Responsibility for clearing gutters

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    #16
    The wording of the 1985 Act is very specific.
    The Lessee has to repair the structure and exterior, which is clarified to include drains and gutters.

    Keeping a gutter clear of obstruction is not a repair - it's maintenance; fixing a broken or leaking pipe would be at repair.

    As a homeowner, I am responsible for keeping the gutters clear, even I have just moved in to a property and the blockage is from the previous owner. This is the analogue of Denning's cleaning the chimney (ah the good old days), even if it wasn't all my soot.

    It's interesting that the drain is assumed to blocked by the tenant's waste. Lord knows what he's doing in that sink...

    It might be sensible for a LL to clean out gutters as part of tidying up between tenants, but once in situ, I'd expect the tenant do keep them clear, and therefore better to put that in the contract to make things clear.

    If anyone doesn't want the tenants to risk life and limb clearing drains, I'd make that clear in the agreement as well - no point just not mentioning it.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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      #17
      Originally posted by jpkeates View Post

      Keeping a gutter clear of obstruction is not a repair - it's maintenance; I'd expect the tenant to keep them clear, and therefore better to put that in the contract to make things clear.
      Getting a yearly gas certificate is not a repair, it's checking everything works, nothing is repaired for the money your spend on the checking proceedure, so should the tenant pay for that ?
      Servicing a boiler is not a repair, it's maintence to ensure correct operation. ( clean out jets etc, no new parts fitted, no repairs undertaken, therefore it's maintenence) Should the tenant pay for that ? if there are no new parts fitted, ( makeing it maintenence and not a repair )

      And the list goes on and on.

      People are getting rent for the place which can be more than the mortgage payments ( B.T.L.) and you want it maintained FREE as well !! inside and out ! --

      Sorry, gutters are not my problem, and it's outside and above my head.

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by ram View Post
        Getting a yearly gas certificate is not a repair, it's checking everything works, nothing is repaired for the money your spend on the checking proceedure, so should the tenant pay for that ?
        Servicing a boiler is not a repair, it's maintence to ensure correct operation. ( clean out jets etc, no new parts fitted, no repairs undertaken, therefore it's maintenence) Should the tenant pay for that ? if there are no new parts fitted, ( makeing it maintenence and not a repair )
        A gas cert is coverd by separate legislation.
        Servicing a boiler is not a requirement for either the landlord or the tenant, so another moot point.
        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

        Comment


          #19
          Originally posted by thesaint View Post
          A gas cert is covered by separate legislation.
          immaterial, it's not a repair.

          Originally posted by thesaint View Post
          Servicing a boiler is not a requirement for either the landlord or the tenant, so another moot point.
          So using your logic, the boiler stops working because the landlord is NOT required to service the boiler, then the tenant has to service it to make sure it does not stop working, if the landlord does not have to service it.

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            #20
            Originally posted by ram View Post
            immaterial, it's not a repair.
            ram, you are very confused/confusing yourself with your wild digressions.
            A gas cert not being a repair has never been an issue.

            Originally posted by ram View Post
            So using your logic, the boiler stops working because the landlord is NOT required to service the boiler, then the tenant has to service it to make sure it does not stop working, if the landlord does not have to service it.
            No, using logic(not mine), I know that having a boiler serviced does not "make sure" that it does not stop working.
            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

            Comment


              #21
              Originally posted by thesaint View Post
              No, using logic(not mine), I know that having a boiler serviced does not "make sure" that it does not stop working.
              Having my car serviced DOES ensure it always works.
              If I never serviced my car from new ( EG never changed the oil for 10 years ) how long would it last ?
              How long would the tyes stay up if i never puffed air into them ( Tyre Maintenence - not repair ).

              How many less miles per gallon would I get if i never serviced the spark plugs ( reducing the electrode gap to 25 thousands of an inch as the electrodes wear down under spark errosion ) ( Maintenance --- not repair )

              My BEEF is, Landlords often do NOT want to maintain their properties, and many threads on here show that to be the case.

              Preventive maintenence seems a swear word in this industry

              Comment


                #22
                It seems quite unreasonable to expect a tenant on a 6 month let to clear the gutters... or even a 12 month.

                Someone who has been resident for years though it's perhaps less unreasonable.

                If they've been cleared just before the tenant moved in the tenant wont need to clear/clean them on a shorter let anyway unless they live in a forest. If the LL elected not to do them before the tenant moved in then I'd say he should have done and can't expect the tenant to do it for him...

                Lets were longer when the 'tenant-like manner' concept was introduced. Having the chimney cleaned/cleared is from what I read considered the tenants responsibility (tenant-like manner), a similar thing perhaps to having the gutters done where they have blocked over the course of a longer tenancy.
                I'm not a lawyer, what I say is the truth as I understand it. I offer no guarantee except good intentions.

                Comment


                  #23
                  Originally posted by ram View Post
                  Having my car serviced DOES ensure it always works.
                  It doesn't.
                  All cars can break down. Some are serviced annually and break down. Some are never serviced, and break down, and vice versa.

                  As a qualified mechanic and nominated tester(MOT), I feel I can qualify this statement.

                  Please note, this is about "responsibilities", not members opinions on what they think is reasonable.
                  Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                  Comment


                    #24
                    I do not think that clearing the gutters of leaves and other debris is "keeping them in repair" (as Westminster had pointed out in post #2), and so I think it is not one of the landlord's obligations.
                    It falls in the same category as cleaning the windows, IMO: Either both are "keeping the exterior structure in repair" or neither are.

                    In a standard house, clearing the gutters is a little job. If the tenant does not feel like climbing on a ladder, someone can be hired very cheaply.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      IMO Lord Denning's ruling was sound, he made Ts resp for minor maintenance jobs that any householder could expect to undertake, tap washers, unblocking internal waste pipes, sweeping chimneys. OK few Ts have open coal fires, most demand gch, which LL has to keep operational.
                      Cleaning gutters is not nec required of every T but prob 1x/yr to clear leaf fall. Concrete tiles are more prone to blockage by tile grit and moss.
                      My last gutter clean cost me (owner) £50 or £200 for cleanin concrete roof tiles of moss inc gutter clean. Not suggesting Ts be responsible for roof clean as it should only be required every 5 yrs for concrete tiles, prob never for slates.
                      Who is resp for putting fuel in car if it runs low on a trip, the Registered Keeper (Dad) or driver (son/dau/wife) if they want to get home?
                      Ts want LLs to be resp for everything. What next? LL has to clear the property pathways of snow and provide de-icer every time it snows?!

                      Yes it is LLs asset and income, it is the Ts home and should act in 'a T/ homeowner manner'.

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Originally posted by mariner View Post
                        Who is resp for putting fuel in car if it runs low on a trip, the Registered Keeper (Dad) or driver (son/dau/wife) if they want to get home?
                        The person who uses the fuel, of course
                        Tenant uses the electric, so he pays for it.

                        Originally posted by mariner View Post
                        Ts want LLs to be resp for everything. What next? LL has to clear the property pathways of snow and provide de-icer every time it snows?!
                        As I mentioned, I am happy to "Maintain your property" at ground level.

                        It wont be the first time I have been elbow deep down outside drains clearing out leaves and crap that comes off the roof as landlords never think of clearing drains. ( Their drains )
                        In fact, no one I know who has their own house has ever kept clear drains once a year, they wait till they block.

                        Originally posted by mariner View Post
                        Yes it is LLs asset and income, it is the Ts home and should act in 'a T/ homeowner manner'.
                        I think you will find it's in a "tenant like manner", not a homeowner like manner.

                        Comment


                          #27
                          As a landlord I don't have to get the boiler serviced, but I do as it is likely to prolong the life of the boiler but this is something that is of little interest to a tenant.

                          Most tenants are unlikely to notice if the gutter needs clearing and it is of little interest to them either way. It is however of interest to the landlord as long term structural damage can result from overflowing gutters. Possibly something you could claim from a deposit, but difficult to prove or quantify, so most likely to fail an appeal.

                          Where a) the job is dangerous and b) it's not necessarily something that needs to happen every tenancy and c) the structural maintenance of the building depends on it, I as landlord would expect (want) to take responsibility for it
                          IANAL (I am not a lawyer). Anything I say here is just an opinion, so should not be relied upon! Always check your facts with a professional who really knows their onions.

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Originally posted by Grrr View Post
                            I as landlord would expect (want) to take responsibility for it
                            No one is taking that away from you.
                            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                            Comment


                              #29
                              If the gutter only needs cleanings is the T's responsability. Since thetenancy states they must do minor repairs, (check this)
                              If however not cleaning the gutter is causing/will cause damage for example if the gutter is dipping due to the weight of moss then I think this is the LL who must have this cleaned/fixed.

                              It does also state in a tenancy LL must repair external problems, Gutter is external but cleaning it is not repairing, so I guess it's down to the tenant.

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Homeowners have to clear leaves out of their own gutters. Tenants should generally expect the same in their home. To avoid climbing a ladder, one can ask a window cleaner or other tradesman to do it. If the gutter gets old and breaks, that is a different matter and generally the landlord would be responsible for repairing it. It would depend to some degree on the length of the lease as well as the terms of the tenancy but if there is an understanding at the beginning of the tenancy then that should prevail.

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