Front Door Damage

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

    Front Door Damage

    In Apr last year I visited my property that I let, whilst there I noticed damage to the front door, it looked like something had been forced into the door causing cracks. I did not raise it with the tenant, but informed the letting agency that I want it investigated. In Dec the agency contacted me to inform me that the door had worsened due to the previous damage and that I was to replace it.

    It turns out that they had only recorded the door as damaged but no investigation was carried out, I told them that I would not replace the door until I know what happened. They have now told me that the tenant claims that she nor her family had damaged the door and it must have been done by a stranger. I have since gone back to them and asked if she had reported the incident to the police, the response was 'no'. I believe she has broken her contract by not reporting the incident immediately to the police (as per contract) therefore is she liable to replace the front door. Door is damaged on the outside.. further to this I strongly believe the tenant is responsible but unfortunately I don't have evidence. Your advice greatly appreciated.

    #2
    If you were to sue your tenant for the cost of replacing the door, what evidence could you present to show that the damage was caused by your tenant? Would the court accept your strong (and possibly correct) belief that the tenant was responsible, and find in your favour 'on a balance of probabilities'? It wouldn't, would it?

    Comment


      #3
      My understanding is that under LL&T Act 1985 s11(1)
      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70/section/11
      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 lessorÔÇö

      (a)to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes),
      (b)to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity), and
      (c)to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water.
      - the front door/entrance is part of landlord's responsibility so landlord must, if it requires repair, repair it (in reasonable time after report of problem). And tradesmen in my experience want paying.

      So - IF AND ONLY IF door needs replacing/fixing - replace/fix it, pay for it, then, if you wish, send bill to tenant and/or attempt recovery of costs from deposit when they leave.

      In your shoes I'd have an s21 (if valid) served TODAY. And be considering firing agent. However, tenant may of course be correct. You can't (I assume) prove tenant-wot-did-it.

      I would not want any of my properties to have an insecure front door (possibly need to fix due to insurance): My priority would be fix it 1st, sort bill out 2nd. But appreciate when LL is fairly certain it's tenant's fault it grates somewhat..
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

      Comment


        #4
        It's the landlord's responsibility to replace/repair the front door.

        The tenant is responsible for the property while they rent it and should be charged for the replacement / repair - it doesn't matter who actually did it.
        The door will continue to function after they've gone and worked before they moved in, so I'd be charging them a proportion, but other's wouldn't.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
          The tenant is responsible for the property while they rent it and should be charged for the replacement / repair - it doesn't matter who actually did it.
          I'm not sure that would right as a matter of general principle: who has an insurable interest in the door (or any other part of the fabric of the property)? Where there is a commercial full repairing lease, the insurance obligation frequently lies with the tenant, and the landlord will require evidence of the insurance cover and payment of ongoing premiums. If a residential property was declared a total loss, following a major fire resulting from an arson attack while the tenant was on holiday, are you saying that the tenant would be responsible for the cost of reinstatement?

          Comment


            #6
            It doesn't matter who has an insurable interest - as it happens the tenant can insure themselves against this kind of risk (it's not as simple as filling in a form online, which tends to assume you're the property owner, but it's possible).

            If the tenant moved out and the door damage was a deposit issue, it would be a loss beyond fair wear and tear and the landlord would be entitled to claim compensation for that loss.
            The tenant has a lot of rights associated with the property and has to bear some corresponding responsibility, otherwise "it wasn't me" would simply deflect any claim for any loss or damage.

            Hopefully the tenancy agreement might cover liability in the event of a total loss by fire, but I think the principle stands - even if it might be interesting to stand in front of a judge and argue.
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
              ... but I think the principle stands - even if it might be interesting to stand in front of a judge and argue.
              Rather you than me!

              Tenancy agreements frequently contain an obligation about replacing broken glass. If there was a general repairing obligation, what need is there of those, or indeed, of the LLs statutory obligations?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                The tenant is responsible for the property while they rent it and should be charged for the replacement / repair - it doesn't matter who actually did it.
                That's not the legal position.

                Comment

                Latest Activity

                Collapse

                Working...
                X