Retension of Deposit in lieu of Rent & Claim against Tenants

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Paulus5989
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My tenants have recently left my property. It is in a real mess - requires extensive cleaning, replacement of some carpets, garden made good, etc. The tenants also owed at least two months rent, but claimed they would not pay this since a house repair was repaired - I countered that they caused this to provide an excuse to not pay the rent. They admitted they did not have money to pay the rent. I had also issued a section 21 notice to leave by 31 January 2010, and fortunately the tenants found a new place and clarified they were moving before this time, i.e., 24 Dec.

The tenant said he would clean the house to the state it was when he moved in, and make good all monies owed. He added I should take the deposit in lieu of rent owed. The deposit is 1.2 months rent approx., ie., less than rent owed.

The handover / move date slipped to after Christmas, then to the new year 3 / 4 Jan. Meanwhile I was asking about the cleaning for the date & keys, and I did inform them that I would arrange to have the locks changed if the 'delay' continued. A neighbour had informed me the tenants were not living at the house over christmas. On 3 Jan, the tenant handed over the keys, and sent me a text message that 'I had forced him to hand over the keys, so I could clean the place myself. He would pass my messages to his Solicitor'. - All this I presume is lies as was most things the tenants said.

The deposit is held with the DPS. I want to ask how I stand with getting the money, am I entitled to the money or require to prove to the DPS the situation & some details about costs to make good the property or will they accept the agreement by the tenant that I can keep the deposit in lieu of rent owed. Is there also a 'good way' to present a case to DPS? What clarifications should I make in writing?

If I wanted to, how could I persue the tenants for my costs, is Small Claims the only route?

11/01/2010 00:00

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