Magic Corner – fair wear and tear?

by Readers Question

3 months ago

Magic Corner – fair wear and tear?

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Magic Corner – fair wear and tear?

We’ve been landlords of a 2 bed flat for almost 10 years now and have had wonderful tenants the entire time. We’ve recently branched out into running our first HMO, and this is a whole new ball game! We feel like we have much to learn.

The HMO is our former family home, and as a result, it perhaps has a nicer finish than many HMOs. It is also perhaps more delicate, and we seem to be there every week fixing something.

The other day a tenant texted to say that a kitchen cupboard door came clean off in his hands. The magic corner moving shelf system had snapped where it holds the door. It turns out we’ll have to get a whole new magic corner as parts are not available.

My husband believes they’ve been letting objects fall and jam the moving parts and that this is probably why it broke. The existing magic corner system is 9 or 10 years old. As we ordered a new one today, we see that they come with a 15 year warranty, so should be built to last more than 10 years.

Would you put this down to bad luck or charge the tenant who was pulling at the time of breakage for the new unit £140 and fixing charge?

Many thanks

Claire

Comments

Neil Patterson

3 months ago

Hi Claire,

The problem is that it will be very difficult to prove the corner failed through mistreatment rather than a failure due to wear and tear. Is there any obvious evidence and then proof who it was?

I am assuming you haven't got a 15 year warranty?

Luke P

3 months ago

Renting out your own former home is always a recipe for disaster, no matter how careful the tenants are, because not only will they be harder on it than you ever were, but you also know it intimately. You're going to be continually disappointed by this one.

St. Jims

3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 22/01/2018 - 10:34
Horses for courses - we rent out our old home and it doesn't hurt us, emotionally speaking.

Jane Smith

3 months ago

Hello Claire... you have my every sympathy.. we have 5 hmo's (luckily none has been our own home and I would find that very difficult tbh) and yes, they are a whole different ball game... one small piece of advice I would give you is make it nice for them but don't go to the expense and effort of making it as you would like it yourself because you will be constantly disappointed. There are great hmo tenants and there are very bad ones and most of them are somewhere in the middle, meaning that whilst they won't wreck your things deliberately, they haven't had to pay for them so they don't take the care they should and it is almost impossible to prove who broke something... I know you have ordered the item now, but if it was possible I would have just replaced it with a standard cupboard.... good luck...

Terry Hoare

3 months ago

If I were you, I would just remove the magic corner mechanism, fit some hinges to the door and corner post and fit an internal shelf. Problem solved.

Gunga Din

3 months ago

I would not replace the magic corner mechanism. Leave it as a standard cupboard.

Robert Mellors

3 months ago

In a HMO you cannot prove which resident damaged anything in the communal areas, as all of them have access to it, so basically the landlord has to just swallow the cost each time and keep carrying out the repairs. Even when you "know" who did the damage, you have no way of proving it so have no realistic way of holding them accountable. The running costs of a HMO are much much higher than that of a "normal" AST type tenancy (i.e. a self-contained family let), and the regulation around HMOs is an absolute minefield even for the best of landlords.


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