dripping hot tap

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  • dripping hot tap

    reported dripping hot tap to landlord 10 days ago. NO ACTION

    When we emailed again, was confronted with aggression and "its not costing us money so its not important"

    The hot tap dripping is costing us money?
    what is the time scale they should repair?
    should we get any compensatory for the delay in repair?

  • #2
    Unfortunately this would fall down to you if you rent the whole property. Lord Justice Denning in (iirc) 1953 established the principle of "tenant like behaviour"

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    • #3
      Can I ask how this would come under tenant like behaviour!
      Cheers

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      • #4
        Lord Denning posited that tenants are expected to replace tap washers.

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        • #5
          Lord Denning in Court of Appeal set case precedent that minor, routine repairs eg dripping tap, blocked sink etc is Ts responsibility

          Rubber tap valve <£2, replacement within av persons capability, prof plumber should take ~10 mins.

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          • #6
            I am not convinced that Lord Denning's 1953 ruling carries that much weight for a dripping tap when section 11(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 states that the landlord has to:
            (b)to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity),
            If it's blocked and T has to unblock it with commercial products, I'd say fine.
            But I think that fixing a dripping tap by replacing parts has a good chance of falling within the "keeping in proper working order" duty of the landlord.

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            • #7
              jjlandlord, I would counterclaim that there is no interuption to the supply of water so 1985 L&T does not apply.

              Reading council state "As a rule landlords are responsible for most repairs, except damage caused by tenants, or minor repairs like tap washers and electric fuses." http://www.reading.gov.uk/residents/...t=0&acc.size=1

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JK0 View Post
                Lord Denning posited that tenants are expected to replace tap washers.
                Did he?? I've re-read Warren v Keen
                http://www.dilapidationsdirect.co.uk...%5B1953%5D.htm
                & can find no direct mention of tap washers...

                This has recently been discussed at another place -
                http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/....php?t=3665105

                - still think a sensible landlord/agent would sort this out, albeit if continued minor silly complaints keep coming find "better" tenants, but doubt that "dripping tap responsibility" is clearly defined from statute or case law.. Anyone got a firm ruling???

                Fixing dripping taps can be tricky & if handled incorrectly by untrained persons (LL, agent or tenant..) can result in interesting floods... so perhaps wise LL/Agent will bear that in mind??

                Tenants that reliably advise LL or agent of problems, particularly water-related, are to be highly prised compared to the alternative...

                Other views will be held!

                Steph: The agent's assertion
                "its not costing us money so its not important"
                is irrelevant.. sounds like (gosh, what a surprise..) your agent (errr... actually Landlord's agent..) doesn't understand Landlord/Tenant law..

                Steph, hope you ain't in one of my houses!
                I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                  jjlandlord, I would counterclaim that there is no interuption to the supply of water so 1985 L&T does not apply.
                  Why would it require an interruption to the supply of water?

                  Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                  Reading council state "As a rule landlords are responsible for most repairs, except damage caused by tenants, or minor repairs like tap washers and electric fuses."
                  Thanks for the link.
                  It seems borderline to me as changing a tap washer requires more skills than changing a fuse or bulb, and might be daunting to your average person: I think that a judgement call (inc. by Reading council).

                  Edit following artful's reply:
                  Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                  Fixing dripping taps can be tricky & if handled incorrectly by untrained persons (LL, agent or tenant..) can result in interesting floods...
                  Exactly. Imo that's also a test as to whether that's minor diy that T can do or repairs that are within LTA 1985's purview.

                  Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                  but doubt that "dripping tap responsibility" is clearly defined from statute or case law.. Anyone got a firm ruling???
                  Not sure people would start suing for a dripping tap just to clarify statutes.

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                  • #10
                    I can change fuses. I can change lightbulbs. (I can even paint decently too).

                    I would not however feel comfortable with changing a tap washer (although this may be T specific what with my history with water!).
                    I'm a good tenant with great landlords
                    I'm also a living, breathing, fully cooked female.

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                    • #11
                      I doubt Lord Denning intended this to be taken quite so literally; if a tenant isn't confident to change a tap washer themselves then they should employ someone who is, the same as the landlord would have to.

                      Including a dripping tap under S11 is pushing the limits of what is sensible IMO, thats like saying a blown lightbulb renders the light circuit as broken.
                      My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

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                      • #12
                        I think this is one of those areas where there is a discrepancy between the 'law' and what is reasonable.

                        I still maintain that ther is no requirement in the law for the landlord to fix the dripping tap. It is a simple task and a 5 minute search on youtube will reveal all.

                        However, where one values ones tenants then it isn't beyond the realms of reasonableness for the landlord to pop round in due course (doesn't require a special trip - no one is going to consider it a desperate emergency) and change the washer. 30p for a washer, 10 minutes max in the property.

                        In Stephs case though, it may be that the landlord doesn't value his tenants (as no amount of goodwill will make them stay once the course is over) so he doesn't feel the need to keep the tenant 'sweet'.

                        If it is a HMO with individual contracts then the teps in the communal area would definately be the landlords issue and Steph could get help from the HMO officer whether the place needs a license or not.

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                        • #13
                          I would say this is the Ls responsibility for the following reasons:

                          1. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 section 11, which is implied into all tenancies of less than seven years duration, states that the landlord must keep in repair and proper working order the installations ... for the supply of water. The tap is part of the installation for the supply of water.
                          2. Lord Denning LJ stated 'If the house falls out of repair owing to fair wear and tear, lapse of time .... then he (the tenant) will not be liable to repair it.' Using a tap repeatedly will inevitably lead to some wear and tear and with the lapse of time leak. Wear and tear is what tenants are paying rent for.
                          3. Would you want/trust your tenants to fix your plumbing armed with a monkey wrench?
                          4. Quibbling over this relatively minor task sends out a message about your respect for the people who pay you good money every month. Refusing to help or simply dragging your feet is not going to create happy tenants and we all know the simple equation...happy tenants = good tenants, unhappy tenants =....

                          BTW Things published by councils are not always 100% correct, fair or reasonable and will remain that way until somebody big enough challenges them so take what councils publish with a pinch of caution

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                          • #14
                            Lets apply a little logic.
                            A dripping tap will waste very little water/heat.
                            A dripping tap going plip plip plip all night can drive you mad.
                            Water can do an awful lot of damage and though this job is not difficult, has the potential for a serious leak.
                            Replacing a tap can be expensive.
                            Somebody not familiar with basic maintenace could wreck the tap by cross threading it etc.
                            They might not even realise you have to turn off the water at the stop cock.
                            I think I would repaire it before somebody like my son got at it.

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                            • #15
                              An old house we used to rent had a dripping cistern on the loo. The landlady took almost one year to replace it. (replacement was beyond a tap washer which I wouldn't hesitate to fix myself as it's easy. The loo cistern had a micro crack causing the leak.)
                              With no change in houshold size or notable reduction in water use, the bill for the following year was just short of a £115 less, largely attributable to the leaking loo.
                              It does cost money.
                              I may be a housing professional but my views, thoughts, opinions, advice, criticisms or otherwise on this board are mine and are not representative of my company, colleagues, managers. I am here as an independent human being who simply wants to learn new stuff, share ideas and interact with like minded people.

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