Coincidence blues

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    Coincidence blues

    Hi everyone

    hope you and your properties are all well.

    I'm living abroad for some time and have had to leave my properties with an Agent.

    It's certainly been interesting.

    Anyway, in the interest in keeping this short... The Agent has mailed me again today, explaining that the toilet that was broken in my flat has now been repaired by the Agents plumbing engineer at a cost of 90 pounds (2 hours to replace a siphon, does anyone know if this sounds right or what a siphon is/does) and that it was just 'coincidence' that this happened and consequently is the Landlords responsibility.

    Also, whilst the plumbing engineer was there, I quote from the Agent "It is unfortunately the case that the shower is also faulty. Our engineer witnessed the fault when he attended to repair the toilet. In order to use the shower, the 'On/Off' button has to be held in manually,as it does not activate the shower when it is pressed in. I have spoken to the manufacturer and my engineer, and it is not possible to replace only the button. A new shower can be purchased for c.£150. I understand that this is very unfortunate timing, but it is felt that it is impossible for the 'On/Off' button to have been damaged in this way manually and it is simply a coincidence."

    This is the flat that I lived in, it is a lovely flat and everything worked fine and dandy before i left it and am upset to hear that 'coincidentally' this is breaking and that is breaking all of a sudden, I mean, we know tenants and however lovely and angelic they may seem at the time of signing, they can turn out to be the tenant from hell that will try every trick in the book.

    Perhaps there'll be more emails next week/next month, the cookers 'coincidentally' broken, the front door is 'coincidentally' falling away from it's frame.

    Regarding the shower for example the Agent has not mentioned what kind of shower, how much for fitting etc I dare say it may be another 100 pounds for fitting do you think?

    Sorry, if I've rambled a little. Basically I wondered what you thought of this situation.

    AND what your opinion is of my Agent or any agent when one is abroad like I am and you have to leave them to look after your properties, any hints or tips or experiences/tales.

    Oh, and if I know a plumbing engineer, in your experience would it be wise to try and contact them and get them into quote?

    thanks for reading, hope to hear from you, kind regards

    The syphon is the integral part of the cistern; probably the seal has gone which meant the user couldn't achieve anough vacuum by working the handle to get the water inside to flush. They do wear out and it's hard to conceive of it happening by somebody being careless/clumsy etc.

    As for the shower - hard to comment on the reason for the problem, but you have to ask yourself how it could have happened by misuse etc? I mean - a smashed door or a burnt carpet is one thing, but if it's just a button, what do you envisage (reasonably) your tenants having done to it to cause it to fail?

    I'd also add that for safety's sake, an electric shower is not really the sort of thing which should be allowed to remain faulty, is it?

    As Wickerman says, unless you can get an exact like-for-like replacement, there will be a fair amount of work involved re-siting pipework etc, maybe even doing some retiling, which will take a lot longer than replacing the syphon in a cistern I'm afraid.


      Good points about showers. I find that like computers, they either go wrong in the first few weeks, or soldier on for ever.

      If you buy a Gainsborough shower (fairly cheap brand) they come with a three-year manufacturer's guarantee, and if they go wrong in that time, the company actually send out an engineer to replace them free of charge.

      It's also worth looking out for special offers at chain d-i-y stores, and buying two of a particular model, so that when the first one packs in, the one you've stashed away can be slung on to the existing pipework in about 20 minutes.

      When you get rid of one, hang on to the control knob, as these tend to break, and when a model is discontinued (as happens quite quickly) you can't get bits.


        It is possible that the repairs are genuinely needed, however I had a similar experience with my EX agents. The maintenance company they used coincidently noticed that a button was broken on the controller for the hot water whilst completing a repair to the taps (a washer I suspect but described by them as a non existent valve ). I showed the invoice for the tap repair to a plumber friend who said it did not make sense but paid the (£120 pounds) and declined their offer to replace the controller for some exhorbitant fee. I then spoke to my tenant direct and was told their was no problem and the button worked fine in fact it still does 4 years later! The same company had already charged me £80 to press the reset button on the burglar alarm and provided me with an estimate for replacing an extractor fan at £450 (actual cost £80 when done by another firm).
        Some agents do try it on if they know the landlord is abroad maybe you could just check with the tenant exactly what the problem is or ask them to use a tradesman you trust?


          Electric showers

          Do we all agree that any work to reconnect, repair or replace an existing or replacement electric shower must be done by a qualified electrician and then the work competently tested afterwards?
          Vic - wicked landlord
          Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
          Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.


            Originally posted by Worldlife
            Do we all agree that any work to reconnect, repair or replace an existing or replacement electric shower must be done by a qualified electrician and then the work competently tested afterwards?
            Yes and it must comply with Part P of the building regs
            Disclaimer:I have over 30 years experience in housing(both social and private) as an EHO and Building Surveyor.I am also a certified expert witness having spent the last 15years working in housing litigation.The advice I give is from experience in working for various Local Authorities and how the law is interpretated.Housing Law is a minefield and is continually being amended if in any doubt you should consult a solicitor or someone of equal legal standing.



              Thanks Ericthelobster and everyone for your replies.
              Toilet is fixed and as will the shower too soon. Good advice recieved as always in my moments of stress.

              Many thanks, kind regards


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