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Ask Ash Your Own Question

Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi I have a kitchen work surface in a property that

Customer Question

Hi
I have burnt a kitchen work surface in a property that I rent. As the type of work surface is now discontinued ( i know this through speaking to a builder and wholesale supplier) I have to replace the whole side and all other sides that are not damaged ( just so they match).

Am i really responsible for the sides that are not damaged but will not match? Am i also responsible for the whole of the refitting and materials for the small side I have burned or am I only responsible for a percentage. I remember a friend of mine was a landlady and she could not charge her tenant for a whole replacement carpet as for some reason she was advised the tenant was only responsible for the area they had marked.

Please can you advise,
thanks
abby
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Do you know the value of the damage? Is the Landlord insured? Was it done by accident plewase
JACUSTOMER-bysnax3u- :

Definitely by accident as I took something out the oven and out it down and it burned. The builder said if it had been fo quality then this would not even have happened as it is meant to be heat resistant. I am getting a quite tomorrow. I do not know if the landlord is insured but I presume they would be.

Alex Watts : So it was not of proper quality? When was it installed do you know?
JACUSTOMER-bysnax3u- :

I am not sure exactly when it was installed but the worktops have not been made for a good 5 years

Alex Watts : My view is that you are not liable. If this was an accident or because of defective worktops that is your fault.
Alex Watts : If they burnt it is clear they were not fit for purpose or use of which they were designed for.
Alex Watts : Further the Landlord should have insurance. This covers risks and accidental damage caused.
Alex Watts : If the landlord is not insured that is his own fault.
Alex Watts : If you are at all at fault then at the very most you would only be liable for the small burnt portion repair.
Alex Watts : You are not responsible for changing the whole workshop.
Alex Watts : Even then for the repair you would not be liable for 100%
Alex Watts : You would only be repsponsible for repair of the life left.
Alex Watts : Therefore if they have a 15 year life and have been there for 10 years you are only responsble for 5 years so 33% cost.
Alex Watts : But in any event they are not fit for use and the landlord should be insured.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
JACUSTOMER-bysnax3u- :

That is really helpful thank you, can I say that i have taken legal advice from yourself. Is there any way that I can contact you tmrw once i have spoken to the landlady and the builder at teh same time

JACUSTOMER-bysnax3u- :

Is this based upon tenancy law, as in when i see the landlady tomorrow can I quote it from tenancy law ?

Alex Watts :

Yes you can say you have taken legal advice. If you wish further communication just put it for my attention - Alex W. Make sure it is Alex W as there are 2 of us - very confusing!

Alex Watts :

This is based on the law of tort and in particular negligence.

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

JACUSTOMER-bysnax3u- :

I have since spoken to my landlady and she would like me to pay fro both sides of the kitchen. I have only damaged one but the point is that the surface is now discontinued and she wants both too match. She does not have insurance. She has a buildings insurance which seems only to cover the bricks and mortar not the actual insides. From your advice I do not think i am liable for the undamaged side as it is not my fault it is discontinued. Plus i am not even sure that I am liable for the whole of the side that is slightly damaged.

JACUSTOMER-bysnax3u- :

How do I start proceedings now do I need to hire a solicitor or go to tenancy deposit arbitration etc? Please can you advise? Thanks

Alex Watts :

You do not need to hire a Solicitor this would be a small claim.

Alex Watts :

You simply contact the tenancy protection service.

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

JACUSTOMER-bysnax3u- :

ok thank you.

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

JACUSTOMER-bysnax3u- :

I am worried that once I move out, she will get the work done for all that she wants and then send me an invoice which will include work I do not think I am liable for ie the non damaged work surface being replaced to match the refitted damaged one. Is there any way I can stop her from doing this?

Alex Watts :

She can try but she would have to prove it went beyond fair wear and tear and that you are liable for the whole amount

Alex Watts :

You can not stop her TRYING to claim but whether or not she is successful is another matter all together

Alex Watts :

In my view a Judge would take the same view as me

Alex Watts :

Does this clarify?

JACUSTOMER-bysnax3u- :

i think maybe it is beyond fair wear and tear, but that the surface should be able to withstand the heat and that i am not liable in any way for the non damaged side. I cannot see how it would be my fault that it is now discontinued. I think it clarifies a bit. I move out, she will do whatever she wants to the property, simultaneously my dispute claim will be in with tenancy protection service. Then a decision will be made and i will pay whatever is deemed liable. She cannot make me pay anything nor use my deposit until the dispute is resolved.

JACUSTOMER-bysnax3u- :

is that correct?

Alex Watts :

Yes I would agree it should be able to stand hot items.

Alex Watts :

You are right she can not make you pay anything until resolved.

Alex Watts :

But I would pay her what you think is fair for the damage now, that way you are seen to be reasonable.

Alex Watts :

Is that ok?

JACUSTOMER-bysnax3u- :

How do i approximate that ? To pay that would require me to get a builder in and replace the work surface which he cannot do because there is no work top that matches the one that is there already and she in holiday

Alex Watts :

If you can get someone in to estimate the cost of that part it would help.

JACUSTOMER-bysnax3u- :

I could get a quote from a builder on the assumption i would be just replacing a work surface but thsi would be based on teh assumption it is just a replacement , not knowing the same style cannot be replaced.

JACUSTOMER-bysnax3u- :

And then you think i should pay her that quote?

Alex Watts :

Well probably half of that because you do not know how long she had it or the life of it.

JACUSTOMER-bysnax3u- :

mm ok and then i use that as leverage to say i have paid 'reasonable' costs

Alex Watts :

Yes I would agree

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

JACUSTOMER-bysnax3u- :

is that not throwing money away before it is resolve dproperly

Alex Watts :

No because any award if made against you would have the amount paid deducted.

JACUSTOMER-bysnax3u- :

ah ok,

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Alex Watts :

If so please do remember to leave feedback before you go today.

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