Inventory and missing items issue in student property

by Readers Question

16:54 PM, 21st September 2015
About 3 years ago

Inventory and missing items issue in student property

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Inventory and missing items issue in student property

My daughter is just about to move into a shared house with some friends for her second year of university. The friends have already moved in & discovered some issues – a broken window in a bedroom, TV & toaster missing & “extreme” mould in the bathroom.TV

At first they thought that the house had been broken into (smashed window) & TV stolen but upon contacting the letting agent they have been told that the landlord has removed the TV.

They say that they will replace the toaster, but don’t have to provide a TV. I don’t understand if this can be right – the TV is on the inventory (as well as toaster) and it’s a furnished, student let?

At first the letting agent seemed very disinterested in the smashed window and mould, but now say they will get that looked at. But say the TV won’t be coming back.

Any advice please.

Thank you.

Unidad



Comments

denis knockton

12:24 PM, 22nd September 2015
About 3 years ago

If the TV is in the inventory/check in report, then the Landlord needs to replace it. If he does not, then by the inventory is required to be amended to reflect that he has taken the TV out. The landlord is not obliged to provide a TV, but his agent needs to ensure the inventory is corrected including the broken window to avoid any potential disputes at the end of the tenancy.

Ian Ringrose

13:41 PM, 22nd September 2015
About 3 years ago

If the students were lead to believe by the agent that a TV would be provided and they can prove it, then the landlord have to provide the TV. However the TV licance is likely to be the more costly issue.

Yvonne Francis

13:56 PM, 22nd September 2015
About 3 years ago

The TV is not a statutory requirement in a student furnished let. The only 'moral' defence could be if the property was advertised with a TV included. The Inventory should be corrected as Denis points out if the TV is not returned.

I feel sure the window will be repaired although mould is more difficult. Advise your daughter to provide ventilation opening windows when they can. Also check if they have an effective extractor fan as that is a statutory requirement in all bathrooms.

If the group does not get satisfaction with either the broken window or the mould then contact their Environmental Health department at their local Council, or at least threaten to. The house should have a HMO licence from the Council and they would take a very dim view of a broken window and mould. Most Councils require properties of 3 or more unrelated tenants to have a HMO License. They are under an obligation to inspect any HMO properties where tenants make complaints. However this should be a last resort and the lease should be looked at to see if it's a fixed term tenancy so the Landlord cannot evict them under any circumstances. I think the Council could protect them but it's best to be aware of this.

I hope these issues are resolved amicably. I have student houses in Oxford and found mould problems difficult to cope with because of the constance use and lack of any ventilation any of the tenants would provide. In one house I even had to move the shower rooms to a first floor. However I have succeeded but it was a long and expensive business.

Mike Amapola

14:09 PM, 22nd September 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Yvonne Francis" at "22/09/2015 - 13:56":

One would hope, like Yvonne, that it could all be sorted amicably. But you must get it sorted out to start with or you will have problems later. I am always surprised to hear of storys like this. Landlords that seem happy to rent out substandard properties and rely on the supply and demand situation in a sort after area which leads to some tenants accepting a far lower standard of accomadation than they would normally. These type of landlords only look to 'making money' from their rental properties instead of 'earning money' from their rental business. Sad to see as it paints a bad picture of landlords generally.

Mike W

14:11 PM, 22nd September 2015
About 3 years ago

Unidad,
Firstly make sure you take photos and download them onto the computer. If your camera/phone does not 'date stamp' the photo then the computer will 'date stamp' the photo file. Take a photo of the inventory document.

Was the inventory checked with the students/agents together or were the students given a period of time to check?

Do not trust anyone. Make sure you have written records and photos.

Now contact the agent/landlord by email or letter informing him of the damage and inventory issues and that you have photos. In the letter request him to rectify the matter as soon as possible and not later than one month from the date of your letter/email. (Now you have a written record.)

The mould should have been cleaned by a professional cleaner. Ask the agent landlord if that is the case. If not request the landlord /agent to do so as a matter of urgency. Note that students frequently do not clean bathrooms and create the environment in which mould grows.

Speak to your local Shelter & Council office and ask what you should do in the event that the landlord/agent takes no action. A broken window means the property cannot be wind and water tight.

The issue of the TV licence should be covered in the lease. If not specifically stated in the lease I would suggest that you advise the agent that since the TV is listed on the inventory and provided by the landlord that he is also providing the licence. http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/faqs/FAQ47

Finally next year (or earlier) move to a better property.

Written by a landlord who has been renting to students for almost 20 years and whose children all went to uni.

S Hays

14:53 PM, 22nd September 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Yvonne Francis" at "22/09/2015 - 13:56":

It's not correct that most properties of 3 or more unrelated tenants need a HMO License.

Large HMOs only require a licence if they are at least 3 storeys high.

From the Government website:

Your home is a large HMO if all of the following apply:

it’s at least 3 storeys high
at least 5 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household
you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants

Nick Faulkner

15:12 PM, 22nd September 2015
About 3 years ago

A rubbish landlord who does not understand his customers. Broken windows and mould should be fixed before new tenants move in.
As S.Hays says HMO licences are not required for all student houses. All student houses may be HMOs but not all require a licence.
TV....the landlord is an idiot to remove it and refuse to replace it . They cost so little and generate so much pleasure to his tenants so why would he not want one there?
As for TV licence ..we provide one for each of the TVs we provide.

S Hays

15:16 PM, 22nd September 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Nick Faulkner" at "22/09/2015 - 15:12":

I used to provide a TV and pay the licence but eventually realised it made no difference in attracting students. I get so many foreign students who have no interest in watching live BBC.

Nick Faulkner

15:26 PM, 22nd September 2015
About 3 years ago

I am not sure sure your foreign students may not still be breaking the law.

TV Licensing for students

If you’re a student, parent of a student or provide student accommodation, you’ll find advice here with answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Do students need a TV Licence?

If students watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV or live on an online TV service – on any device – they need to be covered by a TV Licence. That includes a TV, laptop, tablet, mobile phone, games console, digital box, DVD/VHS recorder or anything else.

Pay for a licence

How much does it cost?

A colour TV Licence costs £145.50 a year. You can pay in one go, or spread the cost weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly – whatever’s best for you.
We are unable to offer a discount or a shorter length TV Licence to students. But we do offer refunds. Find out if you are eligible for a refund or get more information about students that go home for the summer.

Are students covered by a hall’s or parent’s licence?

A hall's licence doesn’t cover a student in their room. Their parents’ licence also won’t cover them, unless the student only ever uses devices that are powered solely by their own internal batteries, and they don’t plug them into an aerial or the mains.

S Hays

15:30 PM, 22nd September 2015
About 3 years ago

I have that paragraph in the contract, stating that if they contravene, they pay the fine.

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