The issue of costs that are the responsibility of the tenant?

by Readers Question

16:06 PM, 30th July 2019
About 5 months ago

The issue of costs that are the responsibility of the tenant?

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The issue of costs that are the responsibility of the tenant?

Recent legislation prohibits the applying of fees to tenants. Our AST clearly sets out the exact nature of the tenants responsibilities during their day to day occupation of the property. For example if a light bulb fails it is their contractual obligation to replace it, likewise If the sink blocks, they damage internal fittings etc.

Before this legislation we would send in one of our approved contractors, costs agreed and the tenant would be sent the bill. Our managing agents say this course of action is now illegal.

How are we to deal with the issue of costs that are the responsibility of the tenants as they have agreed and understood by signing the AST?

Would really appreciate your opinion and guidance.

Many thanks,





9:56 AM, 1st August 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Helen Morley at 31/07/2019 - 19:28
Doesn't it also affect landlord's insurance?

Ian Narbeth

12:59 PM, 1st August 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Monty Bodkin at 01/08/2019 - 09:52Thanks for that Monty. I am rather too used to paying to repair them as an HMO landlord! Obviously the landlord will have to ensure the machine is electrically safe when supplied.
Upon further research it appears that unless the AST requires it, the Landlord is NOT responsible for repairing the machine. However, unless the AST makes the tenant responsible, nobody is legally.
That said, as a landlord if I had supplied the white goods I would want to control who repaired them so I would stipulate the tenant had to pay for my tradesman to do the repair. This is because at the start of the next tenancy I would be responsible as landlord for the item being safe and if the tenant had not done the job properly I might not know about it until a problem appeared.


15:16 PM, 1st August 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 01/08/2019 - 12:59
I'm a bit confused by this: The government just re-issued the how to rent booklet. The how to rent booklet clearly states that the landlord must 'Maintain any appliances and furniture they have supplied.'

So which is right? If you supply a fridge, oven, or dishwasher do you have to maintain it or don't you?


10:34 AM, 3rd August 2019
About 4 months ago

Our AST has never stated actual costs for the cost of "consumables" such as lightbulbs but does specify that such things are the tenants responsibility.

Because the ceilings are very high, downlighters are fiddly are to access, and the issue may be a blown transformer (which I have always regarded as infrastructure) I encourage tenants to have it done for them, which I am happy to do for a small charge.

At that point I am not supplying a service pursuant to the tenancy agreement, I am doing so because the tenant has requested it and he is at liberty to ask any sparks to do it for him, I'll be cheaper; where's the problem?

Penny Penny

13:39 PM, 3rd August 2019
About 4 months ago

As a landlord of a property with appliances supplied I generally accept responsibility for the first 6 months and after that it is down to the tenant. My current dilemma is a badly scratched ceramic hob which still works but looks bad. How to charge?

David Dorset

21:47 PM, 3rd August 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Steve Masters at 31/07/2019 - 11:42
I was none the wiser from the initial question until i read your reply which made sense to me.
I guess the tenant could be asked to call an approved engineer and that the landlord will only pay if the machine is faulty and not suffering from misuse.
Lots of people are going to get into a mess with this ruling.

David Dorset

22:03 PM, 3rd August 2019
About 4 months ago

The new ruling made by our wonderfully stupid government has not hurt landlords but is detrimental to tenants.
Tenants cannot be charged fees for a new tenancy. The letting agent now charges everything to the landlord. In turn the landlord raises the rent value to allow for him/her to recoup the extra fees. This seems to be the general reaction to the fees ban.

Now say a tenants signs a new 12 month tenancy and the landlord for arguements sake adds £60.00 a month to what he or she would otherwise have valued the rent at. The landlord does this to recoup the initial extra outlay on the new tenancy in the first 12 months,
When that 12 month contract comes to an end the tenant says to the landlord that they would like to continue living at the property and the landlord agrees. The tenant continues to pay the inflated rent and is effectively out of pocket from thereon in. The landlord will be happy to take the inflated rent for as long as the tenancy lasts because he or she has been made to feel that the government and society as a whole is against them.


20:48 PM, 4th August 2019
About 4 months ago

This whole ridiculous business about costs, fees etc, will of course weigh in with all the other ill conceived and poorly framed legislation thrown at the PRS. Persuading no doubt more private housing providers to exit the sector.

I am now hovering over the decision to stop supplying white goods altogether. Another example of how this kind of nonsense impacts adversely on tenants.

In the mean time, one practical solution around the white goods issue, may be to sell them all to the tenant at the beginning of a Tenancy for an agreed nominal sum. ( or remove them if not agreed) If agreed they then become the property of the tenant. At the end of the tenancy the landlord offers to re purchase the items at the nominal purchase price. Ok, it’s not full proof, but it has worked for me a few times. Be sure you get a written purchase receipt from your tenant of course.

Susan Bradley

20:34 PM, 13th August 2019
About 4 months ago

As one of my tenants has just given their notice I have been perusing Rightmove to gauge the current market and amount of rental I should market at. On clicking the ‘tenancy info’ button on one advert I was surprised that a high street name was stating that applicants would have to pay £40 each for referencing and a £150/ property application fee. In addition it made mention of an inventory fee. Have I got the wrong end of the stick or are these types of fees no longer permitted? If so why do they think they can get away with them?


12:05 PM, 19th August 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Penny Penny at 03/08/2019 - 13:39
I have similar issues. I don't think you can charge. I think your only option is to take it out of the deposit. If it were a 'maintenance' issue e.g. swapping out one non-working hob for another I'm still confused about who is responsible for what given that the How to Rent booklet says that maintenance of equipment supplied by the landlord is the responsibility of the landlord.

Does anybody on this forum know what the law actually says on this? Statute and case law?

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