What happens when a tenant leaves and you cannot agree on liability for repairs?

A recent case taken to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme free mediation service resulted in a landlord’s claim to withhold some £2400 being rejected with 100% of the monies going back to the former tenants.

It highlights an interesting aspect of deposit protection.

At the heart of the dispute were differing views on what constituted wear and tear over a full five year period. This may be a familiar scenario to many landlords.

However, this landlord was also advised that because individual occupants had moved in and out of the shared house during the tenancy, his check-in inventory was no longer valid.  Even though he had checked tenants and noted changes in occupancy, he had not checked or updated the inventory each time – and despite using letting agents he had not been made aware of this.

On reflection, he considers that a new inventory every time there is a change in occupancy would result in more costs for the tenants, as it is they who would be asked to pay for the inventory to be compiled and checked every time someone moved in our out.  So he has, with legal advice, decided instead to ask each new occupant to sign a waiver saying that they accept that the condition of the property was as described in the initial inventory.

Find out more about the Tenancy Deposit Scheme here.


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