PDA

View Full Version : Landlord / Estate Agent / Appliance Squabble



Dudley
23-09-2011, 15:53 PM
Hi guys,

We moved into a new house with several installed appliances, we were especially pleased to see, and communicated as such to the Estate Agent at the viewing stage, that it had a dishwasher.

On moving in the dishwasher was found to not work.

The Landlord says he told the estate agent this and the house is rented "As seen".

The Estate Agent says they have no record of this and deny having ever been told.

What are my rights here? Am I going to have to let them battle it out, what are my chances of getting either of them to repair/replace? A dishwasher is one of the key requirements for us.

Thanks in advance if anyone knows anything, I'm happy to post copies of correspondence from LL/EA if wording makes a difference.

Snorkerz
23-09-2011, 15:56 PM
What does the tenancy agreement say about appliances or 'white goods'

Dudley
23-09-2011, 16:00 PM
I'll get the exact wording at home in a couple of hours but from memory it's a standard "Not responsible for repairs" clause wording I've seen elsewhere.

But we're not asking for it to be repaired ongoing, we're asking for the house we moved into to have not be mis-sold, or does this not make a difference. It didn't break while we were there, it's apparently been broken for some time.

Snorkerz
23-09-2011, 16:07 PM
You will get more authoritative answers later, but I think your problem will be that the property you moved into featured a non-functional dishwasher. To be exceedingly callous - that's what you rented, that's what you still have. No problem.

Proving any assertions by the agent as to it being in working order may prove difficult.

Dudley
23-09-2011, 16:13 PM
mm, it may be that the law is an arse in this case if it expects us to try every appliance every time we view a property. You see a dishwasher, you rather expect it to be a functional one. I would have thought that working was the default state unless told otherwise.

Thanks for your help and I await said more authorative answers with interest. Academically this one seems quite interesting.

Snorkerz
23-09-2011, 16:16 PM
mm, it may be that the law is an arse in this case if it expects us to try every appliance every time we view a property. You see a dishwasher, you rather expect it to be a functional one. I would have thought that working was the default state unless told otherwise.

Thanks for your help and I await said more authorative answers with interest. Academically this one seems quite interesting.I really do want to stress that I don't think it is morally right - but it may be legally right :(

Dudley
23-09-2011, 16:19 PM
Oh absolutely.

tbh, we'll let the landlord and estate agent argue it if needed. The landlord has said we're not allowed to replace the non-working one ourselves because it "looks nice" but if needed we will and just shove his back in there before we leave.

Snorkerz
23-09-2011, 17:42 PM
but if needed we will and just shove his back in there before we leave.Agreed - you have exclusive use of the property whilst you have a valid tenancy. Short of pulling down walls, you can do pretty much what you want during the tenancy - keep coal in the bath if you want too!

It would be risky, but theres an argument that says you could throw it. If the landlord tried to claim for it from your deposit, what value could he place on a non-working dishwasher?

You may also want to read this.. http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/repairs_and_bad_conditions/disrepair_in_rented_accommodation/repairs_in_private_lets/tenants_doing_repairs#3 but I still strongly suggest you wait for other opinions before making rash decisions!

Dudley
23-09-2011, 18:52 PM
mmm, thanks for pointing me at that. I've actually used their "email a question" feature in addition to this thread so maybe they have some ideas too.

It would be very funny watching the landlord make an application to escrow for the value of a non-working dishwasher :)

Dudley
25-09-2011, 15:22 PM
Quick bump in the hopes someone has a concrete legal answer.

midlandslandlord
25-09-2011, 16:02 PM
Talk to your Council to see if there is anything any of their people could enforce on (?)

Trading standards, perhaps.

It strikes me as a cheap thing to fix relative to the cost of a tenancy so someone may just need a sharp nudge.

ML

bhaal
25-09-2011, 18:01 PM
If you were told that the dishwasher was working and it is not you potentially have a misrepresentation claim against the landlord for their agent's actions. Your remedies are recession (though this is always discretionary and you are unlikely to want/get it) or damages of the amount you would gain if the representation had been true. That would be the cost of repairing the dishwasher or buying a working one.

Your problems are proving the agent told you this and that the dishwasher was so important to you that you would not have entered into the tenancy had you been told that it was not working. If you don't have an issue with either of those points I suggest you write to the landlord and tell him you'll be starting court action if he doesn't buy a new, working dishwasher (though the chances of you being able to renew your agreement at the end of the current fixed term are minimal if you do this).

sparkie
26-09-2011, 05:40 AM
Wasn't there an inventory/check-in document you went through with agent when you moved in?

Dudley
26-09-2011, 12:25 PM
The agent didn't say it was working, he didn't say it wasn't working. The agent as a whole say they were never informed it didn't work.

The agent never provided an inventory, the landlord sent one days later where of course it says the dishwasher doesn't work.

The advice from the nice people at Shelter appears to be similar. It looks like you literally have to test every appliance any time you do a house viewing or take your chances which is weird but there you go.

I think we'll just buy a dishwasher and stick the broken one back when we move out, although I don't think we'll bother connecting to water and power (weirdly it currently is). My temptation is to stick just the door back and glue it in place ;)

Dudley
26-09-2011, 12:26 PM
Oh and thanks for the answers people. Reading other threads is both fascinating and a reminder we're still better off than most :)