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Landlord Problems.

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Baby_Sham | 17:06 Thu 15th Aug 2013 | Home & Garden
20 Answers
I wasn't sure where to post this, but hope someone can help.

I sent an email to my landlord this morning saying I would be handing in my notice and gave him the date I would be moving out. He has replied and said in order to get my deposit back I need to "restore the decor to it's original state", but "can leave the wooden floors I had laid" (and paid for myself).

The decor he is referring to is the kids room. My son has the chimney breast wallpapered and my daughter has the same in her room. It's not 'kiddish' paper, and is pretty neutral.
My lounge has been wallpapered also and, pretty much, every other room and hallway/landing has also been painted - all in matt White.

I asked him before I did any of the decorating, and he asked what colour/wallpaper I was using and then said it was fine to do this. I have this in writing, in the form of an email. He never said anything at the time about me having to put it all back to how it was, if I moved out.

He basically wants me to paint the house house, from white to MAGNOLIA!! What is the point? It looks lovely how it is now, and he has even commented on numerous occasions how much he likes what I've done to it.

I replied to his email and said I wasn't aware of this being part of the contract (I've checked and it says nothing about redocrating, only that proper permission should be obtained from the landlord) and said I wouldn't have time to do all of this before I go.
He's just replied and said "OK, no problem. I will just deduct the amount from your deposit that I will have to pay my decorating team to correct it - which he works out to be £500!!!"

Where do I stand with this, is he right and should I just get on with it?

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If there is nothing in the contract on returning the house to original decor and you have it in writing that he gave you permission to paint the place then he has no reason to retain your deposit (provided your paint to is to a similar or better standard than the original). I think he is being very cheeky as he wants to retain some of the modification you paid for (the...
22:43 Thu 15th Aug 2013
I don't see why you should, as you got his permission first and there is nothing to say you have to leave it identical to how it was. It might be worth going to Citizen's Advice or have a free half hour with a solicitor and getting a letter written to him.
Question Author
Yes, that's a good idea. I've said I'll get back to him next week, when I've had chance to think about it.
Thanks :)
Aren't deposits held in that scheme now to prevent things like this happening (admits to knowing nothing about the scheme)
Unless your original inventory states you have magnolia walls how can he prove what colour it was to begin with.
If there is nothing in the contract on returning the house to original decor and you have it in writing that he gave you permission to paint the place then he has no reason to retain your deposit (provided your paint to is to a similar or better standard than the original). I think he is being very cheeky as he wants to retain some of the modification you paid for (the flooring).

I would email him to decline, you should already know which deposit protection scheme he has used so I would contact them to log a complaint (it ensure they don't release the money to the landlord). If he has not told you which deposit scheme he has used he is already in the wrong and I would press home that advantage, more info here https://www.gov.uk/deposit-protection-schemes-and-landlords/if-you-dont-protect-your-tenants-deposit

CAB are good but entirely over stretch, I would try all the options you currently have available before seeking their help.
Take your flooring with you.
That would be fun but there would presumably be the question of replacing whatever used to be down (carpets maybe?)
Question Author
Thanks for taking the time to respond.
He has never told me where my deposit was, he only said at the start of my tenancy that he "wasn't able to hold it himself" and that it would be "put in a government scheme". No mention by conversation or letter where it actually is.

I did think about taking the floor with me. Even though I don't need it, I could even put it on Ebay as there's a fair amount there, plus all the underlay. However, It would mean getting a tradesman round to do it all again, and also to lay the scabby carpet back, which in fact I kept and is in the loft. Seems a lot of hassle really.

I have just replied to his email and said I decline his offer and have asked for the details of where my deposit is being held. I have mentioned on the email that I believe I should have already had this information from him, so hopefully that will give him the kick up the arse he needs and he'll sop being such a dick!

Thanks again.
Your landlord does not have your deposit and does not have the right to with-hold it. If he wants some compensation he will have to apply to the TDP with a valid reason -they will then write to you and you can reply why you think you should not have to compensate your landlord -you can take photos and submit these. This post sounds fishy -you would have been given a TDP number with your tenancy -contact them. he cannot withhold what he has not got -its not him who returns your deposit its the TDP scheme you are registered with.
Question Author
Right. Quick update, and it appears the plot thickens.
I've asked my landlord three times now to give me the details of where my bond is. He's come back to me today, in writing, to say my deposit is not held in a government scheme but is "held with himself, in his own bank". The letter goes on to say that he had held it himself "to avoid unnecessary costs to the tenant" (me). It doesn't explain what those costs are though.
The letter than continues to go on about the decor, saying he stands by his original "offer" and "will be happy to deduct the amount needed to restore the decor back to it's original state", or he is happy for me to do this myself, "whichever is easiest and most convenient".

So, I've just read all the stuff on landlords *having* to put the deposit into a scheme. Can I use this to my advantage?
What I mean, is can I use this in my response to his letter, whilst trying to make my point that I feel he is being unreasonable?

Thanks.
From reading iggy's link, it would seem appropriate to mention you are going to apply to the County Court unless he changes his mind.
Question Author
Thanks Canary.
I definitely do not want to go down the route of small claims court, it's far too much hassle, but I will now mention it in my letter back to him.

Thanks.
If the deposit is not held in a deposit protection scheme then you can take our landlord t court and get up to 3 x the deposit back - https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/if-your-landlord-doesnt-protect-your-deposit

Would thi that puts ou in a good bargaining position.
Question Author
Thanks for the link Sherrard. I have just written up a letter to him, stating this information. Hopefully he'll pay up now and forget the whole 'redecorating' saga.
has he actually mentioned painting it all magnolia? or are you just assuming thats what he wants because he was it back the way it was?

id imagine he just wants the wallpaper to be blank - you could just paint out the chimney breasts with a tin of emulsion.

also i would tell him you will be taking your flooring with you now, as you will have to sell it to recover the cost of him keeping the deposit - and you will put the carpet back ... or... he can pay for the flooring ...see if he backs down.
Question Author
Joko, his initial email states he wants the walls to be painted in the same colour that I found them.

Petty or what!

I think you're right. I will definitely take the flooring with me.
Ask him to buy the flooring off you or if not you will put the scabby carpets back down
are you 100% sure he doesn't just mean the chimney breasts and any other colours though?
basically that he wants it all plain and all patterns removed.

just seems extremely petty to want to change from white to magnolia - if you had painted it red or something i'd understand.
hes probably seen these shows on tv and knows that neutral is best to sell.

to do that means hes either pissd off with you, or hes hoping you will just let him keep the cash.

i mean hes happy with the floor so cant see any reason why hed be unhappy with white over magnolia

i would double check exactly what he is expecting - just in case its just the wallpapered bit.
Question Author
I have put that in my letter (email) to him this evening, that I am more than prepared to take the flooring and put down the carpets which were absolute crap (although I left out the crap bit).

Yep, he definitely wants me to repaint the *whole* house, which is currently bright white, to magnolia. Don't worry, I've questioned this with him over the phone, as I too thought he must have just meant the bit's I'd wallpapered, but no he means the whole lot. Apparently white can be "off putting" as it "shows up marks easily"... I kid you not.

Anyway, we'll see what he says in his reply now, which will hopefully be tomorrow. I hate to be so rude about someone, but he's basically being a bitter prick.

It would seem that returning the property to what it was is less important than the fact that he did not put your deposit into a required scheme. Here is the official government guidelines on it. https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/overview
Maybe send him a copy,as he seems quite ignorant of his responsibility as a landlord. His idea that he was protecting you from other 'costs' is actually the opposite. Looks like it may cost him also as he could be ordered to pay you as much as 3X the original amount.

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