Landlord not replacing Fridge Freezer

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  • Landlord not replacing Fridge Freezer

    Hi all

    Myself and a friend moved into a 3 bedroom property 2 and half weeks ago. We soon discovered that the tall fridge freezer did not work. We contacted the letting agents on the Tuesday and an engineer came round to try and fix it. He said it could not be fixed and a new one would be required.

    The following Tuesday the letting agents said the landlord would replace the fridge freezer with a new one but it was to be a under the counter fridge with a small freezer compartment. I said this would be too small for two people and can she replace with a large one (like for like). If the fridge freezer was that small when we viewed the property we would not moved into the property.

    The letting agent said the landlord was sticking with the small fridge. I asked for the details on the fridge she was proposing. The fridge she was proposing costs £120. I had a look on-line and found a large fridge freezer for £180 (cheapest one). I asked she was willing to spend an extra £60 for a more decent and appropriate fridge freezer. The answer was no.

    We then tried to compromise and said we will pay the extra £60 for a £10 reduction in rent for 6 months or pay some of the difference ourselves. Again she said no and this was the final decision.

    I don't know what to suggest next. I can't believe she wont compromise at all and know we are thinking as leaving as soon as possible.

    Any ideas on ways forwards?

    Thank you

    Alex

  • #2
    If your tenancy agreement says nothing about repairing/replacing the fridge freezer, then the landlord is not obliged to do so.

    IF you offer to pay the £60, I assume the landlord would agree.
    The "compromise" of paying the extra £60 for a rent reduction of the same amount is hardly a "compromise", as the landlord will still be paying £180 to replace it.
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by thesaint View Post
      If your tenancy agreement says nothing about repairing/replacing the fridge freezer, then the landlord is not obliged to do so.

      IF you offer to pay the £60, I assume the landlord would agree.
      The "compromise" of paying the extra £60 for a rent reduction of the same amount is hardly a "compromise", as the landlord will still be paying £180 to replace it.
      Really? Are you sure?

      I'm of the view that the basis of the agreement would be subject to the continued use of all the property including the fixtures and fittings present at the time of the viewing unless specifically excluded. Not the other way round.
      [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by MrJohnnyB View Post
        Really? Are you sure?
        I try not be "of the view" and quote statute when it is there to read.
        I had to e-mail an enviromental health officer last week regarding a hob that they said needed to be replaced by the landlord.




        Dear xxxx

        Thank you for the tenancy agreement.

        Please advise xxxx xxxx that under ‘definitions’ 4.3.2 The property includes the fixtures, fittings and appliances.

        This property may be let unfurnished but he is responsible for any appliances that were in the property when the tenant moved in.

        He therefore needs to replace the cooker (which didn’t work) that was there when the tenant moved in.



        Our repairing obligations are set out by statute; Landlord and tenant act 1985(Sec 11):

        http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70

        Repairing obligations

        11
        Repairing obligations in short leases.
        (1)In a lease to which this section applies (as to which, see sections 13 and 14) there is implied a covenant by the lessor—

        (a)to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes),
        (b)to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity), and
        (c)to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water.
        My reply was sent on the 5th November. They may well get back to me saying it has to be replaced, but they need to quote statute to me, not their(or the tenants)opinion.
        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by thesaint View Post
          I try not be "of the view" and quote statute when it is there to read.
          I had to e-mail an environmental health officer last week regarding a hob that they said needed to be replaced by the landlord.










          My reply was sent on the 5th November. They may well get back to me saying it has to be replaced, but they need to quote statute to me, not their(or the tenants)opinion.
          Statute, does not cover every eventuality unfortunately. I am of the view that the fitness for use is an implied term of the contract of an AST and as such would consider it to be a Landlords responsibility.
          [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MrJohnnyB View Post
            Statute, does not cover every eventuality unfortunately. I am of the view that the fitness for use is an implied term of the contract of an AST and as such would consider it to be a Landlords responsibility.
            "I am of the view" and "would consider" are terms that are irrelevant to me.
            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

            Comment


            • #7
              There is no statutory requirement but there is an implied contract term if the fridge freezer is in the inventory and if it is in the AST then there is an express term of contract.

              Why you would want to argue about this with a tenant is beyond me. Good luck to any landlord who wishes to take this kind of short narrow view.

              'In my view', if it's broken from wear and tear and it was provided by the landlord then the landlord should replace without quarrel. If one of my landlords refused, I'd ask the landlord to leave my management - Whether supported by statutory requirements or not, I will not work with someone who can't come to that kind of simple conclusion.

              If the tenant took the property on the proviso that if the fridge broke down then it won't be being replaced, then game on.

              I believe some things shouldn't need to be written in statute, they should just be what a reasonable person may conclude. That's how we manage our property, and I'm sure many may disagree, but we get great results.
              I can take no responsibility for the use of any free comments given, any actions taken are the sole decision of the individual in question after consideration of my free comments.

              That also means I cannot share in any profits from any decisions made!

              Comment


              • #8
                thesaint seems to be struggling to understand the basis on which forum answers are given! Of course people's opinions (and their reasons for them) are useful,especially when there is no clear factual answer to the question. Even lawyers' answers are based on their views/interpretations of statute and two lawyers may not give you the same answer to a question.

                I agree with Phlash and MrJohnnyB. Whether or not the LL is contracturally obliged to do so, s/he should replace the fridge-freezer with one of a similar size to the original. To risk losing decent tenants as soon as the fixed term ends (with all the hassle and lost income that creates), when they would be easily won back by your spending another £60 on them, is just very poor business sense.

                This isn't really a letting agents question, though, is it?

                Coincidentally I have just had cause to post a similar Q (but from the LL's POV!) on Res Lettings:

                http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...040#post405040
                'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Phlash View Post
                  There is no statutory requirement but there is an implied contract term if the fridge freezer is in the inventory and if it is in the AST then there is an express term of contract.
                  I've read people stating this before.
                  However, I've also read legally trained people stating that, even if part of inventory, there is no obligation to repair unless expressly stated in contract ( which I understand is the default position at common law )

                  Are there references, case law, etc. regarding Phlash's claim above?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It is not worth getting into a legal bun fight over. L is not being very customer focused (i.e. doesn't give a two penny toot) and on that basis should not be shocked if his/her customers decide to take their custom elsewhere.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
                      I've read people stating this before.
                      However, I've also read legally trained people stating that, even if part of inventory, there is no obligation to repair unless expressly stated in contract ( which I understand is the default position at common law )

                      Are there references, case law, etc. regarding Phlash's claim above?
                      I have read through my legal book and have not found any particularly relevant cases. But most similar (albeit non-property) related queries state that a specific exclusion needs to be in place otherwise it is assumed that the item is supplied fit for purpose. A common sense approach would be that value would be attributed to a fully furnished property and one would hope to receive a higher rent for it. To rent a property with a Fridge Freezer in it, that actually is non-functional clearly would be misrepresentation. It defies the purpose of having a Fridge Freezer in the property.
                      [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the reply, MrJohnnyB.

                        Originally posted by MrJohnnyB View Post
                        ... a specific exclusion needs to be in place otherwise it is assumed that the item is supplied fit for purpose. ... To rent a property with a Fridge Freezer in it, that actually is non-functional clearly would be misrepresentation. It defies the purpose of having a Fridge Freezer in the property.
                        I agree with all the above.
                        However the question really is what are the obligations (if any) if that supplied Fridge Freezer, which was indeed fit for purpose at the beginning of the tenancy, suddenly either breaks down or, worse, breaks down so as to be beyond repairs.

                        In my previous post I gave my understanding of comments by legally trained members of this and other forums.

                        However, I periodically read, as above, a different opinion that if appliance is provided there is an 'implied' obligation to repair it, but I could never get any reference to back that claim.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
                          Thanks for the reply, MrJohnnyB.



                          I agree with all the above.
                          However the question really is what are the obligations (if any) if that supplied Fridge Freezer, which was indeed fit for purpose at the beginning of the tenancy, suddenly either breaks down or, worse, breaks down so as to be beyond repairs.

                          In my previous post I gave my understanding of comments by legally trained members of this and other forums.

                          However, I periodically read, as above, a different opinion that if appliance is provided there is an 'implied' obligation to repair it, but I could never get any reference to back that claim.
                          Furniture and Appliances

                          Although the law is not clear on the point, it is generally accepted that landlords are responsible for maintaining any furniture, appliances or other items supplied as part of the 'package' for the benefit of the tenant. The recent demands made of landlords with regard to furniture, furnishings and electrical appliances will inevitably lead to much furnished accommodation being withdrawn from the market or replaced with unfurnished lettings.
                          Furniture in the strictest sense requires little maintenance, whereas cookers, washing machines and general electrical appliances will require occasional maintenance and repair. When they break down, it is reasonable for the tenants to expect landlords to be responsible for repairs or replacement unless it can be shown that the failure or damage has occurred through the tenant's negligence or other misuse. Where repair is not possible, it would be expected that an equivalent replacement would be supplied.

                          The exception to the above rule is where the landlord has made a prior agreement with the tenant that such items will not be repaired or maintained in this way. The solution being adopted by some landlords and agents is to ask tenants to contribute (either partially or otherwise) to the costs of maintenance and repairs on such items. From a liability point of view, landlords are now well advised to minimise the number of appliances included in rented property.


                          Quoted from Letlink (http://www.letlink.co.uk/articles/di...d-tenants.html)...

                          To be honest, I have searched and searched and am unable to find any relevant cases, doesn't look a particularly settled area of law. I would therefore presume a judge would side with the consumer...
                          [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            jjlandlord I have also found the following: -

                            The Housing Health and Safety Rating System: Guide for Landlords and
                            Property Related Professionals was produced by the government in 2006.
                            It is still relevant and includes advice on inspections and assessment of
                            hazards under Section 9. The Housing Health and Safety Rating System
                            (HHSRS) Operating Guidance Guide can be accessed at www.communities.
                            gov.uk/documents/housing/pdf/142631.pdf
                            Each property will have its own hazards depending upon its location, age,
                            construction, design, state of repair and so on but landlords must take
                            steps to make sure that the dwelling provides both a safe and healthy
                            environment.
                            For enforcement purposes the landlord is responsible for the provision,
                            state and proper working order of:
                            • the exterior and structural elements of the dwelling
                            - this includes all elements essential to the dwelling including
                            access, amenity spaces, the common parts within the
                            landlord’s control, associated outbuildings, garden, yard walls
                            etc;
                            • the installations within and associated with the dwelling for:
                            - the supply and use of water, gas and electricity
                            - personal hygiene, sanitation and drainage
                            - food safety
                            - ventilation
                            - space heating, and
                            - heating water.
                            It includes fixtures and fittings, but excludes moveable appliances unless provided by the landlord.
                            from http://www.anuk.org.uk/Information/L...l_Chapter2.pdf
                            [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks for these.

                              Regarding the second reference, I also found this:
                              http://www.letlink.co.uk/letting-fac...ng-system.html

                              Is it suggesting that a landlord should keep a fridge he provided in working order for health and safety reasons?

                              Comment

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