End of tenancy report

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M
Mr Blue
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I used a letting agent for all aspects of letting my property including Inventory and photo's but chose to manage the property myself thereafter. At the end of the 12 month term the tenant said she didn't want to sign another agreement but wanted to rent on a month to month basis. A few month's later she informed me she was collecting the keys to a council flat in a few days time and wanted to end her tenancy ASAP. I said I would accept 1 month's notice and asked the same agent who'd done all the initial work to do an end of tenancy check using their original photo's, inventory etc. I met the agent (a different member of staff from the original one I had dealt with) at the property immediately after the check. She said that the tenant had cleaned everything. I pointed out that the garden had been totally neglected. I hadn't looked too closely at the interior as at first glance it looked clean enough. I told the agent I would discuss with my partner whether we should sell the property or re-let depending on what the current value was and I would get back to her. Meantime I had a gardener quote the cost of putting the garden back to it's original order. He quoted me £150. On closer examination we found the cleaning hadnít been done to a reasonable standard - the meter cupboard was filthy inside and full of cobwebs, cooker hood filters were thick with grease etc. I received the gardenerís written quotation 1 week after termination of tenancy and was in the process of typing a letter to the tenant explaining that I proposed to retain £90 towards these costs when I received a text from her asking when she would get her deposit. Minutes later the agent rang me saying I was going to have trouble with the tenant who was denying that the garden was neglected as the agents photoís were taken when there was snow on the ground. I don't know why the agent used photo's with snow on the ground as the property was put in their hands before we had snow and I seem to recall we had a lot of rain around the time it was let. I was getting irate at the agent as she seemed to be backing up what the tenant was saying and I asked if the original member of staff I'd dealt with was still with the company as she'd seen that the property was immaculate throughout. For the sake of speed I abandoned the letter I was typing and instead texted the tenant to let her know about the written quotation I had had and my proposal to stop £90 from her £725 deposit. She texted back saying she disagreed with this and thought I should pay her compensation (?) etc. I had received the agent's invoice for £120 3 days after the inspection. I waited to see their report and photo's but when 11 days had passed and I had received nothing I emailed the person dealing with me asking if I might have their report and whatever photo's they took. No response whatsoever. Meantime the tenant had texted me threatening me with small claims court and by now my health was suffering - I have diverticulitis and bouts of it are brought on or made more extreme by stress. It was now 12 days since the tenant had vacated the property and it looked unlikely that I would get the evidence or back up from the letting agent in time to do anything. I cut my losses and aquiesced to the tenant rather than put myself through the trauma, expense and anxiety of petty court squabbles. I duly asked the tenant for her bank details. She said she didn't want to give these out so I should post her a cheque to her new address which I did (1st class) as well as forwarding her mail. 5 days later I received a text saying 'cheque received thank you'. Coincidentally, 7.5 hours later I received an email from the agent apologising for the delay as "we have been extremely busy this end. I am off tomorrow by (SIC) will get the report over to you on Wednesday, I will also pop the photo's onto a disc and send them to you via post." If this is correct I will get their report 19 days after the inspection and the photo's, being sent by post, will be even longer. I don't understand why she can't email it all as I requested or why she couldn't at the very least acknowledge my email as a matter of courtesy earlier than the 6 days it took. I also don't feel the matter has been handled very professionally. I'm now paying £120 for something that is useless to me. What is the usual procedure and am I being unreasonable?
27/05/2014 08:26

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