Responsibility for clearing gutters

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  • ram
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • mariner
    replied
    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'.

    Leave a comment:


  • jjlandlord
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • thesaint
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • monkeysee
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • ram
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • thesaint
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • ram
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • thesaint
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • ram
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • bhaal
    replied
    The relevant provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 Act are as follows:

    11 Repairing obligations in short leases.
    (1)In a lease to which this section applies (as to which, see sections 13 and 14) there is implied a covenant by the lessor—
    (a)to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes),

    (2)The covenant implied by subsection (1) (“the lessor’s repairing covenant”) shall not be construed as requiring the lessor—

    (a)to carry out works or repairs for which the lessee is liable by virtue of his duty to use the premises in a tenant-like manner, or would be so liable but for an express covenant on his part,

    12 Restriction on contracting out of s. 11.

    (1)A covenant or agreement, whether contained in a lease to which section 11 applies or in an agreement collateral to such a lease, is void in so far as it purports—

    (a)to exclude or limit the obligations of the lessor or the immunities of the lessee under that section, or

    (b)to authorise any forfeiture or impose on the lessee any penalty, disability or obligation in the event of his enforcing or relying upon those obligations or immunities,

    unless the inclusion of the provision was authorised by the county court.

    The question is whether having to clean gutters is part of the tenant's 'duty to use the premises in a tenant like manner' as that phrase is used in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. It seems that the Act's authors intended to import a particular term of art when they used the phrase 'tenant like manner' and probably meant to refer to the meaning given to the phrase by Denning LJ in Warren v Keen. Why would a pro-tenant piece of legislation import a phrase often cited to impose a duty on tenants? Because in Warren v Keen the landlord failed in his duty to impose a repairing obligation upon the tenant. The case is often cited by landlords in support of imposing ridiculous obligations on tenants. It is not correct to do so. The key part of Lord Justice's Denning's judgment is as follows:

    Apart from express contract, a tenant owes no duty to the landlord to keep the premises in repair. The only duty of the tenant is to use the premises in a husbandlike, or what is the same thing, a tenantlike manner … But what does “to use the premises in a tenantlike manner” mean? It can, I think, best be shown by some illustrations. The tenant must take proper care of the place. He must, if he is going away for the winter, turn off the water and empty the boiler. He must clean the chimneys, when necessary, and also the windows. He must mend the electric light when it fuses. He must unstop the sink when it is blocked by his waste. In short, he must do the little jobs about the place which a reasonable tenant would do. In addition, he must, of course, not damage the house, wilfully or negligently; and he must see that his family and guests do not damage it: and if they do, he must repair it. But apart from such things, if the house falls into disrepair through fair wear and tear or lapse of time, or for any reason not caused by him, then the tenant is not liable to repair it.’

    I do not think that the 'little jobs' Lord Justice Denning referred to included anything that involves clambering up a ladder to the roof and spending several hours clearing away detritus that may have accumulated over several years when the tenant would most likely have been in occupation for a fraction of that time. In almost all cases if the repairing obligation that a landlord seeks to impose on a tenant in respect of the external structure of the house goes further than repairing the damage caused by the tenant then it does not benefit from the exception in s11(2). It would therefore be void under s12. This means that unless the tenant actually physically blocks the gutters an obligation on him to clear them would be void.

    Leave a comment:


  • ram
    replied
    Originally posted by Berlingogirl View Post
    I agree with ram. And I don't provide lawnmowers!
    I supply my own lawn mower by the way, windows cleaned once a year ( paid for ) before anyone condems me as a problem tenant.
    If it's at ground level, I have no problem looking after the property.

    Leave a comment:


  • Berlingogirl
    replied
    I agree with ram.

    I don't expect tenants to clean the gutters or replace tap washers. Repalcing tap washers isn't an easy job if you've no plumbing experience. However, the rent covers these expenses. If the rent was a 'bargain' then I'd expect the tenant to do these jobs.

    And I don't provide lawnmowers!

    Leave a comment:


  • ram
    replied
    I have refuse point blank the following in any tenacy agreement.

    1) I will not clean gutters

    2) I will not replace tap washers

    ..... 2 comes under fair wear and tear, but landlords are now putting washers in the agreements, gutter cleaning, and what will be next -- ? Dismantle the flue in the boiler and clear out the soot,
    etc etc etc.

    Yes, I do tell the agents this, even if it is in the A.S.T. I put it in writing that I will NOT perform items 1 + 2.
    I have not been challenged on this.
    ( I do of course say this only when I have been accepted and seen the AST and am about to pay the first months rent. )

    I urge all tenants to draw the line at tap washers and gutters.

    Leave a comment:

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