Here is a question to the blog clinic from Emma who is a tenant:
Our landlord issued a section 21 so that he could sell his property. He then allowed himself into the property without notice and presented us with his estimated charges which equated to two months rent £2800.
We then took an independent witness who managed to tell him that most charges were not acceptable. He still insisted in £950, half of this was due to a proportion of decoration costs to cover two small areas if damage caused by our daughter (one 20cmx20cm the other 20cm x 60cm) our proportion was 20% to repaint 5 bedroom property, 3 reception room property. £100 was to fully pay to replace a carpet appox 8/9 years old due to marks that would not remove.
However on check out the paint areas we had already touched up he had his 16 year old daughter painting and himself (as they had again entered property without notice). He still insisted that we pay the full amount agreed.
It has now come to light that he has not protected our deposit as set out in our agreement, as we decided we wished to dispute. We were in the property almost 3 years with 4 young children.
There is good news and bad news here. As your landlord has not protected your deposit, the section 21 notice he has served is invalid, so if you decided that you did not want to move out after all you could stay at the property as he has no right to evict you under section 21.
If you do want to leave, then you need to resolve the deposit issue. As he has failed to protect, he has made himself liable for a penalty of up to three times the value of the deposit sum. However you will have to issue court proceedings to get it.
There is also no way you can challenge the deductions he wants to make other than by going to court.
However it sounds to me as if the deductions are not justified. If the carpet is old, it was probably due to be replaced anyway, and the marks on the wall sound as if they should be put down to fair wear and tear.
Plus of course he is selling the property.
I would suggest you write to him saying that you do not agree to the proposed deductions, that you require the whole of the deposit to be refunded to you, and if he fails to do this you will be going to court to claim:
- The return of the deposit
- The penalty of up to three times the deposit sum under s214 of the Housing Act 2004 and
- Compensation for trespass for the times he entered the property without your consent
Hopefully this will persuade the landlord to pay up. If not, go to court and apply for those three things.
As the landlord has not protected the deposit the Court at the very least will make an aware for 1 x the deposit and the return of the deposit itself, so you cannot lose.
The Judge will also have a lot of sympathy for you, as the whole point of the deposit regulations is to ensure that people like you do not have to go to court to get their deposit back.