White goods repairing obligations.

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  • Ruth Less
    replied
    ARLA have replied to my email, they write:

    If there are white goods in the property which are owned by the landlord and there is nothing in the tenancy agreement to say he/she won't maintain them, then you can reasonably expect that he/she will maintain them.

    White goods do not form part of the landlords repairing/maintenance obligations under section 11, Landlord & Tenant Act 1985, therefore he/she can opt to not repair them but this should be stipulated in the tenancy agreement.

    With regards to the following clause...

    Under tenants obligations:
    "To maintain all equipment including but without exception fridge, freezer, cooker, washing machines, dishwasher at the tenants expense (fair wear and tear excepted)."

    ... I have checked our tenancy agreement and it does not include this clause. For this reason I would suggest that you have it assessed by the Office of Fair Trading on Tel. 020 7211 8000 just check that it is a fair and reasonable clause.

    If you bought a new machine then you could take it away with you, providing that you re-installed the original one for the landlord.


    So best case is that the tenant would have to store and reinstall the broken appliance and buy and use their own in the meantime. Something I would not be prepared to do, especially in a small flat/house where would I store it! Worst case would be the tenant has to maintain the landlords appliance. Will ring OFT as advised.

    At least it's confirmation that I should walk away from this agent. Their charges are hefty too:

    75x2 to reference two people, 85 to inventory 3 bed property, 58.75 contract fee for initial contract ans also payable on renewals.

    So assuming two six month contracts in a year thats a total of 352.50 which is 29.37 per month!

    Leave a comment:


  • Ruth Less
    replied
    I've phoned ARLA and asked about both the clauses.

    For the clause under landlords obligations:
    "To keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the Property for the supply of water gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins sinks baths and sanitary conveniences but not any other fixtures fittings or appliances for making use of the supply of water gas or electricity) and for space heating or heating water."

    The lady from ARLA confirmed this means that the landlord does not have to repair appliances like the washing machine if they were to just stop working due to no fault of the tenant. She said that this clause is in the standard ARLA contract and has been passed by the Office of Fair Trading. She said there is no legislation covering white goods and the landlord can contract out of having to repair them by putting a clause such as this in the contract.

    For the clause under tenants obligations:
    "To maintain all equipment including but without exception fridge, freezer, cooker, washing machines, dishwasher at the tenants expense (fair wear and tear excepted)."

    The ARLA lady said I should seek further advice from ARLA via email on what this means. The questions we discussed are if the washing machine stopped working due to no fault of the tenant does the tenant have the choice not to repair it? If the tenant replaces the machine will the new machine be owned by the tenant or the landlord? I have emailed ARLA these questions.

    I am surprised by all this as I thought, from reading this forum etc., the landlord had to maintain the appliances he provides provided the tenant hasn't misused them.

    Leave a comment:


  • Worldlife
    replied
    To what extent is the landlord obliged to replace like for like?

    The current washing machine at our property is a washer and condenser dryer and was quite expensive when new (the property was then owner occupied). In no way are we prepared to suggest that the breakdown of this machine that is over 7 years old is attibutable to misuse by the tenant - the machine was scheduled for replacement.

    In practical terms I think it will help avoid condensation within the flat if a replacement washing machine with a condenser dryer is provided.

    I do have an opportunity to purchase a machine reconditioned and certified by Remploy but it is just a modern simple wash and spin dry machine.

    I am however inclined to try and replace like with like provided I can get a competitive price - it depends on how much the "goodwill" in doing this will be appreciated.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ericthelobster
    replied
    Originally posted by Poppy View Post
    Can you really be bothered with the hassle of putting this so-called ARLA-registered agent right? By all means inform ARLA, but leave it at that.

    You have the benefit of foresight in this situation. It ain't your problem, don't make it yours. Life's too short.
    Yes indeed, but I only suggested Ruth Less made a phone call to ARLA because she seemed to be indicating that by ruling out the agency concerned (which seems to be the alternative), she was going to miss out on the best properties in her area... it's possible the agency could swiftly be put right within Ruth's timeframe for house-hunting.

    Leave a comment:


  • Poppy
    replied
    Can you really be bothered with the hassle of putting this so-called ARLA-registered agent right? By all means inform ARLA, but leave it at that.

    You have the benefit of foresight in this situation. It ain't your problem, don't make it yours. Life's too short.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jennifer_M
    replied
    Having an agreement put before you doesn't mean you can only accept it or refuse it. You can also have it amended before you accept it.

    So if the property is the one you really want just go back to the agent pointing out the landlord's responsibilities by law and get the agent to strike through the unfair lines and correct it for you before you sign anything.

    In any case the unfair terms wouldn't hold up in court so the only thing you'd risk is the hassle if the agent/landlord turned out to be unreasonable.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ericthelobster
    replied
    Originally posted by Ruth Less View Post
    Although Goadsby are an estate agents they have separate lettings departments too. They clearly state they are members of ARLA. There are several other terms in the contract putting repairs that I think should be the landlord's responsibility onto the tenant.
    Having to avoid this agency is a disappointment as they have a large number of the best properties to let in Weymouth
    So get on the phone to ARLA and ask them the same question you asked here.... when they give you the same answer, tell them that one of their members isn't playing ball. It might get sorted out pretty quickly....

    Leave a comment:


  • Ruth Less
    replied
    Thanks Eric and Poppy,

    This is the standard contract of Goadsby, Weymouth, Dorset. I was given the contract by the lady in the office, she just picked it up from a large pile, it isn't specific to just the property I'm interested in.

    Although Goadsby are an estate agents they have separate lettings departments too. They clearly state they are members of ARLA. There are several other terms in the contract putting repairs that I think should be the landlord's responsibility onto the tenant.

    Having to avoid this agency is a disappointment as they have a large number of the best properties to let in Weymouth

    Leave a comment:


  • Poppy
    replied
    Did you find this landlord through an agency? If so, is the agency signed up to any regulatory bodies?

    I bet this landlord will turn out to be a bad 'un. I think you should look for somewhere without this hassle. Be glad that you spotted this before taking on the tenancy.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ericthelobster
    replied
    Originally posted by Ruth Less View Post
    This reads to me like the landlord isn't responsible for repairs to things like the washing machine. Is that allowed given the washing machine and all other white goods come with the property.
    I think you read it correctly: and no, that's not allowed. How much better to find out this now, before you've signed anything!

    Leave a comment:


  • Ruth Less
    replied
    The agreement also says under Landlords Obligations:

    "To keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the property for the supply of water gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins sinks baths and sanitary conveniences but not any other fixtures fittings or appliances for making use of the supply of water gas or electricity) and for space heating or heating water."

    This reads to me like the landlord isn't responsible for repairs to things like the washing machine. Is that allowed given the washing machine and all other white goods come with the property.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ruth Less
    started a topic White goods repairing obligations.

    White goods repairing obligations.

    Reading the proposed tenancy agreement for a property I'm considering moving to it says under Tenant Obligations:

    "To maintain all equipment including but without exception fridge, freezer, cooker, washing machines, dishwasher at the tenants expense (fair wear and tear excepted)."

    Can anyone clarify what comes under fair wear and tear? Under this term in the agreement, who pays if say the washing machine broke down me (the tenant) or the landlord?

    Thank you for any answers.

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