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Rented house - whose responsibility for upkeep?

5 replies

popcorn123 · 07/09/2009 10:02

Living in private rened house for 18 months - not sure how long I will be staying probably a further 6 months-year.

The front of the house needs some work - it mainly needs painting as it looks shabby compared to other houses in the street.

It is a very old front door which is also out of keeping with the other houses and the locks aren't great. Both of these things I was aware of when i moved in but didn't know how long I would be staying.

Landlord (liase througha letting comapany) has been reluctant to do much. Has fixed a couple of appliances as per contract but took a bit of persuading.

I want to know whose responsibility it is to keep paint the front of the house - I am assuming it is the landlord but don't want to ask in case it looks cheeky.

The front gate and back fence needs painting but I will do that myself but the front and back of the house will need a professional painter.

My rent has gone up a little since I moved in (inflation related)


OP posts:
theyoungvisiter · 07/09/2009 10:11

Not a lawyer, but in rental properties I've lived in it's always been the landlord's responsibility to paint the outside of the house, and I think that's the norm for most contracts. Unfortunately if there's no info in your contract about refurbishment then I think it's up to him when he does it.

WRT the door, I think if it's compromising your security then you would have a case for asking him to upgrade it, but if it's just cosmetic then I think again, it's probably up to him and something you possible should have negotiated when taking out the contract or renewing the rent.

Landlords are sometimes more reasonable if you meet them halfway, you could point out that its current state may put potential renters off if/when you leave, and that you would be willing to do x (say perhaps paint the fence and the front door) if, in exchange, he would do y (consider repainting the house or replacing the front door).

However as you probably know, painting houses can be very costly, depending on the height and style of the house, with costs potentially running into thousands if scaffolding is needed. So it may be that he simply doesn't think it's worth the investment at this time.

scaryteacher · 07/09/2009 14:53

It's the Landlords responsibility, but the Youngvisiter makes a good point with costs. I have to get the gutters and soffits replaced on my property in the UK. It will cost me £1000 just to have the road closed to allow for the work to be done on one side of the house, let alone the cost of the scaffolding/cherry picker, soffits, guttering, labour and VAT, and that's in Cornwall!

I've just had a new handmade stable door installed at the back of the house, and that was £600+, so these things aren't cheap (and my house is old so a cheap door from Wickes is no good.

We don't use the rent to cover the mortgage, and reinvest in the house as we will return to live in it one day; however, some landlords will be using the rent to pay the mortgage, and there may be little left for repairs.

I would ask for the locks to be replaced as being secure is more important than anything else; but just because the front door is old, and doesn't match the other houses, doesn't mean it needs replacing. My front door doesn't match anyone else's as again it was specifically made for the house. Ask the landlord to have it painted and see if that makes a difference.

LIZS · 07/09/2009 15:31

Maintenance of the fabric of the property is down ot the landlord, including the gate and fence. At the end of the day the property value will depreciate if it is neglected so it is a false economy but maybe he doesn't have cash to spare. He can also offset the cost against rental income for tax purposes so it is better done while occupied.

popcorn123 · 07/09/2009 21:16

Thanks everyone

I will ask and see - like the suggestion of offering the compromise of offering to do the peripheral things myself.
I wish i had mentioned these things before I updated the lease for the next 6 months-I am unhappy with how the property looks but reluctant to move my dc's again until i am in a position to buy in 6 months to 1 year.

Will ask and see!

OP posts:
HerHonesty · 08/09/2009 19:57

well if i were you i would focus on the things that really need doing. locks, of course, are critical, but you knew what the house looked like when you moved in, surely?

also do you know if it is a freehold or a leasehold property. he may not actually be responsible/able to do anything for the front of the property.

he also may be looking to do the work when the property is vacant.

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