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Misc Issues Arising Wrt Landlord Claims Against Deposit

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Dear Sirs,

One of my tenants has recently vacated - in the immediate run-up to Xmas. Her deposit was registered with Deposit Guard and her AST was the standard RLA Deposit Guard format. Five issues have arisen wrt calculation of the returnable deposit sum.

(1) The tenant employed a professional firm to clean the house - in her absence - before handing back the property keys. This firm threw out the PAYG electricity card that she was issued with at the outset of the tenancy. She didn't realise this before closing her electricity account. To obtain a new key, I have had to open a new account and wait for a replacement card to be posted to the property address in accordance with the utility company's standing procedures. No credit was left on the meter. The property is therefore un-lettable until the replacement card is received and activated. I have tenant applicants who could have moved in immediately but cannot. I have therefore lost income. Will I be able to set-off this lost income against her deposit?

(2) The same cleaning company also threw out a kitchen cupboard panel which had fallen off during her tenancy but not been reported. The style and colour of panel are not now available. I therefore have a choice between
(a) paying for a "bodge" replacement panel (which will seriously detract from the appearance of the kitchen and hence future lettability of the property and which I do not accept) or
(b) pay for the replacement of the entire set of kitchen doors and panels of comparable quality.
Would I be able to set-off the option (b) cost (ie for full replacement) against the tenant's deposit?

(3) The tenant was provided with four recycling bins at the outset of the tenancy. All four bins are full to overflowing with unsorted rubbish which the council will (rightly) not collect. I will therefore have to pay for the rubbish to be taken away. Will I be able to offset the cost of clearing these bins against the tenant's deposit.

(4) The tenant delayed returning her keys for a couple of days after moving out. I did not enter the property during this time, despite having tenant applicants available who wished to view, as I did not want to risk giving the outgoing tenant spurious grounds for disputing her responsibilities for the matters above. (eg "The landlord threw the kitchen panel away himself")

(5) These and several other modest repairs have proved impossible to cost over this Xmas/ New Year period. How long do I legally have to prepare a draft final account to submit to this tenant for her information?

Thank you for your assistance.
30/12/2015 08:23

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