Repairs/Deposit - can I charge for my own labour time

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    Repairs/Deposit - can I charge for my own labour time

    Hi

    I rented out my flat for the first time recently. At the end of the tenancy, the tenant was a week late in leaving, left the flat very dirty, and broke various items. I have inventories for the start and end of the tenancy.

    I'm claiming back £750 of the deposit for the week's rent, professional cleaning, and fixing things. I have receipts/quotes for cleaning and for the items replaced. This total includes £100 for my time to do the repairs myself (took 1 full weekend) rather than pay a handyman to do them.

    Tenant is offering £500 maximum and we have now reached an impasse - he won't increase his offer and I won't decrease my claim. I'm now considering going to arbitration with TDS.

    My issue is - does anyone know if I can reasonably charge for my own time that I spent in fixing up the flat? And is there a "going rate" for this if so?

    Thanks in advance.

    #2
    I don't think the TDS would accept a receipt of yourself, by yourself, for yourself (see of the people, by the people, for the people - Abe Lincoln)
    ASSUME NOTHING - QUESTION EVERYTHING!

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      #3
      So, if I can labour the point, if a tradesperson does the work then the labour can be legitimately charged to the deposit, but if I do the work then the labour is free?

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        #4
        We've just been in this situation ourselves. We spent a lot of time and petrol costs on sorting our house out, same sort of thing ... very dirty house, broken items, redecoration, ruined garden ... the letting agency said you couldn't really put invoices in for your own time, so we didn't bother; however, the bills for cleaning, repairs and redecoration far outweighed the deposit amount and we ended up getting all of it without having to resort to TDS ... after a long battle. We still feel we are out of pocket though for all the time and effort we spent redecorating one of the rooms ourselves and doing the garden.

        I'd be interested to hear if there is such a thing as a "going rate" for doing the work yourself though, to bear in mind for next time.

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          #5
          I did a case for a LL where he had carried out some of the repairs himself.

          He claimed what he believed to be a fair commercial rate (IIRC, £50 per hr). He provided a witness statement detailing all the works carried out and approximately how long those tasks took him, and he also exhibited all the receipts for the materials used (where applicable).

          The judge accepted his evidence, but he took the view that it would be proper to apply a 25% reduction because even the most competent DIY enthusiast would work at a slower rate than a skilled tradesman doing those sort of jobs on a daily basis.
          Health Warning


          I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

          All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

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            #6
            Originally posted by yellowb View Post
            Hi

            I rented out my flat for the first time recently. At the end of the tenancy, the tenant was a week late in leaving, left the flat very dirty, and broke various items. I have inventories for the start and end of the tenancy.

            I'm claiming back £750 of the deposit for the week's rent, professional cleaning, and fixing things. I have receipts/quotes for cleaning and for the items replaced. This total includes £100 for my time to do the repairs myself (took 1 full weekend) rather than pay a handyman to do them.

            Tenant is offering £500 maximum and we have now reached an impasse - he won't increase his offer and I won't decrease my claim. I'm now considering going to arbitration with TDS.

            My issue is - does anyone know if I can reasonably charge for my own time that I spent in fixing up the flat? And is there a "going rate" for this if so?

            Thanks in advance.
            I never do anything myself anymore (except very minor matters and if I happen to be at the property) because of this very problem that you have come across and that others have commented on with their experience.

            Get proper tradespeople / gardeners/ professional cleaners in future, no matter the cost and whatever complaints come out of the mouth of tenants - if they didn't muck things up, then they wouldn't be having this kind of problem.

            I have heard about LL's getting tradesmen to "add a bit" to cover their own time/labour and getting the cash from the tradesman later.
            But far be it for me to advise you to do this, as it is more than a tad naughty.

            Comment


              #7
              When any of my tenants have left stuff behind that has to be cleared, I travel down 65 miles with a trailer on a 4x4 and I charge 80p per mile plus the county court act litigant in person rate of £9.25 per person per hour.

              Just the travelling, before we actually do anything at the property amounts to £153 for two people - on the two occasions that this has happened, and the matter has ended up in court, the judge has taken the view that the charges are reasonable and that it probably would have cost a lot more - one judge even commented "If the tenant decides to leave the place in such a manner that the landlord has to travel to merely inspect the debris he has left behind and the tenant is obviously aware the landlord has to travel some way, then it is reasonable that the tenant bears the cost of this and any subsequent removal or cleaning or repair costs"

              When I recharge repairs or cleaning to an outgoing tenant, they automatically get a copy of the invoice or a copy of my timesheet and I always photograph before and after just in case it gets to court.

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                #8
                Paying others to do the job is tax deductible. You getting paid for the job is a taxable liability.
                ASSUME NOTHING - QUESTION EVERYTHING!

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by yellowb View Post
                  Hi

                  II'm claiming back £750 of the deposit for the week's rent, professional cleaning, and fixing things. I have receipts/quotes for cleaning and for the items replaced. This total includes £100 for my time to do the repairs myself (took 1 full weekend) rather than pay a handyman to do them.

                  Tenant is offering £500 maximum and we have now reached an impasse - he won't increase his offer and I won't decrease my claim. I'm now considering going to arbitration with TDS.

                  .
                  Personally i would take the £500 - offered , save a lot of time & hassel, proverb (a bird in the hand worth two in the bush)
                  Opinions given are mine, They are not necessarily correct, as the more I learn the less I know, You should always seek professional help.

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                    #10
                    Thanks for the replies. I've decided to take the £500 and chalk the rest up to experience. No more DIY for me!

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