Should Landlord or Tenant pay to replace damaged carpet?(38 Posts)
Just wanting some opinions please?
My tenants of 3 years are moving out, they have generally been good tenants and are friends of friends so I'd like to keep things friendly if possible.
They told me the house was in excellent condition and didn't need anything doing, however when I went round there are quite a few things. I was obviously expecting to redecorate but was slightly annoyed that they've allowed their kids to scribble all over almost every wall, they've painted a fireplace, put wallpaper up, cracked a bathroom tile and not told me about tiles coming off a garden step.
The above I don't mind too much, I expected to have to funky redecorate anyway.
In the largest bedroom they have burned an iron mark into the carpet, I have said I would like them to pay to replace the carpet, I have said I don't mind having a cheaper carpet but for them to pay for it and the fitting.
The tenant has just text me to say he has been quoted Â£160 for supply and fit of like for like carpet, I know the carpet that is down was quite a lot more than that but would be happy as long as it looks similar. However he has said there is no way he is willing to pay that and would be willing to either split it 50/50 or give me Â£50 to just leave the current carpet down.
I am really pissed off at this, am I being unreasonable to expect them to pay for a replacement carpet?
I don't think you're being unreasonable but it just depends whether you're willing to have a potentially long drawn out argument. Do you think you can relet it with the iron mark and perhaps agree a financial settlement or does the carpet need to be replaced? If they have been good tenants for 3 years, you've had a good rental income - is that a factor you can take in to consideration?
How much was the carpet worth in the first place and how old was it?
Was the carpet new when they moved in? After 3 years there would be some wear and tear expected so I think asking them to pay for the whole of the carpet seems a bit unfair, but I can see that if it were a more expensive carpet it seems a but unfair on you.
Did they pay a deposit?
Did you do an inventing check when they moved out? When I move out of this house eventually I am sure the letting agents will go through it with a tooth comb (and if I'm lucky I'll get some of the deposit back)
You basically can't profit out of their deposit - so you can't replace a 5 year old carpet with a brand new one and expect them to pay. But say the carpet cost £200 originally, is 5 years old (losing 10% value a year), you could reasonably take £100 towards a replacement.
You could probably deduct money for removing the wallpaper and replacing the tiles too, so long as you documented the condition before they moved in.
But the carpet wouldn't need replacing if they hadn't burnt it. 100% of the bill would be deducted from deposit if they were my tenants.
Did they have a deposit, abd is it with the tenancy deposit scheme? We had issues with our previous tenant and the TDS gave us some great advice. If it comes down to it you can open up a dispute with them.
From what you have said I would expect them to contribute to the redecorating. Children drawing on walls is not wear and tear!
Waiting, I think you'd find 100% of the bill would not be deducted from the deposit if they were your tenants! not if you'd followed the law and placed the money in one of deposit protection schemes! OP, there's a formula (google will help) to work out how much you can deduct. IIRC, it's something like cost of carpet/number of years you could reasonably expect the carpet to last - number of years carpet has already been down. So if the carpet cost £500 and could be expected to last 5 years, then after 3 years your tenants could expect to have £200 deducted.
The carpet was around £350 with fitting. It was in brand new condition when they moved in as the house was empty for a year after it was fit so although it's now 4 year old it was as new. It's quite a large room, around 18x16 ft plus alcoves so will cost a fair amount to re carpet even with cheap stuff.
The tenancy agreement states redecoration by my prior agreement, I told them they could repaint the kids rooms but they never mentioned papering, or painting the fireplace.
I realise that the carpet has had 3 years of wear and tear and due to them being generally good tenants (a few late rent payments, garden and house not kept great but no major issues) I would have been happy to pay something towards the replacement carpet. I think he's taking the piss though with the text he has sent me!
Have you protected their deposit?
Was there a check-in/inventory done when they moved in, photos taken etc?
With that kind of a piss take I'd be billing them for a lot more.
Politely but firmly I would reply with the inital costs and deductions according to hmrc. That is his bill. Then I would add I am willing to do a full inventory of the property detailing all findings if required.
Basically your saying he sorts this out without taking the piss or you'll start charging for the other damage as well.
In fact I think I would do up a list of things that are wrong, against your inventory.
Text him and tell him you will deliver it.
Then when they see what it could cost should you decide so he might play ball.
My tenants deposit is registered and protected but I hold no truck with that degree of damage to a property. If my tenant tried this they'd gave to take me to court for their money. I'd do it as a matter of principle and I'm the kind of person that won't see my tenants go an hour more than necessary with a repair, conducts electricity checks (not legally required) etc.
I've never had 100% of deposit back, and don't know any other people renting in London who have had it either, despite being far better tenants than yours - I've always paid rent on the day due in full, and before we then bought had renovated four ruined gardens in rental properties (i.e. resowing lawn, reinstating and stocking flower beds) and undertaken routine maintenance with full agreement of LL (including painting external maisonary window framing etc). Think your tenants are taking the piss to be honest.
I recently got 100% of my deposit back after the landlord tried to retain 100%! It went to arbitration through the deposit scheme and basically he couldn't replace damaged things with new, and he didn't have sufficient proof through a properly conducted check-in/check-out, inventory with photographs.
That's the other thing OP, inventories. No check-in inventory = no deductions unfortunately. If there was an inventory done I'd seek advice on how much you can legally deduct for the carpet (principles cost unnecessary time and money) and add on the cost of having a decorator restore the rooms decorated without permission to plain magnolia walls.
I didn't take a bond as we know them and trusted them not to cause much damage, which they haven't really. Also due to the fact that from my experience bonds are only much use if there is extreme damage or non payment of rent , and they were really skint when they moved in, I was probably a bit soft, I'll def be taking a bond next time.
I did do a basic inventory and have photos on a sad card but you can't really make out if there was an iron mark where there is now on that rooms picture. If it came to it they could lie and say it was already there.
I have replied to him very politely saying whilst I don't mind paying something towards the cost of a new carpet I won't pay half and want to chose the carpet myself. He's saying his mate will sort it out and fit it this weekend, I've said no to that.
Sorry about all the mistakes, iPad is auto correcting. I will be fully not funky redecorating and pics are on an SD not sad card!
I'm going through a local estate agents using their tenant find service for the relet. It was just coincidence that this couple were looking for a place when I'd just finished doing my house up, and a mutual friend mentioned it. I probably should have been more business like about everything.
I have a tenancy agreement, Landlords insurance, gas safety cert etc but the itinerary is not as good as it should have been. I should have just said no redecorating given that it had just been done, all very neutral. The bathroom now has bright red walls.
It sounds like you can't really insist they pay anything in that case.
Sadly an expensive lesson. You have my sympathies
I think I'll push for him to pay as much as possible and mention the fact that I'm having to strip paper off and make repairs etc.
I think seeing as we have a few friends in common he'll not be too unreasonable about things.
Next tenant I'll just get the letting agent to do everything. At least I can finally put the rent up!
The law says that fair wear and tear is anything that is worn in the natural context of living, like maybe paint getting worn from being brushed past, sinks, and other items from everyday use, carpets worn from being walked on.
What is not coverd is accidental damage, such as iron burn, or willful damage, writing on the wall.
We just returned our rented house, it clearly had been lived in, but we fixed whatever was damaged, touched up any scuff on the walls, and had the carpets cleaned. We got our full deposit back.
You should photo the damage, because you just can't take it out of the deposit it has to be agreed, if you have the deposit in one of those accounts.
But if they have been good tenants, you should take it into consideration.
as you didn't take a deposit you are stuffed, you'll have to take whatever he'll pay.
having had wall scribbles (not as bad as yours) and iron burn on carpet (what is WRONG with people?) be warned that even with a deposit you wouldn't get much replacement value unless the carpet was brand new at start of tenancy, and you'll lose 3 years wear and tear off it anyway. So take whatever he'll pay.
next time - take a deposit and visit every 3 months to start with, six monthly after that. Make it clear that there is to be NO painting.
This is the exact reason DH and I never ever rent to anyone we know. Our BTL's are a business and we don't mix that with pleasure.
Sorry you have an expensive mistake OP but I hope you have learnt from it. Never agree to redecoration, given an inch tenants will take a mile. Never negotiate on anything with a tenant. Always take loads of photos and give them copies on a disk as part of the inventory, get them to sign to say they have received and agree.
Scribble on walls, wallpapering, painting a fireplace, not maintaining the garden, a burnt carpet, cracked tiles, not paying the rent on time, these were not good tenants at all !
Unfortunately you have been too trusting of people by not taking a deposit. When I first started out as a landlord I was also too trusting and got my fingers burnt but not any more, even If I know the prospective tenant I always insist on a deposit you don't trust anyone in this business sadly, and quite frankly your tenant is taking the piss, but as you have no holding deposit there isn't a lot you can do just learn from this.
Well I have definitely learned a lesson. I got some quotes today which I sent to him asking him to pay an amount towards it (which I worked out based on what you would normally deduct from a deposit in this situation). He replied basically saying he was willing to pay less than half what I asked for.
I have pointed out to him that I was doing him a favour not taking a deposit, renting the house to him for less than I could have etc and that was based on trusting that the house would be kept in excellent condition. I have had quite a few polite but insulting replies.
In the end I can't be bothered to argue with him over a fairly small amount of money. It was never about the amount, I am just so annoyed that someone I thought of as a friend has screwed me over. I've replied basically saying it's not worth arguing over and that it was my mistake to have not kept things more business like.
Will be taking all the above advice and future lets will be purely business (and I hope they don't get the school place they have moved to a crappy house and lied about the address for, not that I'm bitter!).
Get a company in to do professional inventory. Around here, LL pays checkin and tenant pays checkout. About £100 each. Put into your lease that tenant pays checkout fees.
All the painted walls needed to be put back to the colour they were at start of tenancy. With an inventory and protected scheme, you could have deducted for redecorating all the walls and fireplace back to original colour. Normally, even if you are allowed to paint, most landlords will give you permission in writing either for a specific colour only, or with agreement that you repaint it back to xx colour at end of tenancy.
I'm afraid your friend is a crook and you are probably only the latest in a long line. The school is next.
sorry. Dump him and make sure he can't defraud you any more. There is also a blacklist kept of dodgy tenants...
It's my own fault for being too trusting. I'm quite aware of the legal info etc re letting as my sister runs a letting agency and my dad rents out properties as does DP's dad.
It was purely because we know the family that I didn't bother to take a deposit. I've been reading through the tenancy agreement and there's about six different points that they've breached throughout the tenancy, nothing major but. I could have caused a fuss.
After a few heated discussions he has agreed to transfer £80 into my account today. As soon as it goes in I'm going to tell him I want the networking he's put in every room taken out before they leave and that he can pay our mutual "friend" the £40 I apparently owe him. I'm probably being a bit petty, but he's pissed me off.
Oh me I've never had a penny of a deposit retained (except once 80p by a terrible landlord who did some dreadful calculations to show I owed 80p in unpaid rent despite the fact I had overpaid) since he held all of the previous tenants deposit (a fact they very kindly came round to warn me about) I let it go.
Shop them to the local authority about the school place (but that's a whole other thread lol)
For scribble (and other wall marks) you can get that magic erasure stuff from 99p shop type places.
(how do you spell erasure? it looks wrong but I've got brain failure!)
I am tempted to inform the school of what I'm pretty sure they're doing (using the new house address of the friend they are renting off) but I'll not. I just hope they don't get a place, the alternatives closest to the new address are pretty awful.
I'm actually quite surprised at the lengths they're going to in ensuring a place in a particular school.
Normally a good carpet in a rental property would be expected to last 10 years, so to avoid betterment, the maximum you could charge the tenant would be 60% for a 4 year old carpet.
I have been in my rented house for 11 years and not had it painted or carpets replaced. My daughter was 1 and half and in my opinion place is in good condition still I have done as much as I can and afford to repare things. She is 13 now and moving out where do I stand on my deposit as worried I will not get it back? I gave found a tenant to take as seen but landlady not got back to me yet. Oh I have painted same colour 2 yrs ago and never done colours, wallpapered and hardley any hooks in walls etc
holistic - your deposit should be protected if the tenancy was renewed after 2007.
but tenants don't repaint or replace carpets, landlords do. Your deposit is only charged for damage, not wear and tear.
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