Tenant installing shower in residential property

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    Tenant installing shower in residential property

    I am looking for some advice on tenants making improvements to a residential property.

    We recently found a London flat that we liked and made an offer to the landlord's agent to lease the property. When we looked at the flat, we noticed that it did not have a shower, only a bath. The flat was advertised as being let fully furnished with a fully fitted bathroom. When we put in the offer, it was subject to the landlord installing a shower. Our original offer was submitted on Jan 11.

    There were some negotiations with the landlord (through the agent), and we agreed to furnish the place ourselves at a reduced rent, but the landlord was to supply a fridge, washing machine and shower.

    Eight days before we were due to move in, the agent contacted us saying that we were now going to have to provide the fridge, washing machine and shower, but that they were going to waive their £750 'admin fee', and that this should be enough to cover all three items. We never were consulted about this and had no option but to go along with it as we had already made arrangements to move in and buy furniture.

    We had been repeately asking the agent for a second viewing of the flat to measure up, and now to determine what would be involved in installing a shower, but did not get a viewing until four days before we moved in. We only had 15 minutes at the property and were unable to arrange a plumber to come and provide an opinion and quote in that time.

    We had no idea how much a shower would cost, but assumed we would be able to get one installed for around £400 (£750 less the cost of a fridge and washing machine). We have since had four plumbers opinions and the work is likely going to cost us in excess of £1000. The agent has offered us a contribution of £200 towards the works as a "goodwill gesture" (which suggests to me that they know they have done something wrong).

    It also turns out that additional electrical work is required to install an electric shower because the fuse box is old and the agent's maintenance team have raised concerns about the state of the electrics. We have requested the landlord correct these issues, but have been waiting over a week for a response from them and are no further toward having a shower installed.

    I think the agent has mislead us into agreeing to let the property and want to know what our rights are in relation to:
    a) complaining that the agent has breached their code of practice;
    b) claiming compensation from the landlord for improvements to their property;
    c) the landlord's obligation to repair the property.

    Can anyone help please?

    #2
    What a mess. I can't see what recourse you have now though, as you agreed to fit the shower yourself however misguided that may have been.

    I don't understand why the agent's whopping admin fee was equated to the landlord's possessions - why was the agent willing to forgo his fee if you purchased stuff for the landlord? (Are they one and the same?)
    Originally posted by GlamisGordon View Post
    I think the agent has mislead us into agreeing to let the property and want to know what our rights are in relation to:
    a) complaining that the agent has breached their code of practice;
    I don't know; but firstly, is the agent a member of any accredited body? Most aren't (they don't need to be); and if that's the case then quite simply there is no code of practice to breach.
    b) claiming compensation from the landlord for improvements to their property;
    Why, when you agreed in advance to make improvements (in return for financial benefit)?
    c) the landlord's obligation to repair the property.
    Yes he's obliged to maintain it - is this in relation to the electrics? If so more details needed. But be aware that any electrician who's asked to report on an electrical installation will report on how it deviates from current standards; and there's no requirement for the wiring to be brought up to improved every time the regulations change.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for your comments.

      Yes, it is a huge admin fee which we were glad not to have to pay, and we will be able to sell the fridge and washing machine at the end of the lease, but we are not happy about paying to improve the landlords property... but really want a shower!

      The agent is a part of ARLA so we will do some research to find out what we can do to complain to them.

      I briefly read that Part 1 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 provides a Tenant’s right to compensation for improvements, but was wondering if there is any similar legislation for residential properties.

      Regarding the repairs, I dont think we can ask the landlord to 'repair' the bathroom to install a shower as a shower is not strictly essential, but we would like the electrics repaired so that we can then install an electric shower and avoid us paying for the improvements to the fuse box so that we can have this installed...

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by GlamisGordon View Post
        The agent is a part of ARLA so we will do some research to find out what we can do to complain to them.
        Complain about what exactly? It is the LL who went back on your original agreement; the agent had no choice but to follow LL's instructions.

        Like Eric, I don't understand why the agent would forego their admin fees. It's the LL who would have had to pay for the shower etc, not the agent.

        I briefly read that Part 1 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 provides a Tenant’s right to compensation for improvements, but was wondering if there is any similar legislation for residential properties.
        You agreed to make the improvements in exchange for £750.

        Regarding the repairs, I dont think we can ask the landlord to 'repair' the bathroom to install a shower as a shower is not strictly essential,
        Correct. The absence of a shower is not disrepair.

        but we would like the electrics repaired so that we can then install an electric shower and avoid us paying for the improvements to the fuse box so that we can have this installed...
        The LL is obliged to ensure that the electrics are safe - no more than that. Why does the shower have to be electric, anyway?

        Can't you install something like this?
        http://www.plumbworld.co.uk/aqualisa...100-2624-20151
        http://www.plumbworld.co.uk/croydex-...-tap-188-17387

        Comment


          #5
          Why not install a non-electric shower?
          Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

          Comment


            #6
            I have a feeling that the LL was always intending to let the property as is (without a shower), but the agent failed to tell us that until it was too late and we were already committed to moving in - just so they could get a sale. Therefore, I feel like they had misled us into signing up to the place. I think that is why they offered to waive their fee... just so they could get the LL's business. The property was originally advertised by the agent as fully furnished, and I think the LL never intended to furnish it at all.

            We have tried a shower that fits onto the bath taps and the hot water pressure is not good enough to have a shower in. We can either install a pump and mixer shower (costs approx £1200), or have the fuse box fixed and then install an electric shower which would be slightly cheaper to us if the landlord pays to fix the electrics first. I see what you are saying though, I think it might be hard to convince the landlord to pay for the electrical work because it could be considered safe at the moment...

            Comment


              #7
              Leading on from Saint's question - does let have a combi boiler? If so theromostatic shower valve type would do - only pure plumbing needed for that one.



              Freedom at the point of zero............

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by GlamisGordon View Post
                I have a feeling that the LL was always intending to let the property as is (without a shower), but the agent failed to tell us that until it was too late and we were already committed to moving in - just so they could get a sale. Therefore, I feel like they had misled us into signing up to the place. I think that is why they offered to waive their fee... just so they could get the LL's business. The property was originally advertised by the agent as fully furnished, and I think the LL never intended to furnish it at all.
                There is no legal definition of fully furnished and, as you say, you agreed to furnish the place in exchange for a reduced rent.

                Your suspicions may well be correct, but you cannot prove that the agent knew that LL never intended to install a shower. He will obviously deny it.

                What is there in writing about the shower etc? Was any agreement actually signed?

                I think it might be hard to convince the landlord to pay for the electrical work because it could be considered safe at the moment...
                Quite. It's a really difficult situation, if a shower is essential for you. How long is the fixed term? How essential is having a shower?

                Even if you do install an expensive shower, you need to consider what happens if something goes wrong and results in damage (not implausible when plumbing is involved) - you could end up being liable for that. Personally, and no disrespect to you, I think the LL is completely insane to allow a T to install a shower, let alone allow it without insisting on approving the type of shower/tiling, contractor used, etc.

                What type of boiler is it BTW?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hi - thanks for your help so far.

                  We have email correspondence relating to the negotiation of the agreement, where we agreed to lease the place subject to the LL installing a shower, but the agent was silent on the issue until they said that we would have to provide fridge, washing machine and shower ourselves...

                  The term is for 12 months with an option to renew, so you can see why we dont want to fork out that sort of money for such a short term. We are all young professionals and a shower is pretty essential to us. We wouldnt have moved in if we knew it would be this much hassle.

                  You raise a very good point regarding the potential damage, and the agent has raised the issue of possible water damage which is concerning to us. Its not looking good for us

                  I'm not sure what type of boiler we have, but its an old council flats building and I think there is a central boiler for the whole building. I think our hot water and heating is included in the rent. There is a hot water cyclinder in our apartment though.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    IMO the electrics are a red herring. Any electric shower should have its own dedictated circuit, with correct power rated cable and trip switch connected direct to main fuse box. Actual shower unit <£100, elec cabling £?, plumbing to bath cold water feed £?. Key question for over the bath shower, is bath area fully wall tiled with waterproof grout? Also you will need a shower rail and cutain/panel £25?
                    You should obtain LLs prior written approval for you to install.
                    Why not ask LL to get estimate for complete job, from his usual tradesmen, if price is reasonable, you reimburse the invoice. Thus LL should be happy work & checks completed to his satifaction, you get your shower?
                    Similarly if you decide to go with plumbed non-electric shower.
                    (My 1960s fuse box with fuse wire fuses, took an electric shower when fitted by comp electrician.)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Cheap and Chearful.........................................

                      This

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzGtSja1eUw

                      would be the best type of shower
                      Thunderbirds are go

                      Comment


                        #12
                        You could look into installing a "venturi" shower, we've installed a couple of these. When we bought them, they were sold by Argos.

                        The link below explains how they work.

                        http://www.tubz.co.uk/venturi_shower.php

                        The link below is the only one I've been able to find.

                        http://www.showermania.co.uk/proddetail.asp?prod=TR103

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The bath area is tiled on one half, and the other half has a large mirror with a wooden frame, so we would need to do something about waterproofing the frame to prevent water damage from a shower. We have a curtain rail and curtain.

                          We have the LLs prior written approval for you to install. No doubt he would be happy for us to add value to the property at no cost to him, and assume liability for any damage!

                          We have had the agent's plumber to give a quote, but the agent will not pass on the details of it, despite us asking many times. We would have been happy to use their tradesmen, but the agent is not being helpful at all.

                          We have a quote for the electric shower, which includes fixing the fuse box and doing all the work you mention, mariner.

                          Mrs Mug - thanks, I was not aware there were more options! I will ask our plumber if this would work for us.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            My flatmate adds:

                            The cold water is provided through the building's central supply (pressure is hot water tank which is situated right behind the bath (behind a wall), so pressure is almost non-existent above the bath-tap level (hence the original desire for a pump/mixer combo or an electric shower.

                            The high cost associated with the electric stem from the fact that the fuse box (old wire type) is full, and as such an additional rcd protected box would have to be installed (hence why we are keen for the LL to replace the old box if we can prove it is unsafe... bit of a round about way but a means to an end). Pump option all up comes to the same price of over £1000.

                            No idea whether the tiling is water proofed - this could add cost if not... Grouting/wp painting the mirror frame should not be a tricky endeavour (unless someone begs to differ?)

                            Finally, the plumber that we have been speaking to has never installed a Venturi shower so can not comment on whether it will solve our pressure issue...

                            Comment


                              #15
                              AIUI the dedicated electric shower circuit & properly rated rcd can be connected to existing 45A main fuse in the box. Main fuse box should not require replacement though NICEEC regs may apply. Then again I am not a qualified electrician!

                              Comment

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