Who is responsible for this repair?

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    Who is responsible for this repair?

    Hi

    I am T and AST commenced 19 Feb 2010.

    One of the problems discovered when I moved in was that there was no power point in the kitchen for the dishwasher. A builder came round and a few weeks later I was able to plug the d/w in but found it left dishes covered in smelly, brown water.

    I tried cleaning it in various ways - rinsing the filter, topping up salt, running Tesco own brand cleaner through etc. (each time trying the machine to see if it was now working properly) and after 3 or 4 goes the d/w made an awful noise, tripped the RCD and the kitchen filled with the smell of burning plastic and with smoke.

    I immediately called the Builder (who supplied, installed d/w and repaired wiring) followed by the LA. Builder came and had a look a couple of days later and pronounced it dead.

    Since then I have been trying to get the L/ LA to repair or replace but they refuse saying it is my responsibility.

    Here is the wording of the AST followed by the additional agreement I asked LA to sign to agree what had been discussed by phone:

    ----
    AST:

    5. To preserve the Fixtures, Fittings, Furnishings and Effects in the Property from being destroyed or damaged
    and not to part with possession of or remove any of them from the Property [and not to bring into the
    Property any of the Tenant’s own Fixtures, Fittings or Furnishings except with the Landlord’s prior consent
    in writing]. No furniture shall be introduced into the property that does not comply with the Furniture and
    Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended).

    6. To leave the Fixtures, Fittings, Furnishings and Effects at the expiry of the Tenancy in the same places in
    the Property in which they were at the grant of the Tenancy.

    7. To yield up the Property at the expiry of the Tenancy with all the Fixtures, Fittings, Furnishings and Effects
    in the same clean state and condition as they were in at the grant of the Tenancy and make good, pay for the
    repair of or replace to the Landlord’s satisfaction all such articles of the Fixtures, Fittings, Furnishings and
    Effects as shall be broken, lost, damaged or destroyed during the term of the Tenancy (reasonable wear and
    tear excepted).

    ----

    Additional agreement (signed by LA on a separate sheet to AST):

    "Items provided by the landlord (as detailed in the inventory) are in working condition and hence will be maintained similarly unless caused damage by the tenant."

    * NB I am in the process of drawing up an amended inventory (I have a different thread for this). LA's version describes d/w.

    So - who should repair / replace the d/w?

    Many thanks!

    #2
    If the 'Additional Agreement' is part of the same contractual relationship as the AST, it seems that L is responsible for the dishwasher.
    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


      #3
      If it was agreed in writing that dishwasher was included in the tenancy and it was included in the inventory as working the LL is responsible for its replacement.

      It also looks like you also signed an additional agreement which indicates the LL is most certainly responsible for the dishwasher. Again what does it actually say in the inventory

      You could use "set off" (i.e. deducting the cost of repair from the rent) but it tends to damage the relationship and put you at a small risk of a lawful eviction

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
        If the 'Additional Agreement' is part of the same contractual relationship as the AST...
        How would that be established? Would the inventory need to be mentioned in the contract, etc?

        Comment


          #5
          Many thanks, Jeffrey.

          The "additional agreement" came about because the LA who showed me around on my first viewing said L would be responsible (when asked). I discussed it with main LA by phone and she said the same.

          I emailed to say I would be handing over the deposit and signing the AST on the basis of several things (including this one). The LA didn't directly address this part of my email but actioned changes in the AST due to other things I'd written.

          When we met to sign the AST the LA signed the above document as well. (It's not headed "Additional agreement" - that's just what I have called it.) LA also has a copy with my initials and her signature.

          I certainly intended it to be part of the deal and, in my layman's way, communicated as much to the LA several times.

          Does that cover the signed document being "part of the same contractual relationship as the AST"?

          (Oh - the dishwasher is mentioned in the AST as well. Not responsibility for upkeep etc. just that there is a second hand dishwasher there.)

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by westminster View Post
            How would that be established? Would the inventory need to be mentioned in the contract, etc?
            The problem is the usual one: contractual consideration. If this addition post-dates the rest, how does it become contractually binding?
            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


              #7
              Thanks everyone. Seems there might still be a little clarification needed. My apologies, I edited my info down too far.

              The extra piece of paper was signed by the LA before I signed the AST. LA had brought the ASTs presigned by herself.

              The doc only says 3 things:

              1. Items provided by the landlord (as detailed in the inventory) are in working condition and hence will be maintained similarly unless caused damage by the tenant.
              2. The landlord gives permission for the tenant to furnish the property.
              3. The landlord gives permission for two bolts to be fixed to the back door.

              We ran through this additional document and the final item no longer applied (other LA had put a bolt on the back door) so we crossed it out and I initialled the change.

              N.B. the property is unfurnished but the AST says I must not furnish without L's permission. LA would not agree to remove this clause (??!) so I realised I would have to get permission in writing.

              She then signed this while I was reading AST. Once I saw she had signed and the signatures matched, I signed the AST.

              I was a little sneaky, taking my time reading the AST until she signed, but I've read enough of the posts on here to know phone calls are no good - I have to get LA's promises in writing before I sign.

              HTH!

              Comment


                #8
                OK- this sounds promising, in that the two Agreements form a whole (so the additions would bind L).
                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


                  #9
                  Thanks Jeffrey.

                  It all seemed obvious enough to me but they were adamant in their refusal and emails / recorded delivery letters have been going back and forth for a fortnight so I thought I'd best ask. I just hope they sort out the rest of the disrepair without this hassle.

                  Many, many thanks to all!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    EDIT: Just found a huge crack in the under-stair / meter cupboard while running through my Inventory / photos. I'm going to report this to the LA but given their t

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The saga continues...

                      L still refused to sort out the d/w and LA said she'd no longer discuss the matter so I contacted a solicitor for advice. He said I should go back to square one and contact the Council to first get the electrical problems addressed (d/w was the last straw in a long chain of electrical problems, mostly in the kitchen) then I should go down the Lee-Parker vs Izzet route to get the d/w sorted out.

                      Thanks to the Council, the electrical repairs are now imminent so I am back with the d/w again but I'm not sure where in the process I am (I'm now looking at the steps identified on the Shelter website).

                      The "I will no longer discuss this" email was in response to my second recorded delivery letter but now I look at the Shelter site I realise my 2nd letter might not meet the "Step 2" requirements because I didn't warn I would take the money out of the rent. I just said something like "Perhaps you misunderstood, the d/w failed in normal use so L is responsible. Please do something about it in the next 7 days"

                      Q: Should I start from step 2 or can I now go from step 3?

                      It's infuriating because, due to the electrical problems, I couldn't even plug the blessed thing in until a month after the AST began and even then it didn't actually wash dishes - just blew up after 2 weeks of trying to! Step 2 would mean another week of waiting and it's been 6 weeks already

                      Comment

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