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  • FIRST POST
    • Lololvvs
    • By Lololvvs 12th Jul 18, 6:27 AM
    • 6Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Lololvvs
    Do I have to buy a new sofa?
    • #1
    • 12th Jul 18, 6:27 AM
    Do I have to buy a new sofa? 12th Jul 18 at 6:27 AM
    I’ve finished up a lease of a flat with my partner after 4 years and 4 months in London.

    In that time I had gotten a cat and had gotten written permission from the landlord. In an e-mail, they said I can have the cat but if the cat damages any furniture I would replace it.

    In the checkout report, the leather sofa had had some cat scratches (superficial) but it is noticeable.

    For the deposit deductions, the landlord has asked us to replace floor lamps that were missing, fix a pantry door, dry clean the curtains (move out cleaners did a terrible job), contribute 10% of the painting costs (it was freshly painted 4.5 years ago when we moved in), replace a bed side table, replace the leather sofa new, and pay for the removal fee for the old sofa.

    Personally, I thought this was outrageous. I said that we had a lease for 4.5 years and it is their responsibility (not ours) to re-paint every few years inside a rented property. I also said I would not pay for a brand new sofa worth £450.00 when my partner and I were not provided a new sofa when we moved in nor the removal fee for something that was not our property. I offered one pre-owned sofa from eBay (email wasn’t returned) and a new sofa from Tesco Direct (it was retailing at £189.00) but said the Tesco Direct sofa was my only offer for a new one. The landlord said that the Tesco Direct sofa was inferior and didn’t want it.

    Finally, I told them that I would contribute £200.00 to any sofa that they wanted to buy in the end, but would not pay for the new £450.00 sofa they wanted as they aren’t considering the depreciation of the sofa over our lease and the previous tenant’s lease.

    My question is: am I obligated to buy a brand new sofa of their choosing (they chose the exact replica of the old scratched sofa), pay for the delivery fee and removal fee of the old sofa (they called the old sofa useless on the phone because of the scratches)? Or am I being fair offering £200.00?
Page 1
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 12th Jul 18, 6:41 AM
    • 6,632 Posts
    • 6,207 Thanks
    00ec25
    • #2
    • 12th Jul 18, 6:41 AM
    • #2
    • 12th Jul 18, 6:41 AM
    do you understand that it is the deposit scheme arbitrator who will decide what is fair, not strangers on the internet?

    have you checked where your deposit is registered and lodged a dispute yet?

    no of course the landlord cannot get new for old, that is a well established policy. The word you are looking for is betterment. You accept that damage (not wear and tear) has been caused by your animal. You have made an offer, your offer is (at first glance) reasonable and so you have a very good basis for the deposit scheme reaching a decision
    • anselld
    • By anselld 12th Jul 18, 6:47 AM
    • 5,810 Posts
    • 5,522 Thanks
    anselld
    • #3
    • 12th Jul 18, 6:47 AM
    • #3
    • 12th Jul 18, 6:47 AM
    10% of decorating is a bit petty but not unreasonable if you assume 5 year expected life.

    You are correct that L cannot expect new for old but he can expect like for like. Hence it is reasonable to replace with the same model but allowance should be made for age. Eg Expected life 10 years, 5 years used therefore 50%. Delivery and disposal charges seem reasonable since a direct result of your damage.

    If you are unhappy, let the Deposit Scheme decide, that is what it is there for.
    • Lololvvs
    • By Lololvvs 12th Jul 18, 7:09 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Lololvvs
    • #4
    • 12th Jul 18, 7:09 AM
    • #4
    • 12th Jul 18, 7:09 AM
    I was thinking about going to the arbitrator but I wanted to get some opinions if I was going the right route.

    Does anyone know how long the arbitrator takes?
    • diggingdude
    • By diggingdude 12th Jul 18, 7:14 AM
    • 319 Posts
    • 374 Thanks
    diggingdude
    • #5
    • 12th Jul 18, 7:14 AM
    • #5
    • 12th Jul 18, 7:14 AM
    After 4.5 years I wouldn't pay towards painting, LL should be doing it for new tenant anyway
    House Deposit - Target £20000 April 2019
    Current Savings - £10225 13121.22 £14621.22 £16021
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 12th Jul 18, 7:29 AM
    • 16,810 Posts
    • 41,501 Thanks
    FBaby
    • #6
    • 12th Jul 18, 7:29 AM
    • #6
    • 12th Jul 18, 7:29 AM
    No you don't have to buy a new sofa and your offer of £200 for the damage would likely be deemed as more than reasonable.

    Re the 10% for the painting, it depends on the state of the walls. If they are in the state beyond what you'd expect of normal W&T, then it could be deemed reasonable.

    After 4.5 years I wouldn't pay towards painting, LL should be doing it for new tenant anyway
    There is no should or shouldn't. Personally, I find it shocking that tenants would take such little care of their home that it would require repainting every 5 years, especially if it's been painted professionally. I moved in my property 9 years ago, the walls were freshly painted and they still look in excellent conditions. I fail to understand what a family can do to walls that would mean they need repainting after 4 years.

    Does anyone know how long the arbitrator takes?
    Understandably, DPS (or whichever one used) will try to encourage you to come up with an agreement rather than resorting to using the ADR process. As such, it can take quite a long time depending how quickly both parties respond to each other. You can expect up to 4 months if not longer.
    • Lololvvs
    • By Lololvvs 12th Jul 18, 7:39 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Lololvvs
    • #7
    • 12th Jul 18, 7:39 AM
    • #7
    • 12th Jul 18, 7:39 AM
    The check out report said “fair ware and tear” for the walls as well as “tenant”. There were a few scuff marks from me and my partner but the paint looked less shiny over time.

    Plus the flat was super old.
    • Lololvvs
    • By Lololvvs 12th Jul 18, 7:41 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Lololvvs
    • #8
    • 12th Jul 18, 7:41 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Jul 18, 7:41 AM
    What about delivery and removal of the old sofa?

    Is it reasonable for the landlord to ask for that?
    • bowlhead99
    • By bowlhead99 12th Jul 18, 7:46 AM
    • 8,063 Posts
    • 14,684 Thanks
    bowlhead99
    • #9
    • 12th Jul 18, 7:46 AM
    • #9
    • 12th Jul 18, 7:46 AM
    10% of decorating is a bit petty but not unreasonable if you assume 5 year expected life.
    Originally posted by anselld
    It's not unreasonable to say that a rental property (lived in by an average tenant rather than by an owner-occupier who has the maintenance responsibility) will need decorating every five to ten years. Normal maintenance expenses like that form part of the landlord's budget when he is running a business. However, if the tenant hasn't caused any unreasonable damage to the decoration beyond normal fair wear and tear, it's unreasonable to say that the tenant should pay a chunk of extra cash out of their deposit to help the landlord with his normal maintenance costs.

    The tenant paid £x a month for years for the right to occupy the property and to cause fair wear and tear to its floors, walls, fixtures & fittings and inventory. If the landlord wants to decorate between tenancies, they're welcome to do so, but unless the deterioration in the decor is anything more than is to be expected aftter 4+ years of occupation, they are having a laugh if they expect the tenant to contribute.

    If on the other hand the kids and cats have drawn on and scratched all the walls and scuffed them up more than a normal householder could possibly be expected to do, then I could see why a landlord might ask for a contribution.

    If you are unhappy, let the Deposit Scheme decide, that is what it is there for.
    Yes, compared to the landlord and the tenant they have a lot more experience of deciding what is normal and fair.

    Understandably, DPS (or whichever one used) will try to encourage you to come up with an agreement rather than resorting to using the ADR process. As such, it can take quite a long time depending how quickly both parties respond to each other. You can expect up to 4 months if not longer.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    Sometimes it will be quicker than others even with the same set of circumstances.

    If your cashflow is really tight, it might be worth giving up a few quid here and there to get it sorted rather than have the money locked up for a while. But if the landlord is claiming for a laundry-list of issues as long as your arm and wants a brand new sofa and so on, and won't budge, it will be worth the wait to put them in their place and get the fair amount of money that you're owed.

    Something like dry-cleaning the curtains for example: were they freshly cleaned at the time of your check-in? And when you checked-out, you mention your cleaners did a terrible job - why were they so dirty - just an accumulation of dust over the years, or are they sticky and stained and snagged from kids and pets, or stinking of tobacco? It should be relatively easy to apportion blame given the facts.
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 12th Jul 18, 8:07 AM
    • 15,837 Posts
    • 21,758 Thanks
    pinkshoes
    What about delivery and removal of the old sofa?

    Is it reasonable for the landlord to ask for that?
    Originally posted by Lololvvs
    YES!!!!

    You damaged the sofa, so any delivery costs for it to be disposed of and a new one delivered are for you to pay.

    As you knew the sofa was damaged, you could have just replaced it before you left with a very similar one.
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • Lololvvs
    • By Lololvvs 12th Jul 18, 8:51 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Lololvvs
    Sounds like an opinion on emotion rather than reason. Thanks though!
    • elsien
    • By elsien 12th Jul 18, 8:57 AM
    • 16,736 Posts
    • 42,219 Thanks
    elsien
    YES!!!!

    You damaged the sofa, so any delivery costs for it to be disposed of and a new one delivered are for you to pay.

    As you knew the sofa was damaged, you could have just replaced it before you left with a very similar one.
    Originally posted by pinkshoes
    And if the landlord had decided the similar one was of inferior quality they might have been stuck with a new sofa no-one wants. You don't go out and buy new stuff without discussion off your own initiative then hope it's ok.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • Lololvvs
    • By Lololvvs 12th Jul 18, 12:34 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Lololvvs
    I asked them first and showed them pictures of what I had found before I bought. I thought that would be obvious to you.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 12th Jul 18, 12:39 PM
    • 4,564 Posts
    • 6,577 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    Was the sofa actually leather or just leather look alike?. Just recently we have bought perfectly good leather look alike sofas from a furniture charity shop for use in a centre run by a charity. I think the most expensive was something like £65.
    • ThePants999
    • By ThePants999 12th Jul 18, 1:22 PM
    • 1,194 Posts
    • 1,483 Thanks
    ThePants999
    The ordinary rule is no betterment, but I'm not certain if your agreement with your landlord could be construed as superseding that, if you genuinely agreed that "if the cat damages any furniture I would replace it".
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 12th Jul 18, 2:02 PM
    • 3,398 Posts
    • 3,635 Thanks
    cjdavies
    I was thinking about going to the arbitrator but I wanted to get some opinions if I was going the right route.
    Originally posted by Lololvvs
    I would, let them decide what is fair.
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