Problem with letting agent and tradesmen

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    Problem with letting agent and tradesmen

    Hello,
    I'm a fairly novice landlord with one property, in need of a bit of advice.
    Whist on holiday, I got a call from the agent to say the boiler at my property wasn't working and should they send a gas man to repair.
    I agreed, then received a message to say it was the the pump that wasn't working. I agreed a repair.
    I got a second message to say the 3 port valve wasn't working. I agreed a second repair.
    I then got a third message to say that the roof was leaking onto the electrics and this is why the heating system wasn't working. The heating components are in the loft.The gas man left the heating system not working but charged me £240 which was deducted from my rental income by the agent.
    The agent suggested an electrician and a roofer.

    I agreed to the roofer visiting. He charged me £45 for the inspection and told me that roofing vents were in the wrong place the under felt needed replacing. The quote was £2500.

    When I returned home, I got another gas man to look at the problem. He could see no signs of water in any electrics and found and repaired the fault in the boiler. He feels it unlikely the pump and valve would also have gone.

    Another roofer has been and can find no fault with the roof at all, or any signs of water ingress.

    This is not the first time, my agent has sent out tradesman who I have been unhappy with. They previously sent an electrician who said that the wiring was not suitable. I had a second electrician, who came recommended, who said there was no problems with it.

    I am unhappy with the gas man, the roofer and the letting agent. Could you advise, who is actually at fault here. Do I take this up with the tradesman, or the letting agent? I know I have no proof that the pump and valve weren't working, but it seems highly unlikely.
    Am I also right to contact the agent about this for seeming to deal with less than competent tradesmen. I would ideally like to change my agent but don't want to lose my tenant. He has been in the property 4 years.
    Any advice would be welcome.Thank you.

    #2
    It is late and I'll leave deliberations over responsibility re the repair issues till tomorrow, however, you need to understand that you are the landlord and the tenant is your tenant. The tenancy contract is between you and the tenant; the agent merely acts on your behalf, upon your instructions. Sacking the agent would have zero effect on the tenancy - it wouldn't affect it in any way or 'lose' you the tenant.

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      #3
      The problem of agents instructing incompetent or over-priced tradesmen is a common one. One often suspects collusion, but that is difficult to prove.

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        #4
        I suspect the agent may be getting a substantive kick back from the tradesmen and repairs.

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          #5
          You are able to either instruct your agent who he should call for specific repairs; or
          When told 'the roof is leaking', specify which roofer you want to attend - or appoint your own.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
            The problem of agents instructing incompetent or over-priced tradesmen is a common one. One often suspects collusion, but that is difficult to prove.
            Under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations an agent has a common law duty of care to ensure any tradesmen he sends are competent, qualified, insured, and follow Health & Safety Regulations. Remember the agent who was fined £70K earlier this year for not following this procedure? Although the circumstances were a little different, it boils down to the same thing ultimately.

            You could ask for evidence of the above, and I would say the agent couldn't produce it.
            The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

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