Deposit deduction for repairs - landlord responsibilites

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  • Turbine Terry
    replied
    Originally posted by fpyards View Post
    Invoice 1 £72.50:
    Plumbing Diagnostic (this is all the detail of the invoice)

    Invoice 2 £420:
    Repair damaged 28mm copper pipe
    * Cut damaged section of copper pipe out
    * Replace new copper pipe section
    * Solder new connection
    * Test new pipe section integrity

    It always amuses me (one is amused, as the Lady of this weekend would say) when tradesmen invoice for simple jobs but write excessive detail to try and make the job sound more in-depth so as to justify over charging. They couldn’t possibly just invoice for ‘fixed leaking pipe’ when an extra 22 words can be squeezed out. However much you fluff it up it is still just mending a leaking pipe. Surprised he hasn’t added on the invoice, “carried tool box in from van, didn’t wipe feet, opened tool box, selected favourite tool (massive hammer), farted, twice, spent half the time on my phone making excuses to other customers about why they will have to wait until tomorrow (again)”. From the pics provided by the OP it is quite possible that this plumber didn’t need to open up such a large section of wall, but possibly did so, again to make the job look more involved. The irony being, the bigger the house destruction the happier the owner will be to pay a big invoice. Maybe the first plumber, Mr Diagnostics, was the one with the wrecking ball though. Again amused at the over complex sounding phrase ‘Plumbing Diagnostic’, I suppose “found a leaking pipe after tearing down half a wall” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. Yes, my tongue is firmly in cheek in case any plumbers are looking to sue me 😊 The fact remains my plumber would have done that job likely for £50 + VAT (£75 + VAT tops) including wiping his feet.

    Plumbers often say it will be a big job because “the system will need draining down”. Yes, sticking a bit of hose pipe onto a radiator (or other drain point) twiddling apposable appendages for 10 mins whilst the water runs out, then pouring a bit of rust inhibitor in, turning on a tap and maybe then bleeding a couple of radiators, is such a massive job, is it? Newsflash, it’s not. And don’t get me started on tradesmen using the phone when I am paying them. If they are waiting 10 mins whilst the system drains down I want them to stand 6 inches from, and stare, at a blank wall. I am paying them for their time: my rules. Using the phone to talk to other customers in those 10 mins is not allowed unless I get 10 mins knocked off the bill. OK, I am not really that much of an **se, but I do have the semblance of a (slight) point, and I thought some light hearted banter for the Queen’s Jubilee was in order. I also do weddings and birthdays.

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  • fpyards
    replied
    I had a productive call with the landlord this afternoon. I got a bit more understanding about what happened. The first plumber that came said they'd have to take the whole boiler off which was going to cost a fortune so she got someone else in who was able to sort it by removing more plasterboard. I didn't get any more explanation of why it took a long time, but I did get a good sense that she was doing her best to get it sorted out at a reasonable cost by hiring a reputable plumber.

    Talking on the phone resolved a lot of the frustration I had at her poor and delayed communication and I understood where she was coming from. Moral of the story is that email can easily lead to negative assumptions and a quick call can iron a lot of things out. I can't say I'm happy about the cost but I also have no real reason now to challenge it either.

    There are still a couple of deductions proposed about rent arrears and commission liability which she's said Foxtons told her to do and she doesn't understand (frustrating as it's her responsibility, but there you go), which are a lot more cut and dried as we gave notice correctly, so I will just pay the plumber bill and challenge those on the foxton's online portal.

    Thanks to all who provided advice here.

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  • Parkers4
    replied
    we have to remember we are paying for someone's knowledge as well as their time.

    I just replaced 2 mortice locks & I euro barrel at the end of the tenancy, less than £100, because I could do it myself, but if I had to do for someone else I would add a £75 (Inc 1st half hour) call-out fee & at lease £50 per hour

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  • davetg
    replied
    It seems strange that the plumber who diagnosed the problem could not fix it. The second invoice for £420 seems excessive for replacing a short section of pipe even allowing for the fact that he might have had to drain down the system, refill it and bleed all the radiators but unfortunately that is what some trades can get away with particularly in London - I have just had a bill for £204 to replace 2 euro barrel locks which took 10 minutes.

    To repair the wall for £180 seems good value in comparison.

    It doesn't look like the landlord is trying it on so you may just have accept it.

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  • Parkers4
    replied
    https://www.checkatrade.com/blog/cos.../plumber-cost/

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  • fpyards
    replied
    I got invoices from the landlord today. Two plumbers came, one to diagnose and one to do the fix. Both seem to be reasonable, non-dodgy companies based on a quick google (The Plumbing and heating people and Master Gas .

    Invoice 1 £72.50:
    Plumbing Diagnostic (this is all the detail of the invoice)

    Invoice 2 £420:
    Repair damaged 28mm copper pipe
    * Cut damaged section of copper pipe out
    * Replace new copper pipe section
    * Solder new connection
    * Test new pipe section integrity

    No explanation of what made it so expensive. Or why two separate plumbers were used. I assume though with invoices I have little chance of disputing it even if the cost appears to be unreasonably high? Could I suggest reduced costs or challenge the diagnostic fee?

    The £180 for the plasterer the landlord hasn't provided because the work hasn't been done yet, though I did ask for a quote for planned work.

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  • Parkers4
    replied
    The claim is for compensation, its easier to justify with an invoice, but the adjudicator will accept estimates, quotes etc.

    I had to call out an emergency plumber, had to pay for an asbestos check, £500 excess, to remove & repair a ceiling to access pipes , repaint stained walls/ceiling in the room below, when the tenant claimed the pipe had burst to the bath, when they had actually flooded the floor themselves - yes I claimed from the deposit to put it right

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  • jpkeates
    replied
    Originally posted by jpucng62 View Post
    The LL does not need to get the cheapest contractor, only to not make money.
    They don't have to get the cheapest contractor, because they are entitled to take quality and timescale (for example) into account.
    But they are obliged to keep their loss to a minimum, not simply not to make money.

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  • jpucng62
    replied
    You have punctured a pipe, a plumber has been called to fix it & a decorator will need to make several trips to repair & will probably need to repaint at least the whole wall.

    The LL does not need to get the cheapest contractor, only to not make money.

    You are at fault, pay the bill.

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  • Hooper
    replied
    Not sure anyone can provide much more feedback until you gets answers from the landlord.

    With the pipe tight in against a stud they may have needed to open up further to find the fixings that allow them to loosen the pipe sufficiently to get a repair joint on. Looks like an awkward plasterboard repair and can see why that might be £180 with decoration.

    As an aside, the sound proofing resilient bars are incorrectly fitted. They should cross the studs at 90degrees to minimise points of contact.

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  • fpyards
    replied
    Photo from checkout inventory

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  • Hooper
    replied
    Originally posted by fpyards View Post

    From the checkout inventory I can see that the plumber (or someone) has torn a very messy 3 foot hole in the wall to get access to the copper heating pipe inside.
    Just to clarify, if this was a heating pipe then the heating circuit is a closed loop. Any leak would just keep leaking until all pipework and radiators above the leak were empty - not much you can do. At that point it would stop leaking. Turning the water off at the stop cock would be unlikely to have made the slightest difference.

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  • Hooper
    replied
    Originally posted by jase222 View Post
    I had a similar problem when a tenant put a nail into the wall , unfortunately it went into gas pipe and I only noticed when I decorated and heard the gas belting out.
    the tenant denied responsibility but it was clear as mud and they paid in the end
    First thing I did on my first ever flat was have gas piped to the fireplaces. The second thing was to have wood laminate floors put down. The second thing resulted in about forty punctures to the new gas pipes.

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  • jase222
    replied
    I had a similar problem when a tenant put a nail into the wall , unfortunately it went into gas pipe and I only noticed when I decorated and heard the gas belting out.
    the tenant denied responsibility but it was clear as mud and they paid in the end

    Leave a comment:


  • royw
    replied
    Seems a bit excessive to me but it might not have been so easy to find the leak. You knew where the hole was but by the time the plumber got there it might have been wet at the bottom of the wall but not around the hole. Once the water was turned off water left in the pipe would just have dribbled down the pipe. That might be why he made such a big hole in the wall to find the leak.

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