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landlord responsibilities help??

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Hi, I'm moving out of my rented house next weekend but I'm a bit unsure as to what my responsibilities to the property are and what the landlord should be required to do - aside from, obviously, the cleaning.

He's written me a letter stating that he expects the house to be 'fully redecorated to a professional standard' including the ceilings. However, the tenency agreement is extremely vague and only covers 4 sides of A4...it DOESN'T state that I'm responsible for redecorating, but it DOES forbid me from painting the interior in any colour other than magnolia (which I have done in a couple of rooms, so I'm happy to paint these back.)

I'm also unsure as to what repairs he can reasonably hold me responsible for. He has stated that he expects the house to be in the same condition as when I moved in, which it pretty much is, however I had a 5 year tenency (which I couldn't get out of without paying huge penalties) so, as well as the redecorating, there are a few things which will need fixing before new tenants move in. Off the top of my head these are: loose taps in the bathroom, a loose bannister, broken hinges on oven door, flourescent strip light which needs replacing, oven light bulb needs replacing, extractor hood light bulb needs replacing, I live in a 3 storey house and have fire doors throughout the house - 2 of the mechanisms came out of their bearings within the first few months that I lived here & I never bothered telling the landlord as my daughter was very young at the time and had trapped her fingers in them several times.

I'm on an EXTREMELY tight budget, so basically I need to know whether these are my responsibility or his as I can't afford to have any of my deposit held back!

(Also, my agreement states that I must pay £25 out of my deposit at the end of my term to cover professional cleaning services - I'm sure I've read somewhere that he's not allowed to do this - does anybody know?)

 

One more thing...my landlord also expects me to have the carpets professionally cleaned before I move out. After 5 years in the property with kids they're not in the condition they were when we moved in but shouldn't this come under wear and tear?

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Think you would be best to talk to this guy and see what he expects and then discuss what you think would be reasonable. Did you sign anything else like saying what was damaged when you moved in etc, etc.

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thanks george... the property was newly refurbished when I moved in so it was pretty much impeccable. Newly decorated, new carpets, etc. However, as I've been here 5 years, I'm sure there must be a certain amount of leeway as far as wear and tear is concerned? He can't seriously expect it to be in EXACTLY the same condition as when I moved in?!

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I would agree and that is why im suggesting rather than worrying over it, best to ask him face to face what he can reasonably expect having in mind it has been a 5 year lease. I would suggest the likes of loose taps, bannisters, door hinges etc would fall under his duty of care, and the likes of bulbs, and the cleaning of premises you would take on. I dont see why you would be responsible for wear and tear and advise him of this if he says he is going to keep some deposit back regarding this.

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As a matter of interest...Has he kept his side of the bargain?

 

Any points/damage you have raised with he should have taken care of.

 

There are statutory regulations which landlords must comply with and he is responsable for regardless of who caused the damage. A damaged fire door for example is ineffective in a fire and it is his responsibility not yours to ensure items such as these are servicable. Wear and tear is to be expected after five years. there would be no need for him to employ cleaning contractors if you clean it yourself to a professional standard. ( take before and after photos). Also photograph all the defects in the property now before he has a chance to fix them and these maybe used to your advantage if needed.

 

Did he supply any equipment with the property?

 

You should have had a mutually agreed inventory of the contents and defects of what was there when you moved in ( signed by both of you).

 

Did he comply with regulations regarding gas/electrical/fire inspections?

 

If is being unreasonable........ you could report him to the local authority/HSE.

And if justified I guarantee he would'nt want this. But get the evidence before you approach him. HSE website will have all safety regs he should have met and your local authority will be able to telll you about non safety issues aswell.

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To be honest, if you've been in a property 5 years, even if there is damage to some items (maybe with the exception of the walls etc) then the deductions (if any) for damage would be pretty small as there is few things that the expected lifetime is much over 5 years. Carpet and kitchen units maybe and even those the cost should be apportioned.

 

Have a read at these. Especially the section on betterment.

 

TAKE PHOTOS of any damage and of the property in general so you can prove the state of it when you move out.


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Read through this link with regard to repairs, etc.

 

Shelter: Responsibility for repairs

 

If you are still in the property why don't you report certain jobs to the landlord such as loose hinges to oven and fire door mechanisms. Your are still the tenant and he is still responsible for these.

 

I was in a similar position when ending my tenancy on a tight budget, and worked really hard to put everything right. Alas the landlord is still withholding the deposit and I'm still fighting for it back!

 

Good luck, Joan


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