Tenant refusing to pay for damage

We had a leak from upstairs in the flat that I rent out. It has taken one month for the ceiling to dry but it is now ready for repairs which we are getting done this week. The tenant has now informed us she is allergic to paint fumes so will be moving out of the property while works are being done and is demanding payment for this.

Additionally, the other day she broke the induction hob (cracked it so it can’t be used currently). We advised that as per the contract she was liable for making good any damage and pointed her in the right direction for getting a new hob. She is now refusing to pay for repairs ( stating that the accident happened because of a dehumidifier which we put in the kitchen to dry out the leak). She has admitted liability via message to us.

We have almost reached the 4month stage and will be handing her notice at this point as she has been difficult from day one. But where do we stand here?


Firstly, you haven’t stated occupation type, or tenancy type or paint type or location etc so my answer is based on the limited data in the question.

  1. Use water based paint and a dehumidifier if necessary, if large are effected then you may propose to lower the rent a little for the inconvenience in attempt to mitigate the situation and/or ask for a doctors note stating allergy and then pay for b&b for the night of rent deduction as its not the tenants fault you had a leak.

  2. breakages are deductible from deposit monies held or you can commence proceedings for recovery, however my advise would be to once again, mitigate, maybe offer a 50/50 deal on the cost of the hob or take it on the chin would be the best advise. If however she has defiantly admitted liability then use this fact as levy to mitigate the whole issue/s as a one hit deal.

  3. I would advise against issuing a notice as it seems you would be issuing it under what would be perceived as a Revenge Eviction and considering you have had repairs to do then this can bite you in the rear end if the tenant learns or knows their rights and decides to be vexatious, you could end up in Court as a worse case situation if not done at the correct time etc.

I hope this helps


You can use eco (and more health) friendly (low VOC) paint that doesn’t smell and have so many toxins in.

Andrew has also raised some good points, and if you have everything documented, particularly her initial admittance of her damage to the hob, then she doesn’t really have a leg to stand on and you can use this to try and ensure she pays for/makes good the damage. It will be in the tenancy agreement that she signed that she is responsible for the cost of any damage she causes, and if she refuses to accept this, then she has contravened the agreement and you can use this point (and anything else she’s contravened) to give her notice. If everything is fully documented including your efforts to accommodate her and her health requirements as well as possible during this time of damage and repairs - that you are competently and willingly carrying out - then I don’t see how this could be classed as a revenge eviction.

I would not use any of her deposit money at this point in case she creates further damage/costs that you need it for. If you do give her notice (which I would also be tempted to do if she’s been a pain from the start), and she hasn’t paid for/rectified the hob before leaving then take the hob money and anything else she owes from the deposit at the end.

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