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question about flooring and carpets?

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633 views 2 replies latest reply: 14 September 2015
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Tenant

Hi. can anyone help me? I’ve been renting my current house for 3yrs and 4mths. I’m having issues which mean I do want to move but this could be in 3mths to 12mths time or I may be stuck here longer. My question is – I want to be prepared regarding what I may or may not owe the landlady with concern of carpets and flooring? 

When I moved in it was new carpet but a very cheap one. The carpet is the same throughout the whole house but the living room carpet got patchy and looked awful with the black rubbery underpart showing through the bare patches. I had a six year old and a 8mth baby when I first moved in. I discovered the wood floor under the carpet was half decent so I pulled up the carpet and am happy now with the wood floor.

I should mention the landlady did see the carpet when wearing out and tutted and fully blamed the kids. It wore out in the door way where most frequented going in and out the house and in front of the sofa where feet are whilst sitting. I never asked for a replacement and she has seen it now as wood flooring. My view would be that she would have had to replace the carpet with new tenants anyways esp if I am here another 6mths or more? Even if not worn? Am I responsible that it wore out so easily from just normal day to day use?

The kitchen floor had lino put down. Again fairly cheap stuff. The fitters didn’t put the lino under the washing machine and it ripped when I had to put the machine back in place. The washing machine at the time was one the landlady had left from previous tenants and I had to tape it up as the bottom was falling off of it. It eventually gave out and flooded the kitchen and as a result I ended up ripping up and throwing out the link too. The landlady was not to happy when she later discovered this but again I was just keeping the original wood flooring. She did demand I pay for a new flooring in this case. I agreed but again whilst I’m living here I figured the cost can be deducted from my deposit after I leave. But since then I have put tiled flooring down. Only those lino square tiles that you buy in packs. Does this suffice as replacing the flooring? Or if I were leaving would she still have a right to demand money off the deposit? what if I have lived here for four or five years since she put in new carpet and lino?

And lastly … she put carpet in the bathroom. When I moved in there was a huge crack in kitchen ceiling caused from leakage from bathroom above. It was plastered over but any water on floor in bathroom still leaks through and slowly the crack is coming back. Do I have a right to demand Lino in the bathroom? it’s very unhygienic having carpet around the toilet I think as hoovering does not clean like a mop on flooring? As well as lino will hold liquids that spill or splash so can be mopped up instead of going through ceiling into kitchen?

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Tenant

All of the faults that you mentioned should have been listed in the Inventory Document that the landlord provided you with when you moved in to the premises.  If you didn’t get an Inventory Document then you are not to be held responsible for the faults unless the landlord can prove otherwise.  In any event you are not to be held responsible for Fair Wear and Tear of the use of the premises.  The landlord has a duty to effect all repairs to his property and to keep it in a livable condition.  Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

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Administrator

Hi Jolene

Essentially, your deposit can only be used to pay for damage that you have caused – and to compensate the landlord for loss as a result. General, normal wear and tear is a cost that the landlord has to bear. If something was damaged then you would need to provide or pay for a replacement of around the same standard – a landlord can’t require something better than was there previously as that would put them in a better position than when you moved in, which goes against a concept called ‘betterment.’

Whether what you have done to the property counts as damage or not is difficult to say. For the future, it’s always a good idea to get a landlord’s agreement in writing to any changes you want to make to the property, even if you see them as an enhancement. Although the tenancy gives you temporary possession, the landlord still owns the property and you need to leave it in the same state in which you found it, give or take a few changes, and to get permission before you make material changes.

In this case, if the landlord makes a fuss then it might be better to raise a dispute with the deposit protection scheme that holds your deposit. They will decide what counts as damage and what is simply wear and tear. If there was a check in inventory then this provides evidence of the state of the property when you moved in. If not, the landlord normally needs to show what state it was in. Make sure you collect together any correspondence with the landlord, as well as inventories and photos before you raise the dispute. If the landlord wanted to claim for more than the amount of your deposit then they would have to make a claim through the courts (this rarely happens unless serious damage), in which case you could use the same evidence to show what changes were made.

Alex

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