Any obligation to babysit tradesmen?

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    Any obligation to babysit tradesmen?

    If there's a problem with a property and I can't fix it myself I normally contact a tradesman and then ask them to contact the tenant to arrange a convenient time to visit.

    My current tenant works long hours and doesn't want to take time off to let a tradesman into the house. His attitude is "I can't afford the loss of income to take the time off, and anyway I pay rent to a landlord to sort this stuff out" I fully understand (and agree with) this position.

    I live nearby, so I agreed with the tradesman that we'd meet up and I'd let him in whilst the tenant was at work.

    The tenant was happy with this up till the moment that I said I'd let the him in but then return back to work and tell the guy to close the door behind when he was done.

    Basically the tenant wants me to babysit him to make sure he doesn't rummage through his sock draw or steal his collection of Faberge eggs. Whilst I can understand my tenants position of "I pay rent for this stuff to be sorted out" I don't feel this extends to me being responsible for the his privacy or security.

    so who's in the right on this one? (if possible, I prefer the correct legal position, rather than just opinion!)

    I am not sure that anyone knows what the "correct legal position" is. So far as I know there is no statute or case which covers the point. However, I think that the suggestion that a landlord must supervise workmen is unlikely to find favour with any judge. If significant work is being carried out that could mean the landlord is tied up for days on end. I think you ask the tenant: "So what would you do if you owned the property?" The tenant has a choice if he wants the work done: either he agrees you let the workman in and go about your business, or he or someone he trusts is present while the work is carried out.


      I agree. The implication is that the landlord can be trusted but the workman (who is in effect acting as an agent of the landlord) cannot. That makes no logical sense. If an estate agent were involved on behalf of the landlord, the tenant would not specify which member of agency staff attends (if any).

      If tenant cannot or will not wait in, you give the tradesman the key, after giving appropriate notice to enter. If the tenant declines that, they are effectively refusing to permit the works to be carried out.

      If the works benefit the tenant then it is tough luck that they cannot be carried out. If the works will prevent other damage or costs, then the tenant will be liable for that damage and costs.


        He pays rent and is entitled to whatever his tenancy agreement is, plus what's required by law.
        Which is (in this case) that certain things get repaired.

        He's not paying for a personal valet service. and, absent any law or case law (which is unhelpfully absent, this comes up a lot) the tenant can't compel you to attend, let alone stay.

        As above, a general rule of thumb is what would someone who owns the property do. It's complicated a bit by modern employment practices, when I had to take time off work it cost me a day's holiday or I was allowed to "work from home", if you're on a zero hours or "gig" contract it might mean an actual direct loss of income.
        On the other hand, doesn't everyone work from or stay at home at the moment?

        You could offer to attend for a fee (that would be allowed) or increase the rent to accommodate the tenants need for a higher level of service.
        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).


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