Inventory/deposit - please help

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    Inventory/deposit - please help

    My tenant's initial 12 month AST expires next month and he has already signed a new 6 month AST from when that ends. I am assuming that it is NOT necessary to do a new inventory as the tenant is not leaving the property. Please can someone confirm this.

    The other day I had to go to the property to look at the washing machine which was not working. It turned out that the tenant has put too many clothes in, and this has broken it, leaving me with a £75 repair bill. Will I be able to deduct this off of his deposit? Do I need to tell him this or can I wait until the time when he leaves.

    Also, I noticed that a shelf had 'fallen' off the wall and left some rather large holes in the plasterboard. The tenant has not told me about this, and as he was not present in the property whilst I was there, he will not be aware that I know. I assume that the necessary repair costs will also be deducted from his deposit.

    Any advice is much appreciated.

    Thanks

    #2
    Personally I would do another inventory before entering into another AST; it gives you the opportunity to thoroughly inspect for more damage than you have already noticed and a chance to raise the issue about the washing machine.

    If there is more damage, you may have second thoughts about letting him remain.

    Was it the w/machine repair guy who told you the reason for the fault? It would be useful if you got this in writing from him to substantiate your claim against the tenant as otherwise he could argue the fact.

    Not too sure about the shelf as the tenant could maintain that he didn't damage this deliberately or by negligence and it would be hard to prove otherwise.

    Hope this helps
    Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks

      I would prefer not to do another inventory as generally he is a good tenant, and thse are the only problems I have had in the last 12 months, and so I dont want to potentially get into an argument at this stage about deposits and repairs (in case he decided to leave).

      My question is simply... do I actually (legally) need another Inventory or is it ok to use the one done at the start of the first AST... considering that there is no gap between agreements an dthe tenant is the same.... i.e. there could be no doubt as to who was the tenant when damge was caused.

      Again, all advice is appreciated.

      Comment


        #4
        I think what you'll find is that if there is any dispute in the future, you will need to show that an inventory was carried out at the start of THAT tenancy. i.e. the inventory dies with the previous tenancy. So you may find yourself on sticky ground if you wanted to rely on it later.

        I'm pretty sure this is the case but not 100%.
        Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

        Comment


          #5
          A thought on the washing machine.

          How old was it and what was the purchase price?

          You have to allow for fair wear and tear and a £75 repair bill for a knocked out machine that couldn't cope with a few extra clothes might be regarded as excessive.

          Don't forget that there are safety issues in running an older washing machine - water and electricity do not mix. Over how many years would you write off the washing machine?

          An expensive repair bill would certainly lead me to consider writing off a machine perhaps three years old and replacing it with a basic model.

          What do others think?
          Vic - wicked landlord
          Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
          Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

          Comment


            #6
            I'm not sure how you would know the tenant was putting too many clothes in the machine, I do it all the time and to date it has not caused my machine to break down.

            I have been told by my repair man, that using the machine with too small amounts of laundry can cause more trouble than overloading.

            I am presuming the tenant knew that you wwould be in the property to see to the repair of the machine, as you would have advised him of an appointed time etc.,

            So, he would know that you had seen the shelf. I wouldn't worry about that at the moment, if he is otherwise a good tenant and he obviously is, as you have offered him a further fixed term.

            Who knows why the shelf fell down but the fact that it is secured into plaster board, indicates that perhaps it wasn't strong enough to take weight. Perhaps you could ask him.

            In my experience, washing machines are notoriously unpredictable. I have had machines that have been used and abused for umpteen years never to break down. I have replaced with newer models that constantly have niggling problems.

            As suggested by worldlife, a consideration would be the age of the machine and how many different tenants have used it. I do put washing machines in my properties, buying the most basic, less to go wrong. The average life would probably be 3- 5 years, depending on whether there is a family using it or a single tenant.

            A repair bill of £75 doesn't seem much to me when you consider the call out charge, or did you carry out the repair yourself? The problem with supplying white goods is that unless you can catagorically prove that they have been misused, you have to take responsibility for repairs and keep them in good working order.

            Personally, I would write off the repair cost.

            One inventory at the start of the tenancy no need to do another one half way through.

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks Cris

              I take your point re washing machine.

              In regard to inventory I assume I made it clear that the first inventory was done 12 months ago (at the start of the 1st AST), and as the tenant has signed a new 6 month AST, I am questioning whether I need to do another one..... which would of course mean me having to discuss (and probably argue) with the tenant about repairs etc and him making up any resulting deficit on his deposit before the start of the new AST. I would prefer to wait until after the end of the 2nd AST to do this, as am planning on selling the property then. Please confirm that your point re not needing a new inventory still applies.

              Thanks

              Comment


                #8
                Hi rossy,

                I do one inventory at the start of the tenancy and I don't do another one until the tenant finally vacates and a new tenant is coming in. After all, each fixed term agreement is just a continuation of the original AST agreement. You take a damage deposit at the beginning of the tenancy and the judgement of what is 'fair wear and tear' or damage, will obviously depend on the length of time that the tenant is in occupation.

                When I do issue a new fixed term agreement, I normaly arrange a time with the tenant to call in to get the AST signed. This gives me an opportunity to check out the general condition of the property. This is what I was advised to do by the rental agents who used to manage my properties and I have continued doing so. As long as there is no blatant damage or missuse I leave them to get on with it.



                chris

                Comment


                  #9
                  I never bother to do the inventory again and I have had several tennants stay in excess of two years. The AST just rolls on under the same terms and conditions. I guess you could update the inventory if you wanted to but I don't really see the benefit.

                  You state that in general you have a good tennant. My advice would be to do nothing. Remember washing machines do break and shelves do fall of walls.

                  Midbloke

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