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Verbal Agreements with Landlord

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473 views 1 replies latest reply: 21 September 2014
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Tenant

On moving into our property we discovered that the intercom system to our flat is broken and also that the washing machine had been left to molder since the last tenant was in.

At the time we were verbally assured by the Landlord they would deal with the intercom, still no news.

The washing machine is a different kettle of fish altogether. We agreed with the Landlord verbally that as the washing machine was now ruined, filled with black mold and stinking (even after 8 washes, a full pack of washing machine salts, 2 proper washing machine cleaners going through it and all the visible black mold scrubbing out; all by us I might add), anyhow, we agreed that it would be better to replace it with a washer drier. As the Landlords initial intention was to replace it with a washer only we offered to split the cost of a washer-drier 50/50 with them, which they agreed to although they would keep at the end of our tenancy. At this point our letting agent stepped in and offered to handle this, we asked them to let us know what this would cost before doing anything and we were told they would let us know.

One week later and we still have not heard a peep out of the the letting agent, who when we have chased them have actually got extremely snippy. The Landlord now says that they have already received their half of the bill and that the washer drier is ordered. We have been no party to this agreement it has been completely made between the Landlord and the Letting agent without consulting us what so ever and now it feels as though we essentially are being treated as a blank cheque book.

Can anyone offer any specific advise in this situation? Neither the landlord nor the letting agent will pick up calls or answer emails or texts. To my understanding this is a verbal contract which is voided by uncertainty as it has been made unilateral by the Landlord and their agent. But perhaps someone else has an view on what we could do as we would like to avoid this being a dispute.

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Administrator

You must feel very frustrated with this situation given that you are paying rent and expect to have everything, including intercom and washing machine, in good working order.

Firstly, did you receive an inventory to check over and sign when you moved in? If so, it should have been amended with the state of the intercom and washing machine. If not, you can create your own (see the Shelter website for tips) and add photos as evidence. Keep a copy for your records and give one to the letting agent to put on file.

Secondly, it is incredibly important to put all requests to/decisions made with your landlord in writing – conversations and verbal promises can easily be disregarded or conveniently ‘forgotten’ about.

You have been very generous in your offer to pay half the cost of the item (and leave it behind in the property no less) in order to upgrade to a washer-dryer and as such you are right to expect consultation with regard to the model and cost of the chosen item given this arrangement.

However, it sounds as though the landlord may have changed his or her mind, and the letting agent is supporting their decision. In my personal opinion, as you were not consulted, you should not be expected to contribute to the cost of the machine.

At the end of the day, you need a washing machine and the landlord has to provide it. If the letting agent has ordered a replacement, then I would accept delivery of the new machine (whether it is a washer-dryer as verbally agreed or not) and enjoy living in your new home. If you haven’t been given a delivery date, you should be given 24 hours written notice from the letting agent and give your permission before anyone enters the property. It would be worth sending an email to the letting agent asking for such notice and delivery date.

All the best.

Disclaimer: This information is derived from personal experience and should not be relied upon as a definitive or accurate interpretation of the law.

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