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Rental Deposit Q - hairline crack in the loo

(12 Posts)
kiwidreamer Sat 08-Mar-14 18:53:35

We were in the property for over five years, everything else is in a good state, house was tired and well worn when we moved in but we've taken pretty good care of it during tenancy... except for the time a 2yr old DS dropped something in the loo and put a hairline crack in the pan of the toilet. Landlord is saying they want us to pay for a new toilet but official feedback from inventory check out not due until Monday. LA has given us the heads up following LL visit a few days after the check out.

Are we really responsible for a brand new toilet? I accept that we will need to make some reparation but it doesn't seem fair that we cover the cost of a new loo when it really wasn't new when we moved in.

Bambi75 Sat 08-Mar-14 19:57:15

I am simultaneously a landlord and tenant so I can see the situation from both sides. The condition of the property, tired or not, is irrelevant. The fact is, the toilet (which, though not new, I presume was in perfectly good order before?), has been broken by an action that does not constitute normal wear and tear. Therefore if the toilet can't be sufficiently fixed without having to replace it, then I do think you are liable to pay for a new one. At the very least you should meet your landlord halfway towards the cost of a new toilet, depending on the condition of it to begin with.

kiwidreamer Sat 08-Mar-14 20:03:01

It (the toilet) did and does function properly but i understand that over time the hairline crack will cause problems, the toilet would have been at least 10yrs old when we moved in. I guess i was wondering if there is some calculation based on age, like i understand there is for carpets.

specialsubject Sat 08-Mar-14 20:13:40

possibly a wear and tear allowance. But you can get complete toilets with fittings for £70 - or you can from my local builders merchant, look for (I kid you not) 'bog in a box'. Obviously it needs fitting but that isn't difficult.

so it should be possibly to reach an amicable solution.

ReallyTired Sat 08-Mar-14 20:21:21

If your landlord wants to take money from your desposit then your tenancy protection scheme should arbitate and decide a suitable amount.

Putting a hairline crack in the toilet from a two year old dropping an object is not normal wear and tear. Bear in mind that your landlord will have the cost of labour as well as the cost of a new toilet.

I think its fair that you pay for the cost of a new toilet pan, but not necessarily the cost of the new cisten or a toilet seat. I also think its reasonable you make a contribution to the cost of labour. Your landlord has the right to insist that you pay for repairs, but not betterment.

Liara Sat 08-Mar-14 20:22:42

A new toilet could cost as little as 50 quid. I would agree to pay no more than that, if the existing toilet was old and not exactly top of the range.

ReallyTired Sat 08-Mar-14 20:32:04

Liara Its the labour cost that the OP has to worry about. A plumber is £60 per hour plus call out charge. Its not going to be cheap. You can't always use the excuse that something is "old" as an excuse for not replacing it. The depreciation of some items is minimal. There may well be some re tiling of the bathroom to make good that the landlord could claim for. The land lord's inventory should contain photos to prove the condition of the bathroom before letting.

At least the OP won't get ripped off as her deposit should be in a protected scheme. Having a deposit in a protected scheme means that she will be treated fairly. A neutral person will decide how much she pays towards the repair.

Liara Sat 08-Mar-14 20:33:58

Replacing a toilet like for like is barely more than a 20 minute job, which can easily be diyed. I've done several.

specialsubject Sat 08-Mar-14 20:36:52

trouble with this one is that it really doesn't make sense to repair the toilet, so it has to be new, so it has to be 'betterment'. Having recently replaced a couple, I know that all new toilets are much better than old-style ones; easier to clean, dual flush etc.

But yes, the deposit scheme will arbitrate.

it isn't fair wear and tear though. BTW OP, does your tenant's insurance policy cover this kind of accidental damage? Many do.

wow, so rock and roll on a Saturday night.. :-)

ReallyTired Sat 08-Mar-14 20:39:16

Why should a landlord fit a toilet for free? If you pay a professional to put in a toilet there is usually a minimum charge for their time. There is no way that I would want anyone but a proper plumber fitting a toilet in a tenanted property. You cannot get away with a DIY bodge job in a tenanted property.

I am sure that any of the tenacy protection scheme will allow a landlord to claim for reasonable labour costs.

ReallyTired Sat 08-Mar-14 20:43:17

Its a real pain for a landlord as he will have to get several quotes for labour and show that he is being reasonable the tenancy protection scheme. I agree with the specialsubject that this is really what tenant insurance is for.

kiwidreamer Sat 08-Mar-14 21:47:07

Yes I guess there is no option but 'betterment' I'm really not trying to get out of our responsibility, just trying to understand exactly what that responsibility is. The LL use a local plumber who we know and trust ourselves so the labour costs will be fair. So the cistern and seat won't need to be replaced and a pan is under £100 so maybe looking at something around £250...will review our insurance policy.

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