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Hairline cracks appeared in bathroom washbasin, approaching end of tenancy - what to do?

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1565 views 2 replies latest reply: 11 August 2015
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Tenant

Hi all, this is my first post on the forum, as I’m a bit stuck on how to handle this situation.

The tenancy at my current flat ends in September, and obviously I’d like to get back my deposit in full when I do move out. However, over the course of the last year, harline cracks have appeared in the washbasin.

When I moved into the property, I’m pretty sure there were a couple of light hairline cracks which I didn’t notice right away, but they have spread and I’m unsure what to do about it. Nothing has been dropped on the sink, and I’ve done nothing to cause the cracks, they have just appeared over time.

The dilema I have is whether I attempt to clean/fix the cracks, or if I should tell the letting agency about this. My fear is that they will put it down to me damaging the sink, when this isn’t the case, and I dont want to lose £100-£200 from my deposit when moving out through no fault of my own.

I’ve heard that leaving the basin in bleach for a few hours can sometimes clean the cracks so they’re not apparent, and I was going to try this later. Do anyone have any experience with cleaning/getting rid of hairline cracks? Or do people think I should tell the letting agency who manage the property on behalf of the landlord?

Thanks loads in advance for any advice!

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Administrator

Hi John

Although honesty is normally the best policy, agents tend to leap on any opportunity to try to retain money from a deposit so it may not be the best approach here. Try to do what you can with the bleach etc (I’m sorry, I have no experience of covering up hairline cracks) and then see what happens when it comes to check out time.

It may be arguable that the cracks are from fair wear and tear – i.e. as a result of normal use of the sink. If it was a chip or a big crack then that would definitely be damage but the cracks will probably depend on how old the basin is and how long it’s been in use. Of course the agent will tell you it’s something you have to pay for, as that’s their go to response – it could be but not necessarily. Take photos before you move out for your records and make a note of the make of the sink and its general condition. I’m guessing the marks weren’t recorded on the check in inventory?

If they bring it up and you don’t feel you should pay for it then open a dispute with the deposit protection scheme holding your security deposit. They will be able to decide whether the cracks are fair wear and tear and also – if you should pay – how much should be deducted from your deposit. There is a concept of betterment that means a landlord can’t end up in a better position after you move out than before you move in. So, if the sink is 10 years old they can’t charge you for the entire cost of replacing it with a new sink. More likely, you’d have to contribute torwards the cost instead (if the cracks were considered damage rather than wear and tear).

You could also get a few quotes for replacing the sink yourself and respond to any demands they make by offering a proportion of that amount as a compromise. They probably won’t agree but it would show the disputes people at the deposit protection scheme that you’d tried to do the right thing.

Alex

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