I’ve just experienced firsthand getting shafted part of my bond as a tenant in the UK. I can’t believe how bad the system is here. There is no Bonds Tribunal here like there is in Australia.. no third party, no legal protection for tenants if the landlord decides not to give back the bond. If they don’t give it back, there is very little a tenant can do.. other than things like small claims tribunal, or a CCJ. Which costs money in themselves so might not be worth the cost and trouble.
See I moved out early from the flat in Finchley – before the legal 6 months, in good faith due to the landlords personal circumstances. The landlord had promised she would pay the deposit (plus the extra one weeks rent) early to help with my next deposit, seeing as she was asking for an early vacating of the flat. But later she went back on that saying she’d been advised not give deposit back until after inspecting the flat. So ok, I agreed, settling on paying back the deposit the day we left. She didn’t saying she was busy that day (saturday – apparently her birthday), and we settled on payment for the Monday.
Now I recieve an email from her yesterday claiming she was “deducting Â£180 for cleaning services as the place was very dirty and it took the cleaners 2 days to clean it back to the original state when you moved in”. How on earth it takes cleaners 2 days to clean an empty studio flat is beyond me. Seeing as I personally vacuumed, washed, cleaned, wiped down the flat before I left. Yes a little bit of dirt was left on the carpet whilst the removal of boxes/furniture was taking place by the movers. Since the vacuum was packed away, I couldn’t really give it a final vacuum (which seems excessive to me anyway).
I disputed this fee, and she replied today (the day she had promised to pay in the deposit – by lunchtime.. which she didn’t) saying she wouldn’t pay anything until the dispute was resolved (smells like blackmail to me), going through the cost of cleaning (professional carpet cleaning plus the cleaners bill), and listing out the areas she had found unsatisfactory. I took pictures just before leaving the flat, and I really don’t think the flat is dirty.. it looks lived in yes, and not spotlessly perfectly professionally cleaned, but I believe it was acceptable. Does that kitchen and hob look like it “hadn’t been cleaned in 7 months”?? Grrrr.
*sigh* Anyway. After getting advice from numerous people, including a lawyer friend, I decided it was best to just take her first offer, swallow the bitter pill and accept the Â£180 cleaning services fee, and part on good terms (esp as I asked her to forward any mail that might inadvertantly arrive there). She has agreed to this, and I guess that is that. I really need that cash too, after the blow of paying deposit plus 1 months rent in advance – all in cash. It’s a bit annoying that she’s been withholding it – and there is nothing I can do about it. At least I’ve learnt my lesson. My work colleague told me, apparently the only way you don’t get shafted your bond, is to get the place professionally cleaned yourself… and to KEEP THE RECEIPT AS PROOF! Lesson learned. Renting sux.
Current listening :: “Real Love” – Mary J Blige (ahh.. good ol’ old skool R&B..)Posted in Uncategorized (Old Blog) | 3 Comments »