T's bathroom costs as reason for rent arrears

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    T's bathroom costs as reason for rent arrears

    Hello, I would really appreciate some advice. I have a tenant who moved in under 6 month self assured tenancy agreement in January. In March she said that she would like to re-do the bathroom if I would supply the bathroom suite, she would take care of the rest. I agreed and she took the cost of the bathroom suite off the next month's rent. The following month the rent was two weeks late and when I contacted her she said that she had to pay for some pipes and plasterwork and the electricity to the shower needed re-doing as it was wired into the mains and would try to pay some of the rent shortly. Where do I stand now? I did not agreed to pay for the whole bathroom being re-done (it was absolutely fine in the first instance).

    Also if this does not work out, please can someone outline the procedure to have her leave at the end of the 6 months period?

    Many thanks, Shona

    #2
    It was frankly stupid to allow a relative stranger to refurbish the bathroom, particularly if it was 'absolutely fine'.

    The landlord has a legal responsibility in respect of the structure of the rental property including such things as pipework and electrics, so you are inescapably liable for the cost of maintaining and repairing these. See this link.

    You also have a legal obligation to ensure the electrics are safe, and bathrooms are subject to particularly strict regulations, so you must immediately get the electrical work inspected by a NICEIC qualified electrician. Find one here http://www.niceic.com/

    I would also get a qualified plumber to inspect the pipework and ensure the new suite has been correctly installed. The tenant may have used any old cowboy.

    If this is an assured shorthold tenancy, in England/Wales, with rent less than £2,083.33 pcm, and any deposit paid is protected in a scheme, then to regain possession following the end of the fixed term, you must first serve a s.21(1)(b) notice. If the tenant does not leave after the notice expires, you must then apply to the court for a possession order. See this link.

    Comment


      #3
      This could well be a scam, I'm sorry. She needs to go.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Wauden View Post
        This could well be a scam, I'm sorry. She needs to go.
        What kind of 'scam'? How would the tenant profit from refurbishing a bathroom?

        Comment


          #5
          T does not do any work at all and gets allowance against naive LL. Was there an inventory showing state of bathroom suite?

          Or T instals cheap suite below cost of rent allowance? It appears that LL did not insist on a standard of work?

          If work does get done LL bears all costs of checks to ensure work complies with regs before letting again, and making good any faults or issues.

          So many expensive possibilities for LL in this scenario.

          pm
          Last edited by property mongrel; 25-05-2010, 20:59 PM. Reason: edited to add: if LL agreed to T doing work can there be any comeback?
          Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

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