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  • FIRST POST
    • rose28454
    • By rose28454 2nd Oct 17, 10:24 AM
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    rose28454
    Landlord wants chimney swept and woodburner cleaned
    • #1
    • 2nd Oct 17, 10:24 AM
    Landlord wants chimney swept and woodburner cleaned 2nd Oct 17 at 10:24 AM
    My husband has been living in a small house and has moved out over the weekend. He has some problems with depression and did not keep it very clean but my daughter and I went and gave it a good going over. The contract stated he had to clean the carpets before leaving but the landlady's son is moving and she said not to bother as they are having new carpets ( together with a new bathroom - long overdue). The only thing she asked was for lounge curtains and door curtain to be cleaned ( this cost £110.00!!)
    Checkout was saturday and the agent came and said washing machine needed filter doing and cleaning inside, lounge skirting needed doing and extractor fan needed a good clean and a new filter.
    Lastly chimney was to be swept and woodburner needed cleaning inside as they need a certificate for insurance.
    Now I have looked at the tenancy agreement and the woodburner and chimney are not mentioned at all. However during the tenancy a couple of times the agent said he had to do it. I know he did it once but I dont recall any mention of a certificate.
    Also last week the gas engineer came and did a gas safety test on the boiler and produced a certificate but this was not down to hubby to pay.
    Landlady said yesterday that her chap is coming this week to do her woodburner and will do the one in the flat and she will tell hubby how much he owes her.
    Agent said deposit should be returned ( the list of jobs was completed yesterday ) but I fancy landlady is trying it on with the woodburner thing.
Page 1
    • G_M
    • By G_M 2nd Oct 17, 10:57 AM
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    G_M
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 17, 10:57 AM
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 17, 10:57 AM
    It's an ambiguous one.

    If I were advising a new landord, I'd tell them to include a clause in the tenancy agreement requiring the tenant to get the chimney swept annually (or whatever). Just to be sure.

    If the TA agreement is 'silent', then the LL has to rely on implied terms eg of 'acting in a tenant-like manner' and leaving the property at the end as it was at the start.

    Was the chimney swept and clean when the tenancy started? Is it mentioned on the inventory?

    If a tenant uses the cooker and the cooker (inevitably) gets debris on it, the tenant has a duty to clean it up. If not during, certainly at the end of the tenancy.

    If a tenant uses the chimney and the chimney (inevitably) gets debris in it, the tenant has a duty to clean it up. If not during, certainly at the end of the tenancy.
    • Ronaldo Mconaldo
    • By Ronaldo Mconaldo 2nd Oct 17, 11:11 AM
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    Ronaldo Mconaldo
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:11 AM
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:11 AM
    What does depression have to do with any of this? Will cleaning a stove push him over the edge? Tell him to get it cleaned or lose his deposit. Depression isn't some get-out-of-jail free card where you can just throw it out there and expect everyone to bend over backwards for you.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 2nd Oct 17, 11:15 AM
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    PasturesNew
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:15 AM
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:15 AM
    Lounge curtains/door curtain - I'm assuming there's nothing "special" about them - lug them down the launderette, there should be a big machine there costing about £8 for a 30 minute wash. It's what the launderette would use if you dropped them off.

    Then hang them out to dry (or get them started in the driers at the shop) ... then iron them while still a tiny bit damp and re-hang them.
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 2nd Oct 17, 11:17 AM
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    LEJC
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:17 AM
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:17 AM
    Hi Rose....
    Bit of a grey area this one I ideally it should say in the tenancy agreement who covers the cleaning costs and sweeping of the chimney etc.

    I am in agreement with GM that in the absence of it saying who is responsible it should be treated in the same way as you would need to clean an oven or appliance when leaving.

    I dont have any experience of wood burners and in the properties that I rent have clear instructions within the TA over who covers maintenance and cleaning.

    Quite correctly your husband will not have been issued with a bill for the gas safety check that you mention has been carried out....that is a LL responsibility.
    Last edited by LEJC; 02-10-2017 at 11:19 AM.
    frugal October...£37.39 of £40 food shopping spend for the 2 of us!

    2017 toiletries challenge 141 out 118 in ...£14.92 spend
    • rose28454
    • By rose28454 2nd Oct 17, 11:51 AM
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    rose28454
    • #6
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:51 AM
    • #6
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:51 AM
    Lounge curtains/door curtain - I'm assuming there's nothing "special" about them - lug them down the launderette, there should be a big machine there costing about £8 for a 30 minute wash. It's what the launderette would use if you dropped them off.

    Then hang them out to dry (or get them started in the driers at the shop) ... then iron them while still a tiny bit damp and re-hang them.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    They were expensive fully lines curtains with pelmet tie backs etc so cleaning seemed the only way. But its done now and they came out great ( they were dirty )
    • rose28454
    • By rose28454 2nd Oct 17, 11:53 AM
    • 4,693 Posts
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    rose28454
    • #7
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:53 AM
    • #7
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:53 AM
    What does depression have to do with any of this? Will cleaning a stove push him over the edge? Tell him to get it cleaned or lose his deposit. Depression isn't some get-out-of-jail free card where you can just throw it out there and expect everyone to bend over backwards for you.
    Originally posted by Ronaldo Mconaldo
    I was making the point that he lets things get on top of him he is also a recovering alcoholic. I was asking opinions as it seems to be a grey area. The landlady is getting it done and he will be paying. Not using depression as a get out of jail free card!
    • rosyw
    • By rosyw 2nd Oct 17, 11:53 AM
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    rosyw
    • #8
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:53 AM
    • #8
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:53 AM
    What does depression have to do with any of this? Will cleaning a stove push him over the edge? Tell him to get it cleaned or lose his deposit. Depression isn't some get-out-of-jail free card where you can just throw it out there and expect everyone to bend over backwards for you.
    Originally posted by Ronaldo Mconaldo
    You'd be surprised!! No, it's not a get out of jail free card, but you need to understand how debilitating it can be - I speak from experience. I'm fine now, but at my lowest even getting out of bed in the morning was a major effort, let alone doing anything else. If you've never suffered from depression it's almost impossible to fully understand what it can do to you. It's no good anyone saying "pull yourself together" or anything else for that matter, it doesn't help.
    • rose28454
    • By rose28454 2nd Oct 17, 11:56 AM
    • 4,693 Posts
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    rose28454
    • #9
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:56 AM
    • #9
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:56 AM
    Hi Rose....
    Bit of a grey area this one I ideally it should say in the tenancy agreement who covers the cleaning costs and sweeping of the chimney etc.

    I am in agreement with GM that in the absence of it saying who is responsible it should be treated in the same way as you would need to clean an oven or appliance when leaving.

    I dont have any experience of wood burners and in the properties that I rent have clear instructions within the TA over who covers maintenance and cleaning.

    Quite correctly your husband will not have been issued with a bill for the gas safety check that you mention has been carried out....that is a LL responsibility.
    Originally posted by LEJC
    Thanks it is a grey area it seems. Just wondered as Gas cert was not his responsibility but wood burner was ( he obviously used both )
    Interestingly when I looked online today it said he should have had smoke alarms and a co2 monitor. Neither of these were there!
    Extractor fan, washing machine and skirting boards done by me yesterday and I took a tip from the agent to use soda crystals to get the grease off and it works a treat.
    • tiz
    • By tiz 2nd Oct 17, 12:03 PM
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    tiz
    For our tenant we had it swept prior to move in and then said (put in writing) if they want to use it then it needs to be done annually at their cost. Our property has central heating so it's not necessary to use the wood burner for heating, it's just a bonus feature. If they don't want to expense they can avoid it by not using it. The boiler/central heating on the other hand is a necessity and our responsibility to cover the repairs/certificate costs. That's how we look at it anyway.
    • chappers
    • By chappers 2nd Oct 17, 7:34 PM
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    chappers
    For our tenant we had it swept prior to move in and then said (put in writing) if they want to use it then it needs to be done annually at their cost. Our property has central heating so it's not necessary to use the wood burner for heating, it's just a bonus feature. If they don't want to expense they can avoid it by not using it. The boiler/central heating on the other hand is a necessity and our responsibility to cover the repairs/certificate costs. That's how we look at it anyway.
    Originally posted by tiz
    Dodgy ground if you consider sweeping a flue or chimney a matter of safety, which essentially it is. How can you be sure they haven't lied and just said they didn't use it. My personal opinion is that as it is the safety of an appliance it should be the LL who is responsible. The LL is the only continuity for responsibility across subsequent tenancies, You can't make the outgoing tenant responsible for the incoming one's safety
    Particularly so in the OPs situation where there is complete absence of an inventory or mention of it in the contract.
    Cleaning the burner however is a different matter an analogous to the cooker situation
    Last edited by chappers; 02-10-2017 at 7:37 PM.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 2nd Oct 17, 8:29 PM
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    Cakeguts
    You'd be surprised!! No, it's not a get out of jail free card, but you need to understand how debilitating it can be - I speak from experience. I'm fine now, but at my lowest even getting out of bed in the morning was a major effort, let alone doing anything else. If you've never suffered from depression it's almost impossible to fully understand what it can do to you. It's no good anyone saying "pull yourself together" or anything else for that matter, it doesn't help.
    Originally posted by rosyw
    I agree with this about the depression but the health of the tenant isn't anything to do with the landlord or how the property is left at the end of the tenancy. Which is why someone has mentioned it in this way. If the tenant doesn't leave the property in the way that the contract says it should be left then that is a problem.

    You can feel sorry for the tenant but the landlord is not a parent or relation and doesn't have to accept the house back in a state which doesn't match what was agreed in the contract.

    I am a landlord and basically the health of my tenants is none of my business just as their family life is none of my business.
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 2nd Oct 17, 8:57 PM
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    theartfullodger
    The great Lord Denning's judgement in Warren v Keen 1954
    http://swarb.co.uk/warren-v-keen-ca-1954/
    ‘The tenant must take proper care of the place. He must, if he is going away for the winter, turn off the water and empty the boiler. He must clean the chimneys, where necessary, etc etc
    Landlord correct about chimney cleaning... IF soot in chimney due to use by hubbie...

    If I'm not depressed, would that mean I have more responsibilities as a tenant?
    • davemorton
    • By davemorton 2nd Oct 17, 10:28 PM
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    davemorton
    Interestingly when I looked online today it said he should have had smoke alarms and a co2 monitor. Neither of these were there!
    Originally posted by rose28454
    Unless it has been updated, the following is from

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/smoke-and-carbon-monoxide-alarms-explanatory-booklet-for-landlords/the-smoke-and-carbon-monoxide-alarm-england-regulations-2015-qa-booklet-for-the-private-rented-sector-landlords-and-tenants

    The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 have been approved by Parliament and will come into force as planned on 1 October 2015.

    Private sector landlords are required from 1 October 2015 to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (eg a coal fire, wood burning stove). After that, the landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

    The requirements will be enforced by local authorities who can impose a fine of up to £5,000 where a landlord fails to comply with a remedial notice.
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    • tiz
    • By tiz 2nd Oct 17, 11:42 PM
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    tiz
    Dodgy ground if you consider sweeping a flue or chimney a matter of safety, which essentially it is. How can you be sure they haven't lied and just said they didn't use it. My personal opinion is that as it is the safety of an appliance it should be the LL who is responsible. The LL is the only continuity for responsibility across subsequent tenancies, You can't make the outgoing tenant responsible for the incoming one's safety
    Particularly so in the OPs situation where there is complete absence of an inventory or mention of it in the contract.
    Cleaning the burner however is a different matter an analogous to the cooker situation
    Originally posted by chappers
    I agree it's the landlords responsibility to check it's sorted before a new tenancy - I wouldn't just assume the previous tenant had done it because we said they had to. However, if on getting it checked at the end of the tenancy we found it had been used and not cleaned we would consider billing them for the clean - although our tenant is lovely and keeps everything else so neat so in reality we'd probably write it off anyway.

    I think though that there are other areas where the tenant is partially responsible for interim appliance safety e.g. cleaning a lint trap on a washing machine in accordance with manufacturers instructions to prevent a fire hazard.

    Sorry, getting a bit off topic
    • franklee
    • By franklee 3rd Oct 17, 12:35 AM
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    franklee
    The tenant should clean to the same standard as was documented in the inventory at the start of the tenancy.

    So professional clean at the start, the tenant does or pays for same at the end.

    Inventory silent at the start - no proof of the initial state. If that went to arbitration in any deposit dispute I would expect no deduction as there is no standard to measure against.

    Same applies to curtains, carpets, oven, fires etc.

    If you have overdone the cleaning of the curtains without referring to the inventory I would refuse to pay for other extras.

    If OTOH the inventory says professionally cleaned for curtains and wood burner then I would pay up if the inventory wasn't disputed (the tenant agreed with it at the start).
    • chappers
    • By chappers 3rd Oct 17, 8:42 PM
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    chappers
    The problem with items of safety is that the outgoing tenant has no responsibility to the incoming one, whereas the LL does, so he/she is the obvious person to take responsibility, they would be the one sued by the new tenant not the outgoing tenant.
    In court the LL wouldn't be able to use the excuse that the previous tenant had told them that they had done something or other. The judge would just turn round and say that it is your responsibility as a LL to make sure the place is safe.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 3rd Oct 17, 10:05 PM
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    G_M
    Just wondered as Gas cert was not his responsibility
    LLs have a specificlegal obligation to have annual gas safety reports done
    but wood burner was ( he obviously used both )
    There is no corresponding legal obligationfor wood burners
    Interestingly when I looked online today it said he should have had smoke alarms and a co2 monitor. Neither of these were there!
    Only if the tenancy started after 1/10/15
    .
    Originally posted by rose28454
    What date did the tenancy start?
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