Question

Deposits and Tenancy Deposit Schemes (England) | Tenant Obligations (England)

Damage to kitchen worktop

14 Dec 2017 | 1 comment

Hi
My tenant has damaged a fairly new kitchen worktop. It looks like somebody has been cutting on the surface with a knife so there’s all tiny cut marks and a small chip.
He didn’t tell me about it but came up on a mid term inspection.
I approached him and he admits the damage but doesn’t want the hassle of replacing the worktop as it involves removing the sink, hob and upstairs. He’s asked if it can be deducted from the deposit if he ever moves out.
I’ve explained that would be to fine but what if there’s any other damage to be take out of the deposit.
What do landlords normally do in this situation?

Answer

1 Comment

  1. guildy

    A common problem in rented property!

    There is no easy answer but in reality, getting the worktop replaced now and paid for by the tenant would be difficult if not impossible (as you have found).

    Therefore, although it’s not ideal, in the real world, this is something that would be left for the end of the tenancy.

    What to deduct will then be tricky because the tenant is entitled to “fair wear and tear”. We don’t suggest for a moment this damage is fair wear and tear but, the reality is that if the tenant remains for 10 – 15 years (unlikely we know but exaggerated to illustrate the point), the kitchen will generally be deteriorating a little and at some point would need replacing regardless of the scratches. This reduces the amount that can be deducted due to the fair wear and tear entitlement.

    Of course each item in the property has a different calculation for fair wear and tear because it depends on it’s life expectancy. For example, a carpet will not last as long through normal use as a kitchen unit or bath should.

    It will be a case of deciding at the end of the tenancy how much to deduct for damage after fair wear and tear has been considered.

    Please see our article on calculating fair wear and tear and also see this guide which all deposit schemes have jointly collaborated on.

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