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Carpet damage - we have repaired but landlord says we've damaged it more

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Author Topic: Carpet damage - we have repaired but landlord says we've damaged it more  (Read 201 times)
Newbie
Posts: 22

« on: November 04, 2021, 03:00:58 PM »

So we slightly damaged areas of the carpet and only noticed on moving out.

We've been renting for 7 years, the check in inventory does not say new carpet, it says clean, and very good condition.

The carpet has been professionally cleaned so we know the damaged areas are in fact damaged and not cleanable

Damage: small area (about 6 inches by 6 inches) in the entrance hallway; oil leakage from oil filled radiator (ours)
small area on side of one step of staircase (about an inch by an inch); burn mark, not sure what from

We have found the exact match of carpet 4m by 1m (36) and a home improvements person to fit the carpet / repair, to the standard it was when we moved in (100).

The tradesperson was kind enough to talk through the issues, findings and what would be best to do:

Hallway
  • There was considerable wear and tear to tear existing carpet as is expected for a
    high traffic area therefore when he (the tradesperson) looked to replaced just the
    damaged area the difference was clear so it was evident a patch was not going to be
    suitable. Replacing the whole area was the only available solution.
  • The carpet in the hallway sits on tacks with underlay but neither were present in the
    alcove.
    • Prior to the tenancy starting (as per the inventory) there was already a patch missing
      in the alcove carpet
    • To properly fit the carpet the tradesperson would have to take up the skirting.
    • Replacement of the carpet to new for the whole area now counts as betterment


    Stairs
    • The area damaged is small in comparison to the tread of the stair
    • The carpet is not fitted at the base of each riser therefore a few steps would have to
      be taken up to correctly fit the carpet
      • Replacement of the whole step or steps would count as betterment

      Attachment is a pdf with our photos, which may help explain things, however the compression rate is rubbish so probably not much use!

      The landlord is saying we damaged and didn't seek a professional trained carpet fitter with experience. He's saying we damaged the carpet by personally fitting it (he thinks we did it ourselves despite providing a receipt for the works done) and now he wants to get someone in to fit it properly then charge us for it. He's not discussed costs.

      Perhaps we should have waited for him to sort it.

      We have submitted for the full deposit back through DPS on the 31st October, so far he has not responded to that.

      I guess what I'd like to know is:
      What can he do?
      What do we need to pay?
      Or if there's any info you'd like to let us know about
« Last Edit: November 04, 2021, 05:15:06 PM by farahziya »
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Posts: 4330

Abuse Officer

« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2021, 03:31:03 PM »

There is no question here.

It must have taken you some time to write... and we appreciate knowing all the ins-and-outs... but what are you wanting from the assembled Giant Brains who reside here?

This - what I just wrote - is the only question.
Newbie
Posts: 22

« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2021, 03:34:42 PM »

There is no question here.

It must have taken you some time to write... and we appreciate knowing all the ins-and-outs... but what are you wanting from the assembled Giant Brains who reside here?

This - what I just wrote - is the only question.

Apologies I think I was meant to ask:
What can he do?
What can he make us pay for?
Did we make a mistake on this by getting someone to repair it?
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 4330

Abuse Officer

« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2021, 03:45:41 PM »

What can he do? He can request a Deposit deduction. He can't impose one.

What can he make you pay for? Absolutely nothing. Negotiation is the name of the game. Although someone ruling in a Deposit Dispute kind of can make you pay (you have to agree to abide by the outcome once you get that far).

Did you make a mistake? Well, who can say... you did what you did in good faith to try and move on without hassle or recriminations, and now you're in this situation... so probably not the right thing. But your heart seemed to be in the right place... and it wasn't destined to go down like this. Another Landlord might've been very pleased with your efforts and the results.
Newbie
Posts: 6

Currently undergoing a dispute!

« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2021, 06:09:00 PM »

There is no question here.

It must have taken you some time to write... and we appreciate knowing all the ins-and-outs... but what are you wanting from the assembled Giant Brains who reside here?

This - what I just wrote - is the only question.

Apologies I think I was meant to ask:
What can he do?
What can he make us pay for?
Did we make a mistake on this by getting someone to repair it?

The landlord can propose a deduction. If you disagree with this, you can raise a dispute with DPS and the issue will then be reviewed by a professional adjudicator.

In that situation, the landlord would be asked to provide evidence that you have caused the damage (or, more accurately, that it was not damaged at the beginning of your tenancy) and how much it will cost to repair. If they do not do this, you 'win' the dispute by default.

I have been given an example dispute decision and they are quite thorough. The adjudicator looks at all the evidence and decides what is fair and reasonable. Their decision doesn't have to be binary: they can, for example, hold that the tenant is responsible for only 50pc of a cost.  From what I can see, though, there are no hard and fast rules (as you'd expect given that every case is different) but there are some general principles they will apply. When it comes to wear and tear, of example, they typically take the length of the tenancy into account.

I'm happy to share it with you if you PM me. As a tenant myself, I was quite reasssured by how rigorous the process appears to be.
Newbie
Posts: 22

« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2021, 11:37:03 AM »

There is no question here.

It must have taken you some time to write... and we appreciate knowing all the ins-and-outs... but what are you wanting from the assembled Giant Brains who reside here?

This - what I just wrote - is the only question.

Apologies I think I was meant to ask:
What can he do?
What can he make us pay for?
Did we make a mistake on this by getting someone to repair it?

The landlord can propose a deduction. If you disagree with this, you can raise a dispute with DPS and the issue will then be reviewed by a professional adjudicator.

In that situation, the landlord would be asked to provide evidence that you have caused the damage (or, more accurately, that it was not damaged at the beginning of your tenancy) and how much it will cost to repair. If they do not do this, you 'win' the dispute by default.

I have been given an example dispute decision and they are quite thorough. The adjudicator looks at all the evidence and decides what is fair and reasonable. Their decision doesn't have to be binary: they can, for example, hold that the tenant is responsible for only 50pc of a cost.  From what I can see, though, there are no hard and fast rules (as you'd expect given that every case is different) but there are some general principles they will apply. When it comes to wear and tear, of example, they typically take the length of the tenancy into account.

I'm happy to share it with you if you PM me. As a tenant myself, I was quite reasssured by how rigorous the process appears to be.

Thanks for the information :)

Yep I'd like to know a bit more

The main concern isn't the initial damage it's that we've sourced carpet, got a tradesperson to fit it so that the damage we've done is now fine, however the landlord is saying because we've got someone to do it (he doesn't think it's up to the right standard) we've damaged it more so he wants to get someone to repair the damage we've done to "make good" the repairs. We've been at the property for 7 years and the carpet is over that age, so taking into account wear and tear and that we've replaced areas to new can he actually say we've damaged it more and claim for full charges (new carpet and fitting)?

I'll see if I can message you.
Full Member
Posts: 195

I like property

« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2021, 12:20:27 PM »

I'd say your heart was in the right place trying to fix the carpet but probably should have spoken to the landlord first to agree a plan to rectify.

However, I doubt you'd be held liable for much, if at all, via your deposit.  Simply write the landlord an email explaining the carpet is over7 years old, you've tried a repair and the carpet is over the lifespan for any serious compensation.  If the landlord disagrees, raise a deposit dispute. I can't imagine they'll make you liable for very much.
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2021, 10:27:01 AM »

I have had worse damage than this left behind,and not made an issue.To me,deductions should be taken in context.If the person has paid their rent,kept the place in decent nick,not been a nightmare,I don't quibble about small things.After seven years of traffic I would not think that carpet owed me much.There are some awful Scrooges out there though.
Newbie
Posts: 22

« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2021, 12:31:33 PM »

I'd say your heart was in the right place trying to fix the carpet but probably should have spoken to the landlord first to agree a plan to rectify.

However, I doubt you'd be held liable for much, if at all, via your deposit.  Simply write the landlord an email explaining the carpet is over7 years old, you've tried a repair and the carpet is over the lifespan for any serious compensation.  If the landlord disagrees, raise a deposit dispute. I can't imagine they'll make you liable for very much.

Thanks for your reply.

Yes in hindsight we should have may be discussed with the landlord what he would like doing. We had asked him what areas need addressing and he just said the items highlighted in the check out inventory however never made any effort to tell us what to do with the damage as that was listed there so he must have known we'd address that area too. We thought if he didn't want us to do anything he'd have said or if he wanted something specific done he'd have said. He already knew we had sourced and purchased an exact match carpet replacement piece.
Newbie
Posts: 22

« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2021, 12:33:02 PM »

I have had worse damage than this left behind,and not made an issue.To me,deductions should be taken in context.If the person has paid their rent,kept the place in decent nick,not been a nightmare,I don't quibble about small things.After seven years of traffic I would not think that carpet owed me much.There are some awful Scrooges out there though.

I think he's hoping he can get something from our deposit, and has raised silly little things with us, most of which he has no firm grounding.
Newbie
Posts: 22

« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2021, 09:25:27 PM »

Hey all so attached is what we sent to the landlord (carpet assessment) and also attached is his reply (landlord reply)

We're not happy with the response, obviously. He's really pushing his points.

Some things worth noting:
Our tenancy as per the tenancy agreement ended on the 31st October, we gave him the keys on the 10th October as we had moved out, we still payed rent until the 31st, so we were in fact by law allowed to still access the property.
He had mentioned about the carpet needing repair (and what to do about it) in a previous email but because we hadn't immediately replied (we were addressing other issues with the property first) he then sent a pressured email to say because we'd not specifically replied about the carpet he'll assume we're accepting any charges he'd made. None at the time.
We mentioned we'll address the issues in the check out inventory, at no point did he say to leave the carpet to him
We've already started the claim for the full deposit back via DPS (on the 31st October) which he hasn't acknowledged (we've not told him, but then we shouldn't need to).

We'll reply, however we'd like some guidance on how best to reply, as what he's saying and claiming is way out of line. We'd basically like him to go through the DPS system, we're not bothered about the length of the process, it's clear he is.

This all feels rather pressured, hence why we got someone in to do the carpet asap as we were concerned he'd just do it anyway and charge the full amount.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2021, 09:29:27 PM by farahziya »
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« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2021, 10:24:11 AM »

There is no attachment,but that's not the issue.You have started the claim,so leave it at that.Anything else you do is just displacement activity.It gives your anxiety some temporary relief by seemingly "doing something". As others have said,even if he is awarded something for an oldish carpet,it won't be very much.I gather that the bias goes towards the tenants on DPS disputes,but I have no personal experience. I am sorry if you are getting into a state over this and feeling vulnerable.It's easy to say don't worry,but I doubt if this will go badly for you. Good luck.
Jr. Member
Posts: 85

Landlord - always learning

« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2021, 12:04:22 PM »

Quote
There is no attachment

Yes there is HK.

Reading 'landlord reply.pdf', it does sound as though the original poster had the carpet replaced by someone who had no competence at laying carpets.

I'm now starting to feel some sympathy with the LL's position.

Newbie
Posts: 22

« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2021, 01:20:07 PM »

Quote
There is no attachment

Yes there is HK.

Reading 'landlord reply.pdf', it does sound as though the original poster had the carpet replaced by someone who had no competence at laying carpets.

I'm now starting to feel some sympathy with the LL's position.

The landlord asked what are we addressing with regards to the property, when we asked for the keys (note we were still in tenancy), we said everything he'd highlighted in the check out inventory, he at no point said to leave the carpets. He knew we had a tradesperson in to to sort the carpet areas, they're not a professional carpet fitter but a general decorator, we needed to get someone in asap, as he hadn't specified to leave it. We've not damaged it more, the tradesperson explained what they were doing and why, patch repair of carpet is perfectly acceptable and professional. The landlord is stating that it now looks worse and is unusable. It only looks worse because it wasn't that great to start with.

Even if we'd left the carpet damaged (which now looking back maybe that would have been the better approach) he'd still try to charge us the 400 for the reasons he's stated, which he cannot do; he wants to replace all the stairs, all the landing and all the hallway. Wouldn't an adjudicator only deduct the amount taking into account the damaged area vs his whole carpet replacement, wear and tear, age of carpet etc?

I'm 99% sure that safety and visually appealing is his concern for the next tenants. He can't put that on us. It's not our problem if he cannot find matching carpet, or if he needs to do the whole area(s). Shouldn't any landlord allow for damages and take that into account when getting carpet / paint / curtains etc, and have spares or know it's easy to find or accept it'll need changing?

Just to note we are his first tenants, and have been there for 7 years. I feel he's trying to play on us a bit and make it a bigger issue. The damage is only a small oil spill and a burn, the only damage to the whole property in that 7 years. Note we also have pets (agreed and written into the contract) so that's actually amazing that there's nothing else damaged. He has no professional experience regarding any aspect of fixing a house either inside or outside, neither do we, that's why we got someone to sort it.

We feel the property is in need of doing up, and he's said as much in his emails so he's trying to get some money from our deposit for it.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2021, 01:26:27 PM by farahziya »
Jr. Member
Posts: 85

Landlord - always learning

« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2021, 02:38:22 PM »

Quote from: farahziya
The damage is only a small oil spill and a burn

It sounds as though the damage was only a small oil spill and a burn.

But then...

Quote
we had a tradesperson in to to sort the carpet areas, they're not a professional carpet fitter but a general decorator

And now the LL says in landlord reply.pdf

"I would have expected the whole carpet in that area to be fitted in the same existing fashion to ensure that there are no hazards from slips and trips and the resulting  falls which was not carried out in a manner to prevent this.

In your letter you admit to not fitting the carpet "properly". The carpet, instead  of being in 1 piece as was existing, now comprises 2 larger pieces and two very small pieces which have been cut far too small, not been fixed to the floor and not been fixed under the dividing strip between hallway and living room, now causing the aforementioned hazards.

Due to your attempt to repair, the hazard now caused by the ill fitting carpet means the property cannot be safely let out until the carpet has been replaced placing me at a loss financially owing to your actions/negligence.

The current state of the carpet means that it cannot be cleaned (hoovered) without the carpet moving.

This was not the physical state of the carpet at the start of the tenancy, nor when you first returned the keys before the end of the tenancy when it was found to be damaged."

If this is true - and from the clear way it is written it seems likely that it is - then I now find myself siding more with the landlord. He is not complaining about the original damage, rather he is complaining that because you employed a tradesperson who did a poor job of laying the new carpet, he (the LL) will now have to replace the carpet completely.
Newbie
Posts: 22

« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2021, 02:54:00 PM »

Quote from: farahziya
The damage is only a small oil spill and a burn

It sounds as though the damage was only a small oil spill and a burn.

But then...

Quote
we had a tradesperson in to to sort the carpet areas, they're not a professional carpet fitter but a general decorator

And now the LL says in landlord reply.pdf

"I would have expected the whole carpet in that area to be fitted in the same existing fashion to ensure that there are no hazards from slips and trips and the resulting  falls which was not carried out in a manner to prevent this.

In your letter you admit to not fitting the carpet "properly". The carpet, instead  of being in 1 piece as was existing, now comprises 2 larger pieces and two very small pieces which have been cut far too small, not been fixed to the floor and not been fixed under the dividing strip between hallway and living room, now causing the aforementioned hazards.

Due to your attempt to repair, the hazard now caused by the ill fitting carpet means the property cannot be safely let out until the carpet has been replaced placing me at a loss financially owing to your actions/negligence.

The current state of the carpet means that it cannot be cleaned (hoovered) without the carpet moving.

This was not the physical state of the carpet at the start of the tenancy, nor when you first returned the keys before the end of the tenancy when it was found to be damaged."

If this is true - and from the clear way it is written it seems likely that it is - then I now find myself siding more with the landlord. He is not complaining about the original damage, rather he is complaining that because you employed a tradesperson who did a poor job of laying the new carpet, he (the LL) will now have to replace the carpet completely.

He'd have replaced the whole carpet areas anyway if we left the damage as is! We've not made it worse than before because it wasn't securely fitted and had a patch missing. He's just making it sound worse.
Jr. Member
Posts: 85

Landlord - always learning

« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2021, 03:04:52 PM »

If you had left the original carpet alone, then as Heavykarma says, there would likely have been only a small award from the DPS.

Your actions you have made things more complicated, strengthened the LLs claim (a bit), plus you've bought some new carpet and paid someone to fit it.

Clear tenant / landlord communication before taking action would have avoided this situation.


I do hope you get it sorted out.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2021, 05:47:46 PM by HandyMan »
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