All of us can as individuals be guilty of avarice, even me; and I am as close to perfection as anyone…stop sniggering at the back. I am still (having been around almost as long as Terry Wogan’s toupee), somewhat surprised, nay, shocked at how seemingly sensible, reasonable, sapient landlords who when the tenant moves in are happy for the letting agent to prepare a full inventory with pictures and then carry out regular inspections, but on the tenant moving out, wish to inspect the property themselves using their memory of several years ago as to how the property ‘should look’ and then quibble over returning the tenant’s deposit. In fact, the landlord’s inspection is often accompanied by the comment, “I don’t need your inventory, I know what it looks like”. Correct, sir/madam, you do know what it looks like from the regular inspection reports and accompanying photographic evidence that we provide you with, which you have happily accepted. These may well note some minor ‘wear and tear’ (as expected from any abode actually being occupied by living, breathing people), but these should not now be discarded or ignored because you have a photographic memory of the property from four years ago and have an unrealistic belief that the house should be pristine with no evidence whatsoever of human occupation.
Let me present the incontrovertible facts:
- The tenant has paid £500 pcm for four years, so that is now £24,000 that the landlord has earned from the property.
- The tenant has kept the property safe and watertight, whilst it increases in value. Thus income and capital growth for the landlord have been paid for by the tenant.
- The tenant has never once missed the payment date for the rent.
- In order to retain the deposit, the landlord will have to make the case that the damage is wilful and not ‘wear and tear’.
I know Gordon Gekko proclaimed that ‘greed is good’, but for £500? Incidentally, for all those trivia nerds; Gekko never actually uttered the exact words ‘Greed is good’ in the original film; the trailers for Wall Street featured a montage of edited scenes that resulted in the phrase being heard as such. That’s one to throw water on the bonfire of the next smart a£$& who thinks that he is being the sharpest, smoothest dude in town.