Can this be construed as damage to the carpet?

by Readers Question

17:27 PM, 1st January 2020
About 2 months ago

Can this be construed as damage to the carpet?

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Can this be construed as damage to the carpet?

Since moving into the house the washing machine has been leaking. The tenant has used a large number of bath towels to save the carpet, but can any related over-spill be construed as damage to the carpet caused by the tenant?

None of the above electrical items seems to have been PAT tested, although the lettings agent’s maintenance team says they inspected electrical points.

Any advice on how the tenant should proceed?

“Please note that the washing machine,flat-screen tv and fridge freezer are left at the property but the landlord holds no responsibility for upkeep, maintenance or repair.
signed JP(Tennant)
date 19/12/2019″

Many thanks

Andrew

 



Comments

Gary Nock

18:41 PM, 1st January 2020
About 2 months ago

Hi Andrew,
The tenancy agreement is leaving both the tenants and landlord in " no mans land" here. It looks as if the items are the property of....? The landlord who has left them? The previous tenant who has left them? The new tenant who has
" inherited"them? So ownership is a problem. So thus is whose fault is if it it is faulty. And liability for any subsequent damage. It won't be the previous tenant as they have gone. If its the landlords stuff and its caused any damage then....its down to the landlord. If this went to a deposit protection arbitration for carpet damage it would rule in the tenants favour. So my advice would be to get the washing machine sorted to prevent any damage to the property. As a landlord and an agent I hate these " we're leaving the xxxxx." Either they sell them to the incoming tenant so they become the new tenants property or they take them out.

Rob Crawford

18:55 PM, 1st January 2020
About 2 months ago

I often wonder about the legality of these arrangements when white goods are supplied by the landlord with a maintenance etc disclaimer in the AST. The landlord is still the supplier. I think it could be argued that the landlord still holds responsibility! Was the property advertised as inclusive of white goods?

David Lawrenson

9:04 AM, 2nd January 2020
About 2 months ago

I completely agree with Gary Nock's comment.

But would add one thing. If there is a paper /email trail showing the new tenant had asked you to leave the items at the property, with the understanding that they become their property (and they are as such responsible for maintaining them and also taking them with them at any such time they leave) that would help to absolve you of your responsibility here - and it would imply that they are responsible for any damage caused by what is now their goods.

In the absence of any such clause, fix the w/m or better still replace it.

When there is a tenant change and interest is expressed about items being left, I always insist that both sets of tenants agree on this - and both confirm in writing to me and the new ones expressly say they understand the items are now their property (they are excluded on the inventory too) and will be taken with them when they leave.

I also do not get involved in any way in any payment that one makes to the other for said items.

David Lawrenson
http://www.LettingFocus.com
Unbiased advice for landlords

Chris Bunn

9:18 AM, 2nd January 2020
About 2 months ago

Hi Andrew,
As a landlord this has happened to me a few times in the past 20 years. If I have been made aware of the fault it becomes my problem not the tennant. I would talk to the tennant and point out the washing machine either needs to be repaired at the tennants cost or removed to prevent damage to my property.
Or if they are good tenants that have been there a number of years I accept responsibility and pay to get it repaired or replaced at my cost.
At the end of the day tenants are customers you can win an argument with a customer and lose that customer. Which in turn cost you money to replace them. Look at the big picture when you have a good tennant keep them happy.

paul kaye

11:14 AM, 2nd January 2020
About 2 months ago

washing machines are so cheap these days,you can get one for £199.00 take out extra cover for 5 years and you are covered !
I however, never supply appliances,I provide a good home to rent that I myself would gladly live in !
Appliances can be rented, or if you really want to provide them make sure you insure them for repairs/breakdowns for 5 years,even rent them to your tenants ?

Graham Bowcock

11:19 AM, 2nd January 2020
About 2 months ago

The tenancy clause is too vague. I have seen (as an agent) landlords trying to get out of responsibility for providing items, whilst simultaneously providing them. Sorry, but I find it a nonsense.

I provide all my houses with kitchen white goods and deal with maintenance of them. No grey areas.

I suspect that if you tried to withhold money from the tenant's deposit to cover damage to the carpets, you would get short thrift from the DPS who would see a sham over passing the goods over.

Ian Narbeth

11:33 AM, 2nd January 2020
About 2 months ago

Andrew
As landlord you have left at the property a washing machine which is defective. Unless it has been acquired and is now owned by the new tenants, they are not responsible for it. You may be in breach for not PAT-testing it. Your disclaimer does not pass liability to the tenant to maintain the machine. Even if you are not responsible for it, you have choices. Do nothing and the problem will get worse. Remove the washing machine altogether. Not straightforward and you will annoy the tenants. Or fix or replace it at your cost to keep the tenants happy and to prevent damage worsening.

blair

17:13 PM, 2nd January 2020
About 2 months ago

hi. PAT. the electrical requirements under PAT is that someone almost any one should be inspecting the appliances for damaged cords loose wires PAT refers to appliances that are plugged into sockets There is NO requirement to have a Electrian inspect and label them. You can do it. Use common sense check if there is a earth wire if its a metal appliance and if tenants have reported fuses are blowing them its time to immediately act it might be a appliance or it might be the permanent wiring which is not covered by PAT but as a LL you are supposed to ensure the house/apartment wiring is safe If fuses are blowing them something is wrong somewhere

Dylan Morris

19:27 PM, 2nd January 2020
About 2 months ago

“The tenant has used a large number of bath towels to save the carpet, but can any related over-spill be construed as damage to the carpet caused by the tenant ? “.

So what exactly is the damage then ?

Jireh Homes

0:11 AM, 3rd January 2020
About 2 months ago

PAT in the context of this question is not relevant, as typically it does not include function testing so would not have picked up on any "operation fault". However all electrical items provided by the LL should be inspected and tested on a regular basis by a trained and competent person, test labels affixed and certificate provided. A LL may undertake if suitably trained and qualified and has the appropriate calibrated test equipment.

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