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Rosa Klebb
10-03-2009, 19:39 PM
My property is with an agent who then let it out to council tenants.

My contract with the agent states, that the landlord's responsibility is 'to repair and keep in good repair the roof, exterior (including without prejudice to the generality of the expression ‘exterior’,all doors, window frames, pipes, wires, flues, channels, drains gutters and gullies) foundations...'

Can anyone clarify this clause? Does 'without prejudice' mean 'including'? Can 'exterior' therefore also mean 'interior'?

I'm being charged for blocked pipes from the (tenant's) washing machine.

I've asked the agents to clarify and explain this but they suggest I get legal advice!

Apologies for the long question. All help welcome.

mind the gap
10-03-2009, 19:55 PM
My property is with an agent who then let it out to council tenants.

My contract with the agent states, that the landlord's responsibility is 'to repair and keep in good repair the roof, exterior (including without prejudice to the generality of the expression ‘exterior’,all doors, window frames, pipes, wires, flues, channels, drains gutters and gullies) foundations...'
Can anyone clarify this clause? Does 'without prejudice' mean 'including'? Can 'exterior' therefore also mean 'interior'?

I'm being charged for blocked pipes from the (tenant's) washing machine.

I've asked the agents to clarify and explain this but they suggest I get legal advice!

Apologies for the long question. All help welcome.

You are right, this is hardly plain English. I offer you this interpretation (although others may have different ones):

The LL is responsible for the upkeep and repair of the roof and the whole of the outside of the building, including but not exclusively 'the doors, etc' as far as 'gullies'. They are identifying these exterior 'features' as they are the ones most commonly in need of repair, but they are stressing that you must not assume your responsibility for exterior repairs starts and ends with those things. There may be other, unanticipated problems lurking on the exterior surfaces of your property (e.g. rotten rendering) which they haven't thought of, but for which you are still responsible.

Your agents are having a laugh - presumably they drew the thing up in the first place! It would be a good idea if it were in plain English, or if they at least knew what it meant! Silly sods.

Blocked drains - depends on cause of blockage as to who should pay. If it is because Ts have not kept filter clean, or not reported damaged filter to you, then it is normal for them to pay. If problem was not caused by them, you should pay. There is usually a clause in the TA specifying the circumstances under whcih Ts will be held responsible (e.g if they put inapparopriate amounts of toilet paper down the loo, or nappies etc).

Preston
10-03-2009, 20:52 PM
They are identifying these exterior 'features' as they are the ones most commonly in need of repair, but they are stressing that you must not assume your responsibility for exterior repairs starts and ends with those things.

Hi

I agree with the above interpretation of the "without prejudice to the generality ..." clause.

Your agreement with the agent will be in the form of a business tenancy and so most of the terms that would be implied into a tenancy agreement with an individual do not apply in this instance. You need to look carefully through the agreement to find out whether you are responsible for the blocked pipe, but I very much doubt that you are. (In fact, it is very unlikely you would be responsible for such a repair even if you were the direct landlord of the occupant).

By the way, the occupant will not be a "council tenant". More than likely they are simply an assured shorthold tenant or, less likely but possible (particularly if the occupant was housed as a homeless applicant) an ordinary contractual tenant. Only local authorities can grant council tenancies (also known as "secure" tenants, as defined by the Housing Act 1985).

Preston

jeffrey
10-03-2009, 23:10 PM
OP: please clarify. Do you:
a. have one Agreement, for a letting by you to A who then sub-lets to T; or
b. have two Agreements:
i. an Agency Agreement with A; and
ii. an AST with T, for a letting by you to T?

Rosa Klebb
11-03-2009, 09:35 AM
I have one agreement with the agent. They subsequently house tenants in my property (Private Leasing Scheme I believe it's called).

The contract is only two A4 pages in length, not specific and this is the only wording relating to drains and my responsibility for upkeep. Yes, contract drawn up by agent.

As I was advised to remove the washing machine and seal the outlet pipe I can't see how I could be responsible...

RK

Rosa Klebb
11-03-2009, 09:42 AM
Thank you. I go along with this interpretation but cannot see how an internal pipe (washing machine) can be construed an 'external'.

Blocked pipe from tenant's washing machine. I was asked to remove washing machine in ppty at time and seal outlet pipe. Apparently pipe is less than 1.5 (inches?) in diameter so their plumber says it's too narrow. I wasn't advised of any particular width pipe at outset of contract.

As mentioned, my contract consists of two A4 pages... When I asked them to clarify this phrase they have suggested I get legal advice... Hmmm, someone's been well and truly had I think.


RK