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Ending a Tenancy (England) | England | What to Do if Tenancy Is to Continue (England)

Long term tenant – increased deposit/improvements to property/old inventory

7 Nov 2021 | 1 comment

I have a tenant who has been in their flat for about 10 years. I have recently inherited the property after a family death. There haven’t been any improvements to the property over the last few years and the latest tenancy has just ended. The tenant has refused to enter into a new tenancy agreement until certain improvements are made. This is a bit of a side show as I’m happy to make the improvements required and I’ve already addressed the urgent issues.

My question relates to how to deal with the inventory, which is now about 10 years old. As I’m making improvements to the flat, how should I record the new state of the property? For example, in the original inventory the carpets were recorded as being in “good condition – 4 out of 5 (5 being brand new)”. The carpets now are in a very bad state, and I believe that this is due at least in part to the tenant (and of course fair wear and tear).

I could of course make the improvements and agree a new inventory. But where the tenant has caused damage and/or failed to maintain elements of the property, are they getting away scot-free? I appreciate that they’ve been in situ paying rent for a long time so is this something a landlord should just take on the chin as a cost?

Open to your thoughts – thanks in advance!

Answer

1 Comment

  1. guildy

    Even if there were damage, you’re starting to enter the realms that fair wear and tear would take up the full value of items.

    For example, we wouldn’t generally expect a carpet to last much longer than 10 years (fair enough, a high-quality carpet should last longer) so if you reduce the replacement value by 10% per year for wear and tear, after 10 years, there’s no value left to deduct even if there’s damage.

    It really depends on each item and the length of time it’s expected to last.

    Rather than a new inventory, we would generally just have a note on our system of any replacement items during the tenancy.

    That being said, if you wish to do a new inventory, that is also fine, although it could become complex where there’s a mixture of existing and new.

    It’s also a consideration in our view that there sounds to have been a good tenant paying rent for 10 years and possibly many more years to come.

    Please see this article for information about calculating fair wear and tear.

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