How Good Property Management Protects The Landlord At The End Of A Tenancy!

Date Published 22 March 2012

Since the scheme to register tenants deposits came in to force by the government in April 2007 this has revolutionised the way deposits are taken from tenants, all deposits now taken from tenants must be registered within 14 days of receiving the deposit with a nominated deposit registration scheme, this gives the tenant great peace of mind to know that the deposit they have paid over to the letting agent is being looked after by an independent party to the tenancy. The Deposit Protection Scheme was set up to stop rogue letting agents and landlords from keeping deposits without any justification, the only down side to this system is that these deposit schemes do tend to side with the tenant if there is a dispute, which may seem unfair to landlords, but you have to ask yourself is why! The main reason for this is that the tenancy has not been managed well and there is poor supporting documentation in the form of an inventory on check in, property inspections and check out to support the landlord/agents case.

We Let Properties are please to use the approved government scheme Deposit Protection Service ( DPS )
In all the years we have traded we have never had one tenancy go to dispute and we feel that this is due to our in-depth management of all our properties.

We had a case recently where we came close to going to dispute/arbutration...

The story goes...

We had a tenant check in to a beautiful property in Jefferson Place, Greenquarter 14 months ago and we did all the relevant documentation; Tenancy agreement, Deposit Terms & Conditions, Deposit Registration, Standing Order mandate, scanned copy of the actual keys handed over to the tenant and the inventory. Now at We Let Properties we understand the importance of the inventory! Generally around 15 pages thick, we give the tenants a written and photographic inventory so we have EVERYTHING in the property accounted for along with the condition.

After 4 months we did a property inspection and all was good in the property, the tenant extended and after the 8th month the property was not in the best "tenant like" condition and there were some issues with the property 1- the bathroom lock was missing 2- there was a tear in the sofa. After the visit we updated the landlord accordingly and she was happy to renew with the tenant but upon our advise this renewal would only take place if the tenant agrees to replace the sofa and fix the lock in the bathroom, the tenant agreed to this so we did the renewal. On the 13 month the tenant gave notice and we reiterated our previous email correspondence and agreement to replace the sofa and fix the lock in the bathroom, which he was happy with, furthermore we send all our tenants a check out information sheet to inform them of what is expected from them at the check out and how to leave the property in the best condition for the next tenant. During the month leading up to the check out we discussed with the tenant the situation over the sofa and he was happy to replace the sofa, we even sent him links of our suppliers to ensure he was getting value for his money.

On the day of check out the property was in a very poor condition and the the sofa had not been replaced. The tenant felt that it was not his responsibility to replace the sofa as he felt it was wear and tear and he said the property was clean enough! The oven was in a vey poor condition and the sofa had got worse and also one of the legs was missing, after a lengthy discussion I agreed to allow him an extra two days to clean the property and buy a new sofa, I did however get him to sign a deposit release documentation to agree to the deductions, this deadline came and went. At this point he then was getting angry over the phone saying that he felt he was being hard done to, subsequently he passed the issue over to his mum who was very aggressive on the phone to our office, I took a call from his mum and she said we were being unfair and she could have cleaned the property, got a new sofa, dealt with the issues, my question was `why didn`t you?` I advised her they had ample opportunity to do so and because she was not at the check in or check out I would send her the before and after photographs and the email correspondence.

Three hours later, I received a call from his mum and an apology, she also admitted we did everything we possibly could to help him. I truly believe that if this case had gone to dispute, We Let Properties would have won the dispute hands down!

We are happy to say the property had a deep clean, new sofa, new bathroom lock and now has a new happy tenant and a grateful landlord.

Wayne