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return of deposit

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My last tenant has just moved out around a week ago and I have refunded her the full amount minus the cost of repairs and damage caused by her. The tenancy was taken out prior to the law change so no deposit scheme is in place. Some 200 worth of repair, replacement and getting a gardener in to put the garden back to how it was before she moved in. The later being the issue. In the tenant agreement it stated the garden must be maintained. Prior to moving out she was instructed to cut back and restore the overgrown bushes and trees to something like it was before and not leave it in the condition it was in which was dark and overgrown and that if it was not done we would employ some one to do it. As the garden has been left in this condition for some time the grass under the darkened, overgrown area is now dead. We contracted a gardener who spent all day cutting back and removing the waste, some 21 bags of rubbish and his bill was 50. Which I believe to be incredibly reasonable and perhaps even below minimum wage. I provided the tenant with receipts for all the work and asked her to sing a receipt for the return of the deposit, which she did. I had taken photographs of the property before she move in and clearly there was a massive difference. The tenant is now saying we have commited an illegal act and we have done her out of the cost of the gardener. Is this the case?
Wayne Stotton
11/09/2009 00:00

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