If you want avoid paying maintenance charges at the end of your tenancy there a number of simple steps to follow during and after your tenancy.
During your tenancy
Make sure that you report any repairs that are needed to your property to the Director of Housing as soon as you know about them.
If there is any damage to the property you also need to report this to the Director of Housing as soon as possible.
If the Director of Housing thinks that you are responsible for any damage they may seek a Tribunal order requiring you to pay for repairing the damage. Remember, you can only be held responsible for not taking reasonable steps to avoid any damage. This means for example that you are not responsible for damage caused to the property by someone breaking into your house or for storm damage.
If you receive a maintenance claim from the Director of Housing you should contact us for free and confidential advice.
When you move out
There should be a Condition Report for your property, which describes the condition it was in at the time that you moved in. If you don’t have a copy of the Condition Report, ask your local Housing Office if they can provide you with a copy. You cannot be held responsible for damage that was recorded on the Condition Report or that was there when you moved in.
When you are moving out of your property, you should clean the property and repair any damage that you think you are responsible for. Don’t forget to tidy up the garden if you have one. Any damage should be repaired in a ‘tradesman-like’ manner. That means it should be repaired properly and to the appropriate standard. In most cases, professional cleaning or carpet steam cleaning is not needed in order for the property to be left in ‘a reasonably clean condition’.
Before you hand back the keys to the property, do a final inspection to make sure that everything has been done. It’s a good idea to take a friend or someone else with you who can be a witness in case a dispute arises later about the condition of the property when you vacated. You can also take photographs or a video of the property to show the condition it was in when you moved out.
Once you have moved out of your property, the Director of Housing will make an inspection. If the Director of Housing thinks that you are responsible for damage or repairs they must make a proper claim against you.