Bath Damaged by Tenant - who pays?

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  • Bath Damaged by Tenant - who pays?

    Hi,

    A tenant has informed me that he slipped in the bath and as a result cracked the base. I've inspected the damage and the crack is over 6 inches long and clearly irreparable. (It must have been one hell of a thump because the crack is over the area covered by a 25mm thick chipboard base and directly above the central leg.)

    I have spoken to the letting agent who informs me that I cannot charge the full cost of replacing the bath against the tenants deposit as certain factors have to be taken into consideration, such as age and condition of the bath when the tenant moved in.

    As a result of which they say that ultimately I will only be able to charge a fairly small amount (probably less than half the cost) as should the tenant object and go to arbitration they would very likely win as a new bath would be considered "betterment".

    Yes the bath is fairly old but it was in very good condition at the start of the tenancy.

    The matter is made worse by the fact that it's a avocado coloured suite and that as I far as I can tell this colour is no longer available meaning that the whole suite will have to be replaced.

    If anybody has had experience of this sort of situation I'd appreciate their advice as to where I stand.

    Thanks

    SC

    ps the Agent also informed me that whilst the arbitration process is free for the tenant, agents have to pay. They mentioned that a recent case cost them about £900 - could this be correct?? Seems a little high to me.. They say that I'd better off going to small claims?
    Last edited by sc52; 10-10-2011, 10:24 AM. Reason: grammar

  • #2
    Your agent is correct about the bath. Avocado suites are hideous anyway. I thought that the adjudication process was free to both parties. In what scheme is the deposit held?
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

    Comment


    • #3
      Don't forget to ask for a proportion of re-tiling cost also.

      I would guess that baths and tiles should maybe last twenty years, so the amount you could ask is cost times 0.05(20-[age of suite])

      Also, if your tiles are on plasterboard, consider replacing it with Aquapanel:

      http://wickesmedia.live.venda.com/co...ges/gil/54.pdf

      Comment


      • #4
        Clearly this is an "accident" rather than normal "wear and tear".
        T accepts that he caused the damage and so, he should replace (at least)the bath.If he had accidental insurance cover there would be no problem.
        It appears likely that the suite is quite old - I'd guess that avocado bathrooms would be 1980 or earlier - so (as you say)a direct replacement probably isn't possible. Perhaps a white bath with a mahogany-coloured panel wouldn't look too bad.
        Alternatively if you were thinking about replacing the whole suite anyway, you could suggest that T contributes the price of the bath.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Paul_f,

          thanks for your reply.

          I couldn't agree more about the colour - revolting

          I've no idea which scheme the letting agent has put the money in - I'll find out.

          Re betterment - I can understand that replacing the entire suite would be betterment. I was hoping that a white bath in an otherwise coloured suite wouldn't be.

          I could always try and source a replacement avocado bath but given the time and effort involved it'd probably be cheaper just to get a white one. I'd then change the rest of the suite at my expense once the tenant has moved out.

          SC

          Comment


          • #6


            Don't forget to ask for a proportion of re-tiling cost also.

            I would guess that baths and tiles should maybe last twenty years, so the amount you could ask is cost times 0.05(20-[age of suite])

            Also, if your tiles are on plasterboard, consider replacing it with Aquapanel:

            http://wickesmedia.live.venda.com/co...ges/gil/54.pdf


            Thanks for that - can't remember the tile colour but they were probably chosen to "complement" the suite colour....

            SC
            Last edited by sc52; 10-10-2011, 13:10 PM. Reason: english

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by johnjw View Post
              Clearly this is an "accident" rather than normal "wear and tear".
              T accepts that he caused the damage and so, he should replace (at least)the bath.If he had accidental insurance cover there would be no problem.
              It appears likely that the suite is quite old - I'd guess that avocado bathrooms would be 1980 or earlier - so (as you say)a direct replacement probably isn't possible. Perhaps a white bath with a mahogany-coloured panel wouldn't look too bad.
              Alternatively if you were thinking about replacing the whole suite anyway, you could suggest that T contributes the price of the bath.
              Thanks johnjw,

              I think I'll get the tenant cover the cost of replacing the bath, as you suggest, and pay for the rest of the suite myself.

              SC

              Comment


              • #8
                Don't delay over replacement. While 'who pays' may be a moot point, you are obliged to get it fixed under section 11 of the 1985 Landlord & Tenant Act.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                  Don't delay over replacement. While 'who pays' may be a moot point, you are obliged to get it fixed under section 11 of the 1985 Landlord & Tenant Act.
                  Yes going as quick as I can - where do I stand charging the tenant if I do the work?

                  Thanks

                  SC

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Don't replace......get it repaired.

                    I had a similar problem a couple of years ago. If you look in yellow pages there will be a number of firms that will come out and repair the bath. My repair ( on a coloured suite) was virtualy invisible. Cost me £70.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      No one has mentioned insurance here.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Is the bath 30yrs old, that colour is, the bath belongs to the landlord, the tenant did not wilfully damage the Bath, so it is about time the Bath was replaced, the money you recieve from the tenant is good money, so how about you stop complaining and do what is right, the property is yours legally , but the fact is tenants have paid for it, stop being a skinflint. the majority of landlords would replace the bath , so dont you think you should,

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                          No one has mentioned insurance here.
                          I mentioned insurance (above) but I think it's unlikely that a policy would be in place.
                          I think that the T would not be able to find a policy which would allow him to insure for damage to the LL's property.
                          As far as the LL's insurance policy goes, there would have to be "accidental damage" cover in place and my experience is that this addition almost doubles the cost of the insurance.
                          The LL can hardly be expected to buy expensive insurance to cover damage which would normally be recoverable from the tenant deposit.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by johnjw View Post
                            I mentioned insurance...
                            Oops! So you did!

                            The starting point here is that under section 11 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 the landlord is under an obligation to repair the bath. Whether a landlord insures against accidental damage is up to him and is not relevant in establishing his obligation.

                            The OFT's guidance on what is acceptable in transferring risk to a tenant gives a clue as to what the law is. They say:

                            Landlords are under a duty to maintain the structure of the building and this risk is their responsibility even though the claim may not arise through their fault. This does not mean that tenants are not liable for damages where they are at fault, but they should not be required to bear this risk in all instances.

                            The question is whether the tenant is at fault if he causes the damage accidentally.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AlexJohn24
                              Both are eligible for this, If I face same problem in my life then I would to get half change from tenant.

                              Who is agree with me?
                              Could you explain your message please?

                              There is damage to a bath which may be 30 years old.

                              Is the bath unusable?
                              Have you had it fixed yet? if not, what other facilities does tenant have for bathing? if no other facilities then it's up to you to repair or replace the bath.

                              Do you have accidental damage insurance? Does the tenant have accidental damage insurance?

                              We don't seem to be getting anywhere with this thread.

                              Comment

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