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Deposit return? - unreported roof leak costing dearly to repair

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Hello lovely people,

An otherwise good tenant in a small commercial space left last week leaving a costly ceiling repair for me to sort out. He reported the leak only a week before leaving as he'd agreed I could show the unit to a prospective tenant. He said it had been leaking for "about a month". The roof was repaired two days later. Turns out the damp has spread over most of the ceiling and it's meant a replacement, costing me £500 and days of my time to fix.

On a standard ast, with £300 deposit.

I'm new to this situation being a relatively new landlord and being newly educated in win-win deals really want to get this right!

I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts! Thanks. Mike

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Hi - this could be a tricky one to enforce on an AST as it would be very difficult to prove to the deposit arbiter that the tenant could have seen the leak sooner and  willfully avoided informing you.  For the leak to manifest itself into the room could take time and water can spread across a long distances without leaking through and the damage already done.  As landlord you are responsible for the fabric of the building and have you inspected it regularly?  If you have been inspecting it, were the inspections with a view to keeping an eye on the the condition of the fabric of the building or just checking the tenant was keeping the insides in generally good order?


I also note that you say the property was commercial on a standard AST - if you took a deposit, did you register it with one of the deposit companies?  I am not a commercial specialist but on the face of it it looks a bit hybrid but I think that the AST would require you adhere to 2004 HA deposit criteria - certainly worthy of checking.

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