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Question

Ending a Tenancy (England) | England | Tenant Moves Out (England)

Claims on deposit plus Sharing information with guarantor

2 Nov 2021 | 4 comments

I have an ex-lodger (excluded licence) who served notice (thankfully) and moved out before his notice expired (31/10/21).  He did not do any cleaning (some food and possessions remain) and did not return keys nor communicate with me over the preceding 2 days (ignoring my text).  I had the locks changed first thing the following morning & performed check-out without him.  He returned the keys within a couple of hours.  I notified him of my intention to bill him for new locks and keys (DIY not locksmith); cleaning; replacement of 2 blinds (x50% cost); stair carpet stain removal/ cleaning and a couple of missing items.  Both the carpet and blinds he had previously accepted responsibility to undertake (text evidence) but now refutes liability and claims ‘wear and tear’.  He occupied his space for 14 months.  He furiously denies liability for lock change.  He accepts his liability for cleaning but refutes the estimates I provided.  I then offered him the opportunity to provide his own quotes and/ or for his guarantor to attend in person/ virtually for a walk through.  I also asked what he would like instead.  He has not responded (granted, it’s only 24 hours). I am super keen to get everything sorted and re-let ASAP.

So, he won’t agree to majority of deposit deductions (nor provision of forwarding address), although there is no requirement for DPS, I prefer to reach agreement. Where do I stand?  Am I permitted inform/ involve his guarantor (mother) in pursuit of fair & prompt resolution?  NB. I have strong suspicion of gambling & substance abuse (chaotic, erratic, tardy with rent, debt collection letters, huge amounts of booze).  I assume I cannot let her know these?  This is so hard when a) she would surely want to help him & b) I am knowingly letting her finances be at risk. Comment & advice much appreciated. 

Answer

4 Comments

  1. guildy

    It’s unclear if the deposit is protected with the DPS even if it didn’t need to be or whether you are holding the deposit without any protection (which is fine assuming it’s a true lodger situation living with landlord).

    If it’s with the DPS and there’s no agreement, a dispute can be raised with the DPS who will then decide who gets what back based upon the evidence you and the tenant provide. If you want, you could just leave it with the DPS for a while and see if the tenant raises the dispute.

    If you’re holding the deposit with no protection then, the only action the tenant can take if they disagree is to take court action after sending letters before claim etc.

    Forcing them to reply is not possible so it’s a case of providing all your evidence including receipts and waiting it out.

    From what’s described you don’t seem to be indicating that you want more from the tenant than the deposit amount so the ball is in their court if they want some back.

  2. bdixon

    Thank you for response. Deposit was not protected and you are correct, I am not seeking more than the deposit amount. I was wondering about the aspect of contacting the guarantor and if so what is permissible to share?

  3. guildy

    No, we don’t see any reason to contact the guarantor as they’re only there to seek funds from should the tenant to fail to make a payment. In this case, you won’t need any funds.

    If you were on speaking terms and know them to speak to perhaps you could call but otherwise it’s not really their business.

  4. bdixon

    Many thanks. Much appreciated

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