White good replacement by tenant timeframe

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    White good replacement by tenant timeframe

    Posting on behalf of a friend.
    integrated fridge in the property she is letting has been damaged. She has accepted liability and has agreed to replace ‘like for like’.
    Two questions:

    1) The fridge she has to replace is several years old (she has only been in the property a couple of months) and had some damage prior to her letting the property. Landlord is expecting her to replace with a brand new and wants to inspect new fridge and agree it prior to purchase. Is this reasonable?
    I would have considered ‘like for like’ to include considering the value of the current fridge.

    2) The landlord has provided a deadline for when she expects the fridge to be replace. Friend is a single parent, is working full time and her salary only just covers her bills. She cannot afford a brand new fridge in the timescale expected. Does the LL have any say in when this has to be replaced (as long as it’s replaced prior to the end of the tenancy)?

    thanks!

    #2
    It's for the landlord to replace, not tenant (unless she really really wants to).

    Landlord can attempt to charge for some costs. That would only be cost of a similarly aged integrated fridge.

    She could get a free-standing fridge, cheapo, and depending on how long she stays (eg 20 years) - there may be no valid claim landlord could make.
    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


      #3
      Thanks for your reply,
      I think my friend is happy to replace, as she accepts that it’s completely her fault the fridge is broken. But wanted to double check if she was being unreasonable wanting to buy something second hand and in the timeframe that allows her to do so (she’s borrowed an additional fridge from a friend).

      The landlord has made it very clear that it needs to be an identical type fridge (uncounter, integrated, larder fridge) and that a freestanding would not be acceptable.

      Comment


        #4
        Tell them not to buy one, because all he will do then is what he is supposed to do anyway. Namely, make a claim on the deposit. The deposit scheme will take a view on the age of the fridge and its condition before the tenancy began and will make an award accordingly. Its far better for your friend to have a professional external assessment of their liability than simply to jump because the landlord says so.

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you, I was not aware that this was a possibly to do during the tenancy (my knowledge of letting/tenancy is very lacking!)

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by wellsk View Post
            Landlord is expecting her to replace with a brand new and wants to inspect new fridge and agree it prior to purchase. Is this reasonable?
            What does it say in the tenancy agreement about responsibility for repairing/renewing white goods?

            Comment


              #7
              Regardless of what tenancy agreement states, inbuilt appliances are landlord responsibility IMHO
              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 theartfullodger View Post
                Regardless of what tenancy agreement states, inbuilt appliances are landlord responsibility IMHO
                IMHO, they aren't.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Landlord does not have to replace the fridge at all if tenant broke it. (Saying that they are the L's responsibility, even if they are, would not apply to tenant breakage -- as it would to a broken window for example).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks all. Little update.
                    LL has ‘kindly’ offered the use of her credit card to my friend so she can purchase a new fridge and can pay her back the money (all of it).
                    I have suggested my friend go through the deposit scheme and absolutely outright no way should she be buying a brand new fridge.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Either the fridge is the landlord's responsibility (because it's a fixture) and they should replace or repair it and agree compensation from the tenant - which would be the loss in value of the old fridge.

                      Or it's the tenant's responsibility, in which case they can replace it with whatever they want and the landlord and they can deal with any issues at the end of the tenancy.

                      The landlord can't have it both ways, they can't require a replacement to be bought by the tenant AND be new AND be bought now.
                      Similarly, the tenant can't install any old junk consequence free.
                      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


                        #12
                        Remembering that the fridge was broken by the tenant, and it is not within L's statutory repairing responsibility.

                        I think basically, if L and T are getting on well (normally the case) L will likely do whatever needs doing and bend over backwards to help.
                        If not then T comes up with some sort of proposal or remains without a fridge.

                        Compensation is not loss in value of the old given T broke it - it is loss to the landlord. Which includes fitting costs, delivery costs, disposal of the older item -- and why should we assume that L wants a new fridge at all (he may be selling the property at the end of the tenancy, or wanting to do a refurbishment which will require a different type of fridge). Breaking something DURING a tenancy and having it replaced during a tenancy is not the same (in terms of costs) as a writedown after tenancy has ended.

                        Methinks that because T bust it, they are arguing way too much about their supposed rights, and we don't know what else has happened during this tenancy.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
                          Remembering that the fridge was broken by the tenant, and it is not within L's statutory repairing responsibility.

                          I think basically, if L and T are getting on well (normally the case) L will likely do whatever needs doing and bend over backwards to help.
                          If not then T comes up with some sort of proposal or remains without a fridge.

                          Compensation is not loss in value of the old given T broke it - it is loss to the landlord. Which includes fitting costs, delivery costs, disposal of the older item -- and why should we assume that L wants a new fridge at all (he may be selling the property at the end of the tenancy, or wanting to do a refurbishment which will require a different type of fridge). Breaking something DURING a tenancy and having it replaced during a tenancy is not the same (in terms of costs) as a writedown after tenancy has ended.

                          Methinks that because T bust it, they are arguing way too much about their supposed rights, and we don't know what else has happened during this tenancy.
                          I have seen the messages from the LL and she is demanding a brand new fridge of her choosing. T has said that she cannot afford a brand new fridge and the previous fridge is very evidently several years old and has suffered previous damage.
                          LL is now saying that she will purchase a brand new fridge of her choosing and that T will pay her back.

                          There has been some issues in the tenancy. The boiler regularly went on the blink at the start and was looked at. It has been fine since. T reported a mouse in the property a couple of months ago. Nothing was done about it. The price that the estate agent advertised was suddenly ‘a lie’ when she agreed to let the tenancy and must’ve ‘tried to get more interest’ and then charged her an additional £75 a month more. LL advertised the property as unfurnished and then refused to move left over furniture from previous T.

                          T has offered to replace the fridge like for like, including disposal and fitting. Or that the cost is taken out of the deposit. She has borrowed a fridge from someone else and is not needing another fridge urgently. LL has said this is unacceptable and that fitted fridge must be replaced with brand new by October.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
                            Remembering that the fridge was broken by the tenant, and it is not within L's statutory repairing responsibility.
                            All that means is that the landlord doesn't have to fix the problem.
                            If the item is a fixture, however, it is unlikely that the tenant can do anything about it without the landlord's permission.
                            If the item isn't a fixture it's a furnishing and the tenant can repair or (unless the Tenancy Agreement says they can't) replace it.

                            I don't know if a fitted fridge is a fixture - although I'd have thought so.


                            Compensation is not loss in value of the old given T broke it - it is loss to the landlord. Which includes fitting costs, delivery costs, disposal of the older item.
                            Agreed, but the loss needs also to be adjusted to allow for the time the fridge was used before it was damaged, and the other costs listed, other than the disposal, need to be adjusted for the future (post tenant) value to the landlord - which is very hard to know and usually best ignored.

                            Breaking something DURING a tenancy and having it replaced during a tenancy is not the same (in terms of costs) as a writedown after tenancy has ended.
                            It's exactly the same - compensation for a loss not contemplated when the contract price was agreed.

                            There might be a difference in practical outcomes, there's no need to replace the fridge if there's no tenant present, but it's probably necessary if it's the tenant's only way of keeping things cold.
                            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


                              #15
                              Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                              She could get a free-standing fridge, cheapo, and depending on how long she stays (eg 20 years) - there may be no valid claim landlord could make.
                              I'm with Artful here.

                              Suggest that you friend says -

                              "Thanks but I'm quite happy with the freestanding fridge that I have now.
                              I'll take it with me at the end of the tenancy, and we can talk about the condition of your fridge at that time".

                              Landlady may not be happy with that, but legally there's nothing she can do about it until the tenancy ends.

                              (PS. I've just moved out of a property where I never used the built in fridge in the 10 years I was there, don't even know if it worked or not because I used my own freestanding fridge/freezer).

                              Comment

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