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Question

England | Landlord Responsibility for Repairs and Maintenance (England) | Responsibilities and Liabilities (England)

Cleaning a patio

27 Jan 2022 | 1 comment

A tenant has requested moss cleaned from a patio by the landlord but the landlord feels that this should be chargeable to the outgoing  tenant. We feel its just Winter conditions rather than anything the outgoing tenants have done. Does the landlord have an obligation to do clear moss from a patio as a slip hazard or should the outgoing tenant be responsible?

Answer

1 Comment

  1. guildy

    It’s a bit tricky now that the landlord has been made aware of a possible defect. It’s hard to say if the moss has made it in need of repair or maintenance (i.e. cleaning).

    We think it would need to be an express term of the tenancy if the tenant was required to clean it (think about a garden clause which would be similar). However, whether such a clause would be enforceable is unclear (for example asking to clean gutters wouldn’t ordinarily be enforceable).

    The closest case we could find is this one but crucially, it was found that the steps were not in disrepair.

    Because we’re not sure and sounds a bit borderline, we would err on the side of caution and say the landlord ought to clean the area. Whether the outgoing tenants can be billed we’re unsure of. It’s certainly possible to be part of a tenant acting in a “tenant-like manner”. Guess they could be asked but we certainly wouldn’t take it to court! It might be an interesting one for the deposit dispute resolution to consider (and at least that would be free) if that could apply now.

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