False call Out

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    False call Out

    I had a call from a tenant stating the central heating controller has stopped working. On arrival at the house, the controller was blank. I removed it from the wall and put an electrical tester on the backing plate, it had no power. I ask my electrician to attend the house, he arrived when I was there. He went into the garage and found a switch on the wall (concealed behind the fridge) and switched it on, this cured it. My tenant denied switching it off and I have been billed £60.00.

    I told my tenant that I am not prepared to pay for a false call out. After an unpleasant exchange, I agreed to pay half, now he refuses to pay it. has anyone else had false call out invoices to pay.

    #2
    I would side on the T's side, as if you didn't know that the switch controlled the power, how is the T supposed to know? I would label any switches which control appliances, so that you/ T know what they are for.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by oystersequel View Post
      I have been billed £60.00.

      I told my tenant that I am not prepared to pay for a false call out. After an unpleasant exchange, I agreed to pay half, now he refuses to pay it. has anyone else had false call out invoices to pay.
      All this over 30 quid?

      Set your rent accordingly in future.

      Comment


        #4
        I take the view I'd prefer to hear about problems found rather than not. Yes, sometimes it's not actually an issue, but to avoid eg leaks dripping onto floors, minor holes in roof or locks not appearing to work properly not being reported, the odd false alarm is IMHO part of the "fun" of being a landlord.

        Many businesses get queries and complaints that can unkindly be put down to "user error".
        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...

        Comment


          #5
          Hmm, something fishy here, savvy enough to dismantle controller and put an electrical tester on it but missed the fused spur fitted on every boiler ?

          Comment


            #6
            I have had two callouts when the batteries run down on remote heating switch. But my gas man wont fit a simple wired in roomstat.

            Comment


              #7
              £30? - move on and be thankful

              Oh and provide tenant with instructions for appliances and switches (even the hidden ones in YOUR property)
              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

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Codger View Post
                I have had two callouts when the batteries run down on remote heating switch. But my gas man wont fit a simple wired in roomstat.
                Buy better batteries ? Or just change them annually when you change the ones in the smoke alarms.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Even if the tenant had switched off an unmarked switch in their garage, I don't see how they can have been responsible for the call out.
                  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


                    #10



                    on refurbishments I always wire for a hard wired stat.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Codger View Post
                      I have had two callouts when the batteries run down on remote heating switch. But my gas man wont fit a simple wired in roomstat.
                      That’s just daft

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by oystersequel View Post
                        I had a call from a tenant stating the central heating controller has stopped working. On arrival at the house, the controller was blank. I removed it from the wall and put an electrical tester on the backing plate, it had no power. I ask my electrician to attend the house, he arrived when I was there. He went into the garage and found a switch on the wall (concealed behind the fridge) and switched it on, this cured it. My tenant denied switching it off and I have been billed £60.00.

                        I told my tenant that I am not prepared to pay for a false call out. After an unpleasant exchange, I agreed to pay half, now he refuses to pay it. has anyone else had false call out invoices to pay.
                        My contract makes tenants liable for the reasonable cost of call outs which turn out to be due to a failure on their part - e.g. fat down the sink, personals items in the washing machine filter. However it is only really there in case of utter stupidity or serial offenders. I find that if it is something that was their fault they are usually highly embarrassed and take care not to do the same sort of thing again. Sorting it creates valuable good will. And as a higher rate tax payer, it only really costs me half the bill.

                        I once had a very elegant couple incensed that their house warming guests had been subjected to a very unpleasantly blocked loo. They were quite put out that this could have happened so soon after moving in. I assured them that it had never happened before and asked whether it was possible that something had been flushed down it. She was insistent that it was nothing to do with her and assured me that she would not put up with this as an ongoing issue. She was utterly mortified when I fished through the putrid murk and discovered a folded credit card blocking the U bend ... with her guest's name on it. I didn't charge her but did receive a nice bottle of wine!

                        You have to be a bit pragmatic at times I think. If there is no sign of them having been blatantly negligent, reckless or careless, you are often best taking the small stuff on the chin.

                        Funnily enough I had a similar problem to yours with a boiler which suddenly started mysteriously turning off and back on. The boiler was in a cupboard and every time the door was full opened fully to the wall it switched the unfortunately located spur off and then back on. The unlabeled spur looked like a light switch so neither of us noticed what it was. I thought I was going mad.
                        Assume I know nothing.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          If the switch is the type that sits proud of the faceplate then it may have been switched off by someone moving or knocking into the fridge.

                          Or if the fridge was hard up against it then even gradually over time as the fridge 'juddered' when kicking in and out, or maybe even by slamming of the fridge door over time.

                          I'm with the others, this was not a false call out at all, and certainly not by the tenant.
                          You called out your electrician for a reason - because you were unable to find the problem, you couldn't find the problem because you didn't know the switches in your own property.
                          Having a label on the switch wouldn't have helped, because you didn't even know it was there.

                          TBH even in a strange property I'd have a good look for a switch being off, or something being unplugged, before getting the multimeter (or an electrician) out.
                          Which is just what your electrician seems to have done.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I had a tenant demand an electrician be called out for his electric heater that was broken. Before doing that, I call in to check - and he had pushed a table against the spur and flicked the switch off! Problem solved and the electrician's call out fee avoided.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Had a tenant tell me the Oven that was a week old had broken. I asked her if she had turned the sockets off and was told no, so went over there... Socket was off and was told it didn't need to be on as it was a 'gas oven'

                              I can understand your frustration, but I think it's better to make your position clear informally first by explaining to them that if things like 'Pilot Error' continue you may have to start charging them a call out charged. It worked in my case.

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