Toilet seat or bowl breakage- whose responsibility?

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  • Toilet seat or bowl breakage- whose responsibility?

    Hi,
    Just a quick question. We are letting a fully furnished property. Tenant has informed us that the toilet seat has broken and also the toaster. Would we be responsible for replacing these items?
    Thank you.

  • #2
    Depends why they've broken... if they've failed due to fair wear and tear, or whether they've been obviously abused by the tenant.

    Comment


    • #3
      Tenants are usually expected to mend/replace minor items themselves, eg light bulbs, but it it not clear at what stage the "minor" item gets big enough to be the landlord's problem.
      I would be inclined to have a look at both items and decide if either has suffered any damage by the tenant.
      The toilet seat may just be a cheap plastic one, which can easily crack due to normal use, and would therefore be the landlord's responsibility to replace. If it looks as though it has been subject to damage eg been stood on, the tenant should bear the cost.
      The same goes for the toaster, but if it isn't listed on the inventory, I would suggest you didn't replace it yourself. I tend to avoid supplying small electrical items, as they are always going wrong, and the tenant can buy his own at no great cost. Even larger ones like microwave ovens are inexpensive to buy these days, so let the tenant get his own.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Nora Kay View Post
        Tenants are usually expected to mend/replace minor items themselves, eg light bulbs, but it it not clear at what stage the "minor" item gets big enough to be the landlord's problem.
        I would be inclined to have a look at both items and decide if either has suffered any damage by the tenant.
        The toilet seat may just be a cheap plastic one, which can easily crack due to normal use, and would therefore be the landlord's responsibility to replace. If it looks as though it has been subject to damage eg been stood on, the tenant should bear the cost.
        The same goes for the toaster, but if it isn't listed on the inventory, I would suggest you didn't replace it yourself. I tend to avoid supplying small electrical items, as they are always going wrong, and the tenant can buy his own at no great cost. Even larger ones like microwave ovens are inexpensive to buy these days, so let the tenant get his own.
        I agree with the above. However, because a plastic seat is so inexpensive, I would replace it myself just to keep good relations with the tenants. Toasters from Argos are fairly cheap as well.

        Having said that, if the item is not on the Inventory/Condition report, then you do not need to replace the electrical item. If it is, I might also explain that the one I replace it with may not be suitable for your needs and you may want to buy your own better one to take with you should you leave.
        ASSUME NOTHING - QUESTION EVERYTHING!

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        • #5
          Tenant broke toilet bowl

          Was wondering who is actually liable for this. Do we as landlords have to claim this off our insurance (with large excess and bigger premium next year)or do we charge the tenant as it was them who broke it.

          Comment


          • #6
            T has a duty to use property in a proper tenant-like manner. Breaking toilet bowl is breach of that duty.
            I suggest that you should at least try to make T pay (rather than having to claim on your property insurance policy).
            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).

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            • #7
              Just my penny worth.

              My brother let a really nice flat in Caledonia Place, Bristol to students - who were kids of good friends of mine who I said were sound.

              Friendship died as a result - because kids had mates round - who got pissed - and deliberately brook the toilet bowl and other stuff in the flat - my bro asked guarantors for the replacement - and they tried to refuse - bro threatened to take them to court - then they paid.

              Why did a solid toilet bowl get broken? Because 5 rugby players celebrating a win decided they would break the toilet? Why? Still a mystery but that was their aim and apparently they have a photo to prove it. It was their goal and they all deliberately did it.

              Joys of 19-25 year olds?

              He's never let to that age group since - but it's been let for many years after.

              It was a really prestigious flat - but just goes to prove - let to the wrong group - and that's what can happen.

              Comment


              • #8
                One could ask if the tenants were particularly - how do I put this? - "large", but I'd be accused of being sizeist, so I won't!

                Back on topic, if they broke it (rather than it was partially broken and eventually fell apart during normal usage, or there was a flaw in it that failed as happened to my new bathroom sink a couple of months ago) then they pay for the repair. If it was flawed and just failed as in the cleaning scenario above, then the landlord must surely have some responsibility.

                Comment


                • #9
                  In my bro's case - there were no pics taken as is customary nowadays with all properties I rent - I'm faced with a 2 hour check-in with an "administrator" who goes through with me every crack etc - but who failed to notice the marks on the carpet - lucky I was there to point out!!

                  Costs me over £80 each time for check in - area - Bucks - it's now standard procedure - good and bad - but you have to check the checker - because he got so many things wrong!!!

                  The loo was in perfect nick in my bro's nice upmarket flat - but no proof in pics - but the rugby players who brook the loo (totally cracked it and split it) - did confess - but only because they were young - and my bro got a good solicitor who did his stuff - and my bro got costs back.

                  Because of this business of pics taken when you check in - it's less likely this will be the case for tenants to say it's LL resonsibility.

                  But without evidence - bro was stilll able to get money back.

                  Can't say how big the "rugby" players were.

                  Or how many of them stood on the toilet bowl at the same time - but one of them did confess that they ALL deliberately stood on it to try and beak it and celebrated when they did - but later apologised.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sorry been away for a couple of days. I have no idea how they broke it. They do have a 18 month year old so perhaps she has something to do with it. The tenants have been in the property for about 2 years and the bathroom was just put in before they moved in. I did however crack a toilet bowl when I was about 11. My mum used to keep cotton buds in a glass jar on the window sill above the toilet. It somehow managed to slip out of my hand and fall into the toilet. Resulting in a large crack.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Landlord retaining deposit- alleges that toilet damaged

                      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      Hi All!

                      I need a bit of help from experiended people because I find myself in a dead end with my landlord and don't know which way to take.

                      Basically we've signed our first tenancy agreement on the 31st of march 2007 and the law about the TDS wasn't there yet, the deposit we gave was 910£. Then, we've signed a new tenancy agreement on the 31 of march 2008 which was completely different contract with plenty of new rules and we paid a topup pf the deposit because the rent had been raised (the topup amount was 43.33£).
                      Now my boyfriend found a job abroad and as our tenancy agreement was supposed to end on the 31st of March we asked our LL if he would be ok with us finding new tenants to replace us and take on our contract until the end of it , at first he was reluctant but finaly agreed and the new tenant we found was credit checked by the agency (who is apprently NOT managing the property so I don;t think they are actually involved), paid a deposit, and we moved out on the 30th of october, and the new tenant moved in, we have paid a fee to the agency (220£, thieves!) and got a letter from them that certifies we are released from the tenancy agreement.
                      THe LL went to check the flat, was happy with that , told the agency he would refund us in full and therefore the agency gave him the deposit of the new tenant. On the contract it says teh LL has 14 days from the day we move out to repay us partially or fully.
                      He said he would repay us until the 13th, where he called us saying the toilet is broken and that he won't give us back the deposit!!!!!!!!!!
                      Now in the meantime we started to look in the internet to see what we could do ( he is a very very difficult person to deal with we had many conversations on the phone but it's not going anywhere) and we found out about the TDS and realised he didn;t comply with this.
                      Then we received this letter from him (I'm gonna copy it because it shows how ignorant the guys is )
                      "this is to inform you that I am retaining the deposit dur on the above (above he wrote the address) until I have quantified the deduction necessary to reimburse me for the damage you have caused to the toilet which is broken. If you need to contact me you have my mobile phone number"
                      We asked for his address and he didn;t even want to give it to us ( cheeky ) but we've managed to find it anyway .

                      Now - if you are still here after this huge email I want to say thanks and bless you ! - I have 2 questions :

                      1- Can I make a claim about teh TDS as I am not a tenant anymore ??
                      2 - Do you think I should sue him to get my deposit back ?

                      Please help me I am lost and it's so stressing as all this falls in the middle of me moving to france !!!

                      THanks so much to all of you who will have the patience to read this !

                      xxx Isa

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by isa_ldn View Post
                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        Hi All!

                        I need a bit of help from experiended people because I find myself in a dead end with my landlord and don't know which way to take.

                        Basically we've signed our first tenancy agreement on the 31st of march 2007 and the law about the TDS wasn't there yet, the deposit we gave was 910£. Then, we've signed a new tenancy agreement on the 31 of march 2008 which was completely different contract with plenty of new rules and we paid a topup pf the deposit because the rent had been raised (the topup amount was 43.33£).
                        Now my boyfriend found a job abroad and as our tenancy agreement was supposed to end on the 31st of March we asked our LL if he would be ok with us finding new tenants to replace us and take on our contract until the end of it , at first he was reluctant but finaly agreed and the new tenant we found was credit checked by the agency (who is apprently NOT managing the property so I don;t think they are actually involved), paid a deposit, and we moved out on the 30th of october, and the new tenant moved in, we have paid a fee to the agency (220£, thieves!) and got a letter from them that certifies we are released from the tenancy agreement.
                        THe LL went to check the flat, was happy with that , told the agency he would refund us in full and therefore the agency gave him the deposit of the new tenant. On the contract it says teh LL has 14 days from the day we move out to repay us partially or fully.
                        He said he would repay us until the 13th, where he called us saying the toilet is broken and that he won't give us back the deposit!!!!!!!!!!
                        Now in the meantime we started to look in the internet to see what we could do ( he is a very very difficult person to deal with we had many conversations on the phone but it's not going anywhere) and we found out about the TDS and realised he didn;t comply with this.
                        Then we received this letter from him (I'm gonna copy it because it shows how ignorant the guys is )
                        "this is to inform you that I am retaining the deposit dur on the above (above he wrote the address) until I have quantified the deduction necessary to reimburse me for the damage you have caused to the toilet which is broken. If you need to contact me you have my mobile phone number"
                        We asked for his address and he didn;t even want to give it to us ( cheeky ) but we've managed to find it anyway .

                        Now - if you are still here after this huge email I want to say thanks and bless you ! - I have 2 questions :

                        1- Can I make a claim about teh TDS as I am not a tenant anymore ??
                        2 - Do you think I should sue him to get my deposit back ?

                        Please help me I am lost and it's so stressing as all this falls in the middle of me moving to france !!!

                        THanks so much to all of you who will have the patience to read this !

                        xxx Isa
                        Yes, you can and should sue him. The fact that you are not a tenant anymore is irrelevant. Just follow this procedure:

                        Send him a Letter Before Action, advising him that you intend to sue him for the loss of your deposit, plus costs. Say that you reject his demand that you pay for a broken toilet because (give reason). Tell him that unless he returns your deposit in full within 7 days, you will press 'send' on your online claim. Attach a copy of your online claim (go to moneyclaim online), so he can see you mean business. You may also wish to point out that you have reason to believe he did not protect your deposit as he was legally required to do, and that unless he returns your money as requested, the claim will be for 3x the deposit (this is the penalty he faces for non-compliance with the protection scheme).

                        Letters like this, threatening court action for 3x the deposit, tend to focus LLs minds wonderfully, so the chances are he will pay up. If he doesn't, he faces a tough time in court and you have a very good case. He'd be mad not to return your deposit without further ado.

                        If you want any help with the letter, send me a private message on this forum's pm system. I have a standard one you can adapt - you'd be amazed how many tenants are in your situation at the moment.

                        Incidentally, unless his inventory check in and out procedures are 100% watertight, his attempt to make you pay up for the toilet will be chucked out of court.

                        Bon courage!
                        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Broken toilet - am I having the p*** taken?

                          Hello all,

                          LA rings up today saying tenant made an emergency call to them (not the first time, I made a post a while back about a false boiler incident). This time the toilet is broken.

                          Fair enough - so I asked in what way. They explain that it has "fallen to pieces" and leaked everywhere, the electrics are off and its been isolated. The tenant is staying at a relative's while it's sorted out.

                          I'm going to involve the insurance company in terms of damage repair, but just how does a toilet break in this way unless it's suffered some sort of impact? The LA say the plumber couldn't see that it has been broken on purpose, the LA say the "toilet is old". - I simply don't believe this is possible.

                          Am I wrong, or over-suspicious (this is the latest in a long line of faults). My other thread discusses the LA's wringing of income which resulted in some strong correspondence and what appeared to be placating actions, however my assertions that I have a destructive tenant seem to be coming true.

                          I'm feeling this is the last straw and I want to get that tenant out and start again, or pack in renting it altogether.

                          All advice welcome, thanks.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            One night, many years ago in my maisonette, I was awoken at 2.am to the sound of dripping water. Investigation revealed that the toilet cistern (about 15 years old) had cracked for absolutely no reason at all. Cure: new cistern.

                            Now, if this sort of thing can happen to ceramic cisterns, then it is just as possible for it to occurr to toilet units. I would be inclined therefore to give the tenant the benefit of the doubt and get it fixed - pronto.

                            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


                            • #15
                              agreed, it IS possible. - A few years ago The toilet bowl cracked and then broke into pieces in the ensuite of my parents house, it was a rather lovely avocado coloured contraption of 70's origin, why it cracked no1 knows but the toiliet in the family bathroom which is well over 100years old is still going strong...such is the mystery of life I suppose.

                              Comment

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