£3000 charged by the landlord for crack on the worktop

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    £3000 charged by the landlord for crack on the worktop

    we, family of 4, are renting a house, my issue is the charge of £3000 for damage of the granite worktop in the kitchen.

    We moved in the house in October 2017, the landlord said he had no time to meet us on the moving day and couldn't give us the inventory list. After we moved in, we noticed there was a small crack at the side of the worktop. When my husband tried to push wash machine in the space under the worktop, the height is too tight, the granite worktop cracked 15cm from the side crack on the surface.

    The landlord came to us a few days later with inventory list, we found the crack was not on the inventory. We spoke to the landlord about the crack and he insisted there was no crack before we moved in, and he would charge for replacing the whole worktop. In July 2018, 2 months before the contract ended, we would renew the contract, the landlord asked us to pay £3000 for the worktop. I discussed with him, £3000 was not reasonable, the worktop is about 7 years old already; it was not brand new, there were some other repaired damage before us; the new crack damage was not all our fault; the worktop joint is obviously separated from the sink part, the previous tenant must have the same problem with the space height for wash machine. But the landlord insisted for £3000 payment, he threatened us with not renewing the contract, if we wouldn't pay. We didn't want to move home while the whole family just settled, especially with 2 primary school children, also he had our deposit £2250, if we moved out he would keep all the deposit with no doubt. So we paid £3000, very reluctant and unhappy.

    Now we bought our own house and are not afraid of landlord's threatening of renewing the contract. I just want to ask the £3000 charge is reasonable? He did send us a quote around £3000 for replacing the whole worktop. I feel unfair but don't know what can I do. Can anyone please give some advice? Thanks.


    #2
    The most he is due is the price paid when originally installed, written off over the expected normal life, not the full cost at today's prices.

    There is definitely an element of fault, in that you should not have put a washing machine under it without some clearance.

    The wording of your agreement to pay £3k may affect your ability to subsequently challenge it.

    If you had waited until the end of the tenancy, the failure to get you to agree the inventory on the check in day would probably be fatal to the landlord's case.

    £3,000 seems very high.

    Generally you do not put high end products in rental homes. If it was previously his own home, he's not going to put one in just before renting, so the original cost and time for depreciation will be lower and longer, respectively.

    Comment


      #3
      The issue is the agreement to pay the £3,000 in 2018.

      You might reasonably claim that you only agreed under duress and that the cost was unreasonable because no allowance was made for the 7 years of use.
      However, some compensation was due.

      Taking a 25 year lifespan for a worktop (just guessing here), a claim for £2160 (18/25ths of £3000) would probably be more reasonable.

      Forcing a washing machine under a worktop you knew was cracked wasn't the greatest idea.

      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


        #4
        As above there are two different issues here:
        a) Did you break the worktop - it appears clear that you did
        b) Then there is the issue of cost - I don't think there is any real write-off time for a granite worktop - or maybe 100 years or so. The residual cracked worktop may have considerable value. There is also a possibility of repair, though the reduction in value would be considerable.

        If it was your own home you would pay or suffer a loss. There is no reason the landlord should suffer the loss.

        Comment


          #5
          unfortunately as previously stated you agreed to some element of cost here even without the inventory (which would have undermined the LL's position).

          When the LL presented the cost did they show you the actual quotation? It would be incumbent upon the LL to attempt to mitigate their loss so I would expect to be shown multiple competitive quotations for a claim of this magnitude.

          Comment


            #6
            The depreciation argument is blown out of the water here.

            https://www.marble4life.co.uk/granite-worktops/
            Granite is a hard wearing stone that is extremely popular for its organic good looks, robust qualities and by using granite you will have worktops in your home that will last a lifetime. In fact your granite worktops could well last longer than the house.
            I have marble (similar to granite) fireplaces well over 200 years old still looking very good. The nominal price of them today is far higher than the £sd they originally cost

            Dunno what the inflation rate is specifically for granite but using the following UK inflation calculator, the OP is around £500 up on the deal;

            http://inflation.iamkate.com/

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
              £3,000 seems very high.

              Generally you do not put high end products in rental homes.
              Eh? What market do you operate in?
              This is (probably) a £2000 pcm 2/3 bed quality property, not a sublet crackflat on a sink estate.
              For a lot of the country, rents at that level command high end products.
              Recently I've fitted granite* kitchen worktops in a property at half that rent.



              *Quartz actually but lets not go off topic on the individual merits.

              Comment


                #8
                I'm not active in any market, but I've seen the suggestion on this forum that one should normally use cheap products and I see shops that seem to specialise in furniture for landlords. I'm in outer London, and therefore an area that has been a sellers market for landlords.

                Comment

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