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11-02-2019, 22:21   #1
VonLuck
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Landlord obligations regarding wear and tear?

I've been renting a room in a house for the past number of years and have been relatively hassle free for the landlord. There have been the odd washing machine and boiler repairs, but we only have ever contacted him as a last resort.

As the years have gone by, the house has gone into a bit of disrepair. Kitchen cabinet doors are loose on their hinges, plaster cracks and stains on walls, worn carpet etc. I have never asked the landlord to come in and look at these for fear of being seen as hassling him and kicking us out.

What are the general entitlements of tenants with regard to wear and tear? Does the landlord have any obligation to keep the property looking "fresh" or could he just tell us to like it or lump it?
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11-02-2019, 22:44   #2
GGTrek
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Originally Posted by VonLuck View Post
I've been renting a room in a house for the past number of years and have been relatively hassle free for the landlord. There have been the odd washing machine and boiler repairs, but we only have ever contacted him as a last resort.

As the years have gone by, the house has gone into a bit of disrepair. Kitchen cabinet doors are loose on their hinges, plaster cracks and stains on walls, worn carpet etc. I have never asked the landlord to come in and look at these for fear of being seen as hassling him and kicking us out.

What are the general entitlements of tenants with regard to wear and tear? Does the landlord have any obligation to keep the property looking "fresh" or could he just tell us to like it or lump it?
Very simple, you can ask for a renovation of the decoration of the property (new laminated floors, repair of the plastering, new painting of walls and kitchen, new door hinges, in Dublin something like this for 25sqm will cost as a minimum 1.8k without asking for new kitchen cabinets) and the landlord can ask you for a rent increase. Problem is in RPZ the 4% increase does not cover renovations, so you are unlikely to get it (this is one of the major issues of rent control, the deterioration of buildings in the long term).
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12-02-2019, 13:15   #3
sheroman01
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I'm all for getting landlords to do their fair share of work and repairs when needed, but you essentially want the landlord to buy you a new carpet and tighten a few screws. I think these items can be done by yourself.
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12-02-2019, 13:22   #4
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I'm all for getting landlords to do their fair share of work and repairs when needed, but you essentially want the landlord to buy you a new carpet and tighten a few screws. I think these items can be done by yourself.
Why should the tenant fork out money for the renovation of someone else's home?

The hinges are a handy job, fair enough but you can't expect them to re-carpet the place.

I know if I took it upon myself to carry out such substantial changes to my rental, the landlord wouldn't be one bit happy and rightfully so.

OP, get a quote for a carpet clean or replacement, if you can and maybe fix the small things yourself.
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12-02-2019, 13:25   #5
punisher5112
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I done fixes and looked after all the properties I was in and got no thanks for it.

If things are broken, worn or faulty then let the LL know and let them sort it.

Why be paying huge rent and get nothing for it but a shed which many places are.
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12-02-2019, 15:03   #6
Graham
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While most reasonable landlords will agree to freshen up a property during a long-term tenancy (including replacing threadbare carpets) it might be a good idea to consider the specific circumstances.

If the current rent is significantly below market it might be prudent to stay quiet and spend some of the monthly savings on freshening up the place (with landlords permission).

I'm not suggesting anyone should accept sub-standard accommodation, just apply a bit of common sense.

I lived in a shared rented house for a few years, we kept the place well and decorated when necessary, landlord didn't chase rent increases at every opportunity.
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12-02-2019, 15:33   #7
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Welcome to the downside of rent controls.

There are legal requirements to make sure the boiler and washing machine etc. are working. There is no legal requirement to say the carpet or paint work needs improving. There is no financial incentive for the landlord to make such changes, as they cant charge more rent afterwards, and they know that a sitting tenant will not move out in this market over the quality of the carpet, as they will be paying far more anywhere else they can find (if they can find somewhere else). In a normal market, you would be paying market rate for the quality of what you received - and if you weren't you could just move. In a rent controlled market, you get the minimum possible standard, and there is a long line of prospective tenants who would accept it if you dont.

You can always ask the landlord. I dont see the harm in asking. I would expect the landlord will/should refuse.
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12-02-2019, 15:40   #8
handlemaster
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Originally Posted by VonLuck View Post
I've been renting a room in a house for the past number of years and have been relatively hassle free for the landlord. There have been the odd washing machine and boiler repairs, but we only have ever contacted him as a last resort.

As the years have gone by, the house has gone into a bit of disrepair. Kitchen cabinet doors are loose on their hinges, plaster cracks and stains on walls, worn carpet etc. I have never asked the landlord to come in and look at these for fear of being seen as hassling him and kicking us out.

What are the general entitlements of tenants with regard to wear and tear? Does the landlord have any obligation to keep the property looking "fresh" or could he just tell us to like it or lump it?

is your rent below market value ? what if the landlord does all this maybe even a bit mkre and the rent goes to the cureent open market value !
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12-02-2019, 16:47   #9
Samuel T. Cogley
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No direct laws on the boiler but there is a requirement for fixed heating apparatus.

Agree on the cabinets - tenants job, disagree on carpets LL's job and they get to write off a significant portion of the cost against tax plus the benefit of newer carpet when renting again/selling so I don't really buy the rent control angle on this one.

Last edited by Samuel T. Cogley; 12-02-2019 at 17:02. Reason: Grammaz
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12-02-2019, 16:59   #10
Subutai
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Some people here are somewhat mistaken in the law, no doubt in their eagerness to point out a flaw in the Rent Pressure Zone policy.

The obligation in s 12(1)(b)(ii) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 in relation to the interior of the dwelling is linked to the condition of the dwelling at the commencement of the tenancy, and the obligation is to carry out to the interior of the dwelling:

‘such repairs and replacement of fittings as are, from time to time, necessary so that that interior and those fittings are maintained in, at least, the condition in which they were at the commencement of the tenancy.’

The requirement in s 12(b)(ii) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 that the interior of the dwelling, and the fittings are kept in at least the condition they were in at the commencement of the tenancy, will mean that a landlord is obliged to carry out general maintenance, in addition to repairs. In Khalil v Flanagan (https://www.rtb.ie/documents/TR1115-...%20Report.pdf) the Tribunal found that it would not have been unreasonable for the tenants to have requested that the dwelling was repainted after they had lived there for four and a half years. However, as the tenants failed to make this request directly to the landlord, and as there was ‘no particular reasons why such work might have been needed’, the Tribunal held that the landlord’s failure to carry out the painting was not a breach of s 12(1)(b)(ii) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. The decision of the Tribunal in Khalil v Flanagan places the emphasis firmly on the tenants to request that repairs are carried out. The Tribunal thought that it would have been reasonable for the tenant to request repainting after a tenancy of four and a half years, but that the obligation of the landlord only arose following a request, or the presence of another particular circumstance (presumably other than the passage of time) to indicate to the landlord that the repainting was necessary
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12-02-2019, 19:18   #11
Graham
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Some people here are somewhat mistaken in the law, no doubt in their eagerness to point out a flaw in the Rent Pressure Zone policy.
I think you're missing the point.

It's the 'flaws' that the OP needs to be aware of.

You don't have to dig through too many threads to see the result of the flaws; rent increase, notice etc.

Regardless of our opinions the reality is often not as straightforward as as 'dear landlord, you are obliged to..'.

None of this is meant to frighten you off OP. The vast majority of landlords are perfectly reasonable and more than willing to maintain their properties. Have a friendly chat with the landlord. If you've been there a few years without issue, the likelihood is he's happy with you as tenants and would like to keep you happy.
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12-02-2019, 22:10   #12
VonLuck
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Originally Posted by sheroman01 View Post
I'm all for getting landlords to do their fair share of work and repairs when needed, but you essentially want the landlord to buy you a new carpet and tighten a few screws. I think these items can be done by yourself.
Up until now, we have been doing as much maintenance works as possible. Some hinges became so worn that you could not redrill the timber and we actually bolted the door back on. Unfortunately there comes a point where this solution doesn't work anymore!

I have never heard of any tenant buying a carpet and fitting it themselves. You'd be essentially making an improvement to the house at no expense to the landlord. Seems bizarre!

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If the current rent is significantly below market it might be prudent to stay quiet and spend some of the monthly savings on freshening up the place (with landlords permission).
The rent is quite reasonable and this is why I don't want to make a fuss. I had considered painting some of the areas myself, but I have actually never painted a room in my life and have been advised by others that it cam be a lot of work, especially in a kitchen where you have all sorts of cabinets and fittings that you have to protect and work around.

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Originally Posted by Subutai View Post
The requirement in s 12(b)(ii) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 that the interior of the dwelling, and the fittings are kept in at least the condition they were in at the commencement of the tenancy, will mean that a landlord is obliged to carry out general maintenance, in addition to repairs. In Khalil v Flanagan (https://www.rtb.ie/documents/TR1115-...%20Report.pdf) the Tribunal found that it would not have been unreasonable for the tenants to have requested that the dwelling was repainted after they had lived there for four and a half years. However, as the tenants failed to make this request directly to the landlord, and as there was ‘no particular reasons why such work might have been needed’, the Tribunal held that the landlord’s failure to carry out the painting was not a breach of s 12(1)(b)(ii) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. The decision of the Tribunal in Khalil v Flanagan places the emphasis firmly on the tenants to request that repairs are carried out. The Tribunal thought that it would have been reasonable for the tenant to request repainting after a tenancy of four and a half years, but that the obligation of the landlord only arose following a request, or the presence of another particular circumstance (presumably other than the passage of time) to indicate to the landlord that the repainting was necessary
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None of this is meant to frighten you off OP. The vast majority of landlords are perfectly reasonable and more than willing to maintain their properties. Have a friendly chat with the landlord. If you've been there a few years without issue, the likelihood is he's happy with you as tenants and would like to keep you happy.
I don't think it'd go down well if I started referencing tribunal cases to my landlord! Although it appears there is an onus for the landlord to keep the house up to scratch, our relationship is quite amicable at the moment and why I am hesitant is that any bit of pressure I put on him to spend money, the more I feel he will raise rent (within limits) or even decide to chuck us out to undertake "substantial refurbishment" and re-let the property.

Maybe I could test the waters and ask him to supply some paint - he may offer to get a painter in, who knows.
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12-02-2019, 22:30   #13
punisher5112
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Let the LL worry about it.

Take photos and have in case they say you wrecked the place.
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13-02-2019, 06:28   #14
handlemaster
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OP you first said you are renting a room. Reads like your renting a house . If not. Whzt do the other tenants think ?
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13-02-2019, 19:34   #15
VonLuck
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OP you first said you are renting a room. Reads like your renting a house . If not. Whzt do the other tenants think ?
A room in a house. One is indifferent to anything being done to the house - he's very laid back. The other said it would be good, but he's not pushing it either.

I think the consensus from the forum here is that if it's not hugely important, it's not worth bothering the landlord about.
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