Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Tenant and ruined carpet. What to do?

(47 Posts)
Deni1963 Tue 28-Jan-20 18:23:09

My tenant has given notice. I had to repair part of a damaged window frame and it was the 1st time I had access to his room. He has been with me for 18 months.
The carpet apart from two huge stains had massive patches threadbare.
I had my builder take a look and it's a moth infestation. My tenant never hoovered or opened his curtains which clearly didn't help.
He paid a deposit of £230. The carpet needs replacing there is no saving it.
Should I take the replacement cost out of his deposit? 😥 I really cant afford to replace it.

Jane10 Tue 28-Jan-20 18:24:35

Yes. That's what the deposit is for!

Iwastoldtheredbecake Tue 28-Jan-20 18:25:22

Absolutely, yes

suziewoozie Tue 28-Jan-20 18:35:08

Don’t you have to go through some sort of system now for claiming against a deposit?

rosenoir Tue 28-Jan-20 18:36:26

It would depend on how old the carpet was, and the condition when they moved in

suziewoozie Tue 28-Jan-20 18:37:23

www.gov.uk/deposit-protection-schemes-and-landlords

This is what I was thinking of - you put your case and they decide if it’s acceptable.

Deni1963 Tue 28-Jan-20 18:37:58

Carpet was in good clean condition. Roughly 5 years old and a wool carpet. Hes a lodger and I live in same house.

rosenoir Tue 28-Jan-20 18:41:39

I would keep the deposit then.

suziewoozie Tue 28-Jan-20 18:46:09

Then he’s not a tenant is he? Why on earth did you not regularly inspect his room ? Have you photographic proof of the state of the carpet before he moved in? Chalk it up to experience and set inspection rules if you have another lodger.

phoenix Tue 28-Jan-20 18:47:13

Take a picture of it as it is now, and if you have receipts or a copy of the order from when it was bought, keep that with the photo.

Then write explaining why you will not be refunding the deposit and enclose copies of evidence.

If he kicks up, then you have something to show to strengthen your argument.

FlexibleFriend Tue 28-Jan-20 18:47:54

He's a lodger isn't he not a tenant, different rules apply and yes I'd keep the deposit and tell him why. Next time insist on 3 monthly inspections as my letting agent does with my tenants.

GagaJo Tue 28-Jan-20 18:52:33

The deposit should be with a deposit protection service. You would have to negotiate via them.

suziewoozie Tue 28-Jan-20 18:56:27

A receipt from when you bought it 5 years ago proves nothing about the condition it was in when he moved in. He might just accept not getting his deposit back but you really need to learn from this. Has the moth infestation spread outside his room?

oldgimmer1 Tue 28-Jan-20 19:00:08

I agree with flexible.

I think you may have a fight on your hands here if you can't prove he caused the damage.

Make sure you get a forwarding address from him in case you need to go through small claims.

MissAdventure Tue 28-Jan-20 19:02:32

I think it would be very difficult to prove that the tenant was responsible.

oldgimmer1 Tue 28-Jan-20 19:06:42

He's a lodger, not a tenant, by what the OP is saying.

MissAdventure Tue 28-Jan-20 19:10:04

Different rules, then?
I don't know anything about renting, or moths, now I come to think about it. blush

oldgimmer1 Tue 28-Jan-20 19:33:47

Tenants have Tenancy Agreements which make it easier in some ways as the terms and conditions are set out therein.

It's technically possible for a tenant to live in a home with a landlord but I doubt it applies here.

Lodging arrangements tend to be less formalised so care needs to be taken when taking in s lodger.

Ideally, the OP should have drawn up some kind of agreement, including an inventory/inspection arrangements so she can prove damage etc.

FlexibleFriend Tue 28-Jan-20 19:38:04

After we had damage caused by a tenant I now take photo's of everything before a new tenant moves in and get the to sign saying they are accurate. We all live and learn.

Nezumi65 Tue 28-Jan-20 19:43:59

How is a moth infestation his fault? Especially in your house where you are living.

MissAdventure Tue 28-Jan-20 19:47:25

Thanks oldgimmer. smile

M0nica Tue 28-Jan-20 19:48:51

I have never had a lodger but rented out a flat for a couple of years. I always had an inventory taken when they moved in and again when they moved out.

I would also advise not returning the deposit for a week after the tenant has moved out in case there is any hidden damage.

I had a tenant who left the grill on the cooker all night. He replaced all the bits on the cooker that were damaged and that was OK and I did make stoppages for other damage done, but I only discovered that leaving the grill on overnight had done major damage to the electricity Comsumer Unit, when I had the electrical check done before the next tenants moved in. This had to be replaced and cost £500, but by that time the tenants had had the rest of their deposit repaid and I had to pay for the new unit with no recourse to the tenant who did the damage.

Lindylou23 Tue 28-Jan-20 19:53:08

I had a wool carpet and hoovered regularly and had an infestation of moths eating it away. Maybe a grey area as to blaming your tenant. I put moth balls down but didn't deter them

Buffybee Tue 28-Jan-20 19:54:45

Deposit for a Lodger does not have to be held by the Government Deposit Scheme.
The Lodger has damaged the carpet by two large stains so I would keep the deposit.
I think the Moth infestation would come under renewals so I wouldn't mention that.
Did he also damage your window?
The only recourse he would have if you keep the deposit is through the small claims court.
I doubt he will do that.

Nandalot Tue 28-Jan-20 20:02:11

Like Lindylou, we had a wool carpet that the moths had a go at. They work very quickly. I hoover regularly but they still managed to do some damage. We now have a hard floor in that area.