Help for first time tenant – re broken shower

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    Help for first time tenant – re broken shower

    Dear all,

    I would very much appreciate some guidance on an issue that has cropped up in the first property I have ever rented (previously home owner who has relocated for work).

    Over the Christmas period the shower broke (we couldn’t turn it off and had to turn the stop cock off). We have had issues with this shower before and the landlord has been out twice to fix it (first it was dripping then needed a new part). The landlord is a bit of a handy man but not to my knowledge a qualified plumber. He is now claiming the most recent fault with the shower is down to us as someone must have forced the handle too much which is why it wouldn’t shut off. Given the problems we have had before and his potential unqualified opinion/attempts at repairs should I accept that it’s our fault and pay for it or insist a plumber looks at it? I am worried that this might set a precedent and every time something doesn’t work (or the shower breaks again) he will say it’s our fault and we have to cough up. If thats the case we may just move out asap as we were under the impression when renting things like this would be the landlord responsibility to fix.

    Many thanks for any help for a newbie.

    #2
    I would say you shouldn't pay for this. It broke twice so it can't be up to much. Do you have a bath?

    Comment


      #3
      Many thanks for getting back so quickly.

      Yes we do have a bath and another shower which has also been temperamental. At what point can I ask for another opinion as he just tries to 'blind you with science' arguing why it’s our fault and not being a qualified plumber myself I struggle to refute what he's saying. I also think it’s unfair for just him to say it’s our fault as he would say that if we have to pay for it.

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        #4
        When he tries to blind you with science just say "Well, it's bu**ered then, isn't it?"

        I'm a LL and I would just put in a new shower. Job done. But as you have a bath and another shower I don't think the LL would HAVE to put in a new one. You have the issue of wear and tear here. If it's an old shower and you've only been there a short while IMO you are unlikely to have worn and torn it.

        Some other opinions and advice will no doubt be posted in a short while.

        Comment


          #5
          Is the shower your only means of bathing or is there a bath as well?
          Whilst LL may have a duty to repai showerr, if fault can be attributed to T and not component failure/wear & tear, LL is entitled to recover repair cost from T.
          I don't know your shower installation, but it could be just a fairly simple on/off water valve replacement.
          As you don't appear impressed with LLs plumbing skills, offer to pay local qualified plumber callout charge and 30min labour, anything beyond that, inc parts, is down to LL.
          Or you just pay for local plumber to call and provide estimate and likely cause in writing.

          edit: slow typer. otherwise I agree with Berlingogirl

          Comment


            #6
            Once again many thanks for all advice (and so quickly too).

            Yes we have another shower which we are happy to use instead but the landlord is insisting we cover the cost of his repairing the other shower.

            As regards whose fault, my main issue here is that he himself is determining that the 'fault' lies with me which is my main concern really. As I said he fancies himself as a handyman and my concern is anything that goes wrong he can just say its our 'fault' again and we'll end up paying for anything that goes wrong.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by fedup1 View Post
              my main issue here is that he himself is determining that the 'fault' lies with me which is my main concern really. As I said he fancies himself as a handyman and my concern is anything that goes wrong he can just say its our 'fault' again and we'll end up paying for anything that goes wrong.
              I can see where you are coming from but bear in mind that there's no problem with a landlord doing his own maintenance; eg in post #1 you talk about a "qualified plumber" and the landlord's "unqualified opinion" - there's absolutely no reason for a landlord not to be able to do his own plumbing work (personally I have never, ever employed a plumber to sort out any issues in my properties which weren't gas-related, and would not be particularly impressed by a tenant who demanded that I did so! Though I have never had occasion to try to bill a tenant like your landlord is...)

              Are you able to provide us with a bit more specific detail about the damage in question - eg what model shower it is (internet link?), and photos showing the damage? (To be honest, if you reach a complete impass with your landlord over this, it looks like the repair will not get done until you leave, at which point there will be a discussion involving the Deposit Scheme as to whether the landlord should be allowed to take the cost from your deposit or not - and the aforementioned stuff will be very useful for you then)

              Comment


                #8
                Many thanks Eric. As a complete novice in plumping I wasn't sure whether someone unqualified fitting something incorrectly could be the cause of the fault and not me.

                It's a gummer mixer shower, metal handle that you rotate to turn on/off, he is saying we have somehow managed to turn the handle so far round it's broken a washer behind it. His argument is he fitted it with a wrench and the only way it would break is if we forced it but I am not sure how a human hand could force back something it took a wrench to fit. I'll look up make/model and post pics.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by fedup1 View Post
                  It's a gummer mixer shower
                  You might try http://www.gummers-spares.co.uk - they have full exploded diagrams of many Gummers showers, and if you show us which one, that might help you explain what's gone wrong.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thank you so much for your help, you can't imagine how much this means to me.

                    I think it's this one Sirrus antique 1500 or antique ts1850 but ours says 1861 on it although I am not sure if that's the model or just a decorative element. It looks like the diagram on the 1500 though. Basically he is saying the handle bit has been over turned (or forced is the word he used) which is why it wouldn't turn off but I don't know how we could/would do that. We turn it so it comes on, then off again.

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