New Landlord problems

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    New Landlord problems

    Hi
    I am a new landlord and am living oversseas. I have a long list of problems from the tennant, most of which I am gettinng sorted.

    I let my flat unfurnished. But i left my washing machine for the tenants. It has now brocken and they want me to fix it along with everything else. What with the ongoing % to my useless letting agent and the various tradesmen i have to get in to sort everything else for them, this is the last straw.

    What is my position? I've just told them to get rid of it and they can buy their own. Alternatively they can pay for mending it and then keep it as theirs.

    They say that as i let the flat with the machine, it is my responsability.

    I look forward to your views.
    Jon

    #2
    Originally posted by jca21 View Post
    What is my position? I've just told them to get rid of it and they can buy their own. Alternatively they can pay for mending it and then keep it as theirs.
    They say that as i let the flat with the machine, it is my responsability.
    I'd say they are correct, I'm afraid. I don't know whether you can absolve yourself of the washing machine if an inventory was carried out when the property was let, and if the washing machine was omitted? Doubt it though - perhaps someone could confirm?

    Comment


      #3
      Regrettably as the machine was installed and working when the tenant took over the property he has a right to consider that part of his rent goes towards providing a serviceable washing machine. Therefore it must be repaired or replaced by the landlord. The only exception is if it was made abundantly clear to the tenant before he signed his AST that this was not the case, and that he would have to repair the existing machine or replace it with his own in the event of failure.

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

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by P.Pilcher View Post
        The only exception is if it was made abundantly clear to the tenant before he signed his AST that this was not the case, and that he would have to repair the existing machine or replace it with his own in the event of failure.

        P.P.


        Are you sure this is exactly right? From what I been reading the landlord can contract out of their repairing obligations for the washing machine by putting it in the AST. ARLA's standard contract does this 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."

        Apparently this clause is in the standard ARLA contract and has been passed by the Office of Fair Trading. I wouldn't call it abundantly clear or much of an exception as it's buried in the standard terms. BUT I don't think the landlord can make the tenant repair the existing machine, the other option is for the tenant to leave the machine un repaired.

        Anyway as you say, the main thing is consult the AST.
        ~~~~~

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Ruth Less View Post
          Are you sure this is exactly right? From what I been reading the landlord can contract out of their repairing obligations for the washing machine by putting it in the AST. ARLA's standard contract does this 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."

          Apparently this clause is in the standard ARLA contract and has been passed by the Office of Fair Trading. I wouldn't call it abundantly clear or much of an exception as it's buried in the standard terms. BUT I don't think the landlord can make the tenant repair the existing machine, the other option is for the tenant to leave the machine un repaired.

          Anyway as you say, the main thing is consult the AST.
          Washing machine isn't covered by clause which simply reflects s.11 of LTA 1985. L not responsible for repair.
          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


            #6
            I would agree with P. Pilcher. The washing machine would be considered part of the tenancy agreement and must be maintained at the landlord's expense.

            Comment


              #7
              I'm sorry but Ruth Less & Jeffery are talking poppycock!

              The landlord must maintain the washing machine and replace it if necessary if irreparable. You cannot "contract out" by making the tenant responsible or saying you will "give" it to them or that if it doesn't work they should dispose of it; it's the "supply" that is the defining factor. I realise it is not part of the L&T Act 1985 S.11 but the landlord is still responsible.
              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


                #8
                Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                I'm sorry but Ruth Less & Jeffery are talking poppycock!

                The landlord must maintain the washing machine and replace it if necessary if irreparable. You cannot "contract out" by making the tenant responsible or saying you will "give" it to them or that if it doesn't work they should dispose of it; it's the "supply" that is the defining factor. I realise it is not part of the L&T Act 1985 S.11 but the landlord is still responsible.
                1. No such person as "Jeffery".
                2. Explain how L is responsible if no statutory responsibility and Agreement silent? Do you mean only that you'd like L to be responsible?
                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
                  I always say that problems can always be resolved no matter what .it is all about compromises

                  can you tell them to buy a new one for about £150 and you pay half and they can then keep it that way you won't be responsible(make sure it is documented). some people make silly demands sometimes.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                    I'm sorry but Ruth Less & Jeffery are talking poppycock!

                    The landlord must maintain the washing machine and replace it if necessary if irreparable. You cannot "contract out" by making the tenant responsible or saying you will "give" it to them or that if it doesn't work they should dispose of it; it's the "supply" that is the defining factor. I realise it is not part of the L&T Act 1985 S.11 but the landlord is still responsible.
                    Paul did you see the following thread a while ago (Ruth Less again), in which it was pointed out that ARLA apparently disagree with the above?

                    http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...5370#post25370

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                      Paul did you see the following thread a while ago (Ruth Less again), in which it was pointed out that ARLA apparently disagree with the above?

                      http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...5370#post25370
                      Yep, I got confirmation by email too, I quoted the term from the agreement I posted above, the reply from Heidi Clark at ARLA:

                      "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."

                      So Paul_f if I am talking poppycock then ARLA are too!

                      PS As for the tenant having to repair them I also asked about that citing another clause and Heidi wrote:

                      "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 for the agreement I mentioned it looks like the end result would be the machine being left broken!
                      ~~~~~

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Shelter says:

                        What about electrical appliances?
                        If your landlord supplies electrical appliances such as a fridge or
                        washing machine, they may be responsible for fixing them if they
                        break down. However much will depend on what was agreed
                        between you at the outset of the tenancy, and how important the
                        item was to you when you decided to take up the tenancy. If you
                        have a tenancy agreement check to see if it says whether the
                        landlord is responsible. You are responsible for maintaining any
                        electrical goods that you own.

                        Any electrical equipment provided by your landlord should be safe,
                        but there is no requirement for a safety certificate.
                        Also all the other documents I've checked don't seem to mention the landlord's obligation to maintain electrical goods unless stated in the agreement, only to make sure they are safe.

                        I'd be interested to see what Paul's advice is based on (maybe case law?).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Jennifer_M View Post
                          Shelter says:
                          Also all the other documents I've checked don't seem to mention the landlord's obligation to maintain electrical goods unless stated in the agreement, only to make sure they are safe.

                          I'd be interested to see what Paul's advice is based on (maybe case law?).

                          Yes, that's sums up what I've found when looking too.

                          It seems a bit contradictory in some ways though, if the landlord doesn't do the repair, so the tenant does it as they need to use the machine then how can the landlord possibly know if it's safe? This is the main reason why it bothers me, if I move into a property where the previous tenant has repaired the electrical appliances then how on earth do I know what I'm letting myself in for or if they are safe?
                          ~~~~~

                          Comment

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