Advice on damage charges!

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Advice on damage charges!

    Hi All,

    We have a problem to share with the group that we are keen for some advice on, any help much appreciated!

    We have been renting a house since October 2011 for 2 years and 9 months (it is a house share with 4 adults). We initially gave a deposit with the deposit protection service. One of our housemates moved out in May and was replaced by a new tenant, so our landlord has reviewed the inventory of the house in order to return the deposit to the tenant who has left.

    We were informed when we moved in that the Ikea kitchen worktop and cupboards were newly fitted. Approximately 1 year after we moved in the sealant on the work surface below the sink in the kitchen started to let water in. We only noticed this when we next opened the cupboard door below the sink and the door pulled off an area of the sealant, exposing the chipboard below (an area about 7cm wide). We informed our landlord who came over in Jan 2013 to re-seal that area of the worktop.

    Over a year later our landlord decided to make a claim with Ikea who had also fitted the worktop. Ikea came and assessed the worktop damage and decided that it was caused by accidental damage and they would therefore provide no compensation. The worktop is still useable as of today.

    Our landlord has now informed us that Ikea no longer make the worktop in question and therefore she would like to replace it with one that costs £258, and that installation will cost £150. She would like to charge us the entire cost of the worktop and installation. We have not been informed how much the original worktop cost but on browsing the Ikea website we suspect that the original worktop was significantly cheaper than this.

    We feel that this damage is through no fault of our own and are keen to challenge paying this amount.
    Does anyone know what the lifespan is of chipboard kitchen work surface is and any references we can refer to as evidence?
    Do we have to pay for the entire replacement and fitting?

    Any advice greatly appreciated!

    #2
    Accidental damage or wear and tear? Do not agree to pay for anything. Take pictures and statements from your fellow tenants on the timescale of things compared with the last inventory.

    I think it unlikely that your landlord will be successful in a claim against you. The fact that she has left it so long to claim and was unsuccessful in her claim against IKEA speaks volumes.

    I might ask her to bring a small claims court case against the tenants - bet she doesn't! If she tries to take it from the deposit at he next tenant leaving reject that idea too.

    A landlord is not entitled to 'betterment' from the worktop replacement that she wants you to pay for - remind her of this.



    Freedom at the point of zero............

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for your reply Interlaken. We are certain we are not at fault, the seal beneath the sink started to let in water and the chipboard began to swell. There's no way we could have avoided it. But we can't seem to convince our landlord of that. We are on good terms with our landlord, and as we are continuing to live in the property we don't want to threaten any court action etc. unless we have to - which is why we are grateful for any advice from experts from the forum.

      Do you (or anyone else) know of any authoritative websites that would support our argument? Especially in regards to the lifespan of a worktop (particularly a cheap Ikea laminate chipboard one) as the counter is nearly 3 years old now, we don't think it is fair to pay the full price for a more expensive replacement.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by emma82 View Post
        Do you (or anyone else) know of any authoritative websites that would support our argument? Especially in regards to the lifespan of a worktop (particularly a cheap Ikea laminate chipboard one) as the counter is nearly 3 years old now, we don't think it is fair to pay the full price for a more expensive replacement.
        The lifespan of a worktop could be measured in decades probably. You still see lots of very old kitchens with very old worktops. They're certainly not a 'service' item that would need changing every 3 years. They will just keep going and going as long as you don't burn them or get them wet on unsealed sides.
        "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


          #5
          We're just trying to get guidance on the 'average useful lifespan' of the worktop because that's what the ARLA advice mentions http://www.arla.co.uk/info-guides/pr...rtionment.aspx Surely there's a difference between low and high quality worktops?

          For anyone in a similar situation, I did find some guidance which states furniture has a rental lifespan of 3-6 years
          http://www.northwooduk.com/landlords...r-and-tear.pdf

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by emma82 View Post
            Surely there's a difference between low and high quality worktops?
            Yes. High quality would be granite or solid wood, probably last 50 years plus. Low quality would last as long as the kitchen stayed in fashion or there was a new owner who wanted a change, 20 years? It's very difficult to wear out a worktop to the point or it having to be replaced.
            "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
              A worktop is not furniture, it is a fixture or fitting like rest of kitchen. For a rental worktop should last 10-20 yrs. All depends on quality of installation.

              Comment


                #8
                In general, I would go for the period of the guarantee for the item (if there is one). I couldn't say what it was exactly for the original worktop, but looking at Ikea's website all their laminate worktops seem to have a 25 year guarantee. This means that they expect them to last that long with normal usage (except if they are damaged due to negligence, etc.) so that would be what I would consider the expected lifespan of an Ikea worktop.

                Your landlord should have the receipt, etc. for the original worktop to prove the spec and cost of it so it shouldn't be difficult to check whether she's wanting to install a better one or the same spec as the original. She must have these records or she wouldn't have been able to get Ikea to come back.

                Whether the damage should be classed as fair wear and tear or damage/negligence is a difficult one. Ikea clearly didn't think it was fair wear and tear or they would have covered repair/replacement under the guarantee.

                Comment

                Latest Activity

                Collapse

                Working...
                X