The landlord is trying to fine me after I moved out

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bringmethehairspray
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The landlord is trying to fine me after I moved out

Post by bringmethehairspray » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:18 pm

*sorry for duplicating the post. I wasn't sure which board this question belongs to.*

Hey everyone, I really need your help with this.
So, I've rented an apartment for over 5 years, and when I moved out and returned the keys, the rental agency on behalf of the owner contacted me and said that I left the place in bad condition so they have to order more cleaning. I agreed, and so we agreed that they will take the payment for cleaning from my security deposit. I thought that's it, but later they got in touch again saying that the place has to be renovated and that the floors, stove (which is in perfectly working condition, but couldn't be cleaned completely) and kitchen counters need to be replaced. So now they want me to pay for the cleaning from my own pocket, spend my deposit on renovation and even possibly charge me extra if the deposit is not enough for renovation. The thing is I lived in the place for quite long time and in my opinion both floors and counters are in fine condition and whatever happened to them can be described as fair wear.

As far as my legal knowledge goes (but it's based on my home country, no clue how it works in Finland), landlord can't charge for renovation, and can only reimburse costs for cleaning or some cosmetic fixes from the security deposit alone. I would really appreciate your help with this, because I honestly don't know what to do.

Can they legally charge me for renovation? What happens if I don't pay? Thanks a lot!



The landlord is trying to fine me after I moved out

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Piet
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Re: The landlord is trying to fine me after I moved out

Post by Piet » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:51 pm

bringmethehairspray wrote:*sorry for duplicating the post. I wasn't sure which board this question belongs to.*

Hey everyone, I really need your help with this.
So, I've rented an apartment for over 5 years, and when I moved out and returned the keys, the rental agency on behalf of the owner contacted me and said that I left the place in bad condition so they have to order more cleaning. I agreed, and so we agreed that they will take the payment for cleaning from my security deposit. I thought that's it, but later they got in touch again saying that the place has to be renovated and that the floors, stove (which is in perfectly working condition, but couldn't be cleaned completely) and kitchen counters need to be replaced. So now they want me to pay for the cleaning from my own pocket, spend my deposit on renovation and even possibly charge me extra if the deposit is not enough for renovation. The thing is I lived in the place for quite long time and in my opinion both floors and counters are in fine condition and whatever happened to them can be described as fair wear.

As far as my legal knowledge goes (but it's based on my home country, no clue how it works in Finland), landlord can't charge for renovation, and can only reimburse costs for cleaning or some cosmetic fixes from the security deposit alone. I would really appreciate your help with this, because I honestly don't know what to do.

Can they legally charge me for renovation? What happens if I don't pay? Thanks a lot!
It totally depends on what you consider as fair wear and what the housing company or whoever you rented it from considers fair wear and then the actual wear and if there is really a need for renovation.

I mean if a place needs renovation, this means it is in such a condition that it can be considered hard to rent out again for the same price or more.

Be assured that if you did not really break anything or made deep scratches in working surfaces so water can get into the cracks, you do not need to pay anything from your security deposit for this.

Of course the closets and floor and appliances need to be clean on a hygienic level, close to sterile (that means no remains of any food or liquid may be visible and it needs to be cleaned with disinfectant agents like chlorine or other common household cleaning agents).

The floor cannot contain any big holes that were not previously there, this is not normal wear, you should fix these before you leave.

Closet doors of in build cabinets in the kitchen should be in functioning order or you should have informed the landlord of their bad condition due to normal use (no accidents) during your stay.
Of course all damage because of accidents, needs to be addressed but for this matter you have an insurance called Kotivakutuus, which is mandatory with most housing companies.

However the landlord can never charge you for renovation, only for damage and repair of that specific damage. Most of the times the security deposit would suffice for this.

The cleaning of the stove is a whole different story, this should have been cleaned anyway as you should have done normally after every use like any hygienic aware human. If this cannot be cleaned anymore and they need to replace it, they should offer you the chance to either clean it yourself or when it is being replaced on your costs, you can have the old one, the price for the replacement on your costs is dependent on the age of the stove, they cannot charge you for a new one if the old one was for example more than 20 years old, there is normally used a calculation with a certain percentage of the original value.

Personally I have moved here in Finland several times, also after an extensive time living there (more than 5 years :wink: ) and whenever I left a place, the kitchen looked the exact same as when I came living there the first day. It is all a matter of cleaning up directly after use.

When I was a student I had a solution for not cleaning the stove every day, I covered the stove with multiple layers of aluminium foil and made holes on the heating plates so the heat would still go easy to the pots and pans. now once a month (yes really) I took the totally biohazard dirty aluminium foil away, wiped the stove with a damp cloth and it was clean again 8) of course I repeated this procedure for as long as I was a student living in a students housing.

So, I suspect your landlord found your kitchen a biohazard because they could not get it clean anymore, if that is true you might consider the next:

When you do not clean the seams / edges of silicone, these will start to get moulded and that is a biohazard and can only be solved by taking the seams out and apply new silicone.

If your working table from the kitchen is severely scratched because when cutting food, nothing was put under the food to cut it on, so you cut it on the working table, you will get cuts into the top surface which will be ruining the surface forever, food remains and bacteria will not be able to be removed for there anymore and the continuing contamination of fresh food will occur due to infection from out these cracks, this is a biohazard and the working table needs to be replaced.
If you did ruin the table but it was in good order when you entered the dwelling for the first time, you will have to have it replaced or at least pay for it. that is just the way it is. However if you can proof by a note to your landlord and or pictures the working table was already in a bad shape when you accepted the dwelling, than there is no reason why you should now pay for the replacement.

It all stand with normal hygiene and proof of the original state compared with now.

good luck
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betelgeuse
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Re: The landlord is trying to fine me after I moved out

Post by betelgeuse » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:53 am

bringmethehairspray wrote:Can they legally charge me for renovation? What happens if I don't pay?
They don't need your permission to use the deposit. If you don't agree, your only recourse is through The Consumers Disputes Board (if the landlord is a company) or the courts. For costs beyond the deposit, they would have to get a court order to collect. You would dispute the case and then the court would decide who should bear the costs.


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Piet
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Re: The landlord is trying to fine me after I moved out

Post by Piet » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:49 pm

betelgeuse wrote:
bringmethehairspray wrote:Can they legally charge me for renovation? What happens if I don't pay?
They don't need your permission to use the deposit. If you don't agree, your only recourse is through The Consumers Disputes Board (if the landlord is a company) or the courts. For costs beyond the deposit, they would have to get a court order to collect. You would dispute the case and then the court would decide who should bear the costs.

And if the landlord is a company, you might be able to ask the judge to rule in case you loose, that you do not need to pay for the legal costs of the housing company, just your own legal costs (which is probably still more then the extra costs they want to charge you).
Letting the landlord know that you are aware of this rule in the law for exemption of paying their legal fees in case you lose, might withhold them form starting a case against you in the first place.

If you want to know more about this legal costs thing, check out the Yle pages, there is an article about a judge telling about this possibility recently.

I think they will try to settle with you because otherwise the only ones getting rich are the lawyers :wink:
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harryc
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Re: The landlord is trying to fine me after I moved out

Post by harryc » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:28 am

your only recourse is through The Consumers Disputes Board (if the landlord is a company) ...
Mind you, the Consumers Organization is only able to make a decision where it SUGGESTS to a company to accept what the Organization has decided. It CANNOT ENFORCE it! The only alternative when one runs into a recalcitrant company is for the consumer to take them to court,
And if the landlord is a company, you might be able to ask the judge to rule in case you loose, that you do not need to pay for the legal costs of the housing company, just your own legal costs (which is probably still more then the extra costs they want to charge you).
This is not a question where an applicant asks the judge to 'make nice' to them. The payer(s) of the legal costs is named in each decision and 'please, judge' doesn't count for anything.


betelgeuse
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Re: The landlord is trying to fine me after I moved out

Post by betelgeuse » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:11 am

Piet wrote: And if the landlord is a company, you might be able to ask the judge to rule in case you loose, that you do not need to pay for the legal costs of the housing company, just your own legal costs (which is probably still more then the extra costs they want to charge you).
Skimming the relevant chapter in the legislation I could not see anything to support your statement about legal costs wrt company vs. natural person.
Piet wrote:If you want to know more about this legal costs thing, check out the Yle pages, there is an article about a judge telling about this possibility recently.
I find it likely that you misunderstood the article
Piet wrote:I think they will try to settle with you because otherwise the only ones getting rich are the lawyers :wink:
It depends. Professional landlords have a pretty good idea about their chances in court and can press to issue if they know they will likely win. These are so commonplace that they can be dealt with even without a lawyer.


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network_engineer
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Re: The landlord is trying to fine me after I moved out

Post by network_engineer » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:16 pm

One thing I have done in the past and in these situations is to take pictures, and have a signed checklist BEFORE you move it and AFTER you leave (post cleaning). At this point, claims that the stove is/not damaged and neither party can prove it. But in most cases, the landlords word will be taken, but of course, it depends.

As such, the rent is for using the facility, and does include a certain amount of usage wear and tear and you are not liable for that, it is part of the rent.

You should ask to be let back into the apartment for inspection, and take pictures, make a video of the stove (e.g. if they claim it is not working). Of course, it could also be true that the e.g. the kitchen/ oven etc. is so messed up that it needs replacing.


harryc
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Re: The landlord is trying to fine me after I moved out

Post by harryc » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:22 pm

Too late now for the OP - but the best way to do it - for others reading about this case - is to ask a visit from the landlord or their agent - just before vacating - and getting a SIGNED RELEASE right then and there!


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Piet
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Re: The landlord is trying to fine me after I moved out

Post by Piet » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:37 pm

betelgeuse wrote:
Piet wrote: And if the landlord is a company, you might be able to ask the judge to rule in case you loose, that you do not need to pay for the legal costs of the housing company, just your own legal costs (which is probably still more then the extra costs they want to charge you).
Skimming the relevant chapter in the legislation I could not see anything to support your statement about legal costs wrt company vs. natural person.
Piet wrote:If you want to know more about this legal costs thing, check out the Yle pages, there is an article about a judge telling about this possibility recently.
I find it likely that you misunderstood the article
Piet wrote:I think they will try to settle with you because otherwise the only ones getting rich are the lawyers :wink:
It depends. Professional landlords have a pretty good idea about their chances in court and can press to issue if they know they will likely win. These are so commonplace that they can be dealt with even without a lawyer.
I found the article, however it is in Finnish and Google does not do a very good job in translating :lol:
https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-9605253
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betelgeuse
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Re: The landlord is trying to fine me after I moved out

Post by betelgeuse » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:52 am

Piet wrote:I found the article, however it is in Finnish and Google does not do a very good job in translating :lol:
https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-9605253
As I suspected it refers to a section of the law that does not require the other party to be a company.


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joulupukki
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Re: The landlord is trying to fine me after I moved out

Post by joulupukki » Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:39 am

It's strange you've been there 5 years and never had an inspection. I would have thought it was a legal requirement to inspect the flat for wear and tear. If it is, and the landlord has failed to meet that obligation, I would say you have a good case.


harryc
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Re: The landlord is trying to fine me after I moved out

Post by harryc » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:02 am

Google does not do a very good job in translating :lol:
But never fails to produce amazingly good jokes.


betelgeuse
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Re: The landlord is trying to fine me after I moved out

Post by betelgeuse » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:30 am

joulupukki wrote:I would have thought it was a legal requirement to inspect the flat for wear and tear.
It's not. However, it makes sense to have one.


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joulupukki
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Re: The landlord is trying to fine me after I moved out

Post by joulupukki » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:12 pm

While we are on the subject of hard to clean ovens, can anyone recommend a product that will de-grease the grease that has welded itself to the inside glass of my oven window? :D


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Piet
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Re: The landlord is trying to fine me after I moved out

Post by Piet » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:19 pm

joulupukki wrote:While we are on the subject of hard to clean ovens, can anyone recommend a product that will de-grease the grease that has welded itself to the inside glass of my oven window? :D
Yes.... 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene :ochesey:
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