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Tenant flabbergasted after ex-landlord deducts chunk of deposit for ridiculous reason: ‘That doesn’t sound legal’

“Did you not challenge this…?”

“Did you not challenge this...?"

Photo Credit: iStock

Who hasn’t had a landlord withhold all or part of your security deposit for a very annoying reason? One Redditor posted their frustrations over a dispute about leaves in the garden. Some landlords love to make up new rules to make it even tougher to be a renter. 

A Redditor in r/britishproblems posted a complaint about their previous landlord’s unreasonable deduction from their security deposit. “Ex-Landlord deducted a chunk of the deposit because of ‘leaves in the garden’, during winter.” They went on to say “Why does British Rail come to mind?” While this is not a reference the average American would understand, it seems to stem from trains in the U.K. struggling with fall leaves on the tracks. 

Leaves in the garden are clearly a ridiculous reason to deduct from a tenant’s deposit, especially considering leaves in the garden are actually a good thing. Leaves provide nutrients back into the ground so you won’t need to spend money on expensive fertilizers. 

Additionally, leaves provide important habitat for caterpillars over the winter, and other animals find food or nest materials among the leaf litter. The alternative to letting your leaves lie is raking them up, bagging them, and sending them to the landfill. 

Yard waste makes up to 13% of U.S. solid waste in landfills and leads to extra methane gas being released as the leaves decompose. This is doubly wasteful, losing the benefits from the leaves to your garden and contributing to the polluting gases heating up our planet. This landlord clearly doesn’t understand the wastefulness of their greedy policy. 

Commenters on the Reddit post had some advice for the tenant, with one person pointing out, “That doesn’t sound legal.” 

“Did you not challenge this with the Deposit Protection Scheme? If … your landlord didn’t use a DPS … your landlord owes you 1 to 3 times your deposit as a penalty for not meeting this legal requirement,” another person added

Another commenter sympathized: “Every landlord/agency tries this on. It’s a game at the end of every tenancy. ‘How much of the deposit can I steal?’ Always dispute it, they give in quickly when they realise you won’t just hand over money.”

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