All electrical items in the property are left as a gesture of goodwill?

by Readers Question

11:12 AM, 1st August 2016
About 3 years ago

All electrical items in the property are left as a gesture of goodwill?

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All electrical items in the property are left as a gesture of goodwill?

When we initially viewed our rental property and prior to signing the rental agreement, there was a fault with the integrated fridge freezer which was pointed out to the letting agent. We were assured this would be addressed. With that in mind, we duly signed the agreement believing that it would be repaired. freezer

It took many emails over the space of 6 months and many items of perished food until finally a serviceman investigated. The said unit was then unfortunately condemned. We were then told that a clause was in the contract which states ” all electrical items in the property are left as a gesture of goodwill. The landlord is not financially responsible for any payments due to mechanical faults or failures and will not repair or replace the items”

Had we known that this was broken in the first instance and that the landlady would not be replacing, we would not have taken up the tenancy particularly given that with her broken unit still housed integrated and still in situ, there was no room in the very compact kitchen for a fridge freezer of our own to be placed.

We explained all of the above and our emails were ignored for months so we purchased a new fridge freezer, withholding part of the rent payment to pay for the fridge/freezer.. £219 from the £695 rent p.c.m. Still we had nowhere to put this freestanding unit in the compact kitchen with the faulty one in situ still plugged in behind the kitchen cabinets somewhere so we then contacted environmental health who said that the unit should be unplugged if condemned as it was a potential health & safety risk. We explained this again in an email and eventually some 8 months later the unit and its housing was removed freeing up space for the new one we purchased to replace.

We have resided here for 3 years and are now about to vacate the property having purchased our own home. We are now being informed that the money withheld for the replacement fridge freezer is to be deducted from the deposit.

We feel that we were misrepresented at the commencement of the tenancy and that given the situation that arose from this and length of time it took them to resolve this issue it is very unfair?

Your advice would be very much appreciated!

Kind regards,

Laura



Comments

laura englestone

17:09 PM, 1st August 2016
About 3 years ago

Firstly please let me thank you all for your expert advice & help which was very much appreciated.
Things have progressed dramatically since I posted this yesterday!
I "smelt a rat" and decided having had no joy from the lettings agent on where my deposit was held and the reference to ring them directly..
Having rang the DPS I have been informed that whilst it was registered, no monies were ever paid in!
I have since found a template from "Shelter" and am claiming this back plus compensation. Hoping for a settlement otherwise I will take it to court.

I did ring the Lettings agency to question what I had found out and they have sent me an apology and a promise to return all of my £795 deposit - no mention of the fridge/freezer!

We are just so relieved to be purchasing our own home now to be honest 🙂

Michael Freer

17:32 PM, 1st August 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "laura englestone" at "01/08/2016 - 17:09":

It is nice to see someone taking balanced, sensible and appropriate action to resolve a situation.

Good luck in your new home, even if it does have a built in fridge/freezer. 😉

Nick Pope

8:57 AM, 6th August 2016
About 3 years ago

So far as I am aware PAT testing is not a legal requirement. However I do have all electrical equipment tested when I'm buy a property, every 5 years afterwards and at the commencement of a tenancy to new occupiers. I am of the opinion that if there is an accident and the tenant sues, lack of reasonably recent testing would encourage a judge to side with the tenant.

In addition if the tenant incorrectly uses or wires in their own equipment I have a record.

Specifically on the provision or otherwise of white goods: I provide a fridge freezer and cooker. I have been asked for a washing machine as a condition of tenancy. I provide a (cheap) new one with an extended guarantee but after that it's the tenant's responsibility and it's made clear I won't provide another. If the machine is still going after the guarantee is ended they can keep it and take it with them when they leave.

Gary Nock

9:43 AM, 6th August 2016
About 3 years ago

Mark I think you are right:

HSE Leaflet INDG236(rev3), published 09/13 states as follows on PAT Testing:

"This leaflet explains the simple and sensible precautions that need to be taken to prevent danger from portable or movable electrical equipment in low-risk environments, such as offices, shops, some parts of hotels and residential care homes"

No mention of rental properties.

And Landlords repairing responsibilities is a bit of a misunderstood area, as a lot of people think that if landlords supply the goods, then they also become responsible for repairs by default. When actually, that’s not the case, as it’s made very clear that White goods do not form part of the landlords repairing/maintenance obligations under section 11, Landlord & Tenant Act 1985.

Some of my landlords state they do not want to have additional repairing obligations for electrical items. In these cases an additional clause is inserted into the AST stating that the electrical items are provided for the tenants use on the basis that if they require repair or replacement then they do so at their own expense. If a replacement is provided by the tenant then they can either negotiate a price with the landlord for leaving it or take it with them. As it gives the tenant the choice and is not biased towards one party it is not an unfair clause within Unfair Terms legislation.

Matt Cole

11:31 AM, 6th August 2016
About 3 years ago

I actually think certain items fitted or not can be left as goodwill use for the tenant but not landlord responsible. Take for instance a dishwasher. We left one integrated but could have easily been removed and a space left for something else. It was left as a token of goodwill use. Dishwashers are not a necessary kitchen item unlike a fridge freezer. They are also extremely problematic in that they need regular user maintenance.

Same as an alarm systems. Not necessary but certain wireless systems need batteries etc and require regular maintenance contracts.

Jane Saxton

7:31 AM, 7th August 2016
About 3 years ago

Interesting thread. could someone (in the know) please confirm whether portable electrical appliances need to be tested in a rental property, including HMO. I am not currently doing this- should I? And if so, how often. Thank you

H B

18:20 PM, 7th August 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "laura englestone" at "01/08/2016 - 17:09":

Good news that your deposit will be returned in full and that the landlord will not pursue you for the outstanding rent arrears.

They are of course very nervous because if a deposit has not been protected you can claim compensation for up to twice the original deposit, so it is not surprising that their tone had changed.

Gary Nock

20:17 PM, 7th August 2016
About 3 years ago

Remember if a property is fitted with RCDs these will trip out a faulty appliance within .25 of a second before any harm can be done. Another reason for not having PAT Testing done. It's not required by law and if the property has an RCD then no harm can befall a tenant.

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