Tenancy checkout ... whats deemed damage/wear&tear

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    Tenancy checkout ... whats deemed damage/wear&tear

    Hello

    I have a tenant vacating soon but have a couple of questions around whats deemed damage or wear and tear.

    1/ tenant accidentally broke the clips on the light cover when he changed the light bulb - is this deemed damage and subject to deductions from deposit on exit ?

    2/ area of permanent scratch marks on the worktop in the kitchen due to him not using a cutting board, is this damage ?

    3/ series of scratches on the enamel bath tub that wont come off - is this damage too and deductible from deposit on checkout?

    any help advice appreciated,

    streetwize

    #2
    Damage isn't wear and tear.

    What is deductable is compensation for the loss in value of what's damaged (or the cost of repair if that's about the same level).
    So the compensation is adjusted for the "fair" wear and tear.

    If you want more guidance have a look at the website of your deposit protection company, they'll have some examples.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      What ever is written in this forum is irrelevant it's just the peoples views they will not be adjudicating on it, the scheme provider will do that. You need to present your case to the scheme in which you have protected the deposit with, and then if it is disputed by the T, the adjudicator will then decide on the claim. You just need to present the before and after inventory report and any costs/repairs necessary for the claim, and any expert opinions (if the item is of significant damage that can't be accounted for as wear and tear).

      Comment


        #4
        As a clerk I would note that none of them are FWT they are all damage!

        1/ tenant accidentally broke the clips on the light cover when he changed the light bulb - is this deemed damage and subject to deductions from deposit on exit ? How old was the shade? How much did it cost? It would be a small amount, as you cannot claim for the whole cost just the life lost:

        Average life span for a light shade is longer than you might think, even the cheap ones would be expected to last forever as they are so rarely touched. Say the arbitrators feeling generous and thinks 5 years is a decent lifespan, you could only claim for the years of life you have lost. So a £20 shade broken 3 years into a 5 year lifespan, for example, would mean you can claim for the remaining 2 years: 20/5 = £4 per year; claim = £8

        2/ area of permanent scratch marks on the worktop in the kitchen due to him not using a cutting board, is this damage ? Same as above. Given that a laminate work top could last for 20 years, composite, wood and granite even longer, you need to work out what you have 'lost'

        3/ series of scratches on the enamel bath tub that wont come off - is this damage too and deductible from deposit on checkout? And again. But enamel baths can last forever! You might be able to cost up a repair and ask for that!

        Have a look at the website of whichever scheme you used to protect the deposit. They have general advice on many common FWT/Damage questions, some have Case Studies to, so you can see how they cone to the decisions they do - which will help you word any claim you want to make.







        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by ash72 View Post
          What ever is written in this forum is irrelevant it's just the peoples views they will not be adjudicating on it, the scheme provider will do that.
          The scheme is only meant to adjudicate when the landlord and tenant can't agree.

          If what the landlord requests is sensible there shouldn't be any need for adjudication.
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

          Comment


            #6
            many thanks to you all most helpful

            Comment


              #7
              Whatever the the actual practice of the various dispute resolution options, it seems to me that fair wear and tear is too narrowly defined. Tenants should get the the benefit of the "what would an owner occupier do" test and and it should be accepted that minor accidental damage is part of the normal life history of things, so the odd scratch from non-abusive use should be considered fair tear. In fact, it seems to me that "wear and tear" is being reduced to just wear, with no tear being considered fair..

              From that point of view, I would suggest that (2) is clearly the tenant's fault, but (3) ought to be looked at closely to determine whether damage reflected significant negligence, and would an owner occupier want to replace or resurface based on that level of damage. I'd suggest that the real diminution in value is likely to be less than the cost of installation written off over the standard lifetime, as it would not end the life, or even trigger a repair, for an owner occupier. In any case, it would only be a one off windfall for the landlord, if they didn't replace it, a it would have to to on the next inventory as a known fault, and you would need remarkably detailed records to distinguish new minor scratches from old one.

              (1) is technically the tenant's fault, but I think the landlord should ask themselves whether the design made the problem likely, and whether they gave the tenant adequate instructions, and consider waiving it.

              An impression I get is that one of the adverse side effects of generation rent is a huge increase in land fill, as the result of perfectly serviceable items being discarded on change of tenant, due to minor damage. Whilst this is good for the economy in the short term, by keeping lots people in business servicing the need for new stuff, it is bad for the environment. My local council also thinks it is responsible for a lot of fly tipping, as dodgier landlords don't want to pay commercial waste disposal rates.

              Comment


                #8
                I'd agree, leaseholder, and I tried to go with the facts as given so in my report I would suggest:

                the lampshade would be replaced as it is broken, T must have bear some of that, even if it is a tiny amount and most LLs would probably choose to ignore it unless it was brand new

                Worktop, most people would use a chopping board or worktop protector to avoid slicing the work top! So after a while it would look bad enough to need replacing. In a rental that would be sooner as a grubby, marked work top can be offputting to new tenants. But the amount could be rally minimal given how long worktops last!

                Bath, OP said 'enamel' and you have to work quite hard at that to scratch it beyond a quick buff up. An owner would be careful and would probably choose to repair it if it as really bad. So again, despite the amount potentially being really small, as enamel baths last for decades, it would still be Ts responsibility and the LL is entitled to a small amount towards repair or eventual replacement. And I would hope that any clerk would be able to describe a bath as being 'use worn, light scratching' and to have specific descriptions of anything more extensive and to add new marking on subsequent inventories.

                Sorry, sidetracked myself!

                But I have to note them as damage if they are damage.It is up to the LL to price it up and make a decision on whether or not it is worth any action over and above it being noted!

                I usually point LLs to the deposit schemes. They have so much information about FWT vs damage freely available. They are also where I go to update my own FWT vs damage recommendations.

                Comment


                  #9
                  The idea of "fair wear and tear" is that it's an implicit term of the contract.
                  When the lease is signed, the landlord and the tenant both know that the tenant (and their children, partners pets etc) are going to live there.
                  So some amount of wear and tear is implicitly included in the agreement.

                  How much is fair is the obvious problem.
                  But, because any compensation figure has to be adjusted to allow for the fair wear and tear, the amounts claimable are likely in most cases to be quite small (unless the place has been completely wrecked).

                  Because any claim for compensation arises from a contractual issue, any loss has to be mitigated and designed to return the situation to the position it would have been had the implicit term been met. So the most efficient solution is required and it must only put the landlord back to where they would have been.

                  So if something has reached the end of it's expected life, even if the damage is beyond fair wear and tear, there's probably no compensation due.
                  If the repair costs more than the lost lifetime, the compensation is limited to the lost lifetime.
                  When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                  Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                    So if something has reached the end of it's expected life, even if the damage is beyond fair wear and tear, there's probably no compensation due.
                    Having very recently had an absolute barrage of abuse from a LL for saying precisely that, not assigning any liability and, worse, stating as much when asked, I am sure that bears saying, repeatedly!

                    Comment

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