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I've been renting an apartment since August 2023, and recently, I've come across some damage on one side of the cupboards near the oven. Here are a couple of images for reference:

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I'm curious about the possible causes of this damage and would appreciate any insights or suggestions on how to fix it. My main concern is ensuring that I address the issue before moving out, so I don't face any charges from the landlord. Any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.

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That damage is the result of heat from the oven and not any misuse or negligence by you.

You responsibility is to notify the landlord only. An attempt to repair may be looked at as an attempt to cover up damage that you had done.

Take pictures with a time stamp and let the landlord know what you have seen. Then if they choose to do nothing you have proof that you alerted them to the situation. Do not modify anything, or you then are responsible for any issues.

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Looks like heat damage from the oven. The drawer front looks like a vinyl wrapped panel, so the plastic coating has just gotten too hot. If you've used the oven normally, then it's perhaps fair wear and tear. The drawer front must have gotten fairly hot for it to bubble like that which might mean that the door seal on the oven isn't great. The cause needs addressing first before trying fix the drawer front, otherwise it's just going to happen again. Increasing the gap between the drawer and the oven will help.

If I was the landlord I'd want to know so I could stop it getting worse, or so that I could try and get a new panel before they were discontinued.

I think it would be difficult to repair but if a replacement can't be found, it might be possible to swap the panel with another one where the damage is less obvious, against a wall for example. An alternative would be to edge the drawer front in something heat resistant, like an aluminium strip.

Updated to add: I think I can see a small opening in the centre of the damaged area on the oven casing. That might be a hot air vent; the air is pushed out of there and forced along the edge of the drawer. It might be instructive to find the fitting instructions for that oven and check the clearances / advice notes for the vents because the oven may have been fitted incorrectly. That would reduce your culpability here. Check the right hand side for damage too.

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  • More than likely it is a conversion varnish and not vinyl. Also, it is on the pull side so moving it to a different location is just going to move the problem. I do agree with you on looking for the required clearances though as it would likely limit the OP liability.
    – matt.
    Jan 23 at 13:53
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Check the rubber seal on the oven door around the damaged area. It may have developed cracks, breaks or otherwise letting the heat out. I had my cabinet browned because of faulty rubber seal before.
Pull on it lightly to see if it opens up in cracks.

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