I’ve Fallen Out With My Tenant Over Her Security Deposit

Bitch Fight

It’s pretty amazing how a relationship can turn from warm apple pie to steaming shit over something as superficial as money. The situation I’m in so ridiculous that I don’t know whether to laugh and/or forcefully push my tenant into the arms of a psychologist.

In a previous article I talked about how a tenant of mine was vacating my property, and how an inventory helped me support my case to hold money from my tenant’s security deposit to pay for repairs. I had to make a £300 claim to replace the front door, which she savagely destroyed when she changed the front door locks.

Me and my tenant had a good relationship as far as Tenant Vs landlord relationships go. She wasn’t the perfect tenant by any means, but she wasn’t the worst either.

As for her personality, she was a nice woman from what I experienced. However, I always sniffed a hint of chav/pikey from her essence, even though I never saw her trailer park side. I could just tell it was there, lurking, always ready to pounce. Don’t get me wrong, she was always pleasant enough to me, but I just knew…Oh, I just knew.

So it came to no surprise when the junkyard dog started barking when her security deposit was returned with a £300 reduction. In my defense, the reduction was completely fair. When she moved into the property, the front door was in brand new condition. And when she left, it looked like this:

Broken Front Door

I immediately received a text from her (I imagine as soon as she opened her mail), saying that she can’t believe I took £300 out, and the door was already broken.

Firstly, she better believe it, and secondly, that’s a lie- the door was NOT split in half. I didn’t bother responding because I couldn’t be bothered with a text-war (as entertaining it may have been). I’m now just waiting for her next move- I’m actually expecting a barrage of phone calls and abuse.

I’m not entirely sure how far she’s going to take this; whether she’s going to try and take legal action against me or throw flower/egg bombs at my property. Either way, I’m standing guard, like a military man. I wouldn’t put anything past her. Hopefully she’ll just cool off and realise she’s in the wrong.

The whole situation is petty and unnecessary. What did she think the security deposit was for? It’s very purpose is to repair/replace anything which has been destroyed over the years of being a tenant. I genuinely could have charged her a lot more, because the tart left huge holes all over the walls where she used her pathetic knowledge of D.I.Y to put up picture frames with unnecessarily thick screws. I also let a lot of other small issues slide, like shit stains on the carpets and walls.

On that note, I’m glad the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme has been introduced. I don’t want to have to deal with moderating this kind of bullshit in the future, i’d rather get a 3rd party to cut through the crap.

Anyone else ever had problems regarding security deposit?

Finally, I recommend that ALL landlords do a throrough inventory of their property before a tenant officially moves in, so there are no misunderstandings when the tenant moves out:

The Importance Of An Inventory

10 Comments- Join The Conversation...

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Jools 21st February, 2009 @ 10:50

What a B*****rd! Unfortunately, only and only if you had an independant inventory done can you expect any degree of support from the dispute resolution service. if you have done the inventory yourself forget it! Totally unfair but that, as they say, is life. The tenant's affairs are protected beyond measure apparently!

The only thing I can suggest is that you come to some arrangement or be prepared to meet this person in the small claims court.

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Aunty P 11th April, 2009 @ 22:54

I think she'll probably realise she's in the wrong and back off knowing she has no chance. Even if she theatens you with legal action I bet she won't follow through.

Jools is right, there are quite a few examples on the TDS website of landlords who've lost because of the lack of an independent, professional inventory. You also need to get the tenant to sign or intial every page to say they agree it. Good luck with this one anyway.

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Fredo 18th November, 2010 @ 19:16

@AuntyP: If you do your own inventory and they agree it is accurate and sign every page, does it count then?

I recommend photos, with a digital camera it isn't hard to get a decent pictures of each room. The knowledge that you have photo will make people think twice about claiming black is white (although many will do it anyway).

I've been on the other side of this, as a tenant, and both of the inventories I've been given have been very substantially wrong - sent back with corrections (I let them know I had photos of everything). If professional inventories are compiled by estate agents I would expect them to be full of holes, like the ones I had, and no use at all if it comes to a dispute.

Unfortunately there are a minority of landlords who have used deposits as a bonus at the end of a tenancy.

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Aunty P 20th November, 2010 @ 09:53

@fredo

If the inventory is prepared by a landlord or agent then in case of doubt the judge would be likely to err on the side of the tenant. A professionally prepared inventory would help because it removes the doubt of bias.

All the best

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Dr Tom Campbell 7th November, 2011 @ 14:24

This landlord comes across as a greedy person who has no sense of decency. A lot of his/her comments are disgusting such as "I always sniffed a hint of chav/pikey from her essence, even though I never saw her trailer park side." This is completely unacceptable behaviour. I think he cheated this tennant out of her deposit and it is clear that the property let out is appalling not because of the tennant, but because of the landlord. I think he probably tries to keep back deposits and that the tennants will always have to get their deposits back by going to court. The landlord came across to me as if he/she feels they are superior to the tennant, which I would think is unlikely.

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Armin 7th November, 2011 @ 14:50

@Dr Tom Campbell

It's a private website and LL is entitled to his opinions. They're exaggerated to entertain and personally I think he's doing a good job doing so.

Quoting you, "I think he cheated this tennant out of her deposit", you perhaps overlooked at LL withheld £300, not the entire deposit. Furthermore, I think £300 is pretty damn reasonable, if you look at the damage to the door!

I'd also like to point out, that for tenancy agreement started after 2007, the term "going to court" would have to be amended to "going to arbitration", as all deposits must be held in a deposit scheme nowadays.

Given how loosely defined the term "wear & tear" is, I see myself being in arbitration ALWAYS whenever a tenancy agreement will come to an end for in my experience, tenants ALWAYS leave damages in excess of reasonable wear and tear and why should any landlord have to pay for that?

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Missy 4th May, 2012 @ 10:38

If the door was already like that why did she put up with it for so long before mentioning it? Tell her where to get off!

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Mrs V 13th August, 2014 @ 15:21

@Armin it's hardly private as anyone can view the site and yes he's entitled to his opinion as is @Dr Tom Campbell but it's unnecessary to deliver it with language that could easily be considered racist and sexist.

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Sam 5th December, 2014 @ 17:31

Although she should be responsible for the repair or replacement of the door if she broke it, it clearly wasn't a top quality door in the first place. I personally think £300 for the door is too pricey given it's low quality and age. I would argue that a new door would be betterment in this case.

Your attitude is pretty disgusting also, referring to her as a pikey/chav and a junkyard dog is pretty awful. That says a lot more about your character than it does hers. If you had no problems with her up to this point then that reads she was a good tenant. She only got nasty when you deducted an unreasonably high amount from her deposit.

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Mr Spragg 20th March, 2017 @ 11:46

I've only just come across this page and have to say I thoroughly disagree with some of the above comments regarding the inventory. Having previously been a tenants, we thoroughly inspected the property when we received the keys/inventory/etc. the day before moving everything in. The inventory was prepared by the agent's property inspector and we had been advised to be as detailed as possible. We probably spent over an hour in the property easily, checking everything and there were several points missing or fine details missing, meaning the inventory needed to be completely re-written. Other people can see things others don't notice, or biased landlords won't care mentioning. Just like legal inspectors look for things that most people would likely or easily overlook. In our tenancy experience, even getting things sorted out that were a LEGAL REQUIREMENT (such as electrical issues) was sometimes a bit of a headache. It took far too long.

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