Deductions (I'm the landlord) what is reasonable ?

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    Deductions (I'm the landlord) what is reasonable ?

    Hello. My tenant has moved out after two years. The letting was self managed, agent was find only and the check-out report was done by Lets Inventory last week. I am not sure about the ££ deductions to request re some items so am looking for input re what is reasonable. Of course the ex tenants may dispute the amounts anyway.

    Schedule of Condition at Check out - General Condition - Property found neat and tidy. Reasonably well looked after during two year tenancy and ready for check out.

    Specific queries:
    Living Room Curtails ''lining water stained'' - I assume window left open while rained - dry cleaning of curtains reasonable ??
    Window blind ''cord not working & detached from roller'' - probably £20 to get local shop to come out & fix - Reasonable ??
    Ceiling mounted shade ''shade has 2 inch chip'' Can I charge for replacement ?
    Mattress ''three small blood stains & piling. Requires clean'' Report note said they only looked at the sides-I'll check this properly tomorrow. I'm unhappy at this, ideally I'd like to charge for new mattress but doubt if I can. Could I make any deduction? It wasn't new when first let but was clean, no stains,marks or blood - a new tenant would read a pre-let report and think ''gross'' if I can't get these blood marks out.
    White enamel bath ''chip by waste''. Should I let this go?
    Timber door frames ''one inch, two inch & three inch flakes on 2 doors''. Should I let these go?
    Kitchen work surface '' one inch burn mark in front of sink'' - Presumerably I can't charge for new worktop but it's what I'd like to do ?

    The above are all ''T'' noted deficiencies, also not fair ware & tear - per Lets. There are many others that I'll let go so I'm not being pedantic plus some missing items that I will charge for. Plus I'm not going to charge for cleaning as agreed with tenant (building works locally).Thing is with the bath & kitchen worktop - I was getting a pretty good rent as this is a Central London flat and it was reasonably top-end. If I re-let with chip to bath, burned work-top, door chips etc,it's starting to be ''shabby'' not pristine any more.If I replace to get it back to pristine, then I'm out of pocket. Just looking to see what's ''acceptable'' in these circumstances.

    #2
    Personally, I'd say....
    • Curtains - dry clean
    • Blind - fix
    • Shade - Replace
    • Matress - Query with a proper 'cleaning' company. If they can get the stains out, then charge for cleaning. If not, then I agree you need a new one. But you can not charge the full cost as T would be replacing an old one with a new one, which isn't fair. Work out how old the matressis. Average life or a matress is 10 years. How much life is left? So, if it is 6 years old, you should claim 40% of the cost of a matress of similar quality. This is how I understand it, others may disagree.
    • Bathchip - A repair kit from B&Q £5 -£10 should do the trick, I don't think it'd be unreasonable to charge for it.
    • Doorframe - From what you say, it sounds like an issue with the original paint-job, not Ts problem.
    • Worktop - Similar situation to the matress, but it would be unreasonable to expect the whole kitchen to be re-surfaced. Depening on the quality of the worktops, Ikea charge £30 for one length, I don't think T could complain at that.

    Comment


      #3
      Living Room Curtails ''lining water stained'' - I assume window left open while rained - dry cleaning of curtains reasonable ?? Yes

      Window blind ''cord not working & detached from roller'' - probably £20 to get local shop to come out & fix - Reasonable ?? Yes

      Ceiling mounted shade ''shade has 2 inch chip'' Can I charge for replacement ? Yes

      Mattress ''three small blood stains & piling. Requires clean'' Report note said they only looked at the sides-I'll check this properly tomorrow. I'm unhappy at this, ideally I'd like to charge for new mattress but doubt if I can. Could I make any deduction? It wasn't new when first let but was clean, no stains,marks or blood - a new tenant would read a pre-let report and think ''gross'' if I can't get these blood marks out. You couldn't charge the full cost of replacement as it wasn't new originally. Personally, I'd probably replace and charge a portion. Get a good quality mattress protector and include a provision in the TA that the protector must be used.

      White enamel bath ''chip by waste''. Should I let this go? Try the kit snorkerz suggests.

      Timber door frames ''one inch, two inch & three inch flakes on 2 doors''. Should I let these go? If they are damaged, charge for repair. If it's just a bit of flaking paint, that's fair wear and tear.

      Kitchen work surface '' one inch burn mark in front of sink'' - Presumerably I can't charge for new worktop but it's what I'd like to do ? No, you can't charge for a new worktop, just a small sum to compensate for the damage. Is it wood because this is the least durable material and useless in a rental.

      The above are all ''T'' noted deficiencies, also not fair ware & tear - per Lets. There are many others that I'll let go so I'm not being pedantic plus some missing items that I will charge for. Plus I'm not going to charge for cleaning as agreed with tenant (building works locally).Thing is with the bath & kitchen worktop - I was getting a pretty good rent as this is a Central London flat and it was reasonably top-end. If I re-let with chip to bath, burned work-top, door chips etc,it's starting to be ''shabby'' not pristine any more.If I replace to get it back to pristine, then I'm out of pocket. Just looking to see what's ''acceptable'' in these circumstances.
      There are always going to be costs in maintaining a property to a certain standard. Like you I have a similar flat in Covent Garden and to keep the rent high you just have to factor in a cost for this - the upside is my costs are low in terms of voids (because it always gets retenanted v. fast), and the Ts tend to be high-earners and at this particular flat I've never had to deal with any unpaid rent/repossession/major damage in 10 years (touch wood fingers crossed!)

      Comment


        #4
        Remember, too, that L must accept reasonable wear and tear. T's sensible use of the premises, compliant with the Tenancy Agreement, inevitably implies a certain level of deterioration from an 'as new' condition of L's goods, fixtures, and fittings.
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

        Comment


          #5
          If the tenant was generally a good tenant and paid maybe £800-1000/ month for two years = £19,200-£24,000, I would tend to let it all go except maybe the curtains.
          ASSUME NOTHING - QUESTION EVERYTHING!

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks all.

            I'll take the consensus advice - deduct for the specifics, curtain clean, blind repair & light shade. Forget about the paint chips, mattress damage & worktop burn.

            Incidentally westminster, there was a mattress protector & provision in lease. Lets just say it bore the brunt of the mattress 'damage' so it was already on the list of deductions.

            Comment

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