I hate it when UK landlords try to make nonsense claims against our clients and renters at the end of tenancies! Sadly, I think it’s because so many other renters (and their employers) let these rip-off merchants get away with it.
It’s now less easy for UK landlords to get way with wrongly hanging on to renters’ deposits since the laws have been tightened. But that doesn’t stop them from still having a go – and they still get away with it if the tenant is not competently represented.
It’s part of the role of a good relocation professional in the UK to defend against these claims and I am proud to say that we have a spectacular record in doing so. However, too many corporate tenants just accept a dilapidations claim on its face without scrutinising it and pushing back against items which are not appropriate or fabricated.
Every time a UK landlord is allowed to get away with daylight robbery, it encourages more of this abuse, which hurts UK renters in general.
Often these bogus claims can run into many thousands of pounds, especially when it comes to VIP rental homes in London.
Guarding against exposure to an unreasonable dilapidations claim is something that needs to be thought about even before the tenancy starts. The wording to the rental contract (tenancy agreement) is vital. Don’t just accept the terms as presented by the landlord or agent. For example, don’t accept terms that require you to return the home at the end of the tenancy in better condition than it was at the start!
A favourite way that UK landlords like to profit from renters is to require that they effectively re-paint the property for them at the end of a long term rental. They want the outgoing tenant to upgrade the home and prepare it for the next occupant at the renter’s own expense! Far better to get the tenant to pay for maintenance that should be down to the landlord, right?
And your relocation firm should continue to help you guard against unreasonable claims throughout the whole time that the home is being rented. This should be part and parcel of a relocation company’s ongoing support service
To illustrate this point, let’s say that the renter has asked us to pursue on their behalf some maintenance issues that the landlord has not taken care of – for example, a leaking shower that’s causing damage to walls. As part of our ongoing support service it’s our job to chase these matters down till they are fixed to the renter’s satisfaction. But we also keep detailed records of the progress of all such items – and we consult these records whenever a claim is made at the end of the tenancy for the tenant to pay for re-painting. We then strike out that part of the claim for obvious reasons!
It’s therefore so important to maintain good records as evidence to resist a claim months or years later for damage that was not the tenant’s responsibility.
This we do as one small component of our ongoing support because busy people who've been relocated to the UK for work don't have the time (nor the inclination usually) to track such trivia. But it can be decisive in determining who wins any dispute over damage to the property.
To discuss any of the topics raised in this article, please reach out using this contact form or call my office on +44 20 7590 2700
I liked all the service and the assist given to me by Saunders 1865. They help me to find the best home in short time that I had and gave me the best consulting regarding the properties and their location, status, etc. The tour days and the property seeing days helped a lot to take a decision regarding which property to rent.
Camilo Ruiz Diaz, Colombia
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