Repairs and compensation

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    Repairs and compensation

    My tenants advised me approx 4 weeks ago that the oven was making a noise. I arranged for someone to take a look one evening and it was decided I would replace the oven rather than get it fixed as it was quite old. I ordered the oven and it was delivered just over 2 weeks after the initial problem was reported - on a Saturday. Unfortunately due to a badly positioned gas pipe the oven wouldn't fit and so was taken away. I arranged for someone to go back and check what could be done. I then 3 weeks speaking to different companies about getting an oven to fit in the space but it appears this isn't going to be possible. I then advised the tenant that the gas pipe would need to be moved by a gas engineer and allowed them to arrange a time that suited them. Having made the appointment themselves they are now saying they are not prepared to take any time of work to wait for the engineer. They also didn't take the first available appointment from the gas engineer which but chose one over a week later. My first question is do they have a responsibility to be there to allow access?

    Additionally they now claim they have spent over £300 on takeaway food in the 5 weeks they have been without an oven and are asking for some level compensation in the form of discounted rent. The grill on the oven still works, the gas hob still works and there is a fully functioning microwave at the property. They also told me there was no rush as they don't really use the oven anyway! So my second question is, am I obliged to reimburse them some of this money? Or have I met my obligations as there were a variety of other cooking appliances available?

    Any advice would be helpful. Thanks

    #2
    £300 on takeaway food in a month?... No. You are not obliged to and I think should certainly not reimburse them for that. They could've got an old microwave for a tenner to do the same job.

    I'd probably get annoyed if my Ll took a month to fix an oven but you're saying it couldn't fit so I am guessing that's a good enough explanation. On the other hand, there's little you can do if they don't allow access to the property but if that's the case they can't really complain about anything. It may be a good idea to ask them to let the engineer in yourself so they don't have to take time off work. I think that's more reasonable than to expect them to physically be there during repairs.

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      #3
      Originally posted by Rpax View Post
      The grill on the oven still works, the gas hob still works and there is a fully functioning microwave at the property
      Sorry, I missed this part. Then you most certainly have no obligation to reimburse them. This is extremely unlikely to escalate IMO but if it does, I don't see how a judge would find their demands reasonable.

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        #4
        No compensation at all. or perhaps 50p/day or so.

        If they even slightly attempt to push the issue, you need to get rid of them -- trouble is predicted.

        Tell them you will give the engineer the key if they cannot be there, but you still need to give them notice of entry and they need to give permission. If no permission to enter then the absent oven will remain.

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          #5
          £300?! What did they eat?

          Did Gordon Ramsey cook it and personally deliver it to them! My partner and I sometime have a cheeky takeaway and we end up spending £25 per week tops!

          Even then you can use other means, hob, microwave, grill, kettle! It’s not ideal but it sounds like they’re taking the Micky!

          The only thing I would offer is to allow the repairmen, plumbers in yourself, if the tenants don’t want to take any time off work. But obviously you will have to arrange that with the tenants, to let them know what’s going on.

          My view is things go wrong whether you’re a tenant or homeowner, it sounds like you’re doing as much as you can to put things right, and it’s no ones fault that it’s taking longer than expected to fix. I would not compensate them for anything, it’s just something that is inconvenient that happens from time to time.

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            #6
            They are not entitled to compensation as long as you made appointments and arranged repairs promptly.

            However to keep a relatively good relationship with tenant, I would ask for receipts for the takeaway as proof of expenditure and offer to pay 1/3 as a good will gesture.

            Chances are they are not keeping receipts and there for what you have to pay will be significantly lower, also allowing you to keep a good relationship with the tenants.

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              #7
              The work is the responsibility of the landlord and the landlord should attend to allow the workmen access if the tenant can't or won't.
              There's no obligation on the tenant to take time off work to do the landlord's job for them.

              On the other hand, most people won't want people in their home while they're not there.

              I wouldn't offer any compensation, but I'd probably send them a cheque as an apology for the inconvenience.
              I think that's possibly over-generous, but it keeps things civil.
              And the cheque takes away any negotiation which is usually negative for both sides.
              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).

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
                Tell them you will give the engineer the key if they cannot be there
                I would not be happy having someone I do not know being given a key to my home.

                I always give my tenants the options of being there or me chaperoning the work man.

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                  #9
                  £300 over five weeks works out at a little under £10 per day. You said “tenants” (plural), so if we assume there are two tenants, that’s under £5 per person per day. Not outrageous for takeaway food. But given they had a grill, hob and microwave, and they say they don’t even use the oven that much, it seems that they didn’t need to buy that much takeaway food. And even if they did, the entire cost of the takeaway food cannot be considered to be an extra expense (since they would have had to buy some food anyway). So I think they’re trying it on a bit.

                  That said, five weeks without a working oven is a long time. Would it have been possible for the oven to be repaired rather than replaced? I assume a repair would have taken less time because the fitting problems wouldn’t have arisen.

                  Other people have answered better than I could on access.

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                    #10
                    I managed with gas hob & microwave for over 12 months No problem. Not ideal but sometimes need must 5 weeks a doddle. Workman arnt always available straight away especially if it's a small job. Give them a cheque say enough for a couple of takeaways as a gesture of goodwill but it could have been yourself in the same position & you would just get on with it.

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                      #11
                      We lived with a two-ring electric hob (then one failed) and a £49 oven for 3 months.

                      Send them £12:50 cheque "as a gesture of goodwill" (wording important). Then s21
                      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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