Damaged carpet / compensation issue

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    Damaged carpet / compensation issue

    Can any one help..

    We are due to give notice on our property shortly and have been liaising with the LL to resolve the issue of a stain on the living room carpet which was caused when we spilt water on the LL's red rug covering the carpet and the dye in the rug staining the carpet below [carpet cleaning by professionals didn't get it out]. We have been very forward about the stain and are happy to help replace it. [we even organized for the LL to look at samples], but as the LL is insisting we pay for it's replacement to a cost well over and above the original and that it is 10 years old, I've taken advised from other treads on this forum and written this letter.

    Can anyone let me know if what I have written sounds right under the circumstance?

    Dear xx,

    As you are aware, we accidently stained the carpet in the living room and have been liaising with you to supply and fit a replacement at our own cost, however we have since discovered that as the carpet is over 10 year old [Even good quality Wilton carpets have a lifespan of 10-15 years – verified by Sunderland Carpets who make Greendale Wilton and Wilton carpets themselves], we have been advised, that the most appropriate course of action, [taking into account points 1-3 below as set out by the Association of Letting Agents] would be to apportion costs:

    To apportion costs charges or compensation for any damage it must take into account the original age, quality and condition of item at the commencement of the tenancy, the average useful lifespan to value ratio (depreciation) of the item, the reasonable expected usage of such an item, the number and type of occupants in the property and the length of the tenants occupancy.

    Taking all these factors into account, as the carpet [although of good quality], has an average lifespan of 10-15 years before requiring replacement [most rental carpets are up to 5 years], as the carpet was already 8 years old before we moved in plus an additional 2 years fair wear and tear during our tenancy the most reasonable and practical remedy would be the following:

    We have been advised that the landlord should reasonably and practically deduct 10% per year for 'fair wear and tear' on such items as carpets in the property. As we know the original cost of the carpet including fitting was £1066 [supplied & fitted by xxx] after deducting the 10 years wear and tear at a depreciation of 10% per year, the apportion of costs for any damage owed by the tenants should cover the remaining 5 years worth of use of the carpet, which is 33% of the original cost of the carpet and fitting, equating to the sum of £355.33, [£1066 divided by 15 years = £71.06 x 5 = £355.33]. £355.33 is the sum the tenant owes in relation to apportioned charges or compensation for damage to the carpet.

    Therefore it is for you to decide whether you would like us to arrange for a cheaper quality carpet to be supplied and fitted for that price or whether you would prefer to make up the cost of a better carpet yourself.

    During our tenancy we have been model tenants, paying the rent on time every month and looking after the properties fixtures and fittings as well as being very accommodating and patient regarding various inconvenient repair and maintenance issues at the property during our tenancy. Therefore we trust that our final offer of 33% the original cost of the carpet is the most reasonable and practical remedy and look forward to hearing from you regarding which carpet option you would like us to pursue on your behalf.

    Your faithfully, xxx

    The Association of Letting Agents
    1. Avoiding Betterment & Considering Apportionment;-
    The landlord should not end up, either financially or materially, in a better position than he was at commencement of the tenancy, or than he would have been at the end of the tenancy having allowed for fair wear and tear.
 To avoid betterment, the allocation or apportionment of any costs, charges or compensation for damage must take into account all the factors relating to
(a) fair wear and tear,
(b) the most appropriate remedy and,
(c) that the landlord should not end up either financially or materially in a better position than he was at commencement of the tenancy or as he would expect to be at the end of the tenancy having considered (a) and exercised (b).”

    2. Fair wear and tear – this means making an allowance for: -
    • The original age, quality and condition of any item at commencement of the tenancy
    • The average useful lifespan to value ratio (depreciation) of the item
    • The reasonable expected usage of such an item
    • The number and type of occupants in the property
    • The length of the tenants occupancy

    It follows therefore (and is an established legal tenet) that a landlord is not entitled to charge his tenants the full cost for having any part of his property, or any fixture or fitting, ".....put back to the condition it was at the start of the tenancy."

    3. The appropriate remedies available to a landlord might range from or include;-
    • Replacement of the damaged item where it is either severely and extensively damaged beyond economic repair or, its condition makes it unusable
    • Repair or Cleaning
    • Compensation for diminution in inherent value of the item or the shortening of its useful normal lifespan

    • Remember, the landlord/agent has a duty to adopt the most reasonable and practical remedy.

    #2
    Rather too long- can you summarise, please?
    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
      Thanks, in a snap shot: The carpet we stained is a good quality wilton with average lifespan of 10-15 years, as the carpet is already 10 years old [it was 8 years old when we moved in and we've been here for 2 years] are we right in believing that it is reasonable to deduct 10% per year for 'fair wear and tear'? We know the original cost of the carpet including fitting in 2000, is the apportion of costs for any damage owed by us [the tenants] simply cover the remaining 5 years worth of use of the carpet?

      Thanks for your help
      Last edited by Williams74; 16-07-2010, 06:01 AM. Reason: make shorter..

      Comment


        #4
        I think you should really offer 50%, unless you are prepared to remove the furniture, have the work done, and replace all the furniture. If landlord has to faff with this once you have moved out, he won't be able to show viewers until the flat is restored. This will leave probably over a month void, and will incur council tax as well on a furnished flat.

        Is that fair comment?

        One further thought, do you have contents insurance?
        To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

        Comment


          #5
          Your offer sound eminently reasonable, however unless your LL is able to provide an inventory (agreed and signed by you) which proves the state of the carpet at the start of your tenancy (preferably supported by photographs), he will struggle to justify any claim at all. I would be tempted to tell him to take a running jump and dispute any demand for money at all at this stage.

          Was there a full check-in inventory taken? What does it say about the carpet?

          Is your tenancy deposit protected in a scheme and have you been supplied with the details of that?

          It is possible to interpret this LL's behaviour as pure greed/opportunism. He cannot insist on betterment and to be honest he could simply keep the rug over the stain, couldn't he? Or claim on his accidental damage insurance.

          Originally posted by jamesknight0 View Post
          I think you should really offer 50%, unless you are prepared to remove the furniture, have the work done, and replace all the furniture. If landlord has to faff with this once you have moved out, he won't be able to show viewers until the flat is restored. This will leave probably over a month void, and will incur council tax as well on a furnished flat.

          Is that fair comment?
          No, I think it is far too generous. There is nothing to stop the LL conducting viewings (assuming OP is minded to allow him to, which does not have to, strictly speaking, unless the LL obtains a court order to enforce any 'access for viewings' clause in the TA) - they can just keep the rug over the stain as suggested above. If LL wants the whole carpet replaced, he must do that in between tenancies unless T is willing to be inconvenienced (it takes one day to replace a carpet, when all's said and done) and at his own expense unless he can persuade a deposit scheme arbitrator otherwise. This is an old carpet and LL is being a Scrooge.
          '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

          Comment


            #6
            The carpet is not on the inventory at all.

            Yes our tenancy deposit is protected in a scheme and we have the details.
            Yes the LL is expecting too much, the carpet the LL wants brings the total to £500 over original cost in 2000.

            We are happy to arrange to have carpet fitted during our tenany and to allow viewings, but the LL has said he wants to do some repairs to the property before he re-lets anyway [not our repairs, he needs to re-insulate the roof etc..]..

            Under the circumstances, we know the carpet is not on the inventory, but do you think we should stick with offering to pay for the depreciated value of the carpet, being 10% of original price each year?

            thanks..

            Comment


              #7
              ... and the stain is under the hearth rug in front of the fire..

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Williams74 View Post
                ... and the stain is under the hearth rug in front of the fire..
                How did it happen? Read http://uk.ask.com/web?q=%22women+in+...=196&o=0&l=dir
                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
                  Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                  No need to!
                  Originally posted by Williams74 View Post
                  a stain on the living room carpet which was caused when we spilt water on the LL's red rug covering the carpet and the dye in the rug staining the carpet below .
                  And that* is a seriously dodgy film, Jeffrey. I'm surprised at you. (But not very).
                  '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

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It's little country cottage with only two rooms downstairs, the living room and the kitchen [that's it], so with access in and out of the house through the living room and two small children we put down the landlords red rug from the second bedroom bedroom to safeguard any damages... only ironically during the winter as the bathroom upstairs was freezing, we bathed our youngest [3 months at the time] in the baby bath by the fire - but he kicked the pug out momentarily and water that leaked out was enough to pick up the dye in the red rug and stain the carpet below..

                    Comment


                      #11
                      My advice is to raise a dispute with the deposit protection service and let their arbitrator decide what is fair. If the carpet is not mentioned on the inventory at all, you stand a very good chance of getting your whole deposit back. This LL is taking the proverbial. Stand firm - down be browbeaten!

                      Good luck.
                      '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

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Jeffrey, do you still think 50% for the carpet, or 30% to cover the additional 5 years the carpet is expected to last for?
                        Last edited by Williams74; 16-07-2010, 12:30 PM. Reason: //

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thanks Mind the gap, will do!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Edit: what mind the gap said!

                            Whenever we have a carpet in need of replacement at the end of a tenancy we work out the cost against the depreciation as you have done so your offer seems very fair if you wished to try that first before going to dispute.

                            As my inventories always include carpets and their state at the beginning of the tenancy I'm not sure if the LL could make a claim by arguing that carpets are mentioned in your tenancy agreement (if they are) or if they are implied in "fixtures and fittings" under your agreement and thus they are not required to be mentioned in the inventory. Anyone know if this is an issue?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Vault_girl View Post
                              Edit: what mind the gap said!

                              Whenever we have a carpet in need of replacement at the end of a tenancy we work out the cost against the depreciation as you have done so your offer seems very fair if you wished to try that first before going to dispute.

                              As my inventories always include carpets and their state at the beginning of the tenancy I'm not sure if the LL could make a claim by arguing that carpets are mentioned in your tenancy agreement (if they are) or if they are implied in "fixtures and fittings" under your agreement and thus they are not required to be mentioned in the inventory. Anyone know if this is an issue?
                              I do not think what I said needs editing, thank you.

                              There is really no good reason why OP should offer any money so that his grasping LL can replace a 10 year old carpet with a stain under a rug caused by a child being bathed on it because the bathroom was freezing cold. OP should refuse on principle to admit any liability for replacing the carpet and he should certainly not offer him 50% of the cost of a new one. Why should he? It is optimistic to expect a rental property carpet (even a good quality one) to last 15 years. 10 is pushing it. The carpet is already 10 years old. It can reasonably be assumed to have lost 10% of its value each year. Hence its value is now negligible. Plus, if LL has no proof the carpet was even there at the start of the tenancy, let alone what condition it was in, how is he to support a claim for a new one?

                              Of course the carpet - and its condition - needs to be specifically mentioned on the inventory!

                              As for making him an offer rather than going to dispute, why should he? He has nothing to lose and raising a dispute with the scheme is not the same as going to court. Plus, scheme arbitrators tend to favour tenants. There is every reason why he should pursue the return of his deposit via the scheme.

                              One is tempted to say, that if the LL hadn't been so greedy/unrealistic here, the T would probably have agreed to pay a small contribution. As it stands, the LL will probably get nothing. Good.

                              Are you a letting agent, by the way?
                              '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

                              Comment

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