Tenant holding back money from rent

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    Tenant holding back money from rent

    Hi All,

    I am new here and a novice.

    I am overseas and renting a property out in the UK, since our tenant has signed a new contract she has made late payments (Dec' o6), she has now witheld £200 pounds this month because we have not replaced the dishwasher. We said that we will replace it once we can afford to. Our agent has told us she has broken the contract and can't do this, she says she is acting on advice.

    What do I do as I feel far away and the agent isn't keeping me up to speed with what's going on. Am I likely to be deemed the big bad wolf for not replacing the white goods in question more promptly.

    Can you please help or advise?

    Thank you

    ldn

    #2
    First; look to see what is written in your tenancy agreement regarding repair of appliances. It is not necessarily the LL's duty to keep the dishwasher repaired. See post below for more ideas.

    Section 11 of the Landlord an Tenant Act makes the LL responsible for repairing much of the structure and services of a house. If the LL does not repair, the tenant can, under certain circumstances, withhold rent and get the job done themselves. This does not apply to dishwashers !!

    So in this case, the tenant is breaching the AST by witholding rent. If the rent is in 2 months arrears, you will be ale to start court action to evict. By giving the tenant this information you may get your rent.

    http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ng+obligations

    Obviously, if it turns out that you are responsible for repair, and the property was let with 'with dishwasher', then it would be advisable to fix/replace the dishwasher asap.
    All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

    * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

    You can search the forums here:

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      #3
      Thanks

      Thanks Bel for your prompt and very helpful reply.

      The white goods are on the inventory but it doesn't state in the contract that the landlord is liable for replacing or repairing them.

      The tenant has a 6 month get out clause which will be up soon, I'd like to put the house back onto the market. How do I stand putting it on with more than one agent? My agent is too wet, no spin and doesn't know enough in my opinion, I have found that I am doing all the running around, he doesn't keep me up to speed with what's going on and is very vague about his information.

      I do think that the distance has a lot to do with the situation, the tenant thinks she can call the shots all the time.

      Another question, I did phone her at one stage to see why the rent was late, the agent said that I shouldn't do that because it's harassment, but supposing I wasn't using an agent?

      Thanks again

      Ldn

      Comment


        #4
        One phone call is not harassement! To be honest she is being petty by withholding rent for a dishwasher, but it depends on how much the rent is! In a high spec property you would expect such things but in the lower end of the market you would not!

        I would change agents once the tenant has gone. They clearly know nothing! Just give notice that once the current tenant vacates you will be taking your custom elsewhere. Although beware as just because she says she is going she may not leave!!
        GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

        Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

        Comment


          #5
          Personally, I think you saying that you'll repair/replace the dishwasher 'when you can afford it' is unreasonable.

          If you're going to rent out properties you must have enough capital to enable you to cover any expenses.

          If the dishwasher was there when the tenant moved in and it's on the inventory then you need to replace it within a reasonable time, not when you feel like it.

          What the tenant should have done however was to give you an ultimatum - repair the dishwasher within 14 days or I'll purchase a replacement myself and deduct the cost from the rent.

          Comment


            #6
            Paul c;Like you, I think that the dishwasher in this case should have been taken care of by the LL as the agreement is silent about the repair issue; but the tenant would still be in hot water ('scuse the pun) to do as you suggest.

            IMO It would be fair for the tenant to negotiate compensation for the lack of use of the dishwasher; e.g. the cost of hiring a dishwasher.
            All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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              #7
              We put a clause in the agreement to cover this by giving the tenant the use of the appliances but stating that the landlord reserves the right not to replace or repair the item should it go wrong. We do however pay for the cost of removing the item if it needs disposing of and would remove it prior to the tenancy if the tenant wanted us to. This does not apply to fitted items so if it was intergrated dishwasher the LL would always have to replace or repair the item.

              Comment


                #8
                Thank

                Thank you all for your replies.

                The reason why we haven't replaced the dishwasher is because the tenant has not paid one rent on time and has had to be chased up each time. Her husband has lost his job and they are going on housing benefit. It all sounds suspect to us.

                We have already replaced a tumble dryer which was just over a year old, we fear with all these new appliances they might do a runner with them.

                Thanks again

                Ldn

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Ldn321 View Post
                  We have already replaced a tumble dryer which was just over a year old, we fear with all these new appliances they might do a runner with them.
                  But surely you must see that you really can't refrain from replacing faulty appliances on the basis that you suspect a tenant might pinch them??!!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    You cannot abdicate your responsability for white goods by adding a clause into the contract stating that you will not be responsible for maintaining/renewing them I'm afraid.

                    If you supply then you must repair/maintain.

                    And not having the money at the time isn't an excuse. What if the boiler had broken down during winter? You'd have to find the money then and pretty damn sharpish.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Ok thanks, I don't want this to get into a slanging match, I wanted advice and have received that, and thank you for it.

                      The boiler did break down and we did get it all sorted out, pronto!!!

                      I wish we hadn't left so many appliances, a naivety on our part.

                      Thanks again

                      Ldn

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by attilathelandlord View Post
                        You cannot abdicate your responsability for white goods by adding a clause into the contract stating that you will not be responsible for maintaining/renewing them I'm afraid.

                        If you supply then you must repair/maintain.

                        .
                        I'm interested to know what evidence do you have for this statement.

                        See:

                        http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...2&postcount=11
                        All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

                        * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

                        You can search the forums here:

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Could go into a long spiel about exclusion clauses and their effects on contracts and the various acts for Sales of Goods and Services, but suffice it to say that if you supply an item then it is deemed to be there for the tenant's use, they are paying for this and the landlord cannot then "exclude" liability for repair/maintenance.

                          Would you then follow the same logic and state "if the side of the house falls down it will not be the landlord's responsability to repair"?

                          If you hired a car would you expect to be told, "if it breaks down then it is your responsibility to repair"?. I think not.

                          There have been various threads on this. Take a look through the archive.
                          Last edited by attilathelandlord; 04-04-2007, 19:45 PM.

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