This is a question to the blog clinic fast track from Kathy (not her real name) who is a tenant.
We’re renting a 1-bed house from one of the London’s agencies and there were some issues with the check in when we moved in. It wasn’t carried out to a high standard: the landlord insisted she would do it on her own (normally it’s the outside company who does this), the quality of pictures she left was extremely poor, the professional cleaning we had asked for in our offer (which she accepted) hadn’t been carried out, we weren’t told where the gas, water and electricity meters were and we had no gas, water or electricity meter readings left.
We’ll be moving out next month and we’re aware that according to the tenancy agreement we have to cover check out fees. However, we also know that the landlord was supposed to agree on check in to be done by the outside company but refused…. Bearing in mind the check in hadn’t been carried out by the outside company, I and my husband do feel it wouldn’t be fair if we paid the full cost of the check out when the check in had been completely neglected.
However, we don’t know if it’s regulated by law…. And the agency seems to be on the landlord’s side…
There were some other issues in this property but we’re not trouble makers.
I really feel they’re not treating us seriously, especially now – when we’re about to move out.
The point of the check in report is for both us and the landlord to agree the state of the property and its contents before we move in. This wasn’t done and in our opinion the check out is almost pointless because there won’t be anything to compare it against to make sure you have caused any damage etc.
Can anyone help, please?
Morally I agree with you. If the landlord did not pay for a check in report, you should not have to pay for a checkout report.
It will to a certain extent depend on the terms of the tenancy agreement clause. But if the clause in itself is fair, but the landlord is expecting you to pay for a professional checkout when she did not pay for a professional check in – I’m not sure how the deposit adjudicators would treat that.
I mention the adjudicators as if you refuse to pay, the landlord may want to deduct the cost from your deposit.
I think it would be worth referring it to adjudication anyway.
However I know that adjudicators do not have the same powers to deal with things as a Judge would, and when considering the enforceability of a tenancy agreement clause of this type – whether the landlord honoured her part and paid for a professional check in may not be something they would be able to take into account when deciding whether you should be charged the cost of the checkout fee.
It would be interesting if some of the schemes could comment here and say what their view would be.
There is also the point that the landlord may not be able to succeed in any claims for deductions for damage on adjudication if she is unable to prove properly the condition of the property at checkin. However, if you did not actually do any damage – this will not help you!