Damage not recorded in inventory

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    Damage not recorded in inventory

    Hi,

    We recently went in to do some (legitimate, reasonable) repairs on our let property and saw that the tenant has melted some of the UPVC window sill which is directly above the electric hob. It's an area of about one inch wide and six inches long and the burn is partly superficial but a small area is very deep.

    I have an inkling they are wanting to move out soon (they have viewed properties to buy with the same agent) and so checked the inventory re this sill. All the inventory says regarding this window is "Three panes, one which opens". It's the same for all windows in the flat except for the bedroom window which says "Five panes, two which open. Brown parcel tape to frame." which was accurate as the last tenant did that for some unknown reason.

    Where am I likely to stand when it comes to check out with regards to the burnt uPVC, given that original condition wasn't recorded? The rest of the flat has been kept in decent condition, they've been there about 18 months.

    Deposit of £800 ish is protected via the DPS.

    Thanks

    #2
    How close is the sill to the hob? Is it dangerous? Was this an accident wauting to happen?

    Comment


      #3
      So, the inventory does NOT note melt/burns on the sill, the damage occurred during the tenancy.

      The inventory should have a note at the beginning saying that lack of specific condition comments means that the item is in good and clean codnition: no note = it is not damaged or marked.

      Get the same clerk to do the Check Out and they will note it and assign liability to the tenant and then you can work out what a reasonable proportional compensation charge would be. Unless, as DTT57 notes, the hob is too close to the sill and heat warping seems inevitable. Then they will bring it to your attention as a maintenance issue.

      Comment


        #4
        Hi, thanks for your response.

        DPT57 there is an inch of worktop space behind the hob. There is then about 3.5-4 vertical inches of wall and then the sill which overhangs the wall slightly. So it is close to the hob. My partner has a photo on his phone but I don't have access to that right now.

        From that limited information what do you think as to whether it was 'an accident waiting to happen', and would this be a legitimate defence for the tenant?

        Stef Cooke, thank you for your response. Yes as you have summed up the inventory does not note melt/ burn marks on the sill. I will check what caveats the inventory has. As above, if the tenant disputed that, would they have a reasonable defence? Do you think we'd be better asking for some kind of compromise value?

        Thanks

        Comment


          #5
          I'd also be interested to know if anybody has a clue as to how much fixing this would cost!

          Comment


            #6
            You will need to check the installation instructions for your particular hob but the one I just fitted stated that there should be no flammable
            materials below a height of 650mm from the back of the hob. You are at least going to remove the plastic window sill and replace it with something none flammable like tiles. I presume the window of set back from the rear of the hob but you will need to check if this is allowed (my instructions don't cover this).

            I don't think you can blame the tenant for the damage a claim against the person who fitted the hob would make more sense. Cost depends on what needs doing but think hundreds not tens of pounds.

            Comment


              #7
              Ouch thanks for that daveg. We bought the property just over three years ago with the kitchen/ hob in situ. I doubt if we have installation instructions but I will have a look.

              If I lived in the property I would want tiling as cooking grease etc splashes on the walls anyway, they have cleaned the walls but we have seen it with this tenant and previous tenant where it's needed cleaning.

              Comment


                #8
                If you know the make/model of the hob (maybe recorded in the inventory) there is a good chance the installation instructions will be online.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by rosieflowers View Post
                  If I lived in the property I would want tiling as cooking grease etc splashes on the walls anyway,
                  So why not do that for your tenants.

                  It does sound as if the hob has been fitted too close to the sill and does not comply with recommendations/regulations.
                  (Or maybe it's the other way round and the hob was there before the plastic sill?)

                  I'd say that is your problem and you can't blame the tenant for inevitable damage caused by incorrect installation.
                  You can't reasonably expect them not to use the hob.

                  Which is probably why it's not listed on the inventory in the first place.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hi, do you think that if this was picked up by the letting agents our best bet would be to let it go?

                    I guess it depends on how the tenants play it too, are they able to suggest that they have no responsibility as it was not on the inventory?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Rosie I don't think it matters if the LA spots it or how the tenants "play it" - it is your responsibility and you need to fix it. I would not be waiting for the tenants to leave before addressing this. It may be unlikely but if this causes a fire a few new tiles will be the least of your problems. Do you have any curtains or blinds on the window behind the hob?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Daveg, thank you for your input it is much appreciated, this is our only rental property and we are always learning/ wanting to do the right thing. I was also a tenant for a lot of years and am anxious to do the right thing but equally don't want to pay for damage caused carelessly by the tenants.

                        I guess the tenants haven't let us know as they are worried about being charged. The agents are very hardball with the tenants i.e. wanting to charge as much as possible/ chance their arm with deductions on check out.

                        There is a wooden blind on the window yes but no chance of it dangling over the hob, it can't fall any lower than the window sill which itself is suspended about 3.5-4in above the hob.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Due to the layout (I know a picture would be really helpful here) I can't see how we could fix this problem without moving the hob, a few tiles wouldn't make a difference, and obviously that's a huge undertaking so we do need to think about this.

                          There also isn't an extractor fan above the hob as the wall in front of the hob is taken up by the window.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I would speak to the tenants to get their take on it. After all we're all assuming it's because of the layout. There might well be another explanation for how this occurred!

                            I think if they felt they weren't to blame to some extent, they'd have reported it!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              854EE161-1D43-46B8-8C1E-A23BADA3B078.jpeg
                              Hi, here’s a pic from when we bought the property over three years ago and which was also used by the letting agents. I know it’s not ideal but would this change any of the advice that’s been given thus far? Thank you so much for your advice so far.
                              Attached Files

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