Checking chattels

Question from Olivia updated on 4th February 2015:

Hi, we signed a fixed term tenancy agreement for a property that is not completely built yet. The landlords settled the property the day before we signed our agreement. I have two questions. The house at the time of viewing was still being built and the bedrooms had blinds but the lounge didn't. On the chattels list in our agreement 'blinds' is ticked. Are the landlords required to have blinds on all the windows? The second question, there was a spa pool on one of the outside decks at the time of viewing. Realising that it is not listed on the agreement we have asked about whether it is staying or not. We have been informed that it is staying but that we may not use it. Can the landlords leave something right in the middle of a deck that is not for our use? Who is responsible for ensuring that it is kept clean and tidy and are we responsible for any damage caused to it? Many thanks, Olivia.

Our expert Juliet Robinson responded:

Your tenancy agreement is precisely that – an agreement. If you saw some blinds in the property at the time of viewing, it is reasonable to expect that they would be included in the tenancy. The fact that “blinds” is ticked in the agreement does not necessarily indicate that the landlord would supply blinds in all windows. The spa pool is not listed on the agreement, and so is not part of the tenancy. Whether it was intended that the pool remain or be removed depends on any prior discussion that you may have had with the landlord. If it is not part of the tenancy you do not have to maintain it. You are responsible only for damage that you or your visitors cause. It pays to have all these points understood before you sign the tenancy agreement.

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