Frequently Asked Questions
Q. After I moved out of my flat my landlord has taken £300 out of my deposit without saying why. What can I do?
A. Firstly you should write to him asking for a detailed list of all the things he wants to charge you, check this against the inventory of contents and condition that you should have had at the start of the tenancy. Try to negotiate calmly and you may be able to reach a compromise. Your deposit should be protected by one of the tenants deposit schemes, this is a legal requirement – you should have been given details of this at check in. Contact the scheme and they will tell you how to begin dispute proceedings. All information will be on the relevant scheme’s website. This is free.
Q. I have lived in my rented house for 2 months and have just bought a dog, do I need to tell my landlord?
A. If your tenancy agreement has a clause that states no pets are allowed in the property you are in breach of the agreement and can be given notice to quit. I suggest that you talk to your agent or landlord and offer to sign a ‘pet clause’. This means that you promise to have the carpets and upholstery cleaned at the end of the tenancy and pay for any damage that your dog may cause. This shows that you are happy to take responsibility for your pet and usually keeps everyone happy.
Q. I have accidentally burnt a big hole in the bedroom carpet, what should I do.
A. Accidents happen, inform your agent or landlord immediately by telephone and/or in writing. Hopefully you have insurance cover to pay for a new carpet at the end of the tenancy, if not suggest that your landlord claims on his insurance and you will pay the excess.
Q. We installed satellite TV but do we have to tell our letting agent?
A. Yes, you should have asked permission before installation. As you have already had the work done the agent is likely to ask that you make good any damage caused by cabling or the satellite dish at the end of the tenancy. The landlord may even want you to remove the whole system.
Q. The gutter is leaking when it rains whose responsibility is this.
A. Report this problem immediately to whoever is managing your property in writing and by telephone. This is a landlord’s maintenance issue but if you don’t let anyone know and the leaking water damages the patio or pathway you will be liable for the cost of repairs later as the damage was caused by your negligence.
Q. House plants – do I have to keep them all alive, if they die during my tenancy will I be charged?
A. Houseplants are not covered in a tenancy agreement (unless added as a special clause but this is almost unheard of). If the plants die you cannot be charged but just make sure that you keep the pots they were in or you might be charged for these!
During your tenancy all kinds of accidents can and do happen. Here are a few solutions to some common problems. It’s better to know how to resolve things before you move out, if you do nothing your deposit will most certainly be at risk.
Problem – I am having some friends round for a few drinks, they are all into red wine, what can I do if any drink gets spilt on the carpet?
Solution – I know it will be a sacrifice but if red wine is spilt on carpets or furniture you should immediately pour large amounts of white wine on the stain, then blot the whole thing with a clean dry cloth.
Problem – My small son has scribbled all over the walls in his bedroom, what should I do?
Solution – Don’t just leave it, better for you to repaint the room in the same or very similar colour before you move out. If you don’t the Agent or Landlord could charge you for the services of a professional painter. Instead of a couple of pots of paint you could be charged £100 plus.
Problem – we are moving out soon and because we live in a hard water area there is a lot of lime scale in the kitchen and bathroom that is hard to clean off. Any suggestions ?
Solution – There are several special lime scale cleaning products on the market but a simple cheap way that works is – cut a lemon in half and rub the ‘fleshy’ bit all over your taps or wherever the problem is. This should cut through the lime scale quickly – and make your house smell great.
Problem – this is supposed to be a non-smoking house but my friends all smoke and although we haven’t damaged anything the whole place is a bit smelly. Will this affect my deposit when we move out shortly?
Solution – yes undoubtedly. Get to work now on cleaning and deodorising. Wash net curtains; launder/dry clean the worst of the curtains if you can. Use lots of fabric fresheners – you can buy aerosol or normal spray varieties in all supermarkets – to spray onto curtains and furniture. Try to keep windows open whenever it’s safe to do so in the few days before moving out. This action should solve the problem. If you do nothing the agent or landlord will simply have everything cleaned professionally and take the cost out of your deposit. Much better and cheaper that you take action now.