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reb223
30-01-2009, 17:56 PM
Hello all,

Just some background: The flat is on the ground floor of a sandstone detached Victorian villa so the construction is traditional and solid. There is a sort of conservatory 'lean-to' at the entrance. The wind took off a piece of corrugated plastic roofing and we had all the sheeting replaced a couple of days ago.

The tenant has just phoned up to say thank you for fixing the conservatory roof but having just come back from a few days away they notice a crack in their ceramic hob which wasn't there before the builder came.

This tenant gave notice a week ago. My suspicion is that he sees an opportunity to project blame to the builder, knowing that there is an exit inspection looming. Yet while the builder had access to the inside of the conservatory, he never had access inside the building.

How does a ceramic hob just crack like that after 2 years of no problems?

Any ideas? Thanks.

Cathroc
30-01-2009, 18:09 PM
Was the rest of the building secured off with a key, or is it just he had no permission to access it ?

Does appear that T just sees the opportunity. His word against the builder's.

reb223
30-01-2009, 18:14 PM
We unlocked the conservatory, but at no point did we give access to the main building or give them a key.

Cathroc
30-01-2009, 18:19 PM
So how could the builder get in to break it ?

reb223
30-01-2009, 18:25 PM
I think they are inferring that the vibrations from the builder banging nails into the sheeting travelled into the main building and cracked the hob. The 'lean-to' that was fixed was added about 30 years ago, is not part of the original construction (the building is over 100 years old) and isn't really even solidly attached to the building. Furthermore, I would think any 'vibrations' would be absorbed by the lawn directly in front of the conservatory

Cathroc
30-01-2009, 19:21 PM
Sounds like T is pulling a fast one! How far away from the adjoining wall is the hob ?

reb223
30-01-2009, 19:30 PM
That's what I was thinking. The hob is about 4 metres inward from the exterior wall which has the conservatory.

Do you know if the onus on him or me to prove or disprove liability?

mind the gap
30-01-2009, 22:09 PM
That's what I was thinking. The hob is about 4 metres inward from the exterior wall which has the conservatory.

Do you know if the onus on him or me to prove or disprove liability?


T's allegation sounds unlikely, but not impossible - difficult to prove either way. The burden of proof in this case will, in practical terms, boil down to whether or not deposit needed to be in a scheme.

If post April 2007 tenancy, I suppose all you can do is claim for cost of replacement from deposit (is it in a protection scheme?) and let the adjudicator decide... or,

... if deposit is not protected, (ie pre 4.07), issue invoice for replacement and risk T suing you for return of deposit.

Perhaps you could compromise and pay half each?

reb223
30-01-2009, 22:24 PM
Thanks. As I am in Scotland, there is no requirement to use a deposit protection scheme.

(However, please do not take that to mean, as has been suggested before, that advice on this forum is of little or no use in Scotland. Very often, the principles are generally applicable both sides of the border. Obviously, when applying the principles different legal methods need to be followed, but I have found this site to be very helpful for general advice, so thank you.)

I suppose when he moves out in 3 weeks' time, I'll do as you suggest and issue an invoice for the cost against the deposit I have.

mind the gap
30-01-2009, 22:29 PM
Thanks. As I am in Scotland, there is no requirement to use a deposit protection scheme.

(However, please do not take that to mean, as has been suggested before, that advice on this forum is of little or no use in Scotland. Very often, the principles are generally applicable both sides of the border. Obviously, when applying the principles different legal methods need to be followed, but I have found this site to be very helpful for general advice, so thank you.)

I suppose when he moves out in 3 weeks' time, I'll do as you suggest and issue an invoice for the cost against the deposit I have.

Yes...but by that time, he may not be in a frame of mind to compromise...would it be worth talking to him before that point and trying to agree a solution acceptable to both? If it ends up going to court, you may both end up a lot poorer.

Good luck, whatever you decide. Let us know what happens!

socrates
31-01-2009, 01:27 AM
Just to add to this - obviously you will be looking to replace the hob. I replaced a hob recently and by shopping around on e-bay I got a brand new one (Siemens) with a two year warranty for exactly half price and it was from a shop not an individual it was missing its packaging.

Start looking now and put offers in - there are bargains to be had at the moment

reb223
23-02-2009, 09:41 AM
UPDATE

I spoke to the tenant and advised him that as we gave him the flat with a perfectly good hob, and he has since had exclusive possession of that flat which we will get back with a broken hob, he is liable for the damage. He agreed that no-one has been in his flat and actually this time didn't mention the builders which I thought was strange.

I offered him the chance to source a hob himself so that he isn't landed with a deduction from his deposit over which he has no control. Within an hour he got back to me saying that he would replace the hob. He said he can only apologise for the damage, but he didn't do it.

He has since replaced the hob, albeit with a second-hand one.

I really thought I had a fight brewing - I even got an engineer's report from a friend of a friend explaining that it was an impact crack.

Thanks for everyone's help on this.

LandlordLee
25-02-2009, 00:33 AM
Deduct the deposit, total lie in my view. They will have to have had some force to crack, as they are desighed to take heavy knocks.

Tenants will always try to pull a fast one, this is a prime example. What next?

LandlordLee
25-02-2009, 00:35 AM
lol i am a little lare here