PDA

View Full Version : Broken microwave and replacement cost



duomaxwell
11-03-2010, 14:00 PM
Sorry if I should be posting on an old thread but not sure what to do, been here 4 months and was never given an inventory, there is a microwave when I moved in in communal kitchen that broke about 3 weeks ago.

Landlord has told us that we must replace it by time we move our or he will take amount off our deposit.

I dont know my rights on this as to me its wear and tear and likely just happened as it was a few years old so should be replaced or even just looked at by him.

Worse comes to worse can get one off Freecycle but LL wants one of a similar model!

Mars Mug
11-03-2010, 14:26 PM
In what way is it not working? If it has simply failed electrically then how can the landlord say anyone has damaged it? What model is it and how much would it cost new? What kind of house share are you in?

duomaxwell
11-03-2010, 14:35 PM
In what way is it not working? If it has simply failed electrically then how can the landlord say anyone has damaged it? What model is it and how much would it cost new? What kind of house share are you in?

It just does nothing when connected to the mains, have tried replacing fuse and nothing happens, also tried the fuse from the microwave in another appliance(of course checking ampage was the same) and the fuse works in another device.

When it last worked I put something in for a few minutes then went out then housemate used it and I came back and tried to use it but it didnt work.

I did notice at the time though that the trip switch for the kitchen sockets was down so something has blown.

Cosmetically the item looks in good condition i.e could be a few years old.

House is a student house with 1 other tenant and we have seperate contracts.

I assume the microwave is about £30-£40 to replace but not sure.

Mars Mug
11-03-2010, 14:42 PM
There are typically two or three microswitch interlocks on a microwave that check things like the door is shut, these can easily fail meaning that everything seems to work, but nothing cooks. There are plenty of levels of failure so without signs of physical damage I would not try to pass it off onto the tenant.

ram
11-03-2010, 18:12 PM
Tell the landlord that in no way was the microwave damaged or tampered with, assuming you are positive that it was not dropped when cleaning behind it -- but students cleaning ! ? no -- it could not have been dropped then !:rolleyes:

Just tell him again that his microwave that you are renting from him has decided it has come to the end of it's usefull life, and that as it belongs to him, and is out of guarentee, it's one of the perks of being a landlord, that if electrical equipment fails, then if it is out of guarantee, then the onus is on the landlord to replace, as you are not prepared to send the microwave off to an independant facilty, to prove that it is a malfunction of an elecrtical switch / resitor / timer malfunction , to prove you did not break it.

Tell the landlord you don't mind him sending the microwave off to find out the cause of failure, but you are not paying for any investigation, such is your resolve that the microwave is kaput through no fault of yours.

duomaxwell
11-03-2010, 18:50 PM
Tell the landlord that in no way was the microwave damaged or tampered with, assuming you are positive that it was not dropped when cleaning behind it -- but students cleaning ! ? no -- it could not have been dropped then !:rolleyes:

Just tell him again that his microwave that you are renting from him has decided it has come to the end of it's usefull life, and that as it belongs to him, and is out of guarentee, it's one of the perks of being a landlord, that if electrical equipment fails, then if it is out of guarantee, then the onus is on the landlord to replace, as you are not prepared to send the microwave off to an independant facilty, to prove that it is a malfunction of an elecrtical switch / resitor / timer malfunction , to prove you did not break it.

Tell the landlord you don't mind him sending the microwave off to find out the cause of failure, but you are not paying for any investigation, such is your resolve that the microwave is kaput through no fault of yours.

Thats what I was thinking, I do regularly clean the insides and housemate does little cleaning and the microwave was full of gunk when I moved in but dont often clean behind it I was thinking just that, if its broken due to us I will get it replaced but if its just wear and tear him replace it(or not as long as he doesnt try and charge us for it)

But this landlord seems to be playing a fine line with law/rules as stated in other threads like he wont put locks on the bedroom doors as he says they are illegal due to fire regulations(but gets away with it in our house since only 2 out of 4 rooms are occupied at the minute) however he owns another 4 bedroom house that has 4 tenants with no locks, then complained about the house being messy when having viewings despite it being tidy/tidyish then blaming us for the house not getting let out fast etc.

westminster
11-03-2010, 19:43 PM
But this landlord seems to be playing a fine line with law/rules as stated in other threads like he wont put locks on the bedroom doors as he says they are illegal due to fire regulations(but gets away with it in our house since only 2 out of 4 rooms are occupied at the minute) however he owns another 4 bedroom house that has 4 tenants with no locks, then complained about the house being messy when having viewings despite it being tidy/tidyish then blaming us for the house not getting let out fast etc.

I refer you to my post on one of your previous threads.


...may I suggest that, instead of complaining repeatedly, you do something more pro-active, something which might solve the problem and make it go away.

1. LL entering your room without your consent - put a lock on your door.
2. Too many viewings - consider complying with LL's request for tidiness during the viewings. Because if LL finds a new tenant, the viewings will stop.
3. No gas safety certificate - request in writing from LL, and if he doesn't provide one, report to either the Environmental Health Officer at the local council, or the Health & Safety Executive.
4. HMO safety requirements - contact EHO or HMO Licencing dept at the council and find out what they actually are instead of guessing.
5. Deposit not protected - write to landlord requesting details, and if he doesn't comply, seek legal advice as regards claiming against LL for non-compliance.
6. Untidiness of the other tenant - talk to him about it and try to find a mutually acceptable solution.
7. LL's email about complaints from neighbours - consider complying with LL's apparently reasonable request not to cause a nuisance to neighbours.

Do the above, then if it doesn't work and the problem remains, post again. But there is really no point merely airing your grievances if you continue to ignore all the advice you've been given on your many threads on here.
That was on 20th February, nearly three weeks ago. What steps have you taken re points 1 - 7?

duomaxwell
12-03-2010, 16:26 PM
I refer you to my post on one of your previous threads.


That was on 20th February, nearly three weeks ago. What steps have you taken re points 1 - 7?

Havent put a lock on my door as wasnt sure about placing one on and was worried LL would charge me for damage since I would have to I assume cut a bit out of the wood to put a lock in, For most of the other questions combined the other tenant has only caused a problem once since then and that was during the day, i.e invitied friends of friends back but they only got loud around 10am and broke a chair in the living room, stole at least 1 of my dvds and sole my food and drink from kitchen, flatmate apologised but hasnt replaced the stolen stuff, the neighbours are actually really nice to me but not to flatmate as the time I spoke to them(did I mention that in an old thread) we spoke for about 10 minutes and they could tell I wasnt to blame.

For the rest I made a appointment with someone from Shelter at my local CAB though the viewings seemed to have stopped just because I plan to be away from the house quite a bit over the next 6 weeks so not in if flatmate brings friends back so anything can go on.

Flatmate is a bit more tidy, now takes the rubbish bag out every week and cleans every so often, doesnt seem to touch the greasy baking trays full of fat from his fry ups though and I am still doing to proper cleaning i.e he may just brush loads of stuff into the corner of kitchen instead of using dustpan and brush and has only hoovered twice.

So its getting better but still would feel more safe with a lock on my door.

muz379
20-05-2011, 09:02 AM
Hi , I am in a shared property and the microwave broke . We decided because there are 4 of us sharing the property and thus the costs of everything we didn't mind the cost of replacing it . Besides we hadn't exactly been fully looking after the microwave so thought rather than argue with the landlord over liability we would just buy a replacement as a show of good faith

One of us emailed the landlord just to make him aware that we had done this and ask if he would like the old microwave back or if we should just dispose of it ourselves .

He has now started being picky about what microwave we should replace it with and stating that the microwave has to be one of a higher cost with more features than the one we have replaced it with .

Now I would be right in thinking that even if we are liable for the damage to the microwave for him to end the tenancy with a brand new microwave when there was not a brand new microwave there at the start of the tenancy would result in betterment and so we would be well within our rights to ask him to undertake the process of appointing with us .
The microwave that was there at the start of the tenancy was defiantly a few years old , it had a metal exterior but there was rust on the exterior of the microwave so if he wants us to replace the microwave with a comparable model I defiantly don't see how it is fair that we should be paying the full cost of this when the microwave he provided was showing its age

jeffrey
20-05-2011, 14:38 PM
When the letting began:
a. was the old microwave there;
b. did it appear on an Inventory agreed with L; and
c. in the Letting Agreement, did L agree to repair/replace it (or 'everything on the Inventory')?

muz379
20-05-2011, 15:10 PM
a,b)When the tenancy began the microwave was there and it is photographed in the inventory showing its condition so there are no issues as to the condition of the microwave at the start of the tenancy

c)In terms of the agreement it states under the tenants obligations that tenants will ...
"Yield up the property at the end of the tenancy in the same clean state and condition that it was at the beginning of the tenancy and make good and pay for the repair of or replace al such items of the Fixtures Furniture and Effects as shall be broken lost of damaged or destroyed during the tenancy(reasonable wear and tear excepted) "

My interpretation of that would say that we are responsible for replacing the microwave , the microwave wasn't cleaned very often and so that would have contributed to it breaking . I didn't mind paying for a new microwave especially when you divide the cost between 4 people its fine however my issue is now with the landlord being picky about the microwave we have chosen to purchase and stating that we must buy a higher priced model .and also stating that we should dispose of the old microwave which again I did not mind however all of this inconveniences the tenant when it is the landlord whose microwave it is that broke should be inconvenienced

Surely regardless of what any tenancy agreement states the doctrine of betterment takes precedent over that and so I'm tempted to say to the landlord that if the microwave is not satisfactory to his standards we can arrange the return of this microwave we have purchased(only used it once since purchase y day) and can arrange for the purchase of the new microwave taking into account the doctrine of betterment and so we would wish to appoint the costs of the new microwave on the basis that the old one was not in brand new condition when we took possession of the property and so if we where to provide you with a brand new microwave you would be materially better off than you where at the beginning of the tenancy

jeffrey
20-05-2011, 15:32 PM
If the old unit broke due to reasonable use, L would have no claim against you for it. The new unit is yours to keep.

muz379
20-05-2011, 15:41 PM
Reasonable use : Would this take into account the number and type of occupiers because it is a 5 bed student house and so obviously the microwave did see heavy use multiple times a day in many cases

Also I believe we would be defeated on the reasonable use argument as the microwave was rarely cleaned and so he could easiilly claim that we where not operating the microwave in line with the instructions which im pretty sure would say keep clean and so it was not reasonable use

Also he is claiming that he needs us to buy a combination microwave with a grill and a microwave for licensing reasons . I assume he means his HMO license obligations and if so I was not aware that he required a microwave with a grill just that there needs to be a grill for the type of property it is and there is indeed a grill in the oven unit in the kitchen


so practically what should I do now ,
there has to be a microwave there at the end of the tenancy as per inventory which is fast approaching
we proposed to leave the microwave we have just purchased and leave it at that
he is saying we must replace it with a higher valued model so from a practical sense how do i go about resolving this situation in the easiest way for everyone .
I'm happy for the higher priced microwave to be purchased if he is prepared to undertake the process of appointing however from past experience our landlord seems to get very defensive very quickly and will not be very receptive if we start putting it to him that he has to pay towards the cost of a new microwave .

jeffrey
20-05-2011, 15:58 PM
Reasonable use : Would this take into account the number and type of occupiers because it is a 5 bed student house and so obviously the microwave did see heavy use multiple times a day in many cases
Yes, if L let it to the number of tenants who use it in a reasonable manner.
No, if more than that number used it OR they used it in an unreasonable manner (or against manufactuters' guidance).

muz379
20-05-2011, 16:05 PM
Yes, if L let it to the number of tenants who use it in a reasonable manner.
No, if more than that number used it OR they used it in an unreasonable manner (or against manufactuters' guidance).

i'm going to say that he has a pretty successful argument for it being used in an unreasonable manner because the instruction manual says to ensure its clean and seeing as we failed to keep it clean that's against the manufacturers guidance .
However i'm not concerned with this because even if it was used unreasonably and we are liable to pay he still cannot benefit materially from us purchasing a whole new combination microwave in place of the aged model that was in the house before . and so surely should put some to for the cost of a new microwave

also would he have obligations under his role as a HMO license holder to keep a microwave grill in the house as this is not something I thought would be mandatory under the terms of his HMO License

Mrs Mug
20-05-2011, 17:01 PM
he is claiming that he needs us to buy a combination microwave with a grill .

Did the old microwave have a grill?

muz379
20-05-2011, 17:18 PM
the old microwave apparently had a grill but this was a feature which we never used so obviously cannot verify if it worked but speaking with the previous tenants they never used the grill either

We purchased the new replacement microwave before realizing it had a grill

Mrs Mug
20-05-2011, 18:04 PM
the old microwave apparently had a grill but this was a feature which we never used

You need to replace the broken microwave with a new one that is functionally the same. It must have the same features, such as power rating, capacity, timing functions, grill etc.

muz379
22-05-2011, 00:21 AM
well we don't necessarily need to replace it but we are liable for the cost of a replacement albeit with wear and tear taken into account so as not to result in betterment

Moderator1
23-05-2011, 15:46 PM
Two or more threads on the same topic have been merged here

muz379
24-05-2011, 12:18 PM
ok so an update :

Asked the landlord to consider appointing to avoid betterment

His result was to ring the lead tenant of my shared tenancy who is not up on her rights and apparently they discussed it and concluded it was a tenants liability and so we have to pay and apparently they also agreed that they discussed and agreed that the tenants would pay

Now i and a fellow tenant wakes up to discover this and obviously fire an email straight away saying wait a minute we didn't agree to this. and the agreement was made without our knowledge .and pointing out to him that regardless of liability if we pay full replacement costs on a 2 yr old microwave he would be materially better off which is betterment and not permitted .

His response and the position he keeps reiterating is that he is relying on the phone call with our lead tenant this morning where she agreed to pay for the replacement microwave and is refusing to discuss my proposition that he would be materially better off

Where do I take things from here ???

jeffrey
24-05-2011, 12:23 PM
There is no such thing as a 'lead tenant'.
How many people are named as tenants on the Letting Agreement? Are you?

muz379
24-05-2011, 13:23 PM
I am aware that the role of "lead tenant" has no formal role and is just his way of simplifying contact with his properties .

I am named on the tenancy agreement . This is a point I have put forward to him that as I am another tenant in the shared tenancy I do not agree with what has been decided by the "lead tenant" and so would wish to reopen discussions with him

in particular though what can my next move be with regards to him refusing to accept the doctrine of betterment . He keeps going circular in his argument as to who is liable for the damage to the microwave . I have pointed out to him that regardless of who is liable he still cannot benefit materially from us buying a new microwave . To which he keeps replying our lead tenant agreed on our behalf that we will pay the full replacement cost for the microwave and this matter has now been concluded

MrJohnnyB
24-05-2011, 13:39 PM
Have you actually taken a step back and looked at what the difference in cost would be between the "betterment" you have stated and the mathematical cost difference. Say average life of microwave is 10 years (not unreasonable) cost of replacement is £100, therefore you pay £80. You're going to be £20 better off but negative relationship with LL and negative a bunch of time and effort.. is it really worth it?

muz379
24-05-2011, 13:48 PM
I have looked at it yes and I know we are arguing over a small amount of money . since previous arguments with this landlord the relationship between him and some tenants has never been very good anyway .I am always perfectly amicable with him however whenever you email him to disagree with him he accuses you of harassing him which is ludicrous .

Its the principle of the matter . and the fact that I do not even believe the old microwave breaking was down to us . Looking at the top of it there was burnt on food from before our tenancy started and when we have picked at it the enamel has come off .

Mrs Mug
24-05-2011, 14:03 PM
I do not even believe the old microwave breaking was down to us .

Do you accept that at the start of your tenancy you had a 1 year old working microwave?
Is this now 2 year old microwave broken?

If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then you will either have to replace the microwave with an equivalent microwave, or the cost of replacing the microwave will come out of your deposit. Either way the landlord is going to end up with a new equivalent microwave.

muz379
24-05-2011, 14:05 PM
i accept that we are liable for breaking the microwave even if i personally do not believe we are .

However he cannot benefit from a brand new 0 year old microwave at our full cost regardless of liability . Its betterment

jeffrey
24-05-2011, 14:07 PM
Do you accept that at the start of your tenancy you had a 1 year old working microwave?
Is this now 2 year old microwave broken?

If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then you will either have to replace the microwave with an equivalent microwave, or the cost of replacing the microwave will come out of your deposit. Either way the landlord is going to end up with a new equivalent microwave.
Why, if the 'breaking' was simply wearing-out due to fair wear and tear?

Mrs Mug
24-05-2011, 14:08 PM
However he cannot benefit from a brand new 0 year old microwave at our full cost regardless of liability . Its betterment

If the old microwave cost £100 when new, as has already been explained, if you replace the microwave with an £80 microwave that has exactly the same functions as the old microwave, that is not betterment.

muz379
24-05-2011, 14:12 PM
it is material betterment as he has a brand new microwave so is essentially at the start of the microwaves lifespan again .We cannot work out how much he paid for the microwave that broke so looking at it in terms of financial value is a pointless endeavor .
The microwave we are proposing buying is an exact replica of the microwave that was already in the house apart from the microwave in the house is 2 years old and covered in rust and now no longer functioning due to the enamel on the top coming away leaving exposed metal

Mrs Mug
24-05-2011, 14:16 PM
Why, if the 'breaking' was simply wearing-out due to fair wear and tear?

The OP has previously stated that he accepts liability for breaking and replacing the microwave.

The OP has already replaced the microwave, but with one that does not have the same functions as the old microwave. The landlord is not happy with the replacement, and the OP is trying to find ways of not replacing the old microwave with a new one that has the same functions.

muz379
24-05-2011, 14:24 PM
The OP has previously stated that he accepts liability for breaking and replacing the microwave.

The OP has already replaced the microwave, but with one that does not have the same functions as the old microwave. The landlord is not happy with the replacement, and the OP is trying to find ways of not replacing the old microwave with a new one that has the same functions.
How could you possibly know what I am trying to do .

WE have now settled the issue with him that the one we bought was not satisfactory (not same features etc etc) that was a mistake we made in not realizing the one in the house has a grill .

Since then It occurred to me that he is going to result as materially better off and that is not fair as the microwave he provided was far from brand new it was covered in rust and that is why I am now asking about betterment as we have not yet purchased a like for like replacement as i believe he should put some too for the new microwave as well . I said I accept liability for breaking it and we offered to replace it for his convenience however I have not once accepted liability for the costs associated with replacing it as this is where I believe he should engage in the process of appointing with us

Mrs Mug
24-05-2011, 14:34 PM
I have not once accepted liability for the costs associated with replacing it as this is where I believe he should engage in the process of appointing with us

Then I suggest that you do not replace the microwave. You can then argue your case with your deposit protection scheme at the end of your tenancy, when your landlord puts in a claim for a replacement microwave.

MrJohnnyB
24-05-2011, 15:18 PM
Mrs Mug, the point you're not achknowledging is the element of good use the LL had out of the product prior to the current tenancy which is where the arguement is arising. The amounts involved are not the issue as has been discussed it is the principle of the thing.

Plainly a T should not receive a penalty as a result of the break, thus any claim would be based on an equation as stated previously which would be cost of replacement less value gained from use prior to its untimely demise. My example, effectively LL should be contributing something because he has had the benefit of said item, T should not be expected to cover the entire cost.

Mrs Mug
24-05-2011, 15:31 PM
Mrs Mug, the point you're not achknowledging is the element of good use the LL had out of the product prior to the current tenancy which is where the arguement is arising.

I did not say the OP had to replace the microwave with exactly the same make and model of microwave as the old one. That would be betterment. I suggested that the OP replace the microwave with a new one that had exactly the same functions as the old one, but it would be cheaper to take wear and tear into account.

The OP seems to think that any brand new microwave is betterment.

MrJohnnyB
24-05-2011, 15:34 PM
I did not say the OP had to replace the microwave with exactly the same make and model of microwave as the old one. That would be betterment. I suggested that the OP replace the microwave with a new one that had exactly the same functions as the old one, but it would be cheaper to take wear and tear into account.

The OP seems to think that any brand new microwave is betterment.

Apologies, I misunderstood your post it seems!

muz379
24-05-2011, 16:21 PM
I did not say the OP had to replace the microwave with exactly the same make and model of microwave as the old one. That would be betterment. I suggested that the OP replace the microwave with a new one that had exactly the same functions as the old one, but it would be cheaper to take wear and tear into account.

The OP seems to think that any brand new microwave is betterment.

When they have discontinued manufacturer of the microwave that has broken and the landlord is uncooperative in providing for how much the old microwave costs the closest thing we can get is another brand that looks and functions exactly the same surely providing that for him at our cost would be betterment .

I understand that us providing him with just a standard microwave when there was a combination microwave there in the first place is not betterment . I also understand providing a cheap no name microwave of the same functions when there was a brand name microwave there would not be betterment however then how are we to make value judgements about different brands of microwave when he refuses to provide the value of the current one

All we are left with is to say if it looks and functions exactly the same then to provide for a brand new one is betterment

Mrs Mug
24-05-2011, 16:46 PM
they have discontinued manufacturer of the microwave that has broken.

how are we to make value judgements about different brands of microwave

What brand is the old microwave?

muz379
24-05-2011, 21:08 PM
What brand is the old microwave?

What so I can let people who I have never met and don't even know make value judgements on goods over the internet on my behalf . No thank you very much