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If a washing machine is provided as part of a letting agreement,

should it be in good...
If a washing machine is provided as part of a letting agreement, should it be in good working order when you move in? (even if the AST states that repairs are the responsibility of the tenant?)
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
5/3/2013
Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 26,070
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Verified

Joshua :

Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied

Joshua :

Do you have the exact term of the tenancy agreement handy in this respect please?

Customer:

4.4 Mechanical and Electrical Items


4.4.1 To keep in repair and proper working order all mechanical and electrical items including washing machines, dishwashers, and other similar mechanical and electrical appliances belonging to the Landlord included in the Inventory. This Agreement shall not however be construed as requiring the Landlord to carry out any works for which the Tenant is liable under the Tenant's duty to use the Premises in a tenant – like manner or for which the Tenant is liable under the terms of this Agreement.

Customer:

However received this email from letting agent

Customer:

Dear Verity,

Sorry for not having got back to you yesterday.

Having to deal with the situation, I browsed through your agreement and it states in section 4.4 "Mechanical and Electrical Items" the white goods are excluded from keeping in repair and proper working order. I assume that the agreement was read before signing as you had taken the agreement to read.

Joshua :

Thanks. Is 4.4 listed under a section detailing the landlord duties or the tenants duties?

Customer:

Listed under


4 LANDLORD’S AGREEMENTS


The Landlord agrees with the Tenant as follows:

Joshua :

Thanks. That is as I thought. The provision provides that the landlord keeps the goods in proper working order so the agreement itself provides that the landlord is to repair white goods completely contrary to how the agent seems to have interpreted the clause. As a tenant the common law requires you to treat the goods in the a tenant like manner which essentially means as you would if you owned them yourself - i.e. cleaning filters as required and so on but otherwise the the agreement provides as above.

Joshua :

Even if this were not the case and the agreement provides as the agent claims (which it does not) then the law still requires the landlord has responsibility in respect of appliances provided as follows:

Joshua :

The Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 requires the landlord to ensure that appliances supplied are of satisfactory quality.

Joshua :

The Electrical Safety Regulations 1994 provide that the landlord is responsible for ensuring the electrical safety of the electrics and any appliances he supplies

Joshua :

Finally the Housing Health and Safety Rating System brought in under the Housing Act provides that the landlord is responsible for the electrical safety of appliances he supplies

Joshua :

Accordingly the agent will want to reconsider their position. If they do not you can ask the local authority to conduct a HHSRS inspection as above and they can order the landlord to comply.

Joshua :

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help with any further?

Customer:

I think so, I'm just concerned that they are saying this and it seems completely contrary to the AST I have

Customer:

I want to ensure that I go back to them with a watertight argument to ensure they do the repair

Customer:

had major problems with previous landlord/letting agency, seems this one may be just as bad

Joshua :

Agents are hopeless at interpreting tenancy agreements on the whole. Some are better than others. Agents also tend to assume if it says so in the agreement then it is binding which of course is often not the case as legislation trumps the tenancy agreement every time and there is a great deal of legislation that trumps tenants.

Joshua :

Threatening an HHSRS inspection usually gets most agents to play ball swiftly but some are bloody minded in which case the council have substantive powers to assist.

Customer:

Brilliant, that has put my mind at ease (a little)

Customer:

Had problems with them doing another repair also, but they have at least agreed to that one

Customer:

I will be using some of your information to respond to them

Customer:

Hopefully that will do the job

Joshua :

A pleasure. Do let me know if I can assist further as the situation develops. If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me.

Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 26,070
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Verified
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Joshua
Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 26,070
26,070 Satisfied Customers
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice

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