What Landlords Should Know About ‘White Goods’

White Goods In rental properties

White goods in rental properties, now that’s a subject that I’m sure no one has ever been excited to learn about. Ever!

However, the reality is, it’s a subject all landlords (and tenants) need to consider when renting out their property. Most notably, which white goods should landlords supply, if any it all?

I’ve received a few emails from folks requesting my thoughts on white goods in rental properties, so I’ve flooded my inner core with caffeine and taken on the challenge.

Hold onto your hats, it’s going to be the most uneventful journey of your life, probably.

Table of contents

What are “white goods”?

White goods refer to large electrical home appliances that are typically finished in white enamel (although, that’s not really the case). In letting/rental terms, they generally refer to the major kitchen appliances, including:

  • Fridge
  • Freezer
  • Dishwasher
  • Washing machine
  • Microwave

You’ll notice that a lot of rental adverts declare that they do provide white goods.

Do I need to supply white goods with my rental property?

No, it’s completely up to the landlord whether they supply them or not.

However, it’s important to note that most rental properties do come with white goods. Consequently, by failing to provide what is considered “basic amenities” by many, it could negatively impact interest from prospective tenants, because it means they’ll need to supply their own appliances, and bear in mind that added expense.

Based on my experience, investing in white goods usually provides a good return on investment, as it produces more interest and ultimately keeps vacant periods down.

Who is responsible for repairing white goods (tenant or landlord)?

This is a bit of a misunderstood area.

Most people will automatically assume that whoever supplies the appliances is responsible for repairing them. While that makes most sense, it’s not always the case, especially if the tenancy agreement has no explicit clauses on the matter, as is made clear in this blog post on the landlord law blog (and comments section).

To avoid confusion, I think it’s best to approach the matter with practicality and fairness is mind, which is to enforce what most people instinctively believe is the case from the offset, as is follows:

  • The landlord is responsible for repairing the contents supplied with the property (expect in cases of damage by the tenant e.g. misuse, negligence etc)
  • The tenant is responsible for their own possessions (this can include white good and appliances)
  • The tenant is responsible for keeping the contents in good condition and shall return the contents to the landlord at the end of the Tenancy in the same state (minus wear and tear)

These conditions can be enforced by the terms in the tenancy agreement, and they’re usually the default position. However, needless to say, it’s important to check what your tenancy agreement states on the matter.

It should be noted that tenants cannot be held responsible for wear and tear or technical faults outside of their control.

Landlord insurance for Appliances & White Goods

Insurance tailored specifically for landlords is gaining immense popularity, covering everything from boilers to household appliances. This surge in interest likely stems from its ability to alleviate a significant amount of hassle and stress. Dealing with repairs is already a headache, and it’s even more frustrating when it comes with a hefty price tag.

While I can’t and won’t encourage anyone to splash out on appliance insuranceespecially unnecessarily – I will happily provide you with an option for your consideration. If you don’t live local to your rental property(ies), or have a history of spending significant time and money on appliance replacements or repairs, this could offer a practical solution.

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The balls in your court.

If a property comes with white goods, is it considered “furnished”?

No, this is not the case. A property is still strictly “unfurnished” if it comes with only basic white goods and no other furniture.

Landlord responsibilities for maintaining white goods

Under section 11 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985, landlords are required to routinely check the electrical safety of appliances supplied with a rental property (e.g. check for frayed cables, exposed wiring, sparks when an appliance is plugged in etc) to ensure they’re in safe working order.

There is no statutory obligation for landlords to have electrical appliances professionally checked (i.e. PAT tested). However, gas appliances must be checked by a Gas Safe Register Engineer as part of the annual gas safety check.

Did I miss anything?

Does anyone else out there know any other useful facts/myths about the exciting world of white goods? If so, let me hear what you got…

41 Join the Conversation...

Guest Avatar
sheldon 15th December, 2009 @ 01:44

crap I've been paying money to repair mine when I could leave it up to the tenant?

Unless laws are different in ontario canada...

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Petrona 15th December, 2009 @ 08:39

In Perth, Western Australia, if white goods are provided and they break down for no obvious reason, it's the landlord's responsibility to repair them (as it's considered to be normal wear and tear). If the tenant has caused the item to break (eg. by swinging off the fridge door, as one ex-tenant of mine did while on suspicious substances) then it's the tenant's responsibility to repair it.

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Sam 15th December, 2009 @ 13:31

It's best practice to get all portable electrical appliances PAT tested (i.e. microwaves) PAT stands for portable electrical appliance. If I can shamelessly plug - you can test up to 20 items for just £59 via VirtualLetz - anywhere in the country and we liase we tenant. Plug over :)

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Paul 7th January, 2010 @ 12:38

In UK, outside of statutory obligations, it largely depends on what is written in the tenancy agreement and therefore what is agreed between the parties.
If the T/A states that the tenant must jump over the garden wall on every full moon, and the tenant agrees to it by signing the T/A (provided the requirement is clearlt written) then I suspect you could enforce that they do it - so long as the landlord provides any tools required :-)
In terms of white goods I think that if the rent charged includes the provision of white goods, then generally the landlord will have the obligation to continue to provide them. So even if the tenant could be made to pay for repair, if they were beyond reasonable repair, then the landlord would need to provide a similar machine & model.

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Justin Berkovi 18th September, 2011 @ 07:29

Great site!

We have moved into a property and the kitchen appliances really have come to the end of their natural life - the dishwasher only works sometimes, the fridge freezer is over 8 years old and cannot regulate temperature and the oven is so filthy that our food reeks of burnt grease when we use it to cook.

Does the landlord have to replace them?

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Donna 23rd September, 2011 @ 12:21

A friend has rented her property with white goods (tumble drier, dishwasher etc). The tenants who have moved in to the property are now demanding them to be removed, assumingly so they can replace with their own. Does she legally have to honour this (she's moved to Aus so isn't close by). My assumption is the tenants took on the property knowing the goods where there so have to live with what's been provided.

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neil 15th January, 2012 @ 16:39

Hello, i am a landlord and i supplied integrated kitchen white goods ie fridge, freeze & washing machine unfortuantely the freezer has since seized to work! I supplied the white goods in goodfaith although it did say in the T/A they would not be replaced should they malfunction the tenant now informs me its my obligation to replace the freezer simply because it was integrated and not a stand alone unit !!! Help i am struggling to pay the home insurance let alone another freezer

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cordel 11th August, 2013 @ 19:37

Great piece it makes ita lot clearer, you quote the relevant legislation. But you mention
"White goods provided by the landlord must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order"

This makes perfect sense but on what legislation do you base this on, does a good state of repair mean it lasts 3 months before it brokes down for instance!

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Bruce Jenkins 14th April, 2014 @ 10:14

If the landlord has 'gifted'the white goods to me in writing (not part of the short term Assured Tenancy Agreement) are they mine to remove when I leave the property?

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S Roberts 1st June, 2014 @ 20:45

We have new tenants and they are complaining that the integrated freezer is not working. We have let them know we will replace it with an alternative but will not be branf new. They have told us that they will not accept a second hand one and that they will be contacting their lawyer. Do we have a legal requirement to provide brand new appliances?

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Ingrid Beal 19th June, 2015 @ 13:16

My agent has sent me a copy of the Shorthold Tenancy Agreement signed by them and the tenant which includes a clause that the white goods have "gifted" to he tenant and should be removed at the end of the tenancy.
A copy of the agreement was not sent to me before signing and now that I have objected both agent and tenant refuse to remove this clause saying that I am legally bound to comply.
Is "gifting" a common practice?

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andy 7th December, 2015 @ 20:16

I've got a tenant who I gave a fridge freezer to in good faith, other wise i'd of thrown it. but he said no i'll have it, to cut a long story short, I've got to travel 180 miles to replace it because it's broken down and 180 miles back, and cost me about £200 for a new one, and probably fuse has gone, aint happy with him or management agents. no more white goods for me. and by the way there are sacked, months notice

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Steve 20th January, 2016 @ 12:02


I personally try to look after my tenants as much as possible, but I do rent mostly to families and professionals.

If you use companies like www.newlifeappliances.co.uk you can buy graded products at a fraction of the retail price. These products are essentially brand new and are just returns from large retailers. Everything I have bought that's still comes in the box has also included the manufacturers warranty.

They also sell refurbished items at a crazy cheap price with a year warranty that I've used in my one student letting. Again never with any issue.



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Marko 8th July, 2016 @ 08:59

White goods -as result of removal depreciation allowances - this opening up a whole new business of rental white goods

Tenants enjoy peace of mind choice of white goods supplied with (Repair and Replace policy) and undertake responsibility of repair.

Recently new tenancies are offered choice white goods with repair service though third party suppliers

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Matthew 4th August, 2017 @ 17:46

I am a tenant paying above what I should for this house. I have raised complaints a few times over our fridge freezer and it just broke causing us to have to throw out all food and the fridge is actually warm. In my eyes I think the landlord should replace the fridge freezer and the food as I have mentioned a few times previous to this

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Pat Egan 19th October, 2017 @ 20:41

My Tenant has given Notice and advised me that she is taking all the white goods that she has replaced. I had no idea that there was anything wrong with the original white good nor that she had replaced them. Can she take the replacements and leave void spaces in the kitchen.

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Craig Bickerstaffe 8th January, 2018 @ 22:22

Ive moved into a housing association property with my 2 daughters. My kitchen worktops are a bit scruffy and the kitchen has a built-in gas hob and a space for the integrated oven but no oven. There's no space or electric installation point for a stand-alone cooker which i would have been awarded with my other white goods. The housing association says that they aren't responsible for the integrated oven but because their hob is built into the worktop, and their kitchen has the space for the oven (and the council dont supply integrated ovens) surely it has to be their responsibility??

If its not, can I ask them to provide the electric installation point and remove the hob, so i can get my own cooker?

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pete 9th January, 2018 @ 07:52

Hi Craig,
My view is that under the Housing Act the housing association will have a responsibility to provide heat and hot water, not a cooker. For them to now arrange to take out the hob and make good to allow you to fit a cooker is probably a relatively expensive exercise for them and in all fairness why should they pay for to do that.
If you are insistent that you want a cooker you could offer to pay their costs of works or to arrange the works with approved contractors to undertake it again at your expense (although most landlords and particularly housing associations would likely shy away from this for the risk of the tenant arranging sub-standard works themselves).
If you are worried about costs you could find a seconds oven which usually is because they have a dent in the side from delivery issues. As the oven is built-in you won't see it once installed but you will make quite a cost saving.
Hope that helps

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Graham Nicholson 2nd August, 2018 @ 19:07

I am a tenant I got white goods when I moved can take them with me to my new flat

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Andrea Borman 11th December, 2018 @ 19:22

I am looking for rented unfurnished accommodation( I am currently in a Council flat.) But I have found that most unfurnished flats already have white furniture provided by the landlord. Which I don't want because I have my own Fridge Freezer and washing machine. And want to take them with me rather than use someone elses.

But when I asked the letting agent if I could either have the landlords fridge freezer taken away myself so I can put my own in they said NO I cannot. Which I am very upset about, and one of the flats they showed me had a very old and dirty fridge freezer. So I asked if I took the flat if they would replace it they said NO. So I then asked if I would be allowed to buy my own and have the LL's Fridge taken away and replaced with my own, they also said NO I am not allowed to do that either.

Which is not fair as I don't see why I cannot bring mine or buy my own Fridge freezer or washing machine if I don't like the one that's in there. As I would be happy to be responsible for it myself since they are both mine and it would be easier for the landlord.
Since the white furniture would be my own.
But none of the letting agents I spoke to on the flats I viewed will let me.

I have just bought a new washing machine for £600 and I want to take it with me to my new flat not leave it behind. As it would only be taken away by the Council anyway. In a Council flat we are allowed to decorate and have our own furniture including our own fridges Freezers, cookers and washing machine.

But it seems that in private flats most landlords don't allow that. Even though the flats come unfurnished most of them have already got Fridge Freezers and washing machines in them and they won't let me change them.
So I don't know what to do about this. As I really want to take my own white furniture with not have to use the landlords which might not be working properly. And I don't see why I should have to when I have got my own.
I am very upset about this.
Andrea Borman.

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Ann 7th October, 2019 @ 05:02

I've moved in to a flat and it has not got a electricity cooker point or gas, I was just wondering if I have pay for a election to put one in myself or the landlord.

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David Phypers 16th November, 2019 @ 11:05

I've recently had to replace fitted electric ovens in a fitted kitchen. The 'landlord' (the Church of England Pensions Board) says these count as white goods and they are therefore my responsibility, even though it would be impractical to take the new ovens (and a fitted fridge and a fitted freezer) with us should we leave. There is nothing in my original agreement which clarifies this. Your comments, please.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 16th November, 2019 @ 11:09

Are you referring to a private residential property? If so, why was it your responsibility to replace the electric ovens in the first place?

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Pauline 19th February, 2020 @ 00:14

Thankyou. I live in Australia and tenant in UK. Struggling to get exact dimensions to replace old integrated washing machine for current tenant, almost given up. Will persevere. All appliances covered for repair under British Gas Homecare policy which is excellent but sometimes things are just old.

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Peter 16th August, 2020 @ 12:28

What if the white goods are built in to a fitted kitchen? I am thinking of letting out my second home and when I had the kitchen refurbished we had fitted fridge, freezer and dishwasher installed. If one of them needs replacing who has to do it - and who does it then belong to? We are in England.

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Pete 16th August, 2020 @ 13:40

Firstly, a landlord cannot write themselves out their legal obligations under the Landlord and Tenant Act (1985 - mainly section 11 - Google it!). However, the essence is:
The landlord must keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling house and keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling house for the supply of water, gas, electricity, sanitation, space heating, and heating water.

You are not obligated to provide anything else. But, under an English residential tenancy, unless the tenancy contract says that the tenant is liable for, in this instance, other appliances than those covered above, and that were in the property when you let it to them, then you will remain liable for their repair /replacement should they go wrong.

You can (try to) reclaim the costs of repair or replacement if you can PROVE that it broke as a result of actions or inactions of the tenant.

But you are not able to claim for betterment, ie. you end up with a better machine than you had prior to the incident.

All appliances have lifespans and, for whatever reason, in a rental property those lifespans are considered shorter than in perhaps your own home. The deposit schemes have tables of example expected lifespans of appliances in tenanted properties.

IMO if the appliances are integrated into the kitchen, the landlord should stand by them if they go wrong (subject to seeking the costs from the tenant if they've caused the fault).

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Peter 16th August, 2020 @ 14:18


Thanks very much, but I am now a bit confused.

"You are not obligated to provide anything else. But, under an English residential tenancy, unless the tenancy contract says that the tenant is liable for, in this instance, other appliances than those covered above, and that were in the property when you let it to them, then you will remain liable for their repair /replacement should they go wrong."

I get that - and in fact I think it would be unfair anyway to make a tenant responsible for anything actually fitted into the units, so I completely agree with your opinion. But at the start of this thread it says,

"Who is responsible for repairing white goods?

This is a bit of a misunderstood area, as a lot of people think that if landlords supply the goods, then they also become responsible for repairs by default. When actually, that’s not the case, as it’s made very clear that White goods do not form part of the landlords repairing/maintenance obligations under section 11, Landlord & Tenant Act 1985.

It should state in the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement who is responsible for repairing White goods."

For me the questions is academic, but I am now confused as to whether a landlord is obliged to repair white goods supplied - or not.

Guest Avatar
Pete 16th August, 2020 @ 15:01

Peter, Sorry now you're confusing me.

'It should state in the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement who is responsible for repairing White goods.'
Yes, it should. but if it doesn't and you as landlord provided the appliances with the property in return for receipt of rent, then it is the landlord who is liable.

In the same way that if you provide a working swimming pool with the property as part of the rent and the pool is then not working because the pump breaks, it would be the landlords responsibility to repair it.

Or are you suggesting that the tenant could be responsible for repairing white goods and then recoup the costs from the landlord ?

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 16th August, 2020 @ 15:19

Apologies, I should have clarified in the original post.

But yes, Pete is correct, "if it doesn't and you as landlord provided the appliances with the property in return for receipt of rent, then it is the landlord who is liable."

Obviously, in either case, tenants shouldn't be held responsible for wear and tear, or technical faults.

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Peter 16th August, 2020 @ 15:28

What an incredibly helpful blog. Thanks so much. Just one more query if someone can help. I want to let my secind home. It contains some furniture upstairs (2 large chest of drawers and a huge wardrobe) that to remove them I would need to remove windows. If a prospective tenant was agreeable could I leave them their use without it becoming a furnished let? It did occur to me that I could let the house "completely unfurnished" then add an addendum to the leave hiring each said items to the tenant for 1p a year. If such a device was needed.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 16th August, 2020 @ 15:32

I would personally avoid leaving behind any furniture, it potentially adds unnecessary complications, and for nothing (i.e. you won't get more rent).

In my opinion, either "gift" it to the tenants (if they want it, that is) - and put it in writing - which means they can do as they please with them, and it's completely their responsibility.

Or, remove the items from the property.

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Chris 24th March, 2021 @ 14:11

Washing Machine.
Just finished a refurb after the last tenants left. Deliberately marketed without white goods included, to avoid the hassle. However, there is a washing machine, a good one (AEG; I originally bought 2nd hand, in excellent condition, but, a few years old now).
I marketed the house on the condition that the washing machine would not be included, but was available for sale for a nominal £1. Didn’t matter to the re-letting - the market’s so boyant, new tenants were found within a few days of going to market, for a good price (at least, to me).
Now I’m wondering though – it’s their right to take the washer if they left after say, 6 months. So am I doing the right thing?
And no, I don’t yet know if they already have their own washer so would want me to take it away anyway!

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Pete 24th March, 2021 @ 15:42

Chris, I would say that if you're selling it to them for £1, it will belong to them and what they do with it is up to them. Yes, if they leave after 1 month /6 months /6 years, they would then be able to take it with them.
The law would take a dim view if you sold it to them for £1 on the basis that they had to sell it back to you at the end of the tenancy for £1

As an aside, even if you're selling the appliance to them, you will need to ensure that it is safe (the same as if AO or Currys was selling an appliance to them).

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Chris 24th March, 2021 @ 16:17

Hi –
Yeah, I get that. The question wasn’t about forcing them to resell it back, it was more along the lines of should I include it in the first place?

Sell it to them for £1 – it’s then no longer my problem, don’t care if it goes wrong etc (and yes, at present it works well, is perfectly safe). But on the negative, if they move out in 6 mths, does my place suddenly become less marketable because they’ve taken it away and the next tenants would have to buy one?

In other words, have I effectively ‘given away’ a perfectly good washer? And the next tenants after that would have to shift their own one in, which also has implications for paintwork damage, tenants not knowing which pipe is which…

So, general consensus. Provide a washer or not? (BTW, the place is otherwise totally unfurnished).

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Pete 24th March, 2021 @ 16:30

Apologies, I misunderstood.
From my experience and conversations with tenants, the rental market does seem to vary from area to area. Around here (more west country) it is exceptional for rentals to include anything other than a cooker/oven/hob (unless the other appliances are already integrated).
However, I understand that further south and east (I don't know experience anywhere else) the provision of white goods is generally expected by tenants.
I personally, don't recommend or provide white goods, they just add to your liabilities not only for repair but also for electrical safety testing, etc.
I think times have also moved on. 10-15 years ago purchasing a full set of white was quite an expense for tenants, but now, prices of new goods has reduced (so has reliability imo) but also with AO, ebay, gumtree, the prices are a lot lower for tenants to source their own - and something with features that they value.
In summary, I would say that providing white goods doesn't add to the rent per month and, unless you are targeting new renters or new households, it rarely adds to the appeal.

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Bret B 10th November, 2021 @ 17:10

I have an apartment that I rent including stove/oven, refrigerator and dishwasher. I don't know my rights exactly but as a landlord who wants happy tenants I take responsibility for repair or replacement when they go down. There is an older washing machine in the apartment that was left by another tenant that is in working order. When I let the apartment I put in writing in the lease that the washing machine is there as a convenience and I am in no way liable if it stops working. I also offer to remove the machine if the new tenant does not want it there. This arrangement has worked fine so far (maybe 5 to 10 years) but there have been no problems with the appliance. I think the next time the apartment turns over I will just remove the washing machine to avoid a problem as the appliance gets older, to avoid a problem in the future. .
I've read a few people above to just replace the items with used appliances. Having been a landlord for about 25 years and have purchased a number of appliances, used and new, I would say this is not usually a worth while idea. Most used appliances I have purchased don't last long and you end up with the same problem soon after the replacement. Don't be cheap, just replace with new appliances and get on with your life. Sometimes you can save a few bucks with the scratch and dent stuff but even that isn't worth it sometimes.

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Ray 6th December, 2021 @ 12:01

I rented a property for 15 years during that time the washing machine broke down l informed the landlady but she did not offer to replace it so l bought a new one, but now l am moving out she is claiming the new machine, saying that it was my responsibility to replace the old one.
We did not have a tenancy contract.

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David doyle 13th July, 2022 @ 16:52

Hi I live in a private rented property I use a table top dishwasher but my landlord has told me to remove it do I have to it's not caused any damage ect I've not drilled any holes pipe just goes in through the cupboard door

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 13th July, 2022 @ 19:09

Hi David,

Hmm, did your landlord give any particular reason(s) for why it has to be removed?

Unless it's causing damage and/or safety concerns, I can't imagine he/she can actually force you to remove it.

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Sue 20th August, 2022 @ 06:58

We rented our flat out with white goods and now need the tenants to vacate the flat. They tell us they replaced our white goods,a washing machine and a fridge for their own and disposed of them without notifying us. Can we take this from their deposit to replace these items.

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Paul 20th August, 2022 @ 10:10

Assuming an AST tenancy, you will not be able to claim new for old because of betterment. You have to allow for fair wear and tear, with consideration of the age and condition of the item at the tenancy commencement, the expected lifespan of the item, and the number /type of occupiers that you agreed to in the tenancy, i.e. a family of 4 in a 5 year tenancy with a washing machine that was already 6 years old at commencement, will likely be considered to have zero compensatory value.

Depending on the criteria above, you will likely be able to claim for something but not a lot I'm afraid.

















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