Forum Home Search Login Register
+  Landlord Forum
|-+  General Category
| |-+  Tenant Advice & Help
| | |-+  Concerns About Responsibility

Concerns About Responsibility

Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Concerns About Responsibility  (Read 97 times)
Newbie
Posts: 2

I like property

« on: October 13, 2021, 02:10:50 PM »

We moved into a private rental about five years ago. It was pretty run down, but reasonable on rent and we were in an emergency situation. I was also suffering from depression at the time, so not thinking particularly straight. Our landlord is nice, but is hands off to the point that he's visited 2-3 times throughout the tenancy. Now that I'm doing better mental health wise, I've sort of... woken up to how many problems the house has.

I have (with the landlord's permission) repainted a bedroom and kitchen. I have fixed curtains that began falling down. When we moved in the garden was a wilderness with waist high grass, it is now neatly mown and we regularly weed the cracks between bricks. I have fixed loose sideboards, paid for a regular window cleaner and will be paying for a deep clean, and an oven clean, both soon and when we move out (the property was not professionally cleaned when we moved in).

I guess I'm wondering what is my responsibility regarding other issues.

  • The blinds, which are old, dirty and were falling down when we moved in, are falling down more. Do I have to replace them?
  • The wallpaper was ripped in places when we moved in; (my partner has dated photos). Can the landlord claim out of our deposit for replacement paper, even though it wasn't our fault?
  • There is a stain on one part of the wallpaper due to his delay in getting a plumber to look at a leak (we notified him promptly) - can he blame us for this?
  • Some of the window sills and the stair-rail have chipped paint due to wear and tear - my plan was either to fill in the gaps and / or sand down and repaint completely. Will this be acceptable?
  • The wallpaper in the lounge is scuffed in places (from before we moved in) - I am going to try to remove the scuffs, but would I be financially responsible for the redecoration if I can't?
  • The bath and bathroom sink plugholes have developed rust. I am going to try to clean it. If I can't, is this 'wear and tear' or will I need to pay to replace them?

I would like to move at some point, for various reasons, but can't afford to lose my deposit. I also don't think I deserve to lose my deposit for damage that pre-dates my tenancy. I'm kicking myself for moving into a place with this many problems, and I'm also paranoid as our last landlord ripped us off over a string of extremely trivial issues. We have a good relationship with our current landlord, but we thought we had a good relationship with Madam Rip Off Merchant as well.

I've looked online but answers vary, and my partner is an absurdly laid back person who keeps insisting it will be fine and that all this stuff is the landlord's responsibility (I suspect we share responsibility for certain tasks).

This whole thing is making me extremely anxious, and I'm wondering if it would be worth going to Citizen's Advice?
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 4297

Abuse Officer

« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2021, 02:21:56 PM »

Halt the anxiety now.

Firstly, you don't know approach the Landlord will take at the end of the tenancy. You've been there five years and I know, from my own experience, my own approach would be to let most things go (not all). That might just be me. But the basic - high-level - line you must meet is that you should return the property in the same state it was when you commenced the tenancy minus fair wear-and-tear. This might feel like a grey area, but it certainly does not mean you need to replace wallpaper that was already in a pretty bad state at the beginning of the tenancy... plus you have photos to prove it - but there should also be an Inventory and Schedule of Condition.

You cannot judge your current Landlord by your experience of a previous Landlord. And 5 years of wear-and-tear would account for a lot, to be honest. None of the items you seem worried about would bother me, personally. I don't think they're your responsibility. But see what happens, if it turns out you are taken advantage of when the time comes then come back here. Don't agree to anything you're not initially happy with.

If you feel there are unjustified deductions requested... then you can always take your case further via the Dispute resolution service of the Deposit scheme used. We are assuming your Deposit is correctly protected?
Newbie
Posts: 2

I like property

« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2021, 03:07:32 PM »

*deep breath* - Thank you Hippogriff. I really appreciate that. There is no Inventory and Schedule of Condition, but the deposit is protected. You are right that I shouldn't borrow trouble. I think maybe the solution is for me to get my anxiety under control, rather than panicking about wallpaper. Thank you for offering your perspective,
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 4297

Abuse Officer

« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2021, 04:05:20 PM »

In the absence of an Inventory, with dated photographs detailing the state of the property... if it came to a Dispute with the Deposit scheme and the Landlord wanted to claim for... well, anything... you could just say - "it was like that when we moved in"... and the Landlord would need to prove it wasn't... and the Landlord can't.

That said, if there is a reasonable approach to the Deposit at Check-Out and reasonable deductions requested... it's always nice to play ball with honour and put your hands-up where they're needed. The Deposit protection legislation was to stop Landlords from thinking the Deposit was some kind of perk of the job that effectively became their money as soon as it was handed-over. Ideally, at the end of a tenancy, no party should lose-out unfairly.
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 1351

I like property

« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2021, 04:56:34 PM »

As a born worrier myself,I know how you feel.Your current landlord has so far given no reason to expect trouble.I would not be bothered about the things you have mentioned,especially if you have always paid your rent on time for five years.As already said, if there is a problem,come back and you will get advice how to deal with it.Try some breathing techniques for now.In through the nose count for 7 seconds,halt for 2 secs,out through the nose for 5 seconds.Repeat for a few minutes.Then have a stiff drink.
Full Member
Posts: 181

I like property

« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2021, 05:57:43 PM »

Knowledge is key.

If your landlord tries deducting money then respond to each deduction by stating the condition when you moved in, the fact that you have been there for 5 years and that there is no inventory.  If the landlord bacs down then you can raise a free deposit dispute that will almost certainly fall in your favour in this case.
Jr. Member
Posts: 86

I like spoons

« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2021, 03:18:13 PM »

As a landlord, i would not be looking to deduct from a deposit for those items you listed. The blinds, if only discolored and not ripped/damaged, again i would put down to wear and tear.

If you have been there for a number of years and tried to improve the condition of the property, i would bear that in mind also. In my experience, landlords rarely try and hold back deposit just because they want to. Although, bear in mind your opinion of cleanliness/appearance may be different to others.
Pages: [1]
Print