Tenant Trashed House – Can I Get More Compensation Than Just Withholding Their Deposit?
October 19, 2022

If you are a landlord who rents out properties to tenants, you know it can be challenging at times. This is especially true when a tenant’s lease is up, and they are leaving the property. In these instances, landlords will make a final inspection of the property to ensure it is in the same condition (aside from fair wear and tear) as it was when first leased.

But what happens if you make your inspection and find the tenants have trashed the property? While the natural option is to withhold deposit money in these situations, this may not cover the cost of extensive damage which needs fixing. What can you do as a landlord to gain more compensation if this happens?

Withholding A Deposit May Not Be the Only Option

Landlords are allowed to make deductions from a tenant’s initial deposit payment or even keep the whole amount if they have fair and reasonable grounds to do so. This usually covers things like the lack of basic maintenance to the property.

But what if you turn up to find the property completely trashed and keeping all the deposit payment is not enough? In this instance, it is possible to claim extra compensation to help out. The key is having the fair grounds to do so, such as:

  • Serious damage to the property
  • Property left in a very unhygienic state
  • Broken or damaged items/appliances in the house
  • Damage caused by pets
  • Poor redecoration you need to fix across the property

How Can You Get More Compensation Than Just the Deposit?

Once the tenant asks for their deposit back, you have 10 days to respond, and this is the ideal time to raise the issue of the trashed property. If you set out why you will not only be withholding their deposit but also require more compensation, you may be able to come to an agreement between yourselves.

Another option (especially if you cannot agree to any extra compensation payment with the tenant) is to discuss the dispute with a mediator. Using the free ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution Service’ which forms part of the deposit scheme, sees an independent adjudicator get involved and make a final decision on whether more compensation is required. In addition, it can help avoid the need to go to court in order to get extra compensation.

The last option to think about if this does not work out is going to county court. This would see you take the tenant to court to claim some compensation for the trashed property. If you go this route, remember to have plenty of evidence to back up your claim and get professional legal help in putting it all together.

Let Bowser’s Solicitors Help Make It Easier

Here at Bowser’s Solicitors, we are experts in civil litigation and give advice landlords can rely on. If you need more guidance on how to claim back more compensation from a tenant who has trashed your property, get in touch at reception@bowsers.co.uk today.

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