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Should Landlord or Tenant pay to replace damaged carpet?

(38 Posts)
msmorgan Thu 06-Feb-14 20:42:24

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 £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 £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?

bonvivant Thu 06-Feb-14 20:45:34

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?

lilyaldrin Thu 06-Feb-14 20:46:04

How much was the carpet worth in the first place and how old was it?

MirandaWest Thu 06-Feb-14 20:48:10

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?

MirandaWest Thu 06-Feb-14 20:50:12

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)

lilyaldrin Thu 06-Feb-14 20:55:01

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.

WaitingForMe Thu 06-Feb-14 20:58:16

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.

littlebluedog12 Thu 06-Feb-14 21:00:23

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!

Featherbag Thu 06-Feb-14 21:03:36

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.

msmorgan Thu 06-Feb-14 21:04:11

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!

lilyaldrin Thu 06-Feb-14 21:08:09

Have you protected their deposit?

Was there a check-in/inventory done when they moved in, photos taken etc?

holidaysarenice Thu 06-Feb-14 21:08:49

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.

holidaysarenice Thu 06-Feb-14 21:12:23

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.

WaitingForMe Thu 06-Feb-14 21:20:41

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.

lessonsintightropes Thu 06-Feb-14 21:21:41

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.

lilyaldrin Thu 06-Feb-14 21:24:26

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.

Featherbag Thu 06-Feb-14 21:29:24

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.

msmorgan Thu 06-Feb-14 22:03:58

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.

msmorgan Thu 06-Feb-14 22:14:49

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.

lilyaldrin Thu 06-Feb-14 22:15:25

It sounds like you can't really insist they pay anything in that case.

WaitingForMe Thu 06-Feb-14 22:35:08

Sadly an expensive lesson. You have my sympathies thanks

msmorgan Thu 06-Feb-14 22:52:00

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!

Elderberri Thu 06-Feb-14 23:04:42

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.

specialsubject Fri 07-Feb-14 10:44:14

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.

HaveToWearHeels Fri 07-Feb-14 15:09:16

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 !

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