Advice request: T claiming for broken door

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    Advice request: T claiming for broken door

    Morning All
    Would appreciate your wisdom on an issue with a tenant. He is generally a good T but has just asked me to cover the costs of an emergency locksmith he called on a Sunday evening. The charge is ridiculous (nearly 300 quid). A door handle on a bedroom broke, trapping him inside (there is a small window but too small to climb out). He called out a locksmith, his partner let the locksmith into the property, and the guy removed the door handle and let him out. There's no lock on the bedroom door - just a standard handle. Didn't think to call me first!

    Sympathetic as not his fault to be trapped in but not keen to cover the full cost - do I need to?

    That's a ridiculous amount! I bet they didn't shop around.

    Do you know why/how the handle broke? Which bit had broken?

    If the handle had broken inside then GF could have opened it from the outside and if it had broken on the outside T could have opened it from the inside.

    Is there a bit in your tenant agreement that says you must be consulted before the tenant employs a tradesman?


      Offer what your local tame locksmith would charge for a call-out Sunday evenings. Word it as a "gesture of goodwill", do not mention compo. And I'd re-iterate what to do should any emergency arise again.

      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...


        Personally, I would also be considering how your tenant would escape the property in the event of a fire, given that the window is too small.
        My views are my own - you may not agree with them. I tend say things as I see them and I don't do "political correctness". Just because we may not agree you can still buy me a pint lol


          locksmith for a broken door handle ??? when there is no lock ??? seems very steep , almost laughable as he was stuck inside with GF on the outside . Surely she could have simply unscrewed it - Get a breakdown of exactly what that locksmith is charging for looks like his time for getting out of bed on a Sunday (260 pounds) and unscrewing the handle (40 pounds )

          Get some good handymen who are local and cheap , get tenant to always call you first -


            I would suggest using a table knife to push back the latch or a bit of plastic bottle. I expect the bar was too short and had moved. Did they say the landlord would pay and thus put the price up?


              Personally I wouldn't pay as he had so many other other options. He could have called you, got his gf to remove the handle, phone a friend, neighbour etc. It doesn't need a locksmith to open an unlocked door. Did he ask how much it would cost when he rang him? I bet he'd have sorted it a different way if he thought he'd have to pay £300 himself.


                I would pay up !

                Why, because the same thing happened to me. Fortunately i was outside on the landing, but had I been home alone, inside the bedroom. i would have been imprisioned on the inside. I Don't keep knives / plastic botttles in the bedroom, and that would not work from the inside either.

                The problem was the barrel with the retracting bit in, that came appart and was so sloppy, needed more turns than the quarter turn the handles allow. Unscrewing the outside handle allowed the handle and square rod to revolve the 120 degrees required to retract fully the broken spring latch. Handles are restricted to 90 degee rotation.

                The problem is they are never dismantled, cleaned and greased to prolong life. They just scratch along / through every other un greased part, and wear out, traping people indoors who dont have screwdrivers in their bedroom.

                some info at

                please remember, moving parts wear out, especially when never greased by the manufacturer or fitter.


                  No one in their right mind is going to go to the bother of pulling apart the doors of a rental to grease a <£1 latch. To be honest as long as you dont go for the bargain specials and spend an extra quid or so you can get much better quality latches. ive never experienced a failure on any of my doors.

                  Oh and £300 is extortionate. it probably took him all of 2 minutes to get in and replace.


                    Originally posted by dazwalsh View Post
                    ive never experienced a failure on any of my doors.
                    Therefore failure does not exist - so the tenant was fleecing the landlord then ?

                    Ive never had a puncture in any of my last 3 cars, Therefore punctures do not exist so I have sold the spare wheel in my current car.


                      A locksmith wont get out of bed for less than 100 pounds and if it was a Sunday evening even higher,

                      As this tenant has been a good tenant I would just pay up but make sure you get the receipt from the locksmith, as it may cause some friction between your good tenant and yourself , i assume hes paying his rents on time

                      if he couldt get out (he might be elderly and unable to fiddle with it himself ) I would look into the fire safety aspect if that window is too small , i also agree that someone else could have let him out from the other side with a knife or something-

                      I also got locked in the toilet at work as the bar broke on the barrel lock and sadly didnt have a tool in the toilet , no window to climb out of either but broke my finger nail in the process


                        I should think that this has been resolved now as it was over 7 months ago.


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