Tenants staying in for repairs

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    Tenants staying in for repairs

    What are your views around whether or not you think tenants should be present when appointments are made with engineers for repairs or maintenance? I haven't identified any legal requirements that compels either tenant or landlord to be present on a mandatory basis.

    I have a landlord friend who is present for all appointments but as a result, feels the tenants are just chucking over the wall all problems and he is now regarded as an on call DIY service, including requests to fit shelves & pictures, etc.

    The tenants often provide a poor descriptions of the fault ('x doesn't work'), are reluctant to perform the basic checks and tests to better identify the problem because they feel an engineer should just come out asap, and have called him out for problems that have transpired to be related to timer settings, batteries, fuses, failure to turn on valves.

    Now they are frustrated at the turnaround time for repairs but now are aghast at the prospect of staying in for visits by engineers 'because we'd have to take time off work'.

    What's the norm for tenants staying in for appointments to resolve faults they've reported?

    #2
    we normally give the tradesman the tenants number and they call direct to arrange a convenient time. The tenant is the best one to show and explain the problem. we have never had any issues or complaints with this system - i think it's because it puts the tenants in control

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      #3
      Originally posted by Beeber View Post
      What are your views around whether or not you think tenants should be present when appointments are made with engineers for repairs or maintenance? I haven't identified any legal requirements that compels either tenant or landlord to be present on a mandatory basis.

      I have a landlord friend who is present for all appointments but as a result, feels the tenants are just chucking over the wall all problems and he is now regarded as an on call DIY service, including requests to fit shelves & pictures, etc.

      The tenants often provide a poor descriptions of the fault ('x doesn't work'), are reluctant to perform the basic checks and tests to better identify the problem because they feel an engineer should just come out asap, and have called him out for problems that have transpired to be related to timer settings, batteries, fuses, failure to turn on valves.

      Now they are frustrated at the turnaround time for repairs but now are aghast at the prospect of staying in for visits by engineers 'because we'd have to take time off work'.

      What's the norm for tenants staying in for appointments to resolve faults they've reported?
      I think it's reasonable to ask T to carry out basic checks before expense is incurred calling someone out.

      There is no requirement for a tenant to be present to allow access to workmen unless it is convenient to them and they especially want to. Most tenants who work full time will presumably prefer to be at work, in which case, if they want the fault fixing, they should allow the landlord to be present, or supply workman's company with a key (to be posted back through door). I have done this for years with my own home and three rented properties and there has never been a problem. It's not in a reputable workman's interest to make a mess or pinch stuff, is it.

      If T objects to this arrangement, then they'll just have to stay in, won't they, as a householder would. I don't think it is reasonable to expect the LL to be there on every occasion. We always give the tradesman our mobile number as well as full details of the fault, but they rarely need to ring us.

      The problem arises with some tradesmen (e.g the guys who mend Bosch boilers!) who refuse to be alone in a property 'for insurance purposes'. (Not quite sure why they think they are at risk). In that case, as it's LL's responsibility to have boiler in workng order, I suppose it must devolve on them to be present.

      There was some discussion on the forum about tenants who call gas engineers out for false alarms, and that's a more difficult one. But generally if they have caused the fault, they should organise the repair and pay for it; if something has broken down without fault on T's part, LL should organise repair; if fault subsequently turns out to be T's fault (e.g. putting things down drains which block them, abuse of washing machine), they should be charged for the repair.

      I think it's unreasonable to expect LL to put up shelves, etc. (unless they are existing shleves which have fall down due to no fault of tenant). If they weren't in the check-in inventory, the tenants should pay for this to be done having asked LL's permission first.


      Probably a good idea for the TA to make responsibilities clear in the various scenarios.
      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by sjcollett View Post
        we normally give the tradesman the tenants number and they call direct to arrange a convenient time. The tenant is the best one to show and explain the problem. we have never had any issues or complaints with this system - i think it's because it puts the tenants in control
        It's a compelling case for this to take place but the current set of tenants are firm that the landlord should be present for all calls and they will not take any time off work to be present at appointments. They are extremely resistant in assisting the diagnosis of a problem before a call out and do not believe simple day to day maintenance tasks are their responsibility.

        I doubt these areas are covered in the existing AST or tenant handbook so it looks like the landlord has an uphill struggle to reset the boundaries and change tenant behaviour.

        I put this problem down to the failure of the landlord to make clear tenants responsibilities at the outset of the tenancy which has been aggravated because its the tenants first private rental so they are unaware that this degree of handholding is unusual.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Beeber View Post
          It's a compelling case for this to take place but the current set of tenants are firm that the landlord should be present for all calls and they will not take any time off work to be present at appointments. They are extremely resistant in assisting the diagnosis of a problem before a call out and do not believe simple day to day maintenance tasks are their responsibility.

          I doubt these areas are covered in the existing AST or tenant handbook so it looks like the landlord has an uphill struggle to reset the boundaries and change tenant behaviour.

          I put this problem down to the failure of the landlord to make clear tenants responsibilities at the outset of the tenancy which has been aggravated because its the tenants first private rental so they are unaware that this degree of handholding is unusual.
          Yes, I agree that these tenants are being unrealistic in their expectations. Presumably although the TA does not specify that they must take initiative/ be present for repairs, nor does it require the LL to be there on every occasion? In which case the LL can politely but firmly decline and explain what other two options are available, and that it is unreasonable to expect this degree of 'handholding' as you say.

          In the end, if the tenants want to be micromanaged, they should perhaps go back home to Mum and Dad. They sound a bit precious, don't they? Perhaps if the LL makes it clear that contract will not be renewed unless Ts grow up a bit, that might make a difference - depends on how much they like living there, I suppose.

          Our worst problem of this kind was a tenant who broke a window when drunk, failed to report it/do anything about it until a neighbour rang me about it; we ended up organising a local glazier, but from a distance (we were in Australia on holiday at the time). Glazier came as promised - tenant 'forgot' and stayed out all night and wasn't there to let him in. Repeat call organised - tenant slept right through glazier braying on door beneath his window.. Third appointment finally made (with very grumpy glazier) and window mended (we had to pay in advance since T had no money until his student loan came in). T expressed surprised at cost of repair ('It's only a bit of glass, isn't it?') and glazier's charge for failed appointments ('But he didn't do anything, did he/And it wasn't my fault I was asleep, was it...?)
          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

          Comment


            #6
            [QUOTE=Beeber;108071] ... but the current set of tenants are firm that the landlord should be present for all calls and they will not take any time off work to be present at appointments. QUOTE]

            Hi

            There really is no legal basis for them to argue this. They are required to give reasonable access for you and your agents to inspect and carry out repairs (common law obligation in any lease which contains repairing obligations for the landlord). There is also a specific legal obligation to give access to the landlord (or a person authorised by him or her in writing) on 24 hours written notice (s11 (6) of LLT Act 1985).

            How they give access is up to them; they might wish to be present or they might give you a key. But they certainly cannot insist that you are present on every occasion.



            Preston

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