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Paying for estimates for damage repair

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873 views 1 replies latest reply: 11 December 2015
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Tenant

My landlord has added a new clause in my contract saying if I report damage or an issue that does not require attention, I shall have to pay the cost of having an estimate. This comes after I reported tiles breaking and falling off the roof. They sent a builder round who said the whole roof needed doing, but landlord decided against it. It seems very unfair that they would have charged me for something I thought needed to be addressed and indeed puts me off telling them anything in the future. I really would like some advice before I sign the new contract. Many thanks

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Hi Myra

That basically requires you to be an expert plumber/builder/repair person so that you can judge on your own what is serious and so should be reported so it’s a silly clause to put in. Is it handwritten or was it done by a solicitor? Your contract normally obliges you to report an issue but it’s the landlord who makes a decision about whether that issue needs attention – that’s not a responsibility they should be passing on to you.

I wonder if it might be an unfair contract term – that would make it unenforceable. I think the best bet is to speak to someone at a law centre or at Citizens Advice and get a written opinion on whether that’s a term a landlord can put in. I’m not a lawyer but it doesn’t feel right to me that the landlord is (effectively) passing his obligation to repair on to you if you’re wrong about whether something is essential. He’s obviously just trying to stop you reporting anything and that can’t be right.

Alex

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