This is a question for the blog clinic from Jeannie who is a tenant:
I moved into a flat 6 months ago. There were numerous problems to deal with initially, mostly the fault of the Estate Agent. They included, but are not limited to, not having hot water for six weeks, not being given the correct keys and furniture that had been present when we signed-up for the flat not being present.
As a result we did not raise the issue of the threadbare and stained bedroom carpets until recently, although we did comment on their state on the inventory, which the landlady doesn’t seem to have seen. The rest of the two bed, 7 year old flat is of a high standard but for £1325 per month, I don’t think we should have to suffer threadbare carpets.
To replace the carpets would cost about £500 for two small rooms. The inventory described the carpets as worn and stained. The landlady did not look at them between the previous tenants and us but we know that the previous tenants had them cleaned but they said that this made no impact on their condition. The landlady is refusing to come and look at the carpets and is saying she cannot afford to replace them. I have sent photos illustrating the state of them but she will not admit that they are not of the same standard as the rest of the flat.
Do we have any right to insist that she replace them or that she come round?
I am afraid not. When you sign up for a property you have to take it as it is. There are certain repairing obligations landlords have, for example regarding the structure and exterior of the property, electrical wiring, gas appliances and the like, but this does not include the condition of the carpets.
The condition of the carpets may be unsatisfactory but unless they are actually dangerous (e.g. if they are torn and likely to cause an accident) there is not much you can do about it. It is very important that all these things are raised before you sign the tenancy agreement. Afterwards is too late.
If YOU have a problem, why not put it to the blog clinic? However there are a lot of questions submitted, so if you need an answer quickly remember that members of my Landlord Law service can ask me questions in the members forum area, and will normally get an answer with 24 hours.