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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 26577
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I have a problem with my landlord. I'm moving out and he

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I have a problem with my landlord. I'm moving out and he wants me to pay for some new appliances. One of them I haven't broken, it's damaged due to poor electric installation, but the landlord says it can't be repaired and needs replacement. The other appliance I have damaged only part of it, but it still works without any problems. The landlord says it's not possible to replace the damaged part and I need to pay for a new one. I had agreed to pay for the repair of both, but now he says it can't be repaired and I have to pay for new appliances. Do I really have to pay for this?

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

  1. May I ask if you have checked whether any deposit you paid to the landlord was protected by him within 30 days of the start of your tenancy?
  2. Could you tell me the make and type of each appliance and roughly how old you think they might be?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1. I don't know if the deposit was protected.2. I don't know how old they are. The appliances are a shower and the oven. According to the landlord the new shower would cost around £200 and the oven £500.

Thats great thank you. Reference the age, could I invite you to take a guess. It doesn't commit you, it will just help me give you some examples in my reply. For example I assume they were not new when you moved in and you can often have a fair idea if something is new, just a few years old or ancient by its condition and sometimes features. If you have no idea that's fine.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have lived there for 5 years and they were not new when I moved in, so they are older than 5 years.

Thats great thank you.

The first step is to check to see if the landlord protected your deposit in a deposit protection scheme. If he didn't then the above dispute is somewhat academic in that the Landlord will be required to pay to you an amount equaling three times the deposit in compensation for failing to comply with hi statutory obligation. There is now no defence to failing to protect the deposit. Either he has or he hasn't and there is now no leeway for a court in deciding how much to award you. They must award you three times the amount in compensation if he has failed to protect it. There are only three protection schemes. He can choose to use any one of them but as above must choose one. You can search online to see if he has protected your deposit:

If he has protected your deposit if you cannot reach agreement then you can choose to use the relevant deposit protection shceme dispute resolution service free of charge to settle the dispute. The starting point for how such diputes are resolved is that it is for the landlord to evidence any damage he claims you have made not for you to provie that you have not damaged something. Unless you admit to damaging something he must therefore produce an agreed inventory prepared at "checkin" which sets out the condition of the appliances in question. He must then produce evidence of the damage. If he fails on either of these fronts, his claim will be unsuccessful unless you accept it.

If he can prduce the above evidence a decision has to be made on the amount he is entitled to. This is either done on what is called the spot repair basis - whereby an appropriate sum is awarded to cover the reasonable cost of repair or diminuation of value to the appliance. If the landlord can show that this is not appropriate becuase the appliance cannot be repaired and must be replaced, then money is awarded on what is called the apportionment basis.

This works as follows. Let us assume that the oven is 7 years old (landlord must evidence age) and costs £500 to replace. According to the association of inventory clerks schedule a typical oven has a life expectancy of 10 years unless the landlord can show that it was a particularly expensive oven and therefore could be expected to last longer. If you accept are are deemed to have damaged it beyond repair, then you would be responsible for £500/10years x 3 years beng the remaining amount of useful life lieft in the oven - £150. In addition landlord would need to show that £500 is a reasonable replacement cost for the oven. You can for example show that it can be obtained more cheaply to further reduce costs.

Statistics show that landlords typically are winning only around 10% of claims brought to TDS scheme dispute services because they cannot show satisfactory evidence of damages they claim or overreach in the amounts they believe they are entitled to. They cannot claim for wear and tear, only damage and cannot expect betterment (i.e. a new appliance for an old one).

Accordingly you can use the above information to 1) decide whether you are willing to accept responsibility for damages claimed and 2) if you do how much you are willing to offer. If you cannot reach an agreement you can refer the matter to the relevant deposit scheme provider resolution process for free. Any balance of your deposit not under dispute should be released to you immediately.

Does the above answer all your questions? If it does, I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click a rating for my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

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