Landlord minor repairs

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  • Landlord minor repairs

    I have a tenant who generally is on the phone once a week with some complaint or another. Usually total trivia but I am finding that it is costing me the earth in trademen call out fees. Cut a very long story short the most recent complaint is that after 2 mins the shower cut off, water stopped and the lights went out. Sounds to me like a fuse so advised her to check the fuse box. She refused stating she wasn't an electrician! Ok that's fine I said, I'll get an electrician out but if it turns out to be simply the fuse then the tenant woudl have to foot the bill as this is a minor repair. (if it's something more sinister then I'm quite happy to pay) She is now threatening me with legal action because I am refusing to repair the shower. Where do I stand on this one? I'm not refusing, simply stating that she is responsible for minor repairs.

    What if I offer to replace the bathroom but not put in a shower? Am I going against any rules? For the record she has a perfectly good bath. I suppose the question is what's a minor repair and what's not?

  • #2
    One has to ask why has the fuse on the shower gone as this is not normal and maybe not a minor repair? Electric showers can be dangerous things - get it checked out by a qualified electrician. Better safe than sorry on this one

    Does tenant know where the fuse board is and why should she necessarily know what to look for? She is renting a property and she expects it all to work - sounds reasonable to me.

    The tenant rented property with shower and that is what you have to provide - what she saw at the viewing and what she is paying her rent for.

    Freedom at the point of zero............


    • #3
      I aapreciate that she pays rent for a reason but if she was a council tenant the LA would not come out to fix a fuse unless the tenant was elderly/vulnerable! (have worked in housing). My t also knows where to purchase light bulbs but seems incapable of changing those herself also! As for the reason, some circuits are designed to trip if ANYthing on that loop blows (even a lightbulb).

      My question was more is repairing a fuse a minor repair or not?(incidentally her lease does state minor electrical repairs are her responsibility)


      • #4
        I had a similar thing happen with my tenant on new years day. It turned out a blown lightbulb had tripped the fuse. With some direction he was able to reset the trip switch and replaced the bulb. I do not consider checking a fuse a job for an electrician - it's a basic life skill. Surely trip switches are in consumer boards to be reset?. If "lay" people were not supposed to touch them then I would imagine they would be in sealed units like boilers. If your tenant is unable to do even the simplest tasks and expects others to do them for them, then I think they are going to find life pretty tough going. Lets hope they never buy their own property..


        • #5
          Advise T, in writing, that you note her refusal to attempt to replace the fuse. State that you will send an electrician to investigate and, if the problem turns out to be a simple case of fuse replacement, she will be liable for the cost of the electrician.

          T has an obligation to behave in a tenant-like manner; this includes minor maintenance such as fuse/bulb replacement, tap washer replacement, reaffixing a cupboard knob which has fallen off, etc.

          If you replace the bathroom you must provide a shower. You can't take away the shower facility.


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