for, from the deposit. What they intended to claim is not your business, they don't actually have to do the repair. The cost-excess is still their mitigated loss and that's what you have to repay.
    Originally posted by saajan_12
    Thanks for your response. This is our issue though - the landlord isn't willing to provide us with confirmation of what their excess is. We can't see how they can claim for anything without this information? We've also found out that they wouldn't have claimed on the insurance because the excess was so high, which suggests the excess is higher than the full cost (and would presumably explain why they are unwilling to confirm the excess).

    If this is the case (excess is higher than the full cost of the repair), using your reasoning, we wouldn't have caused any loss?
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 13th Feb 18, 7:54 PM
    • 5,965 Posts
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    00ec25
    Who told you that? Its totally wrong, you will find in pretty much every tenancy agreement that the tenant remains liable for all utility and council tax bills until the end of the tenancy.
    Originally posted by buggy_boy
    and you need to understand there is a difference between statute law and contract law

    contracts are overridden by statute, and statute law defines the different liability applicable to SPT and has now been "clarified" in case law

    google "Bradley v Leeds"
    read and learn...
    Last edited by 00ec25; 13-02-2018 at 7:57 PM.
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