Like for like replacement?

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    Like for like replacement?

    Hi all

    I am not a landlord or a tenant but have a customer (of a bathroom shop) who is a landlord with a slightly odd situation and I was interested in what will/should happen.

    Rental property has a very nice bathroom. There is a basin/vanity unit combination which costs around £1000 (as per manufacturer’s price lists).

    Tenant has a party on a Saturday night and two of the guests use the bathroom for “privacy” resulting in the basin and vanity unit coming off the wall and smashing. Tenant manages to turn water off before any damage is done to rest of property and in the morning calls the Landlord.

    First possible issue: Landlord tells tenant that the pipes to the basin tap will have to be capped off before the water is turned back on and that emergency plumber (Sunday) will be at Tenants’ expense. Landlord will arrange for a plumber to come and fit replacement basin on Monday. If Tenant does not wish to pay for emergency plumber on Sunday they will have to wait until Monday to turn water back on. Is Landlord wrong to say this?

    Second issue: Landlord does not think they should have to pay for plumber/ replacement basin as it was the Tenant’s fault (well, the tenant’s friend but I assume that is the same thing?) Is Landlord right?

    Third issue (and this is where we came in): Landlord does not want to get into a dispute with Tenant over who should pay for the work/goods so wants to buy the cheapest possible basin of the same size to replace in property. They have insurance and will be buying replacement basin and vanity unit but don’t wish to put these in until the end of this current tenancy. They can buy a basin in the same size for £45 which they would pay out of pocket.

    The Tenant is not happy with the new (cheap) basin as it is not as stylish. Landlord tells Tenant that they are happy to supply a basin and fit it at their own cost or they can have the originals replaced at the Tenant’s cost. Who is right?

    How does this work for other things? Say there are Louis Ghost chairs at the dining table and one is broken by a tenant. Does the landlord have to replace the same thing (taking the cost from the Tenant’s deposit I suppose) or can they get an Ikea chair?
    Does the Tenant have a right to enjoy the high end products that were in the flat as it was when they signed the agreement or do they just have a right to have “a chair” or “a washbasin”?

    I suppose a sensible Landlord wouldn’t have expensive dining chairs but if the property already had high end bathrooms/kitchen it would seem silly to replace them before letting (though it would be good for me if they did!)

    Sorry for hijacking your forum, I was just curious as to what the likely outcome would be for my customer!

    So far as L is concerned, the actions of T's guests are imputed to T- so T is liable for their misuse of the premises.
    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
    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).


      It is in Ls interest to replace like with like ~ at tenants expense.

      Otherwise the value of the property in rental terms will be reduced when letting to he next tenant.

      Replacing like for like will cost L no extra and will avoid complaints from T with regard to quality of replacements.


        LL needs to get a grip.

        Assuming high-end fittings are detailed in the check-in inventory, he should replace like for like and deduct from T's deposit.

        If cost exceeds T's deposit he should ask T to make up the shortflal before he replaces, or agree a cheap replacement.
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations


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