The landlord claimed the alleged acid damage appeared in the form of streaking on the floor tiles in the bathroom, but the tenants said the streaking was already there when they moved in in 2017.
Since the landlord did not have any evidence to the contrary, his claim was rejected by the Rental Disputes Settlement Committee. If he had had documentation of how the tiles looked before the rabbits moved in, things might have turned out differently.
Work is fixed in one day
It is clear that the couple moved in on January 27, but that does not exempt them from paying rent for the remainder of the lease. The couple initially did not object to that either.
The question was whether or not the landlord had taken the property for use, whether the work done was to renovate or correct the damage, and whether the couple had been released from payment obligations for the remaining rental period.
It turned out that the work carried out was not large-scale. A valve was installed between the two chambers. Two ovens were installed and some nail holes were plastered. The shower cubicle was cleaned and a fan was installed in the technical room. An electric car charger was also installed, but it was outside.
As the work on the interior was of a modest nature, and could generally be well carried out in one working day, the Commission considered that the owner had not taken the property for use.
The Committee also believes that the work undertaken appears to be loss mitigation measures. This means the home can be rented out more quickly, and installing an electric car charger makes the home more attractive to new renters.
Must be paid with interest
The committee concluded that tenants must pay three months’ rent, until a new tenant moves in – a total of NOK 43,500.
The lease also stipulates that the tenant must have an electricity agreement for the entire rental period, even if they do not live there, which means that they also have to cover the internet rent of NOK 356 for the remaining rental period. They did not have to pay for the electricity used by the owner.
The couple also had to pay NOK 1,000 in discretionary compensation for the improvements made by the homeowner through his own efforts.
The deadline to settle the matter with the landlord was 5 October, and with interest payments delayed until this date, the total bill to the tenants ended up at NOK 47,4000.
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