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Flat inspection - really scared

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by egyptianreggae, Mar 17, 2014.


  1. egyptianreggae

    egyptianreggae PetForums VIP

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    My letting agency have just phoned to say that they want to do a flat inspection on Wednesday, I asked them if they could give me more time to clean and tidy things, but they said no and now I'm really, really scared...

    They've never done one before (and I've lived there almost three years.) When I pointed this out to them, they said that this is why they now need to do one. The flat, needless to say, is in a bit of a state. I was meant to sign a pet disclaimer to say that I would pay for any damage the cats caused to the place, but they never sent me one to sign. The main issues are:

    - the boys have scratched the sofa, armchair and footstool, although none of these things were new in the first place and in fact the inventory states that there were cracks and marks on the sofa and chair back in 2011.

    - they have completely destroyed the side of the bed by scratching it.

    - I've broken the blind in the bedroom, years ago, and never told them I'd done it.

    I'm really nervous that they'll evict me because of the damage the boys have caused, and even more worried that they'll accidentally let them out or frighten them by coming in. I'm not sure if I should take the day off work so I can be there when they arrive. What do you think? If anyone has any comforting words, that would be fantastic as I am really panicking here!
     
  2. sante

    sante PetForums Senior

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    Oh dear.

    I hope everything works out for you.

    Do you have permission from the letting agents to have the cats in the flat?
     
  3. egyptianreggae

    egyptianreggae PetForums VIP

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    Yes, they gave me permission to have the cats two years ago, and they said at the time I would have to sign a pet disclaimer but they didn't send me one to sign (although I asked for it twice.)
     
  4. sante

    sante PetForums Senior

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    Good luck with the inspection.

    I know the letting agents my friend uses to rent his house out do inspections/tenancy renewals every 6 to 12 months.

    My fingers are crossed that everything goes well for you.
     
  5. smiler84

    smiler84 PetForums VIP

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    I'm sure it will be fine - worst case scenario they might take the damage out of your deposit when you leave. As long as you're an otherwise good tenant I don't think there'll be a problem. I'd make sure everything else is as clean and presentable as possible.

    If it's anything like the inspections my letting agent do then they'll only be there 2 minutes!
     
  6. egyptianreggae

    egyptianreggae PetForums VIP

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    Thank you. I'm not sure if there's even anything to worry about. It's just that they've never done one before so I'm finding it a bit stressful. But the landlord did give me written permission to keep the cats (I've got a letter from the letting agency confirming it.) It's just seeing on the Shelter website that they can in theory throw me out because of the damage to the furniture is making me panic.
     
  7. Bloodraine5252

    Bloodraine5252 PetForums Senior

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    I hope it goes well for you.

    When I rented my flat the rats destroyed the couch but I didn't have to pay for it because it didn't have a fire safety label. Not sure if the law has changed now though!

    I don't think they would evict you if theyve never had any trouble with you. You probably will have to replace stuff if you were to move though.
     
  8. Paddypaws

    Paddypaws PetForums VIP

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    I probably would take the day off so you can ensure that the boys don't get scared or escape.
    as for the damage.....I think they are unlikely to evict you unless you have really trashed the place but they may well ask you to repair/replace some of the items now during your tenancy. I presume your deposit was properly lodged with an appropriate scheme? Nowadays both parties have to agree to any deductions made at end of tenancy so they can't suddenly snatch the whole amount.
    As a landlord myself I would beg that you 'fess up' and do repair/replace items which you know have been damaged by the cats, or pay the appropriate amount at end of tenancy (all furniture will only be worth a diminishing percentage of what it would have been new)
     
  9. Fluffster

    Fluffster Crazy for cockers

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    Could you whack a throw over the sofa/chair and chuck some cushions on? I doubt they'll go delving around underneath it. When I rented, the letting agent inspections were over very quickly.
     
  10. egyptianreggae

    egyptianreggae PetForums VIP

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    Thank you, I really appreciate that. My deposit is with a scheme. The sofa and chair was already marked and cracked when I moved in (which is noted on the inventory) but the damage to the footstool has just been done by the cats. I don't mind if they do keep my deposit but I'm not sure if it will cover it - if they insist on me buying a whole new sofa, chair, footstool and bed base. Is this likely to happen? I have been there three years, so there will be reasonable wear and tear to take into account as well...
     
  11. egyptianreggae

    egyptianreggae PetForums VIP

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    Yes! I do already have throws on the sofa and chair but Tiny scratches under them... I really hope they're not going to do a super-thorough check now that I've asked them to postpone it, I might have made them suspicious...
     
  12. Paddypaws

    Paddypaws PetForums VIP

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    But surely if you knew that your pets had destroyed the furniture it would have been fair to accept responsibility and cover the damages rather than leaving that to the landlord? A landlord who will probably put comprehensive NO PETS clauses in all future contracts thus making it more difficult for other pet owners to get decent accommodation.
     
  13. smiler84

    smiler84 PetForums VIP

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    I don't think they can expect you to buy brand new stuff if it was damaged to begin with. I think it would be reasonable to expect you to contribute towards the cost of replacing things when you leave though as the damage by the cats can't be classed as normal wear and tear.
     
  14. porps

    porps Swollen Member

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    I wouldnt expect them to evict you for damage to furniture even if it is their furniture, especially if when asked about it you are prepared to foot the bill (dont try to deny it and say it was like that already imo). I would guess they are more interested in wether the place is a cesspit of filth, or wether you've done any structural damage, or that you're not running a weed farm out of one of the rooms etc etc. Depends how reasonable your landlord is i suppose, but if they allowed you to have cats in the first place they dont appear too unreasonable (not that i have much info to go on of course).

    Just have a good tidy up, tell them about the blind straight away... if they ask about the footstool i would accept responsiblity for it and also actually point out the marks on the sofa and chairs to them at that point (so they dont think you're trying to hide it with throws). Explain if necessary that you do your best with the throws but are aware of the damage and will be prepared to pay towards a new one (i dont think it would be fair of them to ask you to foot the whole bill for a new sofa if it was second hand and not in mint condition in the first place), but that you feel that getting a new one while there are still cats there would be pointless, and ask to settle that when you leave.
     
    #14 porps, Mar 17, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
  15. londongal796

    londongal796 PetForums Senior

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    So we are tenants who are subjected to 6-monthly inspections, as the previous tenants ended up being drug dealers. So... our landlord is slightly more paranoid (although he still doesn't seem to give a crap if the house falls apart around us! As long as we don't deal drugs out the front door!)

    In any case -- I have now been through I think 4 inspections. I have been home for all of them, because I have never felt comfortable having them in the house with the cats.

    Honestly -- the inspection has always been completely painless. Even when we haven't had time to really really clean or tidy. They come in, have a look around, check to make sure you haven't converted the place into a drug den, and it's an opportunity for you to make them aware of any issues, whether they are minor repairs that need to be fixed or anything that's properly broken.

    Nothing seems to come of these inspections, we have reported issues and never had anything resolved, but hey, at least we said something.

    Don't worry, don't freak out, just take deep breaths. If you can take the day off or arrange the meeting to be when you are at home (in an evening, or first thing in the morning, and work later, etc), then it will give you a lot more peace of mind to be at home during the inspection. If you can't be home, leave explicit instructions with them regarding procedures for cats (how to get in safely, how many there are, how they can leave and how to make sure they don't get out). We also leave a note on the front door, in case of emergencies, that clearly states -- there are cats in the house, CLOSE THIS DOOR BEFORE OPENING NEXT DOOR.

    The first inspection, I was absolutely freaking out, but I swear, they really didn't care. They just were having a look around to make sure we weren't drug dealers!!! :rolleyes:

    If you need to know any thing else just let me know :)
     
  16. londongal796

    londongal796 PetForums Senior

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    Forgot to add -- they will only take money from your deposit at the end of things. In the past, damage done to something has been charged 'partially', ie. you aren't responsible for buying an entirely new couch. Just pay a small portion towards it (if that makes sense). If for some reason your landlord was utterly outrageous with the proportion they tried to charge you for various damages, you can contest against it through the Agency your Deposit Scheme is with.

    When we checked out of our last place (pre-cats, so absolutely no damage caused by us other than wear and tear), the inspection people went through and quite rightly noted anything that wasn't pristine as being 'fair wear and tear'. A lot is expected when you spend 3 years in a property! The landlord then tried to charge us for a ton of stuff, all of which were things that had been broken BEFORE we moved in. The initial inspection sheet was invaluable in this case as we were able to prove that absolutely everything they claimed we'd broken had been broken by the previous tenants BEFORE we moved in, and that the landlord had never bothered to repair. We did get hit with a huge cleaning bill though as the cleaning company we hired never turned up...! So we got stuck with a 'professional cleaning bill'... Ugh. Never again!!!!!!!
     
  17. delca1

    delca1 PetForums VIP

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    I don't know anything about these kind of inspections but what concerns me is that surely they have no right to enter your flat without your permission or you being present.
     
  18. MollyMilo

    MollyMilo PetForums VIP

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    Oh sweetie ((hugs))) I wish I had some advice or able to give you some reassurance, but I've just not got a clue about any of this :eek:
    I'm sure they will be so taken in by tiny's charm they will completely ignore any wear and tear. Everything crossed xx
     
  19. Bloodraine5252

    Bloodraine5252 PetForums Senior

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    Jumping to conclusions there! I offered to pay for it I'll have you know. Before they had carried out the inspection. But as they had to throw the sofa out anyway because it didn't comply with h&s standards they wouldn't take any money for it.
     
  20. smiler84

    smiler84 PetForums VIP

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    They can't turn up unannounced - it's in most standard tenancy agreements that they need to give at least 24 hours notice unless it's an emergency.
     
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