This is the seventh post looking at the ten most common tenancy agreement breaches by tenants, as identified by Direct Line in their survey, which I discussed in the introduction to this series.
In this post I am looking at the last three items:
8. Failed to clean accessible windows – 13%
9. Redecorated without permission – 12%
10. Failed to check smoke or carbon monoxide alarm – 10%
I am putting them together as they could be considered less serious than the others and there is less to say about them.
Speaking as someone who is totally rubbish at cleaning windows (the only job I ever got the sack from was a cleaning job – my windows looked worse after I had tried to clean them than before I started), I have a lot of sympathy with people who can’t clean windows.
Also speaking as someone who has vertigo, you won’t catch me cleaning the outside of an upstairs window.
I would infinitely prefer to pay someone to do this – and if you have a window cleaning clause in your tenancy agreement and you don’t clean the windows – that is what will happen to you. The money for window cleaning will be deducted from your deposit.
I actually discussed this in this earlier post – forgetting it was a separate item further down the list.
Unless you have redecorated in the same style as the property was at the start – you can expect to have the cost of putting the property back into its original condition from your deposit. You may like a property with orange walls, but few others do and most landlords will want the property decorated in neutral colours as it will make it considerably easier to let.
Failed to check smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.
All rented properties now need to have smoke alarms on every story used for residential accommodation under regulations which came into force on 1 October 205 and which I discussed here.
Carbon Monoxide alarms are also required for all rooms where there is a solid fuel burning (not, surprisingly where there is a gas or oil burner – although this is recommended).
Landlords are obliged under the regulations to ensure that the alarms are working on the first day of the tenancy – after that, it is down to the tenants. And most well-drafted tenancy agreements will provide for this.
A fire may seem a bit unlikely – but they do happen. It could happen to you. If so, and if you had not checked the smoke alarms and they weren’t working – you could find that you are being held responsible for at least part of the cost.
If you have agreed to do something under the terms of your tenancy agreement and you don’t do it – you could end up out of pocket (or dead or injured in the case of smoke or CO alarms). You may also find that it gets you a poor reference making it harder to find another property after you have left.
So make sure you read your tenancy agreement and do what it says. You are liable if you don’t.
In the next and final post in this series, I will be looking at something else tenants do which is wrong and which (according to another Direct Line survey) is even more prevalent that the breaches discussed so far.