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Kitchen Worktop Damage - Deposit Deduction

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Author Topic: Kitchen Worktop Damage - Deposit Deduction  (Read 170 times)
Newbie
Posts: 2

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« on: December 14, 2020, 08:10:27 PM »

Hi all,

I am writing on here because I would like to get some advice, if possible. I recently moved out of a property with a live-in landlord, so the agreement between us was a license rather than an AST. After I moved out, the landlord messaged me saying that everything was fine with the room but because of a stain on the kitchen worktop (8 cm in diameter) he will proceed to replace it and charge me for the full price of it. He said he will have to replace the other laminate worktop in the kitchen too as they are glued together, and they will bear the cost of labour and the second worktop, while I will have to pay for the cost of one (127) which will then be deducted from my deposit of 500.

The stain in question was made back in July. I had brought up the issue with their partner when it happened and said that I tried to wipe it away but it wouldn't come off and that I was willing to buy something to cover it if needed. I was told at the time that everything was fine and no further issue was brought up.

The worktop has been used without a problem ever since, and during our negotiations recently he confirmed that its usability is not affected but they are bothered by it aesthetically and so they want to replace it. What I tried to negotiate is the amount that I am being charged for, as I understand that the lifespan of the worktop, its age and betterment are all things that should be taken into consideration when considering issues like so. I suggested that I might cover 50% or a fraction of the cost of the worktop, and asked for confirmation of when it was bought and such. No evidence was provided of when it was bought, I am receiving no answers in terms of potential age of the item. They did not even provide a quote for the worktop when I first asked if they could provide one so that I could check what they were stating, and they just gave me the name of the store and said I can call them and get them to give me a quote.
 
The store said that the manufacturers of laminate worktops usually guarantee 1, 2 and sometimes 5 years. I know this is not an official reference, but I am just trying to get the bigger picture and I would like to hear multiple opinions on it, hopefully from people that have found themselves in similar situations. I am genuinely just trying to understand what is reasonable in this case. Repairing it or covering it do not seem to be options as he refused my suggestion to buy something to cover it since it is so small - he just wants a replacement. The worktops are both 3 metre long. The surface area is roughly 0.6 squared metres, the surface area of the stain is 0.0057 squared metres so we are talking 0.95% of the total area of the worktop.

Any input on this would be massively appreciated, thanks a lot in advance!
Hero Member
Posts: 501

I like property

« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2020, 08:52:44 PM »

What I tried to negotiate is the amount that I am being charged for, as I understand that the lifespan of the worktop, its age and betterment are all things that should be taken into consideration when considering issues like so.

Yes.

What is the terms of your license agreement on deposit deductions?
Newbie
Posts: 2

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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2020, 09:44:01 PM »

"Licensee's Obligations:

The Licensee agrees and undertakes:

to pay to the Licensor:

- The Deposit to the Licensor on entering into this licence;

[...]

- Not to cause any damage to the Room or any other part of the Property;

- Not to cause or permit to be caused any damage to:

I. the Property or any neighbouring property; or
II. any property of the owners or occupiers of the Property or any neighbouring property;

- Not to do anything that will or might impair or invalidate in whole or in part any insurance in respect of the Property, or increase
the insurance premium

- To indemnify the Licensor and keep the Licensor indemnified against all losses, claims, demands, actions, proceedings,
damages, costs, expenses or other liability in any way arising from:

I. This licence;
II. Any breach of the Licensee's undertakings contained in clause 3; and/or
III. The exercise of any rights given in clause 2

[...]

The Licensor agrees and undertakes:

- To refund the Deposit to the Licensee within 20 working days of termination of this licence, subject to deduction of such propor
tion of the Deposit as may be necessary to make good any Default by the Licensee"

This is all I could find in relation to the deposit and damages. Hope this helps?
Hero Member
Posts: 501

I like property

« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2020, 10:39:50 PM »

You were a lodger and not an (assured shorthold) tenant, so the tenant wouldn't have been required to protect your deposit. Nevertheless, the guide jointly published by the 3 deposit protection scheme companies should provide you with some guidance on what the landlord is and is not entitled to.

Per the guide, the landlord is not entitled to betterment, which is what I would suggest charging for the full cost of the tabletop would be. It is also still usable, which make replacement unlikely to be justifiable. So the landlord is basically entitled to compensation for reduction in value taking into account fair wear and tear.

Practically, since your deposit is not protected, your recourse would be discussion with the landlord to come to an agreement both of you can live with. Failing that, the small claims court.
Newbie
Posts: 13

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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2020, 05:05:19 AM »

How can it be proved that you did the damage ?

Do you need a reference ?

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