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View Full Version : Toilet seat or bowl breakage- whose responsibility?



hen
23-02-2007, 21:47 PM
Hi,
Just a quick question. We are letting a fully furnished property. Tenant has informed us that the toilet seat has broken and also the toaster. Would we be responsible for replacing these items?
Thank you.

Ericthelobster
23-02-2007, 22:29 PM
Depends why they've broken... if they've failed due to fair wear and tear, or whether they've been obviously abused by the tenant.

Nora Kay
23-02-2007, 22:29 PM
Tenants are usually expected to mend/replace minor items themselves, eg light bulbs, but it it not clear at what stage the "minor" item gets big enough to be the landlord's problem.
I would be inclined to have a look at both items and decide if either has suffered any damage by the tenant.
The toilet seat may just be a cheap plastic one, which can easily crack due to normal use, and would therefore be the landlord's responsibility to replace. If it looks as though it has been subject to damage eg been stood on, the tenant should bear the cost.
The same goes for the toaster, but if it isn't listed on the inventory, I would suggest you didn't replace it yourself. I tend to avoid supplying small electrical items, as they are always going wrong, and the tenant can buy his own at no great cost. Even larger ones like microwave ovens are inexpensive to buy these days, so let the tenant get his own.

Paragon
24-02-2007, 10:05 AM
Tenants are usually expected to mend/replace minor items themselves, eg light bulbs, but it it not clear at what stage the "minor" item gets big enough to be the landlord's problem.
I would be inclined to have a look at both items and decide if either has suffered any damage by the tenant.
The toilet seat may just be a cheap plastic one, which can easily crack due to normal use, and would therefore be the landlord's responsibility to replace. If it looks as though it has been subject to damage eg been stood on, the tenant should bear the cost.
The same goes for the toaster, but if it isn't listed on the inventory, I would suggest you didn't replace it yourself. I tend to avoid supplying small electrical items, as they are always going wrong, and the tenant can buy his own at no great cost. Even larger ones like microwave ovens are inexpensive to buy these days, so let the tenant get his own.

I agree with the above. However, because a plastic seat is so inexpensive, I would replace it myself just to keep good relations with the tenants. Toasters from Argos are fairly cheap as well.

Having said that, if the item is not on the Inventory/Condition report, then you do not need to replace the electrical item. If it is, I might also explain that the one I replace it with may not be suitable for your needs and you may want to buy your own better one to take with you should you leave.

Nic
28-01-2008, 14:14 PM
Was wondering who is actually liable for this. Do we as landlords have to claim this off our insurance (with large excess and bigger premium next year)or do we charge the tenant as it was them who broke it.

jeffrey
28-01-2008, 14:28 PM
T has a duty to use property in a proper tenant-like manner. Breaking toilet bowl is breach of that duty.
I suggest that you should at least try to make T pay (rather than having to claim on your property insurance policy).

heather5
28-01-2008, 20:31 PM
Just my penny worth.

My brother let a really nice flat in Caledonia Place, Bristol to students - who were kids of good friends of mine who I said were sound.

Friendship died as a result - because kids had mates round - who got pissed - and deliberately brook the toilet bowl and other stuff in the flat - my bro asked guarantors for the replacement - and they tried to refuse - bro threatened to take them to court - then they paid.

Why did a solid toilet bowl get broken? Because 5 rugby players celebrating a win decided they would break the toilet? Why? Still a mystery but that was their aim and apparently they have a photo to prove it. It was their goal and they all deliberately did it.

Joys of 19-25 year olds?

He's never let to that age group since - but it's been let for many years after.

It was a really prestigious flat - but just goes to prove - let to the wrong group - and that's what can happen.

Surrey
28-01-2008, 21:58 PM
One could ask if the tenants were particularly - how do I put this? - "large", but I'd be accused of being sizeist, so I won't!

Back on topic, if they broke it (rather than it was partially broken and eventually fell apart during normal usage, or there was a flaw in it that failed as happened to my new bathroom sink a couple of months ago) then they pay for the repair. If it was flawed and just failed as in the cleaning scenario above, then the landlord must surely have some responsibility.

heather5
30-01-2008, 20:06 PM
In my bro's case - there were no pics taken as is customary nowadays with all properties I rent - I'm faced with a 2 hour check-in with an "administrator" who goes through with me every crack etc - but who failed to notice the marks on the carpet - lucky I was there to point out!!

Costs me over £80 each time for check in - area - Bucks - it's now standard procedure - good and bad - but you have to check the checker - because he got so many things wrong!!!

The loo was in perfect nick in my bro's nice upmarket flat - but no proof in pics - but the rugby players who brook the loo (totally cracked it and split it) - did confess - but only because they were young - and my bro got a good solicitor who did his stuff - and my bro got costs back.

Because of this business of pics taken when you check in - it's less likely this will be the case for tenants to say it's LL resonsibility.

But without evidence - bro was stilll able to get money back.

Can't say how big the "rugby" players were.

Or how many of them stood on the toilet bowl at the same time - but one of them did confess that they ALL deliberately stood on it to try and beak it and celebrated when they did - but later apologised.

Nic
01-02-2008, 09:42 AM
Sorry been away for a couple of days. I have no idea how they broke it. They do have a 18 month year old so perhaps she has something to do with it. The tenants have been in the property for about 2 years and the bathroom was just put in before they moved in. I did however crack a toilet bowl when I was about 11. My mum used to keep cotton buds in a glass jar on the window sill above the toilet. It somehow managed to slip out of my hand and fall into the toilet. Resulting in a large crack.

isa_ldn
18-11-2008, 20:23 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi All!

I need a bit of help from experiended people because I find myself in a dead end with my landlord and don't know which way to take.

Basically we've signed our first tenancy agreement on the 31st of march 2007 and the law about the TDS wasn't there yet, the deposit we gave was 910£. Then, we've signed a new tenancy agreement on the 31 of march 2008 which was completely different contract with plenty of new rules and we paid a topup pf the deposit because the rent had been raised (the topup amount was 43.33£).
Now my boyfriend found a job abroad and as our tenancy agreement was supposed to end on the 31st of March we asked our LL if he would be ok with us finding new tenants to replace us and take on our contract until the end of it , at first he was reluctant but finaly agreed and the new tenant we found was credit checked by the agency (who is apprently NOT managing the property so I don;t think they are actually involved), paid a deposit, and we moved out on the 30th of october, and the new tenant moved in, we have paid a fee to the agency (220£, thieves!) and got a letter from them that certifies we are released from the tenancy agreement.
THe LL went to check the flat, was happy with that , told the agency he would refund us in full and therefore the agency gave him the deposit of the new tenant. On the contract it says teh LL has 14 days from the day we move out to repay us partially or fully.
He said he would repay us until the 13th, where he called us saying the toilet is broken and that he won't give us back the deposit!!!!!!!!!!
Now in the meantime we started to look in the internet to see what we could do ( he is a very very difficult person to deal with we had many conversations on the phone but it's not going anywhere) and we found out about the TDS and realised he didn;t comply with this.
Then we received this letter from him (I'm gonna copy it because it shows how ignorant the guys is )
"this is to inform you that I am retaining the deposit dur on the above (above he wrote the address) until I have quantified the deduction necessary to reimburse me for the damage you have caused to the toilet which is broken. If you need to contact me you have my mobile phone number"
We asked for his address and he didn;t even want to give it to us ( cheeky ) but we've managed to find it anyway .:D

Now - if you are still here after this huge email I want to say thanks and bless you ! - I have 2 questions :

1- Can I make a claim about teh TDS as I am not a tenant anymore ??
2 - Do you think I should sue him to get my deposit back ?

Please help me I am lost and it's so stressing as all this falls in the middle of me moving to france !!!

THanks so much to all of you who will have the patience to read this !

xxx Isa

mind the gap
18-11-2008, 20:57 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi All!

I need a bit of help from experiended people because I find myself in a dead end with my landlord and don't know which way to take.

Basically we've signed our first tenancy agreement on the 31st of march 2007 and the law about the TDS wasn't there yet, the deposit we gave was 910£. Then, we've signed a new tenancy agreement on the 31 of march 2008 which was completely different contract with plenty of new rules and we paid a topup pf the deposit because the rent had been raised (the topup amount was 43.33£).
Now my boyfriend found a job abroad and as our tenancy agreement was supposed to end on the 31st of March we asked our LL if he would be ok with us finding new tenants to replace us and take on our contract until the end of it , at first he was reluctant but finaly agreed and the new tenant we found was credit checked by the agency (who is apprently NOT managing the property so I don;t think they are actually involved), paid a deposit, and we moved out on the 30th of october, and the new tenant moved in, we have paid a fee to the agency (220£, thieves!) and got a letter from them that certifies we are released from the tenancy agreement.
THe LL went to check the flat, was happy with that , told the agency he would refund us in full and therefore the agency gave him the deposit of the new tenant. On the contract it says teh LL has 14 days from the day we move out to repay us partially or fully.
He said he would repay us until the 13th, where he called us saying the toilet is broken and that he won't give us back the deposit!!!!!!!!!!
Now in the meantime we started to look in the internet to see what we could do ( he is a very very difficult person to deal with we had many conversations on the phone but it's not going anywhere) and we found out about the TDS and realised he didn;t comply with this.
Then we received this letter from him (I'm gonna copy it because it shows how ignorant the guys is )
"this is to inform you that I am retaining the deposit dur on the above (above he wrote the address) until I have quantified the deduction necessary to reimburse me for the damage you have caused to the toilet which is broken. If you need to contact me you have my mobile phone number"
We asked for his address and he didn;t even want to give it to us ( cheeky ) but we've managed to find it anyway .:D

Now - if you are still here after this huge email I want to say thanks and bless you ! - I have 2 questions :

1- Can I make a claim about teh TDS as I am not a tenant anymore ??
2 - Do you think I should sue him to get my deposit back ?

Please help me I am lost and it's so stressing as all this falls in the middle of me moving to france !!!

THanks so much to all of you who will have the patience to read this !

xxx Isa

Yes, you can and should sue him. The fact that you are not a tenant anymore is irrelevant. Just follow this procedure:

Send him a Letter Before Action, advising him that you intend to sue him for the loss of your deposit, plus costs. Say that you reject his demand that you pay for a broken toilet because (give reason). Tell him that unless he returns your deposit in full within 7 days, you will press 'send' on your online claim. Attach a copy of your online claim (go to moneyclaim online), so he can see you mean business. You may also wish to point out that you have reason to believe he did not protect your deposit as he was legally required to do, and that unless he returns your money as requested, the claim will be for 3x the deposit (this is the penalty he faces for non-compliance with the protection scheme).

Letters like this, threatening court action for 3x the deposit, tend to focus LLs minds wonderfully, so the chances are he will pay up. If he doesn't, he faces a tough time in court and you have a very good case. He'd be mad not to return your deposit without further ado.

If you want any help with the letter, send me a private message on this forum's pm system. I have a standard one you can adapt - you'd be amazed how many tenants are in your situation at the moment.

Incidentally, unless his inventory check in and out procedures are 100% watertight, his attempt to make you pay up for the toilet will be chucked out of court.

Bon courage!

ste_c
14-04-2009, 11:03 AM
Hello all,

LA rings up today saying tenant made an emergency call to them (not the first time, I made a post a while back about a false boiler incident). This time the toilet is broken.

Fair enough - so I asked in what way. They explain that it has "fallen to pieces" and leaked everywhere, the electrics are off and its been isolated. The tenant is staying at a relative's while it's sorted out.

I'm going to involve the insurance company in terms of damage repair, but just how does a toilet break in this way unless it's suffered some sort of impact? The LA say the plumber couldn't see that it has been broken on purpose, the LA say the "toilet is old". - I simply don't believe this is possible.

Am I wrong, or over-suspicious (this is the latest in a long line of faults). My other thread discusses the LA's wringing of income which resulted in some strong correspondence and what appeared to be placating actions, however my assertions that I have a destructive tenant seem to be coming true.

I'm feeling this is the last straw and I want to get that tenant out and start again, or pack in renting it altogether.

All advice welcome, thanks.

P.Pilcher
14-04-2009, 12:05 PM
One night, many years ago in my maisonette, I was awoken at 2.am to the sound of dripping water. Investigation revealed that the toilet cistern (about 15 years old) had cracked for absolutely no reason at all. Cure: new cistern.

Now, if this sort of thing can happen to ceramic cisterns, then it is just as possible for it to occurr to toilet units. I would be inclined therefore to give the tenant the benefit of the doubt and get it fixed - pronto.

P.P.

Gigabyte
14-04-2009, 14:37 PM
agreed, it IS possible. - A few years ago The toilet bowl cracked and then broke into pieces in the ensuite of my parents house, it was a rather lovely avocado coloured contraption of 70's origin, why it cracked no1 knows but the toiliet in the family bathroom which is well over 100years old is still going strong...such is the mystery of life I suppose.

Pandabear
15-04-2009, 19:51 PM
An old toilet cistern cracked spontaneously during the night in my house a few months ago. It's a good job I was working late or entire house would have been flooded. I suppose it could happen to the bowl if it was old and had had repeated stress (toilet lid closed over many years)

ste_c
16-04-2009, 14:36 PM
Thanks for your replies and here's an update. No, it didn't spontaneously explode, it appears there was some "tampering".

Certainly in keeping with this tenant's previous behaviour. It has unsurprisingly leaked downstairs into the kitchen, so there's a large repair bill in the offing. I hope the tenant isn't hopefully scamming a claim on my buildings insurance for a new set of white goods, she isn't covered.....

Mrs Mug
17-04-2009, 08:30 AM
If the toilet bowl is screwed to the floor, especially without using rubber or plastic washers, this can create very high point pressures. If there is movement or flexing in the floor then the bowl can easily break.

Bel
17-06-2009, 16:28 PM
A tenants toilet seat is starting to wobble, due to the fixings starting to come loose. The toilet seat has one-of-a-kind special fixings. A new seat from B&Q will not work.

The AST says the LL is responsible for the structure as per section 11 L&T ACT. There is no reference to toilet seats.

Do you think the seat repair/replacement should be covered by Denning's tenants responsibilities?

P.Pilcher
17-06-2009, 16:42 PM
Unless there are signs of malicious damage by the tenant, I would consider it to be a part of the structure and replace it.

P.P.

Lawcruncher
17-06-2009, 16:55 PM
Section 11 imposes on the landlord an obligation "to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house[...]for sanitation (including[...]sanitary conveniences[...])"

If it were simply a case of making a slight adjustment I think Lord Denning would have suggested that the tenant should see to it. It does though seem to be rather more than that and I think the landlord should sort it out.

jeffrey
17-06-2009, 20:48 PM
Toilet seat is not a sanitary convenience, unlike bowl/flush/plumbing.

mind the gap
17-06-2009, 21:15 PM
I would incline to the view that a toilet seat is indeed an integral and indispensable feature of the toilet to which it is attached, and in the interests of common sense and good tenant relations, I would replace it at my own expense.

In other words, I agree with LC.

Preston
18-06-2009, 21:26 PM
I have just checked the Housing Health and Safety Rating guidance for another thread and a toilet seat with closeable lid is specifically listed as one of those things that local authority inspectors should look for when assessing the adequacy of personal hygiene and sanitation arrangements. This doesn't make it compulsory, but it does mean that should the tenant complain to the council they may require one to be fitted.

mind the gap
19-06-2009, 10:05 AM
There is a seat and lid. Do you think the council assessor would actually sit on the seat to test if its too wobbly or not?


Only if it is written into his job description!

Preston
19-06-2009, 12:37 PM
Ironically, since most toilet lids harbour millions of germs!

Having spoken to H & S officers about this very issue in the past (I have obviously been doing this job far too long) I think the theory is that the lid is effectively a guard against "splash back" (or the aerosol effect as I think it is sometimes called) when the toilet is flushed. So yes the lid is grubby, but the bathroom - or the bit around the lavatory pan - would be even grubbier without one!

Bel
19-06-2009, 12:46 PM
I think the theory is that the lid is effectively a guard against "splash back"

It also stops things from being dropped down the loo when not in use, and as an informal seating area, and stops rats from getting entry into the home, but you may need to use a pile of bricks or a padlock to be sure of that.

cardifflandlord
19-06-2009, 13:37 PM
Fixtures and fittings are essentially everything that, if you turned your house upside down, would not fall out! The exception might be certain white goods that are seen as a necessary part of a 'furnished' let ie washing machine.

Bog seat - Landlords responsibility.

jeffrey
19-06-2009, 14:01 PM
Fixtures and fittings are essentially everything that, if you turned your house upside down, would not fall out! The exception might be certain white goods that are seen as a necessary part of a 'furnished' let ie washing machine.

Bog seat - Landlords responsibility.
Whether it's included in F&F is irrelevant. Please prove your final statement.

bing_o
20-06-2009, 12:01 PM
One of my tenants dropped the cistern lid and broke it. They have agreed to pay for a replacement, however the model and colour of toilet is no longer available from the manufacturer. I will need to buy a complete new toilet in a colour that will not match the existing hand basin, which will also involve hiring a plumber to fit the toilet. Naturally this will cost a great deal more than just a cistern lid would have had I been able to replace it. What is the tenant liable to pay?

Thanks

Ericthelobster
20-06-2009, 12:18 PM
One of my tenants dropped the cistern lid and broke it. They have agreed to pay for a replacement, however the model and colour of toilet is no longer available from the manufacturer. I will need to buy a complete new toilet in a colour that will not match the existing hand basin, which will also involve hiring a plumber to fit the toilet. Naturally this will cost a great deal more than just a cistern lid would have had I been able to replace it. What is the tenant liable to pay?1. There are large numbers of companies who specialise in old stocks of outdated bathroom components, or even who make them to order (that may be cheaper than replacing an entire bathroom). Try googling for something like 'obsolete bathrooms'

2. If the toilet does needs replacing it sounds like a claim on your buildings insurance (tenant to pay the excess). This is a common and highly controversial topic for insurance claims - if the insurers can't organise a replacement cistern lid, according to the Financial Ombudsman's judgement you should get 50% of the cost of replacing the non-matching basin:
http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/publications/ombudsman-news/75/75-household-insurance.html

Moderator1
23-10-2009, 11:13 AM
Humorous posts on this thread have been moved to a new 'Toilet humour' thread on Take A Break:
see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ad.php?t=23177.