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What to do if a tenant damages a property


There is nothing more satisfying then when a landlord and tenant have a good relationship. However, this is not always the case. Especially when a tenant has caused damage to the property, this then causes a case of disappointment with a landlord and a lack of trust moving forward.

Firstly, when a tenant is renting from a landlord it is their responsibility to report any maintenance issues with the property however big or small, it is then the landlord’s responsibility to always put this right. Only when this is due to wear and tear, and not because of a fault of the tenant, should the landlord correct this.

In the unfortunate event that a tenant has damaged your property and neglected to notify you or is refusing to pay for repairs, you can follow the below….

  1. Communicate with your tenant and clarify what you feel is damaged and wear and tear. With the TDS making it clearer that what can be acknowledged as wear and tear and actual damage, it is easier to make an agreement with your tenants. If a tenancy has ended and walls and floors show wear and tear and life span, you will not be able to hold your tenant responsible for this.
  2. A tenant’s deposit will be held within a TDS scheme and the funds will be awarded to a landlord when it is shown that real damage has been caused and the law act 1984 section 11 has not been fulfilled by the tenant, only then will the funds be released to the landlord after proof of this has been shown.
  3. Once an agreement has been made of the fault of the damage, the landlord would need to arrange quotes, we usually advise two/three, so this shows a fair scale across the board. Once a quote has been agreed by the tenant and landlord, this is then deducted from the deposit and awarded to the landlord to then address the works and any other funds is awarded back to the tenant.
  4. If an agreement has not been settled, then a dispute is put in with the TDS. The fee’s which are under dispute are held back by the TDS and the rest of the deposit is rewarded back to the tenant. The TDS will then decide who is at fault using evidence given and how much should be rewarded to the landlord for the damage. Once a decision is made by the TDS this is then finale.

To hold a stronger case in the future we always advise that a landlord arranges an inventory with evidence of pictures, written comments and conditions of walls, floors and appliances at the beginning of all tenancies. This can be used as a cross refence at the end of the tenancy which we call a “check out report” also keep notes along with any maintenance issues or findings that have been reported during the tenancy.

As a landlord always remember to have those regular check-ups during a tenancy, as any findings you find during a tenancy could avoid any complications found at the end. This is something we do on a regular basis with our personal homes, our vehicles and us as people, so make sure you do this on your rental investments.

If you feel you haven’t got the time or expertise to manage your rental property, let John German take the stress out of being a landlord and do the hard work for you.

As leading lettings agents, we’ll provide you with up to date advice on the Midland’s rental market and how much income your property can generate. We will help you find suitable tenants and achieve a long-term let so you get the very most out of your investment.

Find out more about our award winning lettings service today.


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Date Posted

April 22, 2024

Article Category


Lucy West

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