Tenant says flat was misadvertised

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    Tenant says flat was misadvertised

    Hi all,

    I have a tenant who came to collect keys for the flat before moving in and complained that the bed in the master bedroom was advertised as a king size bed, but in reality it is only a standard double bed. He had been to view the flat previously and had not noticed this, which I pointed out I could not be blamed for, but the online listing did mistakenly say the bed was a king size bed (my error in copying text from another listing and not removing this). My argument was that despite the error, he had the opportunity to conduct his due diligence and check he was happy with the flat when signing the contract and paying the rent.

    Now I know this doesn't sound like a big deal, after all a king size bed isn't that different to a standard double, but he seemed to kick up quite a fuss about it. So I'm concerned that I'll have to replace the bed or that he might try to terminate the tenancy if I didn't oblige. Any idea what my / the tenants' rights are in this case?

    Many thanks in advance!

    #2
    Really ? Who puts size of furniture in an ad ?
    I guess the right thing to do is apologise and get him a new bed.

    Comment


      #3
      Ask him what size duvet/cover does he have?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by wangas View Post
        Any idea what my / the tenants' rights are in this case?
        He’s right about the misleading advertising and his viewing doesn’t affect that.

        He can require performance or compensation.
        How far he’d go (or get) if you just say no, it was an innocent mistake is anyone’s guess.

        You could offer to end the tenancy if he’s unhappy.
        That might reveal how serious he is.
        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


          #5
          I suspect that buying a king sized bed will be cheaper than the resultant void if the tenancy is ended. Theoretically he could seek to unwind the tenancy although this might take a while and have an uncertain outcome.

          Comment


            #6
            This could be something to consider in this era of virtual viewings. A prospective tenant would not be able to measure items without actually being there. I'm a guy that is on the larger side of life and the difference between a double and a king size is very noticeable .

            This is one of the reasons though, that I prefer to rent unfurninshed. I don't have this issue that way.

            Comment


              #7
              I'd apologize profusely, offer say £50 off the rent, or a new king-size bed if he bins current one, or immediate surrender.

              From your description you've undoubtedly (IMHO) broken consumer unfair trading practices law, albeit somewhat minor infringement (depending on tenant's circumstances: I'm 6ft 2in & a standard double with head-board & foot-board is tough to sleep in..)... see ....

              https://england.shelter.org.uk/legal...ng_practices#3

              But others may hold alternative views...
              I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                it was an innocent mistake
                The law distinguishes three types of misrepresentation:

                Fraudulent: The defendant deliberately or recklessly makes a misleading statement.

                Innocent: The defendant reasonably believes the statement is true.

                Negligent: The default.

                In this case the misrepresentation is not fraudulent as there was no intention to deceive. It is not innocent as if asked immediately before the contract was signed if the bed was king size wangas would have said it was not. It is therefore negligent even if in non-legal terms it is "innocent" in the sense that it was not consciously made; it was wangas's duty to check the particulars to ensure they were correct. In any event, whatever the type of misrepresentation the innocent part has a remedy.

                As to due diligence, a person should be able to rely on statements made by the other party without having to check them, glaringly obvious errors excepted. On an inspection a prospective tenant is not required to check every detail. As to bed sizes, whilst the size of a bed is something definite, how big it appears can depend on the size of the room it is in and what else is in the room.

                The basic fact here is that the tenant has not got what he expected to get. The difference between a king size bed and an ordinary double bed is not trivial. If particulars state that a bed is a king-sized it implies that it is an attractive feature like, say, marble work tops or parquet flooring.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Agree with a lot of the above, if the ad says King Size then i as a prospective tenant should not be expected to bring along a tape measure to confirm this stated fact in the advert...... i would negotiate with him to see what he wants to do.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by wangas View Post
                    Any idea what my / the tenants' rights are in this case?

                    Many thanks in advance!
                    Is this a genuine question?

                    You don't have the right to mislead a tenant about what he is paying for in your advert and then also expect get away with if when a tenant calls you out.

                    How about that?

                    You need to ask him what resolution he seeks and take it from there. If you don't want to resolve it then you will need to probably find a way to terminate the tenancy amicably - he will probably want reduced rent regardless.


                    Comment


                      #11
                      JoshyT,

                      A bit harsh. Wangas made a genuine mistake and he has something, though not that much, of a point that the tenant could have spotted it. It has been pointed out to him that in cases such as his, even if there was no intention to deceive, it is the supplier of the service or goods who has to bear the burden of the mistake.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                        The difference between a king size bed and an ordinary double bed is not trivial.
                        How much is it then?

                        How about this (using some assumptions);

                        Cost of a furnished over unfurnished flat £120 pcm.
                        Principal furnished rooms: lounge, kitchen, 2x bedrooms.
                        Therefore cost of furnishing one bedroom = £30 pcm
                        Cost of king sized bed £15 pcm
                        Monthly reduction for providing an inferior sized bed?

                        A fiver?



                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by wangas View Post
                          Hi all,

                          Now I know this doesn't sound like a big deal, after all a king size bed isn't that different to a standard double
                          It is 6" shorter, which is a big deal to me.
                          It is the difference between cold feet and warm feet.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            What does the tenant actually want to be happy? Maybe find out what you can do to fix the problem. Buying a king size bed will be a lot cheaper than losing a tenant

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Hi all,

                              Thanks very much for all the advice... I've explained it was a genuine mistake on the listing and so that part is my fault. At the same time he should have also checked this at time of viewing as it was important to him. Reason I say this is because when he came by the flat to pick up the keys, he noticed instantly that it wasn't a king size and so clearly wasn't paying attention the first time round, which is atleast the moral argument despite the fact that I did technically misadvertise it.

                              Anyway, as has been suggested I'll seek some kind of resolution with him, better to avoid losing the tenant of course, especially in times like these

                              Thanks all!

                              Comment

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