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Repair Question

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515 views 2 replies latest reply: 25 February 2015
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Tenant

My gf moved into a private rental house last year, at the time it was the only house she could get. The inside of the house has not been modernised at all to the point it still has the original fuse box from when house was built (1960’s).

The kitchen is much the same, and the bathroom suite and lights int he living room. The only modern thing in the house is the boiler and white appliances.

Recently one of the children knocked a regular shampoo bottle off of the bath rim which resulted in a hole in the bath about the size of a 10 pence piece. Called the letting aganecy to report this who sent out a handyman to have a look. The called back later that day saying that the picture the handyman showed them doesnt look accidental and that we would have to pay for the repair.

I know that the landlord is legally responsible for the bath among other things and also legally obliged to keep up with wear an tear in the house.

My problem with this is the bath is circa 1970’s, and I feel that it shoudl have been replaced with everything else in the house before they even started renting the house out. I feel that the bath is now that old the shampoo bottle dropping put a hole in it because its so old (wear and tear of decades of use)

I feel the landlord is somehow expecting her to pay and replace things in the house which are over 30 years old when they happen to break. Which all should have been replaced a long time ago.

Went to citizens advice but they are busy and game me an appointment for in 3 weeks, so as of now she or kids can get bathed or showered and landlord is expecting her to pay for the repair/new bath herself.

I could understand if it was a modern bathroom suite and they wanted her to repair it, but surely this comes under wear and tear?

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Service provider

Hi

 

Given the aged condition of the property, has the landlord/agent met their safety requirements.  Have you received a copy of the gas safety cert, have you received any certificates for the electrical safety?   The gas safety certificate is a legal requirement, the electrical certificate not so as long as the landlord has ensured the electrical installation is safe.   Just becasue the electrics are old doesn’t necessarily mean they are unsafe.

 

Having worked for both sides of the divide, for landlord and tenants, I can understand the landlords view that a falling shampoo bottle wouldn’t cause such damage.   If the bath was in such a state of repair that this did occur, i’m amazed it hadn’t fallen apart when someone previously got into it full of water.

 

Has the landlord/agent done everything else correctly i.e protected the deposit, undertaken gas safety etc.  I ask this to try and ascertain if they are a professional outfit or not.

 

If it happened exactly as you state above, then speak again to the agent and they should be able to see from whats left of the bath that the condition was indeed very poor and required replacement.   When they are basing their opinion on a photo from their maintenance man, the truth is often blurred.  Remember, the agents are being paid by the landlord and they don’t want to rock the boat and risk losing the business.

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Administrator

Hi Dave

In addition to the above it might also worth mentioning the concept of ‘betterment’ which the agent should know about – i.e. that the landlord should not end up in a better position at the end of the tenancy then they were in at the start. If you’re replacing a 40+ year old bath at entirely your own cost then that would probably come under that umbrella.  More info here and this forum might also be useful as it has a set of facts almost identical to yours where the agent has advised the landlord they could only claim around half the value of the bath from the tenant.

Alex

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