rip off contractor send out by letting agent.

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    rip off contractor send out by letting agent.

    Hopefully I can keep a long & boring story short....

    My tenants reported an issue with a leaking washing machine while I was away on holiday, the letting agent got in contact and asked if I was happy to approve one of their contractors being sent out - at this point I agreed making the stupid assuming it an appliance engineer being sent and not one of my preferred contractors (plumbers, electricians and handymen that I provided the details of to the agent).... Before anyone was booked in to go to the property I made it clear to the agent if the problem was any more than a loose hose the contractor was to contact me directly, in effect I thought I was approving one hours work.

    The agent sent a plumber and the resulting bill is for 3 hours + materials and includes replacing a sink waste, replacing water pipes under the sink, removing dead legs on pipe work (that I know didn't exist as a legionella assessor had his head under the sink looking for that type of thing only a couple of months ago!)..... Basically they felt they had an open tab and went to town, despite my instructions otherwise.

    The unfortunate part is the agents paid the bill before they sent me a copy of it.... I don't think they even looked at the bill, but just passed it over to their accounts department.

    The poor girl at the letting agent has probably had a rubbish day dealing with me while shes been going back and forward to the boss of the plumbing company but shes not getting much past 'they were there 3 hours and to basically bugger off because the bill has been paid'' with a refusal to provide a signed job sheet and a refusal to break down the material bill.

    I know at best it's a couple of hours labor being disputed but I really grudge being robbed so am happy to put more effort into it than it is worth.... I'm sure I'm not the first person this has happened to so any advice on any potential steps for recourse would be appreciated....

    The only thing I can think of is to leave an honest review of the plumber everywhere relevant....

    I think I'd be finding a new letting agent in future.
    To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.


      Originally posted by JK0 View Post
      I think I'd be finding a new letting agent in future.
      My gut feeling is that this could have happened with pretty much every letting agent? So better the devil you know! I'd also prefer to deal with this as an individual issue with the current agent, but I've got literally no knowledge of any best practices for letting agents managing 3rd part contractors......


        Manage the property yourself. We do this with ours. Providing you have your own tradesmen on whom you can call, being 2000 miles away isn't a problem.


          Who is charging you for the work?

          If it's the letting agent charging you having paid the plumber already, dispute the invoice from the letting agent.
          I appreciate that they've probably deducted the cost from the rent that they pass on, but that's not the end of the issue.
          The cost on the remittance advice is essentially an invoice, and you don't agree with it.

          You authorised work to the point of fixing a loose hose.
          The relationship with the plumber is a problem for the agent - they can obviously agree things on your behalf, but I'd bet that they didn't.

          At the very least I'd want to see the invoice from the plumber and an assurance that there was no "rebate" paid by the plumber or any separate "discount".

          Maybe try and settle for a few future month's fees to be zeroed as compensation?
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


            I would make a formal complaint to the agent. If they are using one of their approved contractors, they should be able to obtain further details of the work carried out by the contractor. You can ask the agent what steps they took to verify that the invoice was valid before authorising it for payment. You can say that you did not authorise the work to be carried out and refer them to your instructions (hopefully it was in writing but a telephone call may suffice if you can state a name and a time)


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