View Full Version : Tenant Liability?

26-06-2005, 09:37 AM
I wonder if you could help me

I have recently started renting as a private tenant and within a week of renting, the bath started to leak into the kitchen ceiling.

After the landlord came around he noticed that there was a crack in the centre of the bath.

This is where it gets interesting, when you take away the bath panel there is a support for the front and back of the bath but there is a wood block strewn to the side and where it should be supporting (along with a metal pole which it was the base for) the bath it was not.

The landlord made a temporary fix for this problem by sealing the crack and putting half a forest underneath the centre of the bath to support it.

The big question I have is that whilst I understand that any damage to their property whilst renting is our fault, if they have failed to support the bath does the liability fall to us?

And if so does this example consitute such a failing?

The landlords have not got back to us as to how they want to proceede but I'd appreciate any advise as well as any backup (links to sites giving legal backup to my claim) to support my case.

Thank you

Andy Parker
26-06-2005, 09:46 AM
From the details given you have no liability for the repair of the bath.As tenants you are responsible for damage over and above normal wear and tear (excluding pre-existing damage or defects which become apparent later).

26-06-2005, 09:50 AM
Damage through fair wear and tear is not your liability. The landlord has repaired the bath - how effective a repair this has been, only time will tell.
If the crack either leaks or causes any discomfort or you are not happy with the repair, get in touch with the landlord and ask him to replace it with a new bath - failing that, contact the local council's environmental health department who have powers to order your landlord to repair/replace and to do it themselves if the landlord can't/won't.

26-06-2005, 10:07 AM
Would the landlord not be able to argue that the damage is our fault as it wasn't there before.

You'll have to excuse me if i sound like im re-asking the same question but I'm not 100% sure on where the liability stands

From what you have said we are responsible for over and above normal use, wouldn't cracking a bath causing damage be above normal use?

** and also is there somewhere where i can back this up?

Last thing i want is for my landlord to pull out my deposit because of the crack stating it is our fault, i'd love to turn around and say

"well read this, this this and oh, this and you will see if is not my fault"

Tax Accountant
26-06-2005, 10:23 AM
This was obviously an existing condition as nothing you could have done would make it to crack within a week. It is a wear and tear over a long period and not by your use. It just happened to crack after you moved in but is not due to your use.

To give an example, a boiler could pack up within a week of you moving in but this does not mean that it is your responsibility.

For you to be held responsible, the landlord would need to prove that you misused the bath for it to crack.

Another point is that this is a fixture to the property and not a furnishings item. I believe that the fixtures are always the responsibility of the landlord unless you cause damage maliciously.

I think it best to write to the landlord and put down all the facts as it happened, including the less than satisfactory repairs which he has effected. Also request him that he should replace the bath because it is apparently not fit for its intended purpose and could also be considered a health and safety issue.


26-06-2005, 22:12 PM

In what way would you consider this a health & safety issue?

27-06-2005, 11:43 AM

In what way would you consider this a health & safety issue?

Raggy is right - it's not an H & S issue!

BUT - Can't anybody tell the poor poster and allay his fears, in that the landlord is liable under The Defective Premises Act 1972 under these circumstances (as there was already a fault prior to the tenancy), and for any further similar occurrences Section 11 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985.

The tenant has no responsibility for damage to premises caused by defective appliances, fixtures or fittings. Only deliberate damage i.e. "waste" would he/they be liable for.