Landlord is keeping deposit *and* billing us €10k

jhegarty

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Did you claim you rent relief ?

With anyone that dogey there is a chance he isn't tax complaint either.
 

AlbacoreA

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Once its with the PRTB it has to go through that process before any other. A solicitors letter is pointless until you've been to the PRTB. The landlord and solicitor should know this. So I dunno the point of the letter other than a scare tactic.
 

Steve D

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I am sorry to hear about your trouble. It sounds like your landlord is being totally unreasonable and trying to bully you into parting with cash for unjustifiable reasons.

€5,000 for repainting the house is completely taking the p**s! €500 would probably be more appropriate and anyhow, it should be considered normal wear and tear.

Your landlord seems to have a very amateurish approach. If I was a landlord I would leave as little as possible a rented property. As far as I can see, the fewer items a landlord leaves in a property, the less hassle he will have in the future and fewer items will reduce the chances of disputes.

I find it hard to understand the landlord’s logic in leaving the following items in the rented property:

a) Bed linen – who would want to sleep in used bed linen? Many tenants even like to buy their own beds, for hygiene reasons.
b) Kitchen utensils such as roasting tins – I would expect tenants to be able to supply their own and could understand them preferring to use their own for hygiene reasons. Small items like these kitchen equipment, cutlery etc can get lost/go missing and have to be replaced so it is in the landlord’s interest to ask the tenant to provide his own.
c) Electrical items such as TV’s, DVD, toasters and kettles. It is usually best for a landlord not to leave items such as these because if they break down the tenant will expect the landlord to repair or replace them, causing extra hassle for the landlord. The only electrical items that I would consider to be essential would be a fridge/freezer, a washing machine and a cooker (perhaps gas). I would expect tenant to purchase other items themselves.
d) Expensive items should never be left in a rented property because if they go missing or if they are broken by the tenant they can give rise to a large dispute. This is especially true of small portable items. I cannot believe that someone would spend £300 for a kettle and a toaster and if he did, he would be mad to leave them in a rented property.
 

Bronte

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OP you need to be very careful when you go to the PRTB. The landlord is clearly trying to get as much as possible by quoting a high price. He's also being clever by hiring a solicitor.

I find it hard to believe he will actually replace the leather chairs. If they had been cut yes. At the PRTB hearing you should ask for a copy of the invoice for the new chairs. Ditto for the painting. It is entirely possible he got it painted but he should have to prove there was damage. He may have taken pictures (probably not if he's an amateur) If I was a landlord being taken to the PRTB I would expect to have to prove my case, your landlord seems to be an amateur so will not have all his ducks in a row. The more you can prove how wrong he is the more likely the PRTB will not believe anything he says which is exactly what you need.

If he is not registed with the PRTB and also has no rent book he will automatically be in the PRTB bad books.

I would even go so far as to go to the house now and ask the current tenant could you see what chairs are there and take pictures, also see if it is repainted and take a picture of where there is no velux blind. A picture of the current toaster and kettle (with brand, so you can figure out price) might also help. I presmume you have invoices for the goods you purchased (or credit card statement) for that property, might be good to dig them up.

One poster has said it costs 500 to paint a house, even for cash I doubt one could get it done for that price. I paid 1500 about 2 years ago when my long term tenants left. 5K is beyond me as well but maybe in Dublin in a top notch house that is what it costs. If he has an invoice for that and you have admitted the kids wrote on the walls then I don't know how the PRTB will adjudicate.

Re the DVD/TV's etc, I never supply anything like that, yes irons, toasters, clothes racks and bins etc, from Argos or Roaches or somesuch.

It's no good everyone telling the OP she is in the right, she has admitted some damage, she needs to look at it from both sides if she is to win her case, which I think she will and rightly so.
 

Knuttell

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Well I had a man out to connect up my DVD player to the TV!
Next time you need a man out to connect your DVD to your telly,give me a PM,reasonable enough rate,e200 call out,then e80 per 30 min (does not take more than 2hrs usually)

Thereafter once installed there will be a once off fee of 33% of your Monthly SKY subscription(only for the first year)

However if any thing goes wrong with the installation of the cable my call out fee is reduced to e180 and then e120 per 30 min...all part of the service!

I knock 4% off this rate if you want to pay the 33% of SKY sub by DD,though I will need your Bank details,PIN,etc.
 

Horatio

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This scenario sounds a little familiar to me. I reckon the LL believes that the occupiers are in Ireland on an expat package (housing,utilities, car, schooling, per diem & salary) sponsored by their employers & see this as a fast cash route, in the belief that the employers will blindly pay any bills sent forward rather than investigate, I've seen this attitude before with landlords & their Expat Clients, although not in Ireland.

stick to your guns OP, what's right is right & best of luck.
 

Caveat

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OP, as well as sticking to your guns I would go out of my way to (legally) ruin this landlord. Try to investigate anything dodgy they might be doing re tax etc and shop them. Just do it anyway even if they back down. I would.
 

sadie

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I would also speak to the Letting Agency.
Does the Letting Agency not have a part to play in this?
If the letting agency did not provide an Inventory, then get the Letting Agency to write you a letter saying the Landlord did not provide an inventory list, nor were you required to sign one.

My experience of Letting Agents is that there is often serious miscommunication between them and the landlords - eg. houses not cleaned between tenants but the landlord never knows or sees this.
 

txirimiri

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Your landlord is a twit and he is on to a loser. I am just out the other end of a PRTB dispute (am a landlord) and he has already crucified himself by getting a solicitor to write you a threatening letter despite the fact that the case has been referred to the PRTB - illegal under the terms of the Residential Tenancies Act and his solicitor should know this. By the way, triple check that you have properly referred the dispute to the PRTB (you should have filled in the correct form and paid the fee and received a response from the PRTB verifying that they have accepted the dispute for resolution. If you haven't got this, get on to them straight away and keep pestering them til you get it is writing).

Do you have photos of the damage? This would be very helpful - if so, you should submit these to the PRTB along with evidence in writing that you admitted to damaging certain elements of the property and offered to pay for this. In general, the more documentary proof the better (letters, photos, receipt for the DVD) - anything that is a case of 'he said, she said, it cost x, no it cost y' isn't going to fly. Also, keep all communication reasonable, polite, factual; the more outrageous his behaviour (and demanding 10 grand in 7 days with no attempt to come to an agreement in a dispute re a deposit is laughably outrageous), the better for you, as long as you don't sink to the same tone.

The estimate given by the previous poster of 5 months is unlikely I think - in our case, from the tenants refering their dispute with us to the final settlement took 13 months and apparently it has since got slower. If your landlord intends to keep paying a solicitor to write you letters for the next year and to represent him at the hearing, he is going to be landed with an enormous bill.

To sum up, I think the person with the problem is the landlord, not with you!
 

Kine

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OP, as well as sticking to your guns I would go out of my way to (legally) ruin this landlord. Try to investigate anything dodgy they might be doing re tax etc and shop them. Just do it anyway even if they back down. I would.
+1

In any negotiation, it is essential you have all the information (and aces) at hand.
 

lff12

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Do we reply the solicitors telling them that a PRTB dispute has been set and they will contact his client in due course? Do we get a solicitor ourselves? I have been trying to contact threshold but they are always busy. :( We pretty much do not what to do next. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
If you have no house inventory he cannot bill you for items he has no evidence of the existence or condition of. Reply to the solicitor and forward a copy of both letters to the PRTB - phone them up also and let them know what is going on. He is probably just trying to gouge you. Anybody can pay a solicitor to write a letter claiming you owe XXX.
 

lff12

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One poster has said it costs 500 to paint a house, even for cash I doubt one could get it done for that price. I paid 1500 about 2 years ago when my long term tenants left. 5K is beyond me as well but maybe in Dublin in a top notch house that is what it costs. If he has an invoice for that and you have admitted the kids wrote on the walls then I don't know how the PRTB will adjudicate.
500 is probably a good cost for a small house. My ex bought a 2 bed terrace in a country village and the mother and myself repainted it (it was totally destroyed by scumbag tenants from the previous owner) for about 400 at most. Doesn't cost that much if you do it yourself. We did ceilings and everything. A large place done by professional painters would obviously cost a lot more.
 

AlbacoreA

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You have to wonder what solicitor would send a letter. They should know it has to go to PRTB first.
 

newbieineire

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This scenario sounds a little familiar to me. I reckon the LL believes that the occupiers are in Ireland on an expat package (housing,utilities, car, schooling, per diem & salary) sponsored by their employers & see this as a fast cash route, in the belief that the employers will blindly pay any bills sent forward rather than investigate, I've seen this attitude before with landlords & their Expat Clients, although not in Ireland.

stick to your guns OP, what's right is right & best of luck.

Thanks a lot for your input, folks. :) I was going to ask - when opening a dispute with the PRTB, will I receive any confirmation of receipt of documents, etc - or will they contact us once the dispute is opened, etc? I plan to phone on Monday morning anyway, but I am not sure whether they contact the parties with a case number or something.

This is what he may be thinking. We are not in an ex-pat package at all, we pay for all our rent/living expenses ourselves, but he may be under the false impression that we will just blindly go and pay for it, or just submit a hefty invoice to a company that would just go and pay - as if companies were that generous nowadays. :)

We vacated the house on the 1st of January, we cleaned the house ourselves and left it in a cleaner state than it was when we moved in, apart from the much-mentioned walls and chairs :) we did plan to get it professionally cleaned but could not get anyone to do it on that day. He said that he knew people who could do it from the 3rd of Jan onwards, but if we decided to go for that, then we would have to pay ANOTHER FULL WEEK of rent so we could find a company to come and clean, and of course, pay for that ourselves.

We sent a letter to his solicitors simply stating that we were not
accepting the costs he is trying to charge and that a dispute had been sent to the PRTB. That was 2 weeks ago and we haven't heard from them since. Oh, and the letter said that if they had to take things further to collect the money (it did sound a bit like "we will pop round and break your legs") all the legal costs incurred etc would be added to the monies demanded.

The house has been advertised to let for the last 2 months - no takers so far. :) The photos on the ad are recent and there has not been any furniture replacement, so surely we couldn't have left them in such a bad state, could we? :) Just the fact that the guy is losing out on €2100 every month right now makes us feel better. :)

Will keep you posted ... thanks again for all your insight, it's been very helpful.
 

PaddyBloggit

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Keep copies of everything .... save the website page that the let is on at the moment, save the pictures etc.
 

Seagull

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Get a friend to have a look round the apartment, and see which of the improvements you are being billed for have actually been done. Have them ask about whether the place is due to be repainted, or if any of the furniture is due to be replaced.
 

lion_bar

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Good plan, have them bring a camera & take photos. I've often had perspective tenants take photos so that they can remind themselves of the place later. First time it seemed odd but not anymore.

Whether the damage to the chairs is normal wear and tear who knows, but if it isn't then even though only 3 are damaged it's makes sense that a landlord would want a full new matching set.

I think you should have painted over/cleaned the marks and said nothing. To be honest, i'd expect to repaint my place after a 19 mth let, my wife on the other hand, would hope to get away with not doing it her property.

With regards to duvets, i always put in new mattress covers, sheets, pillows, duvets etc, but get the letting agent to tell the tenants they are new. Only reason I do this is that i think a room looks better with a made up bed with new, clean bed clothes.
 

gebbel

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OP, expect up to 1 year before the PRTB will hear your case and another 2 or 3 months before they issue a judgement. I have dealt with them twice over the last few years and have found them incredibly inefficient. But good luck anyway.
 

newbieineire

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Re: Landlord is keeping deposit *and* billing us €10k- UPDATE

Hi everyone,

Here I am, with an update...

I was getting very worried because I hadn't received any acknowledgement from the PRTB regarding the receipt of the dispute, documents, etc. Fortunately that came in on Monday. So at least I now know that they have it and we have a reference number.

This morning, surprise, suprise, we got another letter from the landlord's solicitor, which reads:

"Please note that in the event that we are not in the receipt of substantial and concrete proposals within seven days from the date hereof, then our client will have no option but to issue proceedings to recover the monies outstanding. Issuing the said proceedings may result in a judgement being obtained against you, and if necessary, published in the Stubbs Gazette. Any such judgement may well affect your credit rating.

We would strongly urge you to contact ourselves to discuss settling the within matter, failing which we will have no option but to proceed, as set out above."

We notice here that they have made no acknowledgement of the letter we sent to them on the 2nd of February whereby we said that things had been taken to the PRTB.

We made him an offer - we offered him €1200 to cover the damage in chairs and walls which he ignored as we never received any acknowledgement of this offer.

Should we write back to these solicitors and send them a copy of the acknowledgement letter we have received from the PRTB? I get the impression the guy wants to make a collection of the so-called €10k as if it were a commercial or personal debt - he is bypassing the PRTB completely.

Thanks as always for your great insight, folks. It has been greatly appreciated in this matter that has become a dull headache - not as strong but still there. Argh.
 
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