Water damage sink unit


I need some advice my tenant has moved out and has left the kitchen sink unit in a mess. When I aquired the property the kitchen sink unit door had a little bubble in it from water damage but now it has got alot worse so much so that the door is even more unsightly. Can i charge my tenant for water damage or careless use if the unit was slightly damaged when i aquired it?


If you can prove that there is damage beyond fair wear and tear then yes, you could charge for the loss in value of the original unit. Prove is the operative word there and requires evidence of the condition of the unit at the start and end of the tenancy. If you don’t have that, you will have to just wing it and hope they pay.

Thanks very much David122 very clear

I’m going to disagree. From the OP it sounds like you knew there was damage, possibly a leak (resulting in a water bubble in the door) and it wasn’t investigated or fixed. I’m assuming the door has laminate film coating and this is what is lifting away. The same thing happens to laminate on doors which are next to the oven, nothing prevents this, it’s just not fit for purpose.

Correct me if I’m wrong with my above assumption but if I’m not, I don’t see how any further damage from this water problem could be the tenants responsibility. If you had no idea about this leak/damage beforehand and your tenant never told you then it would be a different story.

I certainly wouldn’t advise winging things and hoping your tenant pays for something you aren’t sure they are responsible for. That’s not fair.

1 Like

Thanks Caitlyn yes I think there was slight damage from my previous tenant but I naively didnt think anything of it and didnt think it would get as bad as it has done. There wasnt time between one tenant moving out and the other tenant moving in to do a decent repair. I assume once water has got in it can keep getting in but I’m just wondering is there grounds for not respecting the property upkeep wize?

Hi Jenny,
Totally get the upkeep thing, tenant’s have to keep things clean and report maintenance problems as they arise.

The difficulty here is that you knew about the problem and didn’t get it fixed regardless (the reasons for why are irrelevant unless it wasn’t fixed because the tenant refused entry which I’m assuming isn’t the case). So it’s difficult to see how any damage resulting from this could be the tenants responsibility. If they were to fix the leak themselves to prevent further damage then they’d be in breach of their AST (assuming you don’t allow work done without consent).

I suppose you could try and get your tenant to pay for it on the grounds they didn’t remind you to fix it but as I say, I wouldn’t advise that.

If you’ve got any more information about this situation or why you think the tenant is responsible I’ll happily re-advise. However I’m not a litagator so anything I say is from my experience and interpretation of the law.

Hi Jenny,
you probably won’t like this but it is your fault entirely, you knew there was a problem and chose to ignore it, once water has got under the skin there is only one course of action and that is to replace the door.
Personally I would just change the door for as little as they cost, I certainly wouldn’t bother chasing the previous tenant because you won’t win.
Try preventative maintenance it saves you money.

1 Like

When you did inspections did you not notice the damage getting worse?

The tenant should have said something too as she is living there and must have noticed the escalating damage, so should have said even if only to cover her own back.

Ultimately, Caitlin6 probably had a good point.

Hi Caitlyn. I’m not a very experienced landlord so all this advice and guidance has been very helpful thank you




1 Like

Hi Tony9

Like I said to caitlyn I was naive and thought it wouldn’t get any worse as I havent had much experience to date of being a landlord or infact water damage

1 Like

No problem Jenny. There’s lots of resources online and on this site to help you familiarise yourself. I’d suggest you spend a little while reading a few of these threads, they are (usually!) very insightful.

Jenny, this is a dangerous place for an inexperienced landlord. You could lose a lot of money or worse from the most trivial of administrative errors. I would suggest you join the NRLA and undertake their foundation training if you haven’t already.

Hi Jenny,
Just another suggestion for you, if you cannot find a match for the door, strip off all the skin (which normally comes off very easy once water is in there), find your self a local company that sprays wood take the damaged door and another door for colour sample and there you go “job done”.

Hi Mr T

Yes the damage was getting worse when I inspected it. It’s the not telling me and letting it get alot worse that I am struggling with.

All of this has been very helpful thank you

1 Like

Jenny you might struggle with it less if you accept it was you who let it get worse. And I say that with much kindness. Mistakes happen but now you can move forward and use all these ideas and suggestions so you don’t get in to this space again.
All the best to you!

Thanks Caitlyn yes I think you are right and I need to except it. The unit wasnt new in the flat anyway



1 Like

Hi Jenny,

It’s all a learning curve and you have done well to find this site so early on!

The vast majority of tenants do not look after a rented property as they would if they owned it so always expect some damage.

Have you discovered if there is a leak/problem with the sink? Might be worth establishing if that is the case.

If there isn’t and it’s the tenants who have been slopping water everywhere without wiping it up then I would think they should be responsible. In theory anyway. If the unit was already damaged though, and has been installed for some length of time, it would be doubtful the Deposit Service would award in your favour.

If there is no reason for the water damage that is the landlords responsibility to fix, now you know it to be a potential problem, with the next tenants point out to them that you expect them to ensure the area is dry after every use. Make sure you have photographic and written evidence in the inventory.

We found too that tenants often do not report things they should. Especially if it is something that is not actually causing them any inconvenience.

Therefore, maybe consider doing inspections more often. If you cannot do so in the current climate, ask them to video the whole place.

Good luck with it all.
Ms. T

Thanks Ms T that’s very reassuring. This is same site I advertise my flat on and yes I’m so pleased I’ve found it and I get some good advice from it.

Yes I have photographic evidence but the unit was old already so with them potentially being careless, as they left the place in a state anyway, then the unit got worse.

Thanks for the good luck



My take on things is that there is a lot of sense spoken in here. The way I would manage this is to be honest with myself. Do I have any blame in this? If the answer is yes, then I take the hit.

Now for a solution. There’s companies out there that make bespoke doors and can match the colour to the level that makes it not noticeable to the untrained eye. For a single door, its not always that pricey either. That said, I often just replace the lot with a new set in a colour thats easily replaceable in parts for the future. I get mine from a place that the trade use. Small place in the heart of Wigan. They deliver nationally I believe. Last project was on a 2 bed flat kitchen. I got change out of £350 for a full set of doors. In future, if there’s an issue, its an email repeat order and a single door replacement. Job done.

1 Like