Invoice for work - am I being unreasonable?

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    Invoice for work - am I being unreasonable?

    We have a London flat managed by an agent (full management service).

    My husband and I were abroad, and got a call from the council saying the property was leaking sewage into the flat below. We contacted our agent immediately who sent someone around the same day (Company A).

    Day 1: Company A charged £200 to turn up, assess, say that (thankfully) it wasn't sewage but waste water, and the pipework under the bath needed repairing and the bath needed resealing.

    Day 2: Company B turned up, fully checked the pipework, said there were no pipework leaks and it just needed resealing. They charged £200.

    Day 4: Company C turned up and resealed the bath (£90)

    I feel we have been absolutely fleeced for Company A's mistake in assessing the actual problem, and am also unclear why Company B couldn't at least reseal the bath at that stage - I've never met a plumber that can check pipework but not handle sealant.

    The management agent collects rent and automatically deduct invoices from it, so we have no way of not paying the invoice. We have essentially paid £490 for what was a £90 repair (and OK, potentially a call-out assessment).

    What would you do in this situation, or is this just "one of those things" that happens when you're not hands-on managing? I don't want to be unreasonable about it, but it feels wrong just to let it go.

    #2
    You can complain about how each company handed the issue, but you may not get much off the bills. It's not clear from your post who engaged these companies. If the letting agent engaged them all, I would complain to the agent, but if you engaged them, then your complaints are with the companies you engaged.

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      #3
      How exactly do you think "agents" make money. Sounds as if you need to be a lot more hands-on and get involved in every decision. Obviously you are being fleeced.

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        #4
        Why didn't Company A just carry out the works, why were 2 other companies enlisted, was this for insurance purposes? Most likely company A made the right assessment, as it could be a combination of both bath being sealed and pipes especially if hair and other things start causing a blockage something then has to give.

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          #5
          Just be thankful you haven’t got an insurance claim from the flat below

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            #6
            Originally posted by tlangdon12 View Post
            You can complain about how each company handed the issue, but you may not get much off the bills. It's not clear from your post who engaged these companies. If the letting agent engaged them all, I would complain to the agent, but if you engaged them, then your complaints are with the companies you engaged.
            The letting agent engaged all of them. We gave them an instruction to fix whatever the problem was after the notification from the council there was a problem - we pay for a full management service.

            I doubt the agency will give us money back because they've paid it out directly to the contractor, so that would leave them out of pocket (and to be fair, it's not really their fault, other than employing people who can't seem to do the work).

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              #7
              Originally posted by ash72 View Post
              Why didn't Company A just carry out the works, why were 2 other companies enlisted, was this for insurance purposes? Most likely company A made the right assessment, as it could be a combination of both bath being sealed and pipes especially if hair and other things start causing a blockage something then has to give.
              The pipework was found to be sound. I think Company A were there as an emergency "see if it's sewage and shut off the water if necessary". They said it was a pipework problem and a sealant problem. Company B carried out a full audit on the pipes and found it was only a sealant problem.

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                #8
                What does your agreement (or terms & conditions sent) with this
                agent (full management service).
                say about such queries, please? I'd start there first & then probably their complaints process (if they have one)

                Is this the lettings agent on the block (of flats) management agent please?

                I humbly note that to be a lettings agent in England requires no qualifications, no training, no criminal records check..... Come on England, wake up & catch up!
                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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                  #9
                  I agree with one of the other posts, Company A should have sorted the whole job, it sounds like a 10 mins job with maybe a collar for the pipework being tightened up and then some basthroom sealant ...........you are right.......... just under a ' monkey'' (Arthur Daley speak) for what is a simple pipe leak is a total rip off. I would be changing the agent.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                    What does your agreement (or terms & conditions sent) with this say about such queries, please? I'd start there first & then probably their complaints process (if they have one)

                    Is this the lettings agent on the block (of flats) management agent please?

                    I humbly note that to be a lettings agent in England requires no qualifications, no training, no criminal records check..... Come on England, wake up & catch up!
                    In answer to your question, no it's an actual estate agent, not a service charge agent. (It's ex-council.)

                    I don't think I've ever seen any T&Cs from the agent. But I think you're right, this needs to be treated as a formal complaint.

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                      #11
                      I've had similar in the past. Give them as much grief as you can and hopefully you will go on the 'do not fleece' list in future.

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