Furious mum challenges deposit dispute

Does three days of cleaning warrant a waiving of a deep clean fee? Well, it’s up for debate at a property in Manchester, and the tenant’s mother is furious.

A letting agent in Fallowfield announced plans to keep hold of £176 of the £778 deposit that tenant Tom Castrey had handed over for his two bedroom flat, with a view to pay for a deep clean before new tenants moved in.

The agent is planning to keep £116 of the deposit for cleaning, £60 for replacing a mattress and £10 for BluTack marks on the walls. However, his mother, Karen, was so incensed at this – having spent three solid days cleaning the property before he handed back the keys – that she made her feelings felt in a no-holds-barred letter to the agent, insisting that the property was ‘left in a better condition than it was when he moved in’:


"

To whom it may concern;

It is to my understanding that you have applied irrelevant charges to my son's deposit which he placed on his flat in July 2015. My husband, my son and I spent 3 days cleaning the flat.

I disagree with everything that you have mentioned in the email stating the charges and demand the deposit back immediately.

My points are as follows -

REMOVAL OF DOOR MAT: Are you telling me you want to charge some one to remove a door matt which was there in the first place?

LOUNGE : My son cleaned the lounge especially behind the bed settee and the T.V unit. It was all pulled out, hoovered and mopped behind and under.

TV UNIT DRAWS: Cleaned and cleared.

REHANGING OF PICTURES: These canvases were not hung in the first place, they had been put back where they were found originally.

COOKER: It took me 4 hrs to clean the cooker hob and oven shelves were put in a oven pride bag to soak and I scrubbed the oven and the hob and left it cleaner than we found it.

EXTRACTOR FAN : I cleaned all that extractor fan and including all the splash back tiles in the whole of the kitchen.

BACK OF FRIDGE : It is not possible to clean the back of the fridge as it is integrated into the kitchen unit.

FRIDGE AND FREEZER: All the trays and draws were pulled out of the fridge and freezer and cleaned.

BEDROOMS: The bedrooms were swept and mopped and the wardrobe was wiped inside and out by my husband.

BLUE TAC MARKS ON WALL: How dare you mention blue tac marks. When Tom moved into the flat the walls in bedroom 2 were covered in mould. The previous tenants had pictures hanging over the whole of the wall and when they took them down it was covered of mould. My husband spent 2 days when Tom moved in as bedroom 2 was inhabitable (see attached pictures) he had to wipe all the walls and repaint it ourselves without charging you and you think it’s acceptable to charge our deposit for a few blue tac marks.

MATTRESS STAINS: Once again this is how they were found, photos are attached of said stains. May I also add that there was a mattress topper on in bedroom 2.

BATHROOM : Did not require cleaning as my son spent 1 and 1/2 hrs cleaning the bathroom.

I have sent a copy of this email to the Manchester Evening News because I think it’s disgusting how you are trying to take money from my son’s deposit and making it harder for him to claim his money back as you have lied about the state of the flat.

I understand you may have sent cleaners in which would have been a quick clean not a deep clean. You really are clutching at straws when you have to put items down for removal such as door matts. It is beyond a joke.

If we had genuinely left the flat in the state we had found it in I would understand you having to charge but when the items highlighted are not true I expect most of the deposit to be refunded.

Please find pictures attached of the state of the flat we found it in and the furniture expected to be used.

Regards,

Mrs K, Castrey. (Mother of Tenant).

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So, where would you stand on this debate? If a tenant had put this much effort into making sure their property was in tip top condition when they handed it back (after three days of cleaning) would you still deduct from their deposit, or do you take each situation as it comes? And would a frosty letter help or hinder the case?

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