Dispute over the tenant’s compensatory liability referred to the Complaints Committee.
The parties entered into a lease for a definite period from 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020. The tenant put down a guarantee at the start of the lease period. The tenant moved out at the end of July 2020. On return of the property, the landlord considered that the property had suffered damage and he presented a written demand to the tenant in August 2020. The tenant rejected this demand, except as regards damage to a chair, which he admitted having broken, and offered to pay ISK 10,000 for it. He also offered to pay half of the cost of repairs to the parquet in two rooms to demonstrate his willingness to reach an agreement. On 24 August 2020 the landlord sent the tenant an e-mail and reiterated the demands he had already made. The tenant replied to this e-mail on 26 August 2020, asking for photographs of the rented premises from both before and after the rent period. On 1 September 2020 the tenant requested better photographs, saying it would then be possible to discuss the demands in further detail. The tenant received photographs and replied to the landlord on 3 September 2020 saying that damage to the parquet was visible at the beginning of the rental period. The tenant offered to conclude the matter by paying ISK 236,920; otherwise, he said, the only course of action remaining would be to submit a complaint to the Complaints Committee.
The landlord’s complaint was received by the Complaints Committee on 15 October 2020. The committee took the view, after taking the above evidence in the case into consideration, that in the exchange of e-mails on 3 September 2020 it should at least have been clear to the landlord that the tenant’s obligation to pay compensation was in dispute. Thus, as his complaint was not submitted within the legally prescribed period with reference to the eighth paragraph of Article 40 of the Rent Act, the defendant’s compensatory liability had lapsed.
Conclusion: The landlord’s claims were rejected, with the exception that he was entitled to receive payment of ISK 10,000 in respect of a chair which the tenant admitted having broken.