Charging For Unnecessary Call Out

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    Charging For Unnecessary Call Out

    I own a house that is on a MOD let to a serving officer.
    I received a letter from the MOD housing agency reporting a serious safety problem with the radiators not working properly and the hot water being too hot.
    I replied asking if the valves were just stuck and if the pump was running at full speed. I said the instruction manuals were all present at the property. Their were also other items listed as needing attention.
    I said I would attend at the weekend.
    I received a reply expressing concern at my visit and questioning my ability to sort the heating out and was I qualified to work on boilers. Because of previous issues with the tenant, I wanted to see for myself and sort out the other problems listed.
    The journey for me was a round trip of 400 miles, 8 hours on the road. I was treated with hostility, but I sorted out the heating immediately by turning the pump on. The other issues listed were either non existent or due to the occupants own actions and were quickly sorted.
    Can I charge for my time and expenses given that I had asked the pump to be checked and that all instruction manuals were present? Can I charge for the full 400 miles and a whole day?

    HMRC allow you to charge "reasonable travelling expenses" against rental income to visit your rented property as a legitimate tax deduction but you cannot charge your tenant for your time. It would have been much cheaper to ask a qualified Gas Safety Engineer to attend and then act on his prognosis. Fuel is very expensive and I would advise you that trying to manage a property at a distance of 200 miles is not a good idea.
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.


      The let was managed initially, but after the agent tried to charge me 350 pounds to change a lock because they had given the tenant a key they had had cut but did not work and other issues, I dropped them. I needed to see the issues for myself, which would have needed other tradesmen, because of previous problems with the tenant.


        I would write to the tenant with the lists of the costs this time, and say that on this occasion that they have been waived.
        In truth,it is still too late to ever charge this tenant unless they agree to pay your "reasonable" costs in a new agreement.

        I don't think that charging 400 miles is ever going to work out for you in any case.
        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong


          Originally posted by thesaint View Post
          I don't think that charging 400 miles is ever going to work out for you in any case.
          Asking for £180 travel would be pushing it a bit.


            That you choose to live some distance away is your decision, your choice, your problem. That you choose not to employ a local agent ditto: Of course you can't charge the tenant for your traveling expenses .., but yes, HMRC allowable expense.. By your logic were you to reside in New Zealand you'd charge him for air-fares....

            You say MoD let: Is your contract with the MoD or with the officer?? What does the tenancy say about such costs >?? (Albeit enforcing any such clauses may be "challenging")..

            btw I have 3 houses 1010 miles, 20 hours, round trip away, Scottish Highlands.. so 400 miles & 8 hours sounds quite attractive by comparison...

            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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