Damage caused by landlords fridge, who's responsible?

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    Damage caused by landlords fridge, who's responsible?

    So I moved out of an attic room I was renting for 3 years which had small beer fridge in it which belonged to the landlord. I used it as expected, i.e, left switched on 24/7.

    It has transpired that the fridge was leaking slightly all this time and have knackered the carpet underneath and landlord now says I need to pay for that section of carpet to be replaced. Just after some advice on who should foot the bill. There were no signs of what was under the carpet so no way of me knowing prior to moving out that this was the case.

    Thanks

    #2
    We hear of washing machines leaking, but never fridges, therefore it is safe to assume that fridges are not prone to leaking, therefore one leaves a fridge alone and no need to pull it out every 6 months / 3 years to check it.

    If it needs checking, just like boilers need checking, that would be the landlords responsibility.

    Therefore, it's the landlords fridge, his responsibility to service it, or at least pull it out and check it, then the landlords fridge leaked, therefore the landlord pays for his fridge damaging the carpet, via not having it on the list to check every year.

    Comment


      #3
      Question 1: Did the landlord leave the fridge on the carpet or did you put it there?

      Perfectly good fridges WILL stain carpets for several reasons (and are not supposed to be on carpets). If you put it on the carpet it is your fault.
      If you simply left it where you found it -- not your fault.

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        #4
        Fridges do leak: Both from inside , through faulty seal, and also from outside if humidity if high.
        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


          #5
          AndrewDod,

          So it's one of those little beer fridges. I'm sure you've seen the Budweiser ones, pretty much the same as that. It was in the room on the carpet when I moved in but had not been used by the previous tenant so I plugged it in and just left it. It's in the same location as I moved in.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by ram View Post
            If it needs checking, just like boilers need checking, that would be the landlords responsibility.
            Boilers checks are the landlord's responsibility because statute says so.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
              Boilers checks are the landlord's responsibility because statute says so.
              And if it was not on the statute, then landlords would never check the boiler, or the electrics, Then they will never check the washing machine, or the fridge etc etc as they don't have to.

              At lot, not all, think that mechanical items last for ever, is always the tenants fault when the landlords goods go faulty, flat or house needs maintenance.
              Up to the landlord to check all these things, even without any laws in place.

              Comment


                #8
                If the fridge belonged to the landlord and was on your inventory then it is his problem.

                Unless he can prove you knew the appliance was causing damage and did nothing, or you caused the damage yourself, then you are under no legal obligation to pay for it.

                I'd write to him and advise that you had no idea HIS fridge was damaging HIS carpet and you couldn't reasonably be expected to know this. I'd politely direct him to his landlords insurance or insurance company. That's what insurance is for.

                Comment


                  #9
                  So now he's claiming I should have reported that the fridge was leaking when I had absolutely no reason to suspect it was.

                  He says the carpet will have to be replaced. He has a piece of the carpet that could easily replace the damaged part and be joined with a carpet iron or whatever its called but he doesn't want to do that since it's 'a slightly different colour' even though it is the same carpet.

                  Now he's saying he will try to find a similar carpet but is going to charge me for his time, despite being a full time landlord, he does not work another job. What should I do, I am dangeourously close to telling him to jog on, I don't see why I should be responsible because his fridge malfunctioned with me having way of knowing it had.

                  Some advice is appreciated.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Your landlord is entitled to compensation for the loss in value of his property caused during the lease beyond fair wear and tear.
                    Even though the fridge was supplied by the landlord, you are, at least partially, responsible for its use (if you'd bought it from Argos and it leaked, you couldn't reasonably blame Argos).

                    However, if it was being used normally and there's no way for you to notice it was leaking it's probably under the fair wear and tear heading - it's not unfair wear and tear, there's no negligence and you didn't try and use the device for something other than it's normal purpose, so the landlord has to show that it wasn't fair wear and tear.

                    They can't charge for making good the damage, they can try and charge for the loss in value of the carpet (which is the loss in it's original value not its replacement cost) or they can charge for the cost of repairing it (if that makes more economic sense than charging for the loss in value).

                    In practical terms, the landlord can probably make any claim they want, the tenant won't pay it and it will either roll into a deposit deduction dispute or relations will become unworkable and the tenant will leave.
                    I'd suggest that the tenant point out to the landlord that a) the damage isn't due to anything the tenant did or didn't do - even if the landlord thinks the tenant could have spotted something, the fact is they didn't and would have no reason not to have told the landlord had they spotted something (so there's no negligence) and b) they suggest (politely) that the landlord takes some advice, from a landlord forum, landlord association or solicitor as there's no way that what they're proposing is a valid way forward.
                    That way the landlord doesn't have to take the tenant's word for anything or challenge them, they can go and find out what they're able to do.

                    To be honest, once a landlord and tenant are in this position of opposition it never goes well.
                    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


                      #11
                      Fridges are not supposed to be on carpets.

                      What exactly "leaked". Fridges don't contain water as part of their manufacture - they contain liquid food and ice that is generated by the user, and water can also condense on the bottom (not a malfunction).

                      As far as I am concerned if you ran a fridge on the carpet you messes the carpet, unless it was clearly indicated to you that this was an appropriate thing to do.

                      Sometimes we need to pay for the problems we have caused and move on.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Did the landlord inspect the room during the 3 years you were a tenant?

                        Did you pay a deposit?

                        Was the carpet new when you moved in?

                        Personally I don't think you should pay any damages on this matter but answer the above please.

                        Fridges do leak - had a recent case of this myself where tenant left his own fridge/freezer leaking and leak was visable allowing damage to carpet and sub-floor. Then the cheeky B tried to leave the fridge in the premises when he left!



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

                        Comment


                          #13
                          AndrewDod,

                          It's a small beer fridge which was on the carpet when I moved in 3 years ago (albeit switched off). Can't say I'm an expert on fridges but I guess some moisture built up and was leaking through the bottom of it. I'm not sure how the act of simply switching a fridge on and leaving it is negligence on my part. I have offered a cost effective solution which is to replace the damage section with some of cuts of the same carpet which the landlord has, he wants to replace the entire carpet.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Interlaken,

                            It was a private rental so truth be told he just let himself in when he wanted but he never did a formal inspection. I paid a full months rent deposit, £350. The carpet was not new when I moved in, he also claims it's an expensive pure wool carpet which is BS, the guy that cleaned the carpet professionally for me at the weekend said it was a wool blend one.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Was the deposit protected in scheme? - I'm not clear if you are a lodger or a tenant here.

                              Did you sign an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement?



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

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