Kitchen Worktop Lifespan

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    Kitchen Worktop Lifespan

    Hi,

    Can anyone confirm the average lifespan of a kitchen worktop? On checkout, it showed I made a slight burn (which i did) and my landlord wants to charge me for the remaining years value. (i've been there 3 years & she says it's lifespan is 20 yrs - so 17yrs)

    Also, as the burn is small and the work surface perfectly useable, is she allowed to charge for a complete replacement?

    Many thanks

    Brian G

    #2
    Originally posted by BrianG View Post
    Hi,

    Can anyone confirm the average lifespan of a kitchen worktop? On checkout, it showed I made a slight burn (which i did) and my landlord wants to charge me for the remaining years value. (i've been there 3 years & she says it's lifespan is 20 yrs - so 17yrs)

    Also, as the burn is small and the work surface perfectly useable, is she allowed to charge for a complete replacement?

    Many thanks

    Brian G
    I think 20 years is fair enough for a worktop lifespan, but would expect one in a rental property to last at least 10 years.

    A cosmetic mark does not require the worktop to be replaced.
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by BrianG View Post
      Hi,

      Can anyone confirm the average lifespan of a kitchen worktop? On checkout, it showed I made a slight burn (which i did) and my landlord wants to charge me for the remaining years value. (i've been there 3 years & she says it's lifespan is 20 yrs - so 17yrs)


      Also, as the burn is small and the work surface perfectly useable, is she allowed to charge for a complete replacement?

      Many thanks

      Brian G
      The lifespan of a kitchen worksurface in a rental property will depend on the number of tenants and the quality of the materials used. A granite or Corian surface if treated properly will last more than 20 years, a cheapo laminate and chipboard one from IKEA or B & Q will be lucky to last 5. In a student house with 6 students using it daily, reduce that to three or four for the cheap one.

      As far as replacing the whole thing because of one burn, well, I have some sympathy for your LL. The surface is effectively spoilt. Whether it is feasible to replace just the damaged section or the whole thing is perhaps negotiable although the expensive thing about replacing a worksurface is not just the cost of the surface itself but the cost of having it professionally fitted and jointed. If it's only 3 years old it may be possible to source just one length which matches the others, but it may not.

      Why not make a claim on the insurance you should have taken out to cover accidental damage by you to your LL's possessions?
      '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


        #4
        Originally posted by thesaint View Post

        A cosmetic mark does not require the worktop to be replaced.
        I disagree. Regardless of whether the worktop can still be used or not, burn marks put off prospective tenants, take value off the property and tend to make future tenants think that since it is spoilt anyway, they don't need to be so careful...so the whole kitchen deteriorates even faster.

        If I were this LL, I would want to replace the affected section at least and if I were the T who had damaged it, I would not consider that unreasonable. Burn marks on kitchen worktops are entirely avoidable but can be claimed for on insurance in any case.

        It is analogous with carpets : an indelible stain/ burn mark on a new carpet does not prevent the carpet being used but usually means the whole room must be re-carpeted, does it not?
        '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


          #5
          Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
          I disagree. Regardless of whether the worktop can still be used or not, burn marks put off prospective tenants, take value off the property and tend to make future tenants think that since it is spoilt anyway, they don't need to be so careful...so the whole kitchen deteriorates even faster.

          If I were this LL, I would want to replace the affected section at least and if I were the T who had damaged it, I would not consider that unreasonable. Burn marks on kitchen worktops are entirely avoidable but can be claimed for on insurance in any case.

          It is analogous with carpets : an indelible stain/ burn mark on a new carpet does not prevent the carpet being used but usually means the whole room must be re-carpeted, does it not?
          I agree, but it would help if we knew what type of kitchen surface it was?

          It's unlikely it will be expensive, it's probably a cheap kitchen surface and can be replaced easilly enough, which I think is totally reasonably as you have basically ruined it. If you burnt the kitchen surface in my property I would ask for new surfaces and wouldn't think it unreasonable at all.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Terry_Baker View Post
            If you burnt the kitchen surface in my property I would ask for new surfaces and wouldn't think it unreasonable at all.
            Let's say you had a £4000 granite worktop in your kitchen, and a tenant chipped it.
            You would fully expect a court to award you £4000 to replace it?
            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by thesaint View Post
              Let's say you had a £4000 granite worktop in your kitchen, and a tenant chipped it.
              You would fully expect a court to award you £4000 to replace it?
              That would depend on the age of the worksurface, wouldn't it? If brand new, then yes. If 15 years old out of expected life of 20 years, then 25% of cost to replace would be reasonable.

              OR T claims on his insurance...
              '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


                #8
                Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                Let's say you had a £4000 granite worktop in your kitchen, and a tenant chipped it.
                You would fully expect a court to award you £4000 to replace it?
                I wouldn't have a £4000 granite worktop in my kitchen if I was letting a house.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Terry_Baker View Post
                  I wouldn't have a £4000 granite worktop in my kitchen if I was letting a house.
                  But some people do, especially at the high end of the market.
                  I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Terry_Baker View Post
                    I wouldn't have a £4000 granite worktop in my kitchen if I was letting a house.
                    That's irrelevant.
                    The principal is exactly the same.
                    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                      That's irrelevant.
                      The principal is exactly the same.
                      Well I don't think it is really, as we are talking about the difference between a £4000 granite kitchen surface and a possible few hundred quid laminate kitchen surface. I think the difference in cost is very relevant.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                        That's irrelevant.
                        The principal is exactly the same.
                        What principle would that be, then? (For the avoidance of confusion!)
                        '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


                          #13
                          If I were a judge and a landlord claimed a new work top because it had a burn I would say "Pish! Its function is not affected."

                          (The above is despite the fact that I have neurotic perfectionist tendencies which I do my best to control. I tell all visitors to my flat that they can do what they like so long as they do not make rings on the furniture; I leave coasters everywhere.)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                            If I were a judge and a landlord claimed a new work top because it had a burn I would say "Pish! Its function is not affected."

                            (The above is despite the fact that I have neurotic perfectionist tendencies which I do my best to control. I tell all visitors to my flat that they can do what they like so long as they do not make rings on the furniture; I leave coasters everywhere.)
                            Ha! That's probably because you would have had a few too many glasses of Chardonnay and too much lobster and were feeling sleepy.

                            So if the LL came to you instead with a claim for a new oak table which had been negligently burned by a tenant, you would say the same thing?

                            At what point does the degree of 'damage' start to equate to the right to replace? If your argument is taken to its logical conclusion, a badly stained carpet can still be used as a carpet - so would LL have to put up with 'Pish' for that, as well?
                            '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


                              #15
                              I think the starting point has to be section 18 (1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927:

                              Damages for a breach of a covenant or agreement to keep or put premises in repair during the currency of a lease, or to leave or put premises in repair at the termination of a lease, whether such covenant or agreement is expressed or implied, and whether general or specific, shall in no case exceed the amount (if any) by which the value of the reversion (whether immediate or not) in the premises is diminished owing to the breach of such covenant or agreement as aforesaid[...]

                              That basically means that if the rental value of the property with the damage complained of is the same as the rental value without the damage complained of the landlord has suffered no loss. To put it another way, would remedying the damage increase the rent the landlord could get? If the answer is "no" then the landlord has suffered no loss. The fact that the damage may put some people off is not relevant; the question to ask is whether, assuming normal market conditions, there is a reasonable prospect of the property being relet within a reasonable period.

                              Part of the problem is that a landlord sees both "before" and "after" and notes all the differences. However, no property is perfect. A prospective tenant only sees the "after" and all the "new" defects are (if spotted at all) taken in with the "old" defects. If the over all condition of the property is reasonable, minor defects are not going to be a major factor for most prospective tenants. It has to be doubted that a "slight burn" on a worktop is ever going to a deciding factor.

                              Another way of looking at it is this: if someone buys a property with a view to letting it and an otherwise perfectly serviceable worktop has a slight burn on it, would he replace the worktop? I suggest that the answer is that he would not. That being the case, there is no difference between letting a just acquired property with an imperfect worktop and letting a recently vacated property with an imperfect worktop.

                              What it all comes down to is that a landlord cannot expect a property to be returned to him in the same condition it was in at the start of the tenancy. What constitutes fair wear and tear is matter of degree and is also going to depend on the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy and how long the tenant has been in occupation.

                              As to carpet stains if I were a judge I would say to a landlord: "You should have laid a stain coloured carpet. You can hide the stain with a mat. You can buy a mat at an auction for a pound. Damages one pound. Next case." I think we can class that as a "Pish!"

                              Comment

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