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Lost Deposit on Business Lease

I just finished a 3 year lease in a small business. The Landlord is refusing to give back my deposit saying I damaged the premises but I looked after it – i.e. painted it with general maintenance, servicing of equipment etc. I have documentation to prove

I just finished a 3 year lease in a small business. The Landlord is refusing to give back my deposit saying I damaged the premises but I looked after it – i.e. painted it with general maintenance, servicing of equipment etc. I have documentation to prove this. What can I do?

Firstly find out exactly what the landlord is talking about – in specific terms and ideally in writing.

Secondly get your surveyor/architect to report on the landlord’s complaints. Usually what happens in these situations is that your expert will get together with the landlord’s expert, conduct a joint inspection and at least agree as much as possible between them. Usually items of dispute can be sorted in this type of meeting..

Thirdly what does the lease say? Read the repair clauses. Normally short term business leases make the landlord responsible for exterior repairs and the tenant liable for internal repairs. If for example there is a damp internal wall that the landlord is claiming for, then a joint survey inspection can reveal that the damp is coming from a defective roof and this would be the fault of the landlord and not the tenant

Fourthly, you can go back to your solicitor who represented you when you signed the lease and ask him/her to sue for the deposit.

Declan Carty: Maybe the landlord is just trying to pull a fast one and hope that this listener won’t claim the refund through the courts.

Brian: If the landlord is up to this then the listener’s solicitor should be engaged quickly and told to sue. If our listener wins in court, the landlord will have to pay two sets of legal costs which may include 2 architects, 2 surveyors, 2 valuers, 2 sets of lawyers and the listener’s own out of pocket expenses. That should concentrate the landlord’s mind.

 

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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