Deposit reductions pre-renovation

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    Deposit reductions pre-renovation

    I have this one coming up next month...

    I have a property emptying out that I want to do a full-scale renovation on. Strip walls, change layout, new flooring, new kitchen, new bathrooms, the whole hog.

    In this case, to what extent can I make deposit deductions? The property was professionally deep cleaned before the Ts moved in. If they don't leave it as it was, can I make deductions accordingly?

    What about marks on the walls/carpets?

    Seems like a grey area to me - anyone have experience in this sort of situation?

    #2
    It's your call really. What happens to the property after the tenant leaves is none of their business. You could be re renting, selling or doing the renovations as you say. They signed a contract to say they would leave it as they found it minus wear and tear.

    However from a moral point of view, if you are knocking walls down, ripping carpets up and throwing them out, changing the kitchen and the bathroom you'd have very low moral standards in my opinion if you were to make deductions from someones deposit for these items. I guess if you have no conscience it won't bother you, depends on how much of a pain the T's have been and if you want to be a nice person I guess.

    Maybe charge the amount a deep clean would cost and leave it at that?
    "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

    What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

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      #3
      I do like the moral point of view.

      At the moment, or indeed ever, I assume the Tenants are not aware you want to do a full renovation. If so, you'd assume it'd be unlikely they'd ever find out. So the only real question - in my mind - is a moral one. If all that is true, the question is whether you want to exploit (I chose that word deliberately) the outgoing Tenants to the tune of some Pounds when any deductions would go towards something that you were going to do anyway... or beer. Do you feel as though you will go for some deductions if the hypothetical situation you describe (them not leaving it as it was) arises?

      I am not sure I could do it, but admit that I've never been in that situation myself... if I did then I'd probably keep it secret so no-one else was ashamed of me.

      Comment


        #4
        When it comes to repairs the law is clear. Section 18(1) LTA 1927 says:

        Damages for a breach of a covenant or agreement to keep or put premises in repair during the currency of a lease, or to leave or put premises in repair at the termination of a lease, whether such covenant or agreement is expressed or implied, and whether general or specific, shall in no case exceed the amount (if any) by which the value of the reversion (whether immediate or not) in the premises is diminished owing to the breach of such covenant or agreement as aforesaid; and in particular no damage shall be recovered for a breach of any such covenant or agreement to leave or put premises in repair at the termination of a lease, if it is shown that the premises, in whatever state of repair they might be, would at or shortly after the termination of the tenancy have been or be pulled down, or such structural alterations made therein as would render valueless the repairs covered by the covenant or agreement.

        It is a moot whether for the purposes of the Act repair includes cleaning. If it does not, the general legal principle that damages may not be awarded where there is no loss would seem to come into it. It is difficult to see in the circumstances what loss the OP would suffer. He will not be having to pay someone to clean the premises and there is no question that without the premises being cleaned the premises will be more difficult to let or that the rental value will be reduced. Quite apart from that, a requirement to leave premises in the same immaculate state of cleanliness as at the beginning of the tenancy has to be of dubious enforceability.

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          #5
          There is another way to look at this...

          If the tenants are allowed to believe that the dirty state is 'normal' then they have been educated to be a worse tenant in future.

          Do a check out and then let then off having suddenly decided to upgrade the house?

          Comment


            #6
            Make them do all the rectification work then tell them you're bulldozing the lot. Nice.
            "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

            What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Refurb to Rent View Post
              If the tenants are allowed to believe that the dirty state is 'normal' then they have been educated to be a worse tenant in future.
              Don't see why. I would have thought that a reasonable landlord would just tell the tenants "look, on this occasion I'm not fussed about the place being particularly clean on departure, as I'm about to start building work on the place... I'll still do a check out, but just make sure the furniture itself [etc, if applicable] is clean and OK, as I'll be removing that obviously. If in doubt, ask me".

              I've certainly done similar myself, eg when a tenant has 'fessed up to damaging a carpet, that I was intending to replace anyway before the next tenant, as it was worn out.

              To me, taking deposit money from the tenant now just smacks of the bad old days when many landlords regarded the deposit as theirs, and would come up with any reason to keep it at the end of the tenancy. In this case, there'll be no loss to the landlord (assuming any damaged stuff we're talking about is ending up in a skip anyway) , so why in earth would anyone think it's acceptable to make deductions?

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