Michelle has consulted the blog clinic with a not uncommon problem
Hi, I have just moved from a property that I rented for a period of 4 years. My landlord has tried to take all manner of things from deposit. He genuinely doesnt seem to understand the term “fair wear & tear” for exmple he wants me to pay for the full cost of a replacement mattress even though the one that was there was 9 years old I offered to pay a portion.
He is also unhappy with beds I bought as replacements as the ones there had worn through he says the quality is not the same as the original (tried to explain betterment to no avail).
After asking him to use the arbitration service of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme he failed to reply, after calling round myself I find he never secured my deposit. I explained that he has now left me in the position of having to take him to court, he responded with a nasty email about me being benefit scum. I have always worked by the way until this last year where unfortunately due to ill health I have been forced to claim sickness benefit.
Any help on how to proceed would be much appreciated.
Michelle I think the only thing to do here is to sent the landlord a letter before action and then issue court proceedings. I give some basic guidance here, although due to the matters set out here you are not going to get the penalty of three times the deposit sum. However this does not alter the fact that the landlord is in breach of the law and the Judge will not like that. I suspect that you will have no trouble in proving your case.
The deposit money is after all yours, and your landlord will need to give proof if he wants to justify any deductions.