Here is a question to the blog clinic from Chris who is a tenant
Our landlord is trying withhold two fees from our deposit. First, a “check in for new tenant fee”. Second, a “landlord administration fee” for marketing the apartment. Neither of these fees are covered in our lease.
From my understanding the only amounts that can be withheld from a deposit are damage, cleaning and unpaid rent.
Also, that it is unlawful to withhold any fees or commissions. Is this true? If so is there a statute that I can reference?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
To find out what your landlord is authorised to deduct from your deposit you need to look at your tenancy agreement – as you have done.
If something is not in the tenancy agreement then a landlord is not entitled to deduct it. If there is no tenancy agreement, or if the tenancy agreement does not contain a clause saying what he can deduct from the deposit, then he cannot deduct anything and you are entitled to the return of the whole deposit.
Normally the tenancy agreement clause will provide for you to be liable for any costs to the landlord incurred if you break the terms of the tenancy agreement in some way. This will include unpaid rent as payment of rent is one of your obligations under the tenancy.
From what you say it sounds as if your landlord is trying to charge you for the costs of finding a new tenant to replace you. This is completely out of order and even if the tenancy agreement did provide for this, it is arguable that it would be an unfair clause and therefore unenforceable.
If the landlord insists on making this deduction then you should ask for the matter to be referred to your tenancy deposit scheme adjudication.