Compensation

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  • Compensation

    I have a tenant who moved in 2nd September.
    She reported that her fridge was not working properly on the 14th of September. I called out the aftercare service who sent an engineer on Monday 18th September. They needed to order a part and wait for it to come in to fix it. The fridge got fixed this morning so its been a total of just over 2weeks.
    Shes been calling because now she wants compensation for loss of food during this time. I know as a landlord I have to take responsibilty for this but do I really owe her compensation?
    How much would I give anyway? Im sure I did all I could to fix the fridge. And they did it as quick as possible.

    Can anyone advise?

  • #2
    Don't quote me on this but I've got the feeling that you should have supplied her with a replacement fridge (at least a small one) while waiting for repairs to be carried out as 2 weeks without anywhere to keep the milk is fairly annoying.

    The food lost in the freezer and fridge should be covered by insurance (well it is on mine) but I can't help when it come sto who's insurance should be used.

    Sorry I'm not much help.

    Comment


    • #3
      I would feel a section 21 coming on... this one will be trouble. I would point out that I had fulfilled my obligations by getting the fridge repaired. After all, if your fridge had broken you would have been without one for 2 weeks - it is not your fault that the part took a while to arrive.
      Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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      • #4
        If it was a fridge that had broken down and not a fridge freezer then I fail to see how there could be any "loss of food" and as such I thnk her claim is frivolous.
        Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

        Comment


        • #5
          I disagree here....I think that if they had food in the faulty fridge, then the landlord should cover the cost. How much is she asking for? At the end of the day, it is as a direct consequence of the appliance supplied by the landlord failing that the tenant has incurred extra costs. I can't really see any argument against reimbursing her this amount.
          Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

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          • #6
            To what extend are tenants to be mollycoddled??
            If the boiler packs up then they can expect us to pay for alternative accomodation for them in the winter. If the fridge packs up, then we have to re-imburse them for a spoiled bottle of milk. I suppose if the roof leaks, then we can't expect them to find a bucket to collect the drips, merely be expected to shell out for the additional repair work, replacements and compensation that this leads to.
            No, I'm afraid I wouldn't be prepared to compensate a tenant for loss of food under the circumstances, but his/her section 21 notice would be in the post by return!

            P.P.
            Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

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            • #7
              I think we have to look at what we would have done in this situation. If my fridge broke down and couldn't be fixed for 2 weeks because it needed a new part I would have moaned a bit and gone shopping more frequently! I would have kept the milk in cold water in the sink and cursed every time I made a cup of tea! What I would not do is go out and buy a replacement fridge, or hire one, or expect the fridge fairy to deliver one! The LL arranged for it to be fixed, end of story. How much food can spoil? What was in there, caviar and lobster?
              Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

              Comment


              • #8
                No - it would be in the post by return under any circumstances! The date it expired would of course depend on the length left on the fixed portion of said tenants AST or two months, or at least two months ending on a rent day.

                P.P.
                Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well if it was a fridge-freezer I guess you could have a certan amount of food spoilt. I know in my freezer there must be around £50-£70 worth of food.

                  If it broke down I know I'd be annoyed at the cost of loosing the food. Not sure I'd go to the extent of claiming on my insurance though; the excess itself would be higher.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Issuing a Section 21 at such an early stage of the AST is likely to ruin any good will in the tenant/landlord relationship and could create problems. Why not offer £50 as a goodwill gesture, saying that in future there will be no such compensation paid, and that it is the tenant's responsibility to arange for contents insurance?

                    Or am I too soft?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
                      I would feel a section 21 coming on... this one will be trouble. I would point out that I had fulfilled my obligations by getting the fridge repaired. After all, if your fridge had broken you would have been without one for 2 weeks - it is not your fault that the part took a while to arrive.
                      I wouldn't issue a S21 because that way you would be playing straight into the tenants hands.I tend to agree with Richie P offer £50 as a gesture of goodwill and suggest that she takes out some insurence.Issuing a "sword of damocles" would only be counterproductive and you could well end up with a "tenant from hell".By offering a gesture at least you may get a lot more respect from the tenant and for what it cost for the part wouldn't be more economically viable to buy a new fridge.
                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We are talking about the chilled contents of a fridge which are perishable in a relatively short time anyway.

                        £50 for the contents of a fridge is a ridiculous amount to offer !! I live alone (and the OP infers this tenant also lives alone) and I would be pushed to have £15 worth of food in my fridge at any given time! And most of this could be kept in an ambient temperature.

                        Granted, though, that if it were a freezer that had broken down, there may be some justification for some recompense - but definitely not for the contents of a fridge !!

                        Whatever next? the electricity fails for an hour one morning and the LL has to pay for the tenant to have her hair done at a salon ???
                        Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RichieP View Post
                          Issuing a Section 21 at such an early stage of the AST is likely to ruin any good will in the tenant/landlord relationship and could create problems.
                          My thoughts exactly Richie, surely it would be better to ask the tenant to supply you with a list of the articles that where lost and for you to go to your local supermarket and replace the items, that way you have not given the tenant any money in hand. If the items listed are execessive then tell them to contact their insurers, but I have a feeling their insurers wouldn't do anything and as it was your fridge.

                          If further problems arise with the tenant then issue your section 21 notice as and when.

                          Dont forget the tenant can mess you around more than you can mess the tenant around.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pippay View Post

                            £50 for the contents of a fridge is a ridiculous amount to offer !! I live alone (and the OP infers this tenant also lives alone) and I would be pushed to have £15 worth of food in my fridge at any given time! And most of this could be kept in an ambient temperature.
                            Agree completely It was said originally a fridge, so perishable goods i would have thought maximum £15 - properly a lot less, so as others have said ask for detailed list, in my opinion tenant unreasonable and trying it on, one of problems in supplying white goods, next you will have to call regularly and de-frost it.
                            Opinions given are mine, They are not necessarily correct, as the more I learn the less I know, You should always seek professional help.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by welshgold View Post
                              one of problems in supplying white goods, next you will have to call regularly and de-frost it.
                              To be fair landlords will charge more for a property that's let partly furnished. Even if it's £25 more a month than the unfurnished neighbour, that's £1500 over 5 years. Plenty enough to buy a new fridge, washing machine fitted and have spare change.
                              And I don't think most landlords actually change the white goods every 5 years !

                              So it's not as raw a deal as you'd think, even if you have to pay £50 compensation once in a while for wasted food.

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