Forum Home Search Login Register
+  Landlord Forum
|-+  General Category
| |-+  Tenant Advice & Help
| | |-+  End of tenancy cleaning: dissolved company?

End of tenancy cleaning: dissolved company?

Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: End of tenancy cleaning: dissolved company?  (Read 3472 times)
Newbie
Posts: 15

I like property

« on: September 21, 2020, 06:03:47 PM »

Hello,

I would like to kindly ask you advice on my situation:

I moved in a small studio in summer 2019. The landlord lives abroad and he uses a Letting Agent in UK who is Freelance. She told me that the bathroom would be refurbished so I kindly accepted to vacate my flat 2 weeks to let the contractors work.Three days before my return, I received an email saying that was a water leak and I could not live in the flat and that the insurance of my landlord would provide an hotel for two weeks. Actually, it lasted two months and I had to change my hotel more than five times because the Letting Agent didn't update me, the Insurance and the emergency accommodation.

 I had to find by myself the Loss Adjustor and  the company which booked the hotel rooms to have updates about the bathroom and the hotel. I also had to contact the landlord and finally I had to deal with the company in charge of the bathroom refurbishment.It was very stressful and since she is Freelance and doesn't have a Manager, she just ignored my messages.

The contractors who were working in my studio didn't protect the floor, they put things everywhere, even on my bed. It was dirty and very messy. I took pictures and videos.

Now, I am leaving the flat soon and she is trying to to force me to use a cleaning company which has been dissolved in 2015 because she claims that she has been using them for 15 years. This company wants to charge me 190 Pounds to clean a small studio. When I told her that I found a company which would charge me 75 Pounds for the end of tenancy cleaning (and can come back during 72 hours if needed) she said that if she is not happy about the cleaning, she would contact her company and deduce the 190 pounds from my deposit. The company that she is advising doesn't want to give me an official quote by email, they only deal by text message or by phone (I guess because they are not allowed to quote since it's has been dissolved).

It's extremely complicated to communicate with the LL as she pretends things which are not correct and she just ignores messages when she doesn't want to reply. I really would like to leave it without having to pay a dissolved company to clean it, in order to please her. 

My questions are:

-If she tries to take money from my deposit because of the cleaning, can I explain to the Scheme that the company she wanted me to use has been dissolved or they don't really mind?
-Also, the fact that I left my flat two months because of the bathroom situation and we didn't do a new inventory when I came back, could I also use it if there is a dispute?
-Finally, will I have to give an invoice to show that it has been professionally cleaned?

I dont mind paying the 75 pounds for the cleaning company which is not dissolved, they provided a quote with a list of things etc for the end of tenancy cleaning. However, I don't want to pay 190 Pounds because the company belongs to her friends.

Many thanks!
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 06:10:09 PM by Riri »
Jr. Member
Posts: 80

I like property

« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2020, 01:35:33 AM »

The key here is if the agent uses a 3rd party inventory clerk. If the clerk notes the property as clean to a professional standard then you have done your part and will not be liable for a further cleaning cost.

However, once you vacate the property then you or your cleaner has no right to go back to the property.  The agent has made it clear how much her cleaner costs. If the checkout report states the property is not fully cleaned then the agent will try to charge you £190. If you can't come to an agreement then you can raise a deposit dispute and let them ADR decide if the charge is acceptable.
Newbie
Posts: 15

I like property

« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2020, 10:48:57 AM »

Hi Inspector,

Thanks for your reply.  Yes, she is using a third  party inventory clerk. Problem is, when I called them to confirm the check out time etc, they immediately called my Agent by her name so it seems they know her, without being too paranoid:  are they really neutral?
« Last Edit: September 22, 2020, 11:10:43 AM by Riri »
Sr. Member
Posts: 427

I like property

« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2020, 10:57:42 AM »

No, it is illegal for a dissolved company to trade, but other than reporting it to Companies House (for the illegal trading) and HMRC (for potential tax evasion), there's not a lot you can do other than to say no.
Newbie
Posts: 15

I like property

« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2020, 11:37:53 AM »

Hi KTC,

So does it mean that I can use a private cleaner who is working in my building instead of a company? She is cheaper and very good (she is cleaning other flats in my building).
Jr. Member
Posts: 80

I like property

« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2020, 02:39:27 PM »

Hi Inspector,

Thanks for your reply.  Yes, she is using a third  party inventory clerk. Problem is, when I called them to confirm the check out time etc, they immediately called my Agent by her name so it seems they know her, without being too paranoid:  are they really neutral?
I work as an inventory clerk. I have several clients I use on a regular basis so am on a first name basis. This does not affect my neutrality.  If I note a property as meeting a professional clean standard then I provide photos to back this up.

A huge amount of cleaners do not clean to a full professional standard so when an agent or landlord finds one that does the job properly they might want to use them confident that the job will be done without a revisit.

But I  understand your apprehension given what has happened.
 
Global Moderator
Sr. Member
Posts: 481

I like poetry

« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2020, 05:08:49 PM »

Are you sure the firm your landlord wants to use is the same legal entity as the company that was dissolved? It's not uncommon for businesses to have similar names, or to incorporate for a while and then go back to being a sole trader etc.
Newbie
Posts: 15

I like property

« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2020, 07:06:04 PM »

Hi Simon,

Yes, I double checked the name, address etc and for me the confirmation is that they refuse to send quotes and only deal by phone/text message
Newbie
Posts: 15

I like property

« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2020, 01:39:09 PM »

Hi Inspector,

Thanks for your reply.  Yes, she is using a third  party inventory clerk. Problem is, when I called them to confirm the check out time etc, they immediately called my Agent by her name so it seems they know her, without being too paranoid:  are they really neutral?
I work as an inventory clerk. I have several clients I use on a regular basis so am on a first name basis. This does not affect my neutrality.  If I note a property as meeting a professional clean standard then I provide photos to back this up.

A huge amount of cleaners do not clean to a full professional standard so when an agent or landlord finds one that does the job properly they might want to use them confident that the job will be done without a revisit.

But I  understand your apprehension given what has happened.

Hi Inspector,

Many thanks for your reply.

So, I have a PDF document, the inventory with pictures and description. There is something which is started to get broken in the kitchen, I let the Letting Agent know in March bt she never replied. Can I get troubles because of that? (it's not on the pictures included in my inventory but I took a picture back in March that I sent to the LL)
Jr. Member
Posts: 80

I like property

« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2020, 03:45:38 PM »

Hi Inspector,

Thanks for your reply.  Yes, she is using a third  party inventory clerk. Problem is, when I called them to confirm the check out time etc, they immediately called my Agent by her name so it seems they know her, without being too paranoid:  are they really neutral?
I work as an inventory clerk. I have several clients I use on a regular basis so am on a first name basis. This does not affect my neutrality.  If I note a property as meeting a professional clean standard then I provide photos to back this up.

A huge amount of cleaners do not clean to a full professional standard so when an agent or landlord finds one that does the job properly they might want to use them confident that the job will be done without a revisit.

But I  understand your apprehension given what has happened.

Hi Inspector,

Many thanks for your reply.

So, I have a PDF document, the inventory with pictures and description. There is something which is started to get broken in the kitchen, I let the Letting Agent know in March bt she never replied. Can I get troubles because of that? (it's not on the pictures included in my inventory but I took a picture back in March that I sent to the LL)

What is it that is broken?  If it is something you have not caused and is just through age and getting worse then you should not be liable.

However, you are responsible to report issues.  For deposit safety it is important this is done in writing, email most common.  So if you have emailed the agent to make then aware then you have done your due diligence.

If the landlord or agent tries to charge you for this item then respond to this deposit deduction in writing explaining that you reported the issue and nothing was done and that this is a fair wear and tear issue.

If they don't back down then you can raise a deposit dispute.
Newbie
Posts: 15

I like property

« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2020, 04:22:00 PM »

I am not sure how to describe that (please see picture attached).

I didn't cause it but I saw that it was becoming worst in March so I emailed the LL about it and sent the picture.
Jr. Member
Posts: 80

I like property

« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2020, 04:33:25 PM »

I am not sure how to describe that (please see picture attached).

I didn't cause it but I saw that it was becoming worst in March so I emailed the LL about it and sent the picture.
Looks like the corner part of the kickboard to me.  I would argue this is a wear and tear issue.

I would advise you to send an email to the agent with a photo letting them know it is getting worse.  The agent or landlord might not want to pay to fix this issue right now, as is their decision but if they tried to deduct anything from your deposit I believe you would be safe in this case.
Newbie
Posts: 15

I like property

« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2020, 02:55:10 PM »

Thanks Inspector!
Newbie
Posts: 15

I like property

« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2020, 12:54:29 PM »

Also, anther question: if a tenant is out of the flat two months during the tenancy and the contractors don't protect the floor when they work, does the tenant has to ask a new inventory when he comes back?

In my case, I was out of my flat during two months and the contractors never protected the wooden floor. I have pictures and videos. If there is a deposit dispute because of scratches on the floor, will the DTS take this into consideration or they just deal with the inventory provided? Also, I have a new bathroom so the pictures on the inventory are the ones from the old bathroom, were we supposed to get a new inventory with pictures of the new bathroom?

Thank you
Jr. Member
Posts: 80

I like property

« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2020, 01:50:37 PM »

Also, anther question: if a tenant is out of the flat two months during the tenancy and the contractors don't protect the floor when they work, does the tenant has to ask a new inventory when he comes back?

In my case, I was out of my flat during two months and the contractors never protected the wooden floor. I have pictures and videos. If there is a deposit dispute because of scratches on the floor, will the DTS take this into consideration or they just deal with the inventory provided? Also, I have a new bathroom so the pictures on the inventory are the ones from the old bathroom, were we supposed to get a new inventory with pictures of the new bathroom?

Thank you
The DPS look into anything in writing.

So the inventory checkin report shows what was inside the property at the beginning and the condition. Tenants are given around 1 week to check for any omissions.

The tenancy agreement states what the tenant is liable for and what is the landlord's/agents responsibility. 

At the end of the tenancy an inventory checkout states the end condition.

So if anything happens during the tenancy that could affect the deposit,such as damage or items being added or removed, make sure this is recorded in writing by email.

So the agent had no reason or need to arrange another inventory.  You have sent photos and reported damage which resulted by the contractors so you should have no issues.
Newbie
Posts: 15

I like property

« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2020, 12:13:40 PM »

May thanks Inspector, so my check out was yesterday, they sent a Clerk who kindly explained me that I could not stay because he had to see the flat alone to do his report, he also collected the keys. So I just had time to take pictures and I left. Does it sound ok for you? (I thought that the tenant was supposed to stay  in the flat with the clerk).

Jr. Member
Posts: 80

I like property

« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2020, 02:24:27 PM »

May thanks Inspector, so my check out was yesterday, they sent a Clerk who kindly explained me that I could not stay because he had to see the flat alone to do his report, he also collected the keys. So I just had time to take pictures and I left. Does it sound ok for you? (I thought that the tenant was supposed to stay  in the flat with the clerk).


As a clerk I never tell a tenant they cannot be present but that I will do the report independently regardless so there is no reason for them to stay.

The point of the clerk is to do a visual inspection and note the property at the time the keys are returned.  So I wouldn't say the clerk has done anything wrong on this occasion.
Newbie
Posts: 15

I like property

« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2020, 10:41:35 PM »

I don't know if it's linked to the Cover situation (but he didn't wear a mask so I am not convinced)
Jr. Member
Posts: 80

I like property

« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2020, 01:10:40 PM »

I don't know if it's linked to the Cover situation (but he didn't wear a mask so I am not convinced)
I wouldn't say the clerk not wanting to be present was due to Covid.  A lot of clerks use dictaphones to record their findings. It is much harder to do this with other people present.
Newbie
Posts: 15

I like property

« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2020, 01:13:56 PM »

Thanks again Inspector, another question: after the check out, I called the company which sent the Clerk after two days to have news. They said they would share the report/inventory with the Agency/Landlord and I would hear directly from them (so I won't get the report from this company by email).

Is it because my Landlord paid for the independent clerk so I don't get the report?
Jr. Member
Posts: 80

I like property

« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2020, 08:18:17 PM »

Pretty standard.  They send the report to the agent.  They check the report and decide if there will be any deductions.  They then contact you and send you a copy of the report.
Newbie
Posts: 15

I like property

« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2020, 06:45:52 PM »

Hello,

So I got news today:the LL contacted me by email saying that they wanted to deduct from my deposit different things (the cleaning price as expected, a mark on the wall because of the bed and surprise, she is now pretending that there is a potential leak in the ceiling of the bathroom and that I didn't let them know, I am not sure what she is speaking about) She didn't send me the Inventory report or any price/cost, I called the DPS service and the lady advised me to tell them by email to use the DPS website instead of contacting me directly. Is it a good advice?
Newbie
Posts: 15

I like property

« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2020, 08:27:30 PM »

Also, she wrote at the end of the email:

"There are some other issues raised on the report which have been deemed as fair wear and tear.We are in the process of having these items corrected and will send you a deposit statement of the deductions in due course."

Does it mean that she is negotiating with the Independent Clerk to change the fair wear and tear?

Thank you.
Jr. Member
Posts: 80

I like property

« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2020, 10:02:20 AM »

I would advise you wait for the deposit deductions from the agent or landlord before doing anything further.

Check your tenancy agreement.  Somewhere you should have in writing how long the agent or landlord have to propose deductions.  If it goes over the time then send an email explaining they have gone over the time and you want your deposit back.  If they start dragging their heels then raise a dispute for the full amount.

It all sounds quite dodgy.  Once they give the deposit deductions, counter everything you disagree with in an email clearly explaining why the deduction is wrong. If no agreement can be found then you can raise a dispute.
Newbie
Posts: 15

I like property

« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2020, 12:02:12 PM »

Hi Inspector,

Thanks, so what happened is that I received an email from DPS saying that I cancelled my deposit request. So I called them and emailed them to ask them what happened as I didn't cancel anything, they said that instead of replying to my request, the LL did something (I guess she raised a dispute) and it automatically cancelled my request, so I did another one and they have ten more days to reply. If they don't, after 14 days I will be able to claim my deposit back. It's a little bit tricky but I do hope that they won't play with time and make the process last several months.

This is what I found in my Tenancy Agreement:

Landlordís Notification
(i) The Landlord will, within 10 days after termination of the Tenancy (howsoever determined) either:
(a) return the Deposit to theTenant if the Landlord does not intend to make any deduction from the Deposit; or
(b) notify the Tenant in writing of the deductions that the Landlord proposes(ďtheLandlordísNotificationĒ):
(ii) Upon receipt of the Landlordís Notification the Tenant must, within 10 working days notify the Landlord in writing that the Tenant either:
(a) agrees to the deductions proposed in the Landlordís Notification (ďthe Tenantís AcceptanceĒ); or
(b) disputes the deductions proposed (either in whole of part) in the Landlordís Notification, setting out which proposed deductions (if any) are agreed and which are in dispute and explaining the reasons for such dispute (ďthe Tenantís Dispute NotificationĒ).
(iii) Upon receipt of the Tenantís Acceptance the Landlord will, within 10 working days, apportion and distribute the Deposit.
(iv) Upon receipt of the Tenantís Dispute Notification, the Landlord will within 10 working days apportion and distribute the part of the Deposit not in dispute (if any) and lodge that part of the Deposit in dispute with The Deposit Protection Service. The Landlord and the Tenant shall, within 28 working days of the Landlord receiving the Tenantís Dispute Notification, make all reasonable attempts to come to an agreement and settle the dispute.
(v) If the Landlord and Tenant come to an agreement over the proposed deductions, they shall both notify The Deposit Protection Service in writing of the agreement (ďthe Agreement NotificationsĒ). The Deposit Protection Service shall within 10 working days of the Agreement Notifications apportion and distribute the part of the Deposit in accordance with the terms of the Agreement Notifications.
(vi) If, after the expiry of 28 working days of the Landlord receiving the Tenantís Dispute Notification, there remains an unresolved dispute, the dispute will then be submitted to The Deposit Protection Serviceís Alternative Dispute Resolution procedure. The parties agree to co-operate with the procedure and be bound by it decision.
(vii) The Landlord and the Tenantís right to take legal action through the Courts remain unaffected by the above.

Sr. Member
Posts: 427

I like property

« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2020, 06:44:55 PM »

Have you tried contacting the landlord to come to an agreement on any deductions?
Jr. Member
Posts: 80

I like property

« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2020, 09:12:27 PM »

Would advise waiting for the deposit deductions before doing anything else.  If they go over the timeframe to propose deductions then email your point of contact to advise this is overdue.

Newbie
Posts: 15

I like property

« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2020, 12:20:33 PM »

KTC:  No I didn't because my Landlord was not very helpful  during my tenancy, every time I contacted him to explain that things were not done by the Letting Agent, he was replying to see that directly with her and that she was paid to do it. I met him briefly once and he told me "I should not hear from you for the next years as I didn't hear from the previous tenant during his tenancy" So I dont want to waste energy trying to reach him or to negotiate if things eventually go to the DPS process.

To give some background, he lives abroad and wants to keep this studio for his children once they will be old enough to come and study in London. However, he is quite careless in the way he manages this studio, he didn't see an important leak last year in the bathroom (the plumbers said it was here for years), the EPC rate of the studio is currently F which is illegal and he was supposed to change the windows to improve it but it has never been done during my tenancy (15 months) despite my requests and the Council had to write to him,  so I guess he will try to take as much money as possible from my deposit.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2020, 12:52:06 PM by Riri »
Pages: [1]
Print