Landlords, light-bulbs and downlights

Landlords, light-bulbs and downlights

17:09 PM, 9th May 2014, About 10 years ago 12

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I’ve had tenants move out and there are lots of light-bulbs in downlights not working. They were in full working order when the tenants moved in. Landlords, light-bulbs and Downlights

Are landlord’s responsible for changing the bulbs in downlights?



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Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

17:11 PM, 9th May 2014, About 10 years ago

Hi Kari

If you can prove they were working when the tenants moved in then you can deduct the cost of replacing the bulbs etc. from the tenants damage deposit.

If they complain about this I’d just write it off as it’s not worth the hassle of going through the adjudication process.

Ian Narbeth

17:16 PM, 9th May 2014, About 10 years ago

I include an express clause in the tenancy agreement so there is no argument at the end. You may agree with Mark that it is not worth the hassle of the adjudication process but if you have a schedule of condition and a clear clause in the tenancy there is not much for the adjudicator to quibble with.

Sally T

22:45 PM, 9th May 2014, About 10 years ago

If your tenant has moved out and they only problem you have is light bulbs you have to ask yourself 'do you really have a problem?'.

Karen Medd

0:21 AM, 10th May 2014, About 10 years ago

I've sorted it out. I had a full professional inventory done with photos when the tenant moved in and upon rechecking that inventory I have realised that some of the downlights weren't working in the beginning so I will replace them. Just shows how helpful inventories are as I was almost certain that all the downlights were in full working order at the start of the tenancy.

I am so busy with my other business that having professional check in's and check out's and inventories are so crucial to me now as it covers my back as well as the tenant especially as I don't have as much time to spend on my properties at the moment as I used to have.

To Sally T - Of course I would still have a problem as they are not just 'light bulbs' Its a very high end property done to a very high spec with lots and lots of downlights. I don't believe in problems anyway. Only tests for us to learn from so that we can be even more successful and I now know who is responsible for lightbulbs lol
Thank you everyone for your replies.

Jeremy Smith

0:25 AM, 10th May 2014, About 10 years ago

I agree !....
How much time will be spent claiming for the lights bulbs, going through an adjudication process, the concern about how much each one costs, etc, etc.

1year rent, say, £600pcm = £7200 pa
10 x light bulbs, say, £1 each = £10
10 / 7200 = 0.14 % of the annual income

but if they are leds bulbs, they could be £5 each = £50....
50/7200 = 0.69% of annual rent !.. good gracious !

But seriously, it does raise the question of how much we write off and how much do we claim from the deposit.

Karen Medd

1:36 AM, 10th May 2014, About 10 years ago

Take it easy guys. I wasn't intending on getting into a dispute with my tenant. I was only asking who would be responsible for changing the bulbs in downlights so I know where I stand as I still have to sort them out.

I will take my questions elsewhere in future and I won't bother posting anymore on this thread as I'm not learning anything useful so feel free to criticise me all you want with your postings as I won't be reading it anymore.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

9:51 AM, 10th May 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Karen Medd" at "10/05/2014 - 00:21":

Hi Karen

Thanks for this response, many landlords will learn from this thread why inventories are so important. I meet so many landlords who don't get them done and then expect to be able to deduct for damages from the tenants deposit.

Sounds like you are a good landlord and operate much as I do, i.e. primarily the high end market. Please check out the following, it could save you a lot of time and money >>>

I've given your comment the thumbs up by the way. Not sure I agree with the second one though, I don't think Jeremy's point was intended to be personal.

Sally T

9:54 AM, 10th May 2014, About 10 years ago

I wasn't criticising, honestly. We've been doing buy to lets for nearly 10 years. In that time we've had one tenant who set fire to out property twice. We're currently in the process of gaining a possession order to remove a 'good tenant turned bad'. Sometimes it's not worth sweating the small stuff, so you save your patience for when the big problems come along.

Michael Barnes

11:43 AM, 10th May 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Karen Medd" at "10/05/2014 - 01:36":

Please keep coming here.

We have robust discussions that are intended to air the issues and not be criticisms of posters.

Without such questions we will not have the ability to learn from others and improve our processes.

My personal position is
a) it is in the agreement that tenants replace light bulbs (and other consumables) during the tenancy.
b) If consumables that were there at the start of the tenancy need replacing at the end of the tenancy, or are of a different quality (e.g. standard bulbs where I provided low energy bulbs), then I will advise the tenant that I intend deducting money from the deposit to cover them,
c) If tenant agrees, then no problems.
d) If I cannot negotiate the deduction for a small amount, then I will write it off.

In the words of an Army Colonel friend "it's not worth dying in a ditch over".

Michael Barnes

11:49 AM, 10th May 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jeremy Smith" at "10/05/2014 - 00:25":

It's the principle.

You can claim it, and if tenant agrees, then no problems.

If tenant disputes it, and you cannot negotiate a settlement, then you have to consider if it is worth while going through the dispute process.

Note that HMRC require you to take reasonable steps to avoid writing off a bad debt. Therefore you may not be able to claim replacements as deductable expenses unless you have attempted to get the money from the tenant.

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