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  • Deposit Protection

    Crayon and biro on walls in flat

    Hi - my agent is stating that I can only claim a percentage of this damage back on deposit even though the flat was painted fully four years ago?

    The tenants allowed their children to scribble over every wall with crayon and biro and estimates given are in region of £800 due to severe damage.

    Flat is also filthy and shower screen broken along with lock. The agent advised of a couple of these items on their quarterly inspection report in May but did not do anything about it.

    Where do I stand legally and with percentage of deposit please? I have £895 and a fairly comprehensive independent check out report.

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    The scheme where you protected the deposit should have some guidance on how to end the tenancy correctly and also a template document for notifying the tenant of the deductions you intend to make.

    Best practice would have been for yourself or your agent to visit the property in the week prior to departure and let the tenants know that the walls were marked, thereby giving them a chance to re-paint themselves.  They should also have been advised to give the property a thorough clean to avoid deductions from their deposit.  Ditto the other items - although if the tenants have been there a long time, these might fall under wear and tear.

    As long as you have a check-in inventory showing that the walls were un-marked, then you can claim for the full damage imho, including the other items - in essence the full deposit.

    You produce a list of what you intend to deduct from the deposit, along with copies of quotes.  If the tenants do not accept your deductions, then they will have to raise a dispute.

    See our videos on this topic:

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    Try WD40  it works

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    Learn Change and Adapt ?????

    All comments are for casual information purposes only. If you wish to rely on any advice I have given please ensure you obtain independent specialist advice from a third party. No liability is accepted for comments made.

    I was going to suggest plastic free baby wipes but wd40 is a new one on me -good suggestion DL.
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    I saw it on youtube - the things you can do with WD40 !!

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    Learn Change and Adapt ?????

    All comments are for casual information purposes only. If you wish to rely on any advice I have given please ensure you obtain independent specialist advice from a third party. No liability is accepted for comments made.

    Thanks for all your help! Agent is insisting on a percentage despite a quarterly inspection report in May stating marks on wall then - they are insistent that they advised tenant. Really irritating regarding agents - they just don't have any skin in the game so don't care.

    Thanks for the WD40 tip - will ask professional cleaners to try this. I don't want to lose tenants who are moving in on Friday.

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    The agent cannot "insist" on anything.  The fact that they are called an "agent" means that they are acting as your representative under your instructions.  Something sounds a bit irregular here but I cannot put my finger on it, other than they are not following due process and established protocols.

    I would certainly recommend moving to another agent though, if this agent refuses to take your instructions.

    See - How to vet a lettings agent ... 12 questions to ask

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    Unfortunately you are learning the lessons a lot of landlords, including myself, have to learn when it comes to agents. As you say yourself, they just don't care because they have no skin in the game!

    Your thread took me back to 2004 when I was a newbie, and the biro on the wall was a reminder of one of the many problems I had with an uncaring agent.

    All I can suggest is when it is all over, leave a balanced review on Google as this is the only real way you can make others aware of their shortcomings!

    And if you can self manage, please do. You won't fall for this one again and with a landlord association membership + helpline + Property tribes, how can you do worse? Since I ditched all agents life has been so much simpler. Hope you can!
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    I had a similar if not worse situation and was shocked to find out that you can only claim from the deposit a proportion of what something would cost to replace according to a writing down type of formula . 
          For example a new carpet in a rental  ( more wear and tear expected ) property has a 5 year lifespan losing 20% its value per year ,therefore if a tenant moves in at the 3 year point and leaves after 2 years and the carpet needs changing because it’s a mess you can’t claim anything for the carpet even if it looked excellent on the inventory photos before they moved in ! 
             If they moved out after one year you could claim 20% of the replacement cost etc  Same for decorating . 
        The answer is to use the cheapest carpet you can source  ( or better some of these new plastic feeling artificial floorings ) and the cheapest emulsion etc . Decent carpets and wallpaper would be crazy things to have in a rental .The less white goods in the kitchen the better too.
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