Case Study 3: Mutual exchange and alterations

The resident complained about the outstanding repairs at her property at the point of mutual exchange and alterations to her property by the previous occupant. The previous occupant had undertaken a number of unauthorised improvements which the landlord categorised as non-standard repairs and hence refused to accept responsibility for them.  

However, the landlord failed to acknowledge the repairs that remained its responsibility under the section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act.  In addition, once it had fully inspected the property it delayed in carrying out the repairs and did not make adequate arrangements for dealing with the alterations carried out by the previous resident.

The landlord was ordered to pay £300 compensation for distress and inconvenience resulting from the maladministration.  In addition, the landlord was required to review its staff’s approach to inspection of properties at the point of mutual exchange and amended its compensation policy to reflect the considerations to be made if there are outstanding repairs at the time of a mutual exchange.