Broken down freezer- compensation by landlord?

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  • Broken down freezer- compensation by landlord?

    Hi all, I'm new to this site and hope I've posted in the right thread

    Last week my tenants went somewhere for a few days and when they came back they realised that all their food had been defrosted in the freezer part of the refridgerator. The fridge section was unaffected. The tenants wanted the agents to send out a contractor to fix it.

    So I informed them (through my agency) to do a simple reset first: Switch fridge off, empty the whole fridge and its contents, leave doors open and leave for 6 hours so that it defrosts completely and resets the temperatures.

    Today, I was told that this technique worked. (To me, its a no-brainer resetting the fridge first). Now the tenant claims that she lost £100 worth of food when the freezer played up and wants compensation for this.

    What are your views on this- am I obligated to pay this?
    I think tenants have a duty of care to look after equipment provided in the house- for example in the case of the fridge, they probably left freezer door open for too long whilst loading shopping- this can mess with the freezer temperature.

    There was nothing wrong with the fridge- it was probably due to negligence, its working fine now after a temperature reset!

  • #2
    Tell the tenant to claim on their contents insurance!

    Funnily enough my elderly mother lost some frozen food recently due to accidently unplugging freezer! She has claimed on her home contents, and they have paid up, less £50 excess.

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    • #3
      Also unless expressly stated in the tenancy agreement you are not responsible for the maintenance of the white goods.

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      • #4
        Yes, I would respond along the lines of empathising with the situation but poiting out it it is one commonly covered by a contents insurance policy which is the responibiity of the resident, and my/landords insurance does not cover such a circumstance.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Reens View Post
          There was nothing wrong with the fridge- it was probably due to negligence, its working fine now after a temperature reset!
          I'm intrigued by this reset solution.

          I had a tenant last year who complained similarly that the fridge was working but not the top freezer compartment. Had a repair guy round literally five times before he tested the coolant pressure (I think) and it was low, so he said there must be a leak, and topped up the pressure (luckily a repair firm -recommended by the fridge manufacturer Liebherr - who only charge a one off fee). That was four months ago, and so far so good.

          Anyway, I had many conversations with fridge repair man, including long discussions on merits of various brands (so he seemed to know his stuff) and he said nothing about 'resetting'.

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          • #6
            I'm not an electrician or anything, but I spoke to my brother's friend who I usually turn to when I get these kind of problems (he's good at fixing electrical stuff in the house). The first thing he told me was the above- defrost the whole fridge by switching it off, etc. He said there are many reasons why a freezer/fridge will not work and one of them is for eg, when you leave the fridge/freezer door open for a longer period of time, say if you are loading shopping in it. It messes with the temperature and changes pressure. He said an electrician can do something faster for you, but it will cost but he said you should always do the "reset" because it might just work and no harm in trying it.

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