The tenancy agreements are those papers you never read, but sign. If you’re lucky (like us), you have a nice landlord, who cares about you and his house, so the repairings are done, the rent is payed and sometimes beers are drunk.
Most of the time, is not like that. Amongst all the experiences I’ve heard, a close friend had a specific situation, where working through an agency helped and didn’t, at the same time. The agency was late on re-drafting the new contract, no prior inventory was done and that place was definitely not the nicest place ever: ceiling falling, garbage, dirt, bed bugs and a landlord that tried to overcharge them with a not-so-new-oven, a receipt for cleaning that no one new about and the treatment for bed bugs, which even if it was done or not, were there before they moved in.
If you rented through an agency, they are mediating the conflict between the tenants and the landlord. They should be objective. Sometimes they’re not. Or they just don’t move as fast as they should. Regardless, the conflict couldn’t be resolved: the landlord actually claimed more money than the deposit amount, whilst the tenants wanted their money back.
Tenant Deposit Scheme: both sides offer their evidence sustaining the claim and a third party will decide who get’s the money back. I helped my friend to gather his evidence: pictures, receipts, e-mails, everything that would help make his case.
Guess what: WE WON. The third party acknowledged that the landlord is over-pricing and overcharging everything and decided that the deposit money should go back to the tenants.
My point is that if you feel you’re being mistreated by your landlord, don’t give up. Without a check-in (inventory when moving in), he cannot claim anything when you move out. Is not mandatory to get one done, but if you don’t, you (tenant or lanlord) can’t demand any payments for damage, cleaning or missing items.
If you need a mediator, I am right here.