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    • bartsimpson
    • By bartsimpson 11th Oct 17, 3:23 PM
    • 682Posts
    • 478Thanks
    Tenant made a mess...
    • #1
    • 11th Oct 17, 3:23 PM
    Tenant made a mess... 11th Oct 17 at 3:23 PM
    Tenant of a property I own has just left, leaving black smears on the walls where he tried to rub off some mould.

    The lettings agent are sending one of their painting contacts round to give a quote for painting with anti-mould paint. This will then be taken off the tenant's deposit which was 1 month's rent.

    I want to save money on the labour by doing this myself.

    I'm itching to get started but would I need full written quotations and/or receipts for the work before you can legally demand to keep some or all of the tenant's deposit?

    Feel like I'm in limbo at the moment, just want the quote from the agent so I can say 'take that money from the tenant's deposit, but forget your guy because I'm going to paint it myself'.

    Anyone know the best way to proceed?

Page 2
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 11th Oct 17, 4:51 PM
    • 9,025 Posts
    • 59,992 Thanks
    I know, there are plenty of good, responsible landlords out there. My post wasn't intended to come across as suggesting that all landlords are dishonest but that the actions of a minority do tar all landlords negatively.
    Originally posted by NaughtiusMaximus
    I agree with you.....but it makes things much more difficult for the honest ones here who offer lots of advice to both tenants and other LL's when faced with such a chancer who clearly see's no problem in his plan.

    No offence taken
    frugal October...41.82 of 40 food shopping spend for the 2 of us!

    2017 toiletries challenge 179 out 145 in ...18.64 spend
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 11th Oct 17, 6:14 PM
    • 16,722 Posts
    • 41,341 Thanks
    You are looking at this with a bit too much confidence. Mould disputes are notoriously difficult for adjudicators because the reason for it could be 100% tenant or 100% LL's fault. However, as the deposit belongs to the tenant, the onus will be on you to prove that it was caused by the tenant's neglect. Saying that it was fine before is not going to take you anywhere as the problem could be caused by a roof leak that has only come about during this tenancy for instance.

    So unless you have pictures of the tenant drying his clothes on the radiators or even better, confirmation from an independent assessor that it is caused by lack of ventilation, you are opening yourself to being told that you are entitled to nothing.

    Secondly, even if you do evidence that it is due to lack of ventilation, it is not a given that you would be entitled to whatever is quoted. Adjudicators are used to reviewing such quotes, and they will know if it requires the level of attention that you are claiming. They might decide that all is required is a couple of hours of a cleaner and decorator. They do not have to agree to the value of the quote.

    Thankfully, adjudicators are used to LLs who will use any opportunity to make as much as they can from deposits, so they will see you coming and will be even more eager to be sure they reach a fair judgement.

    I'm sure you know that going through the process of claiming the deposit and taking it to the ADR is a very long and tedious process, at the end of which you might end up with much less than you are hoping for.

    Of course, you could first try to reach a fair agreement with the tenant if you are totally confident that they are the cause of the problem.
    • anselld
    • By anselld 11th Oct 17, 6:18 PM
    • 5,762 Posts
    • 5,444 Thanks
    my oh my his gets better....

    the LL now wants to charge a professional rate from the deposit and is asking for suggestions on another thread of how to irradiate the problem.

    Originally posted by LEJC
    The L perfectly is entitled to charge a professional rate assuming he can prove the T is at fault and assuming he has properly allowed for the age and life expectancy of the decor.

    What he does with the money is his own choice so there is nothing to be "speachless" about. He can pocket the money and do nothing if he wants to.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 11th Oct 17, 6:39 PM
    • 44,435 Posts
    • 52,754 Thanks
    OP is being entirely reasonable.

    And to answer the original question, yes, your frst step is to get at least one, but ideally 3 quotes to rectify the problem.

    Assuming the OP is right and the cause of the mould was tenant life-style (and not a defect with the property), then clearly the tenant was at fault and the way to determine the appropriate financial cost is via proper quotes.

    Any dispute taken to the deposit arbitrators, or a court, will expect this. If the LL were to 'make up' a figure himself (even if lower!) because he was DIYing the work, the arbitrators would likely dismiss it completely.

    Once the deposit (and any additionl charge if the deposit is inadequate) has been resolved, it is up to the LL what to do.

    If he wished, he could re-let the property as it is, black marks and all, provided the new tenant's inventory reflected the condition accurately.

    But my advice would also be to make 100% sure it's not an overflowing gutter outside, or some other issue, that's causing the damp. If it were, then

    a) clearly tht needs fixing first and
    b) tht would be at the LL's expense, not the tenant's
    Last edited by G_M; 11-10-2017 at 6:41 PM.
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 11th Oct 17, 6:48 PM
    • 9,025 Posts
    • 59,992 Thanks
    What the actual !!!!.

    My time is valuable. As valuable as a painter's time. I have no idea what to quote so I want to go by a quote from someone vaguely experienced in this field. In this case I'm willing to swap my time for money as I think it will stand me in good stead in the future (so I get better at painting).

    If you don't want to offer constructive advice why not just ignore the thread - I am NOT out to rip anyone off. In fact I am the victim here, renting a nice flat to a tenant who has created a horrible mould problem all of his own doing and left the place looking like a pig-sty.
    Originally posted by bartsimpson
    If you look at my first reply to your thread I believe you will see that I have offered some constructive advice as to what to charge for the deposit deduction to your tenant.
    I do believe that you are entitled to reclaim the cost that you incur but you are not in any way entitled to claim the professional rates of a painter or decorator when clearly that is not your area of expertise.

    The rates charged by professionals vary throughout the country so you may find that your letting agent will have a knowledge of what is charged in your area.Having said that,it will also depend on the extent of the mould in your property and in employing a professional to sort the problem would use up more deposit than is held.
    Are you really still prepared to take a tenant down the small claims route for additional funds to complete a professional job when you know full well that that work was your handy work?

    You must also consider that you are not entitled to betterment and as such the condition of the walls going forward must reflect the condition of the check in inventory less wear and tear.

    How long is it since the walls now bearing mould were last painted?

    Do you have a check in inventory to refer to?

    At best it may be that you should expect cleaned walls but newly decorated throughout may again constitute betterment.

    Realistically if you have little or no knowledge of painting to the level you have demonstrated in your 2 threads then it may be fair to surmise you as a novice or apprentice painter.
    With that in mind together with the materials you use you can probably expect to charge no more than 2.00 per hour labour charge in line with the national apprenticeship wages.

    Just because there is a case for you to claim some money from your tenants deposit does not mean that you will automatically get the monies...they are perfectly within their rights to dispute any deposit deduction...should it get to that stage,the deposit arbitration will not look favourably on a large amount claimed by yourself and a less than professional job completed.

    It would be wrong of me to comment either way on who the victim was in this case.....bit the attitude that you have displayed is not IMO one that paints the LL profession in good light.

    It strikes me as if you are trying to get your tenant to pay the best part of their deposit to you in order to alleviate the potential of a void period whist you and your letting agent find the next tenant.

    Again in regard to your tenant leaving you with a pigsty this should be easily and fairly rectified by the use of the check in inventory/the check out and the allowance for wear and tear.

    I trust whilst this may not be the advice you want you will at least acknowledge that it has been given with the best intention and to the best of my ability is constructive as you requested.
    I too have responded to you on the other thread regarding inspections at the property and your distrust of 12 month tenancies going forward.

    Being a LL is not just about collecting the rent.
    Last edited by LEJC; 11-10-2017 at 7:11 PM.
    frugal October...41.82 of 40 food shopping spend for the 2 of us!

    2017 toiletries challenge 179 out 145 in ...18.64 spend
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