LL / Letting Agent duty to repair appliances

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    LL / Letting Agent duty to repair appliances

    Hi,
    This may be a bit of a FAQ, but searching didn't the forum didn't turn up much that seemed suitable.

    Simply, what sort of duty / responsibilty does the LL / Letting agent have to repair appliances, once a fault has been reported?
    Is there a legal time limit within which repairs should be effected?

    My story so far:
    We were given S21 notice from LL since they wanted to sell the part-furnished flat we're renting.
    We in turn decided to hand in a 1 month notice, so we could quit 1 month sooner.

    Shortly after we handed in our 1 month notice, the washing machine/drier (part of the white goods that came with the flat) stopped working, this is approx 2 weeks ago now.
    We're having quite a bit of trouble even getting someone from the LL/Letting agent out to inspect the machine to determine what's wrong, so a quote can be raised (which means a repair will be even further away). I'm presently having 1/2 day off work waiting for their maintenance guy, after he failed to contact us last week to sort this.

    Call me cynical, but I strongly suspect the LL will drag this out and make no effort to repair this before we leave at the end of Feb, and therefore it'll have been a month without a washing machine/drier

    To that end, do we the tenants have any recourse wrt to asking for compensation (e.g. launderette costs, travel/petrol, parking etc), and if so, who should that be directed to: the Letting Agent, or the LL ?

    At the moment, we have taken another property with the same Letting Agent and paid a fee to reserve this property.
    I am strongly tempted to ask for a refund of that fee as compensation for the cost & inconvenience, does that sound reasonable?

    #2
    There is no legal time limit per se, but they should act as expeditiously as possible - that's providing a working washer/drier was included as part of the agreement/inventory, if not then they have no repair obligation.

    I imagine you're correct about dragging their heels, I also imagine you will get nowhere fast asking for your holding deposit against the new property back as compensation.

    That leaves you 2 options:

    1. Get the machine repaired yourself and ask them to pay your consequential costs re laundrette, if they say no, pursue them through the courts..... you would likely only get an award on the latter for any time beyond what the court determines reasonable to fix the appliances, given they haven't even made an effort to diagnose the fault you would probably, at least, get something.
    2. As above but deduct the amount from your last months rent... they may or may not then try and claim this from the deposit, the protection scheme it's registered with will arbitrate.

    In your position I would choose option 2, assuming, of course, that you haven't already made your final rent payment.

    Also remember that until you've got a signed agreement for the new place it can still fall through - so don't antagonise the agent until everything is signed
    I'm not a lawyer, what I say is the truth as I understand it. I offer no guarantee except good intentions.

    Comment


      #3
      The washer/drier is part of the agreement (it's part of the "part-furnished" tenancy)
      Regretablly the rent is paid in advance, so they already have this final month paid

      Your final paragraph is also something that's preyed on my mind, so I'm trying to think how to word a complaint that won't antagonmise too much.

      I fear we may have to walk away from this & chalk it up to experience, but I will still writeup a formal complaint regardless, it might yet ellict a good-will response :P

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Bram Stoker View Post
        for compensation (e.g. launderette costs, travel/petrol, parking etc)
        Don't forget snacks and something to read while you're in the launderettel, I'm sure the LL would be responsible for those aswell.

        The LL's responsibility is to reasonably try and repair or maintain equipment provided which they are doing. The timing is just unfortunate.

        If the oven breaks is it reasonable to eat out every night and hand the LL the bills?
        "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

        What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

        Comment


          #5
          I don't think it's that unreasonable to ask for laundrette costs in the circumstances - the agent has made no effort to even diagnose the fault let alone repair for over a fortnight.

          The average person would, I think, use a launderette as opposed to washing their clothes in the bath or not at all, it's not really comparable to your oven example, not having an oven doesn't preclude a tenant from being able to eat unless they use a restaurant, not having laundry facilities does compel the tenant to make other arrangements. I don't think it's reasonable to expect them to handwash everything or go around in dirty clothes. Were I the landlord and I found out my agent had left them hanging for weeks like they have I wouldn't think it unfair that they ask me for a bit towards the costs of their alternative arrangements. I'd also sack the agent.

          The above being said, considering the amount we are talking about, it's probably not worth the tenant taking court action or anything to recover it unless they do get the machine repaired themselves..... just going to court over twenty or thirty quids worth of launderette fees isn't worth it and probably wouldn't be well received by the court either.
          I'm not a lawyer, what I say is the truth as I understand it. I offer no guarantee except good intentions.

          Comment


            #6
            Is the new house fee non-refundable and do you look forward to renting it?
            Does the new place have a washer (and) dryer? If not, just buy one a fortnight earlier than you would have....
            You also have a check out process and damage/cleaning/wear and tear discussions to have with the agent in less than two weeks. You might be able to bargain some paintwork or a carpet cleaning against the month without a washing machine.

            Assuming the Agent is local and has an office, a face-to-face is in order.

            Explain that you have put faith in them as you long-term provider and even given them your business for the replacement property. Now you wonder if you are making a mistake as they have failed you on a basic amenity (the ability to wash clothes). You were also planning to give them a great review on "allagents.co.uk" but now feel you can't......



            Although I guess you now have less that 2 weeks left so all this might just be worth chilling out over......

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Refurb to Rent View Post
              Although I guess you now have less that 2 weeks left so all this might just be worth chilling out over......
              Please consider this. There are too many fights these days... yes, the Letting Agent is probably being crap and taking liberties - but they all do. They're universally rubbish. If you get in a tizz about it and start kicking-off you're not guaranteed to get anywhere, but it could leave a bad taste in your mouth. On the other hand, if you just accept that things do break and, hey, it's not a long time, just get on with things... I promise you that you won't even remember this incident in five years. Life's too short to worry about things like this too much. If you kick-off and get somewhere... what do you realistically think you'll get? Obviously it'll not change your life... it'll be a token amount of compensation. Leave the place, leave the problem to the new owner, who might be just as surprised that their appliance doesn't work.

              Comment


                #8
                The LA must have asked repairman to call and must have informed you of likely date, thus responding to your report of w/m problem.
                The fact repair guy did not attend is a matter for LA.
                Why did you take 1/2 day off work if repair guy had not confirmed date & time
                Sh1t happens I have been wihout cold water in kitchen for 1 week whilst I attempt to find the correct ceramic cartridge replacement

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Bram Stoker View Post
                  The washer/drier is part of the agreement (it's part of the "part-furnished" tenancy)
                  Just to be clear, what are you actually saying: that the property is rented "part-furnished"? That it has a washing machine listed on the inventory? Something else? Does it specifically state that the landlord is responsible for maintaining it? If not the default position (which I personally think is wrong) is that he is not responsible for it.

                  There's a lot info on this site about this here.

                  Originally posted by monkeysee View Post
                  Were I the landlord and I found out my agent had left them hanging for weeks like they have I wouldn't think it unfair that they ask me for a bit towards the costs of their alternative arrangements. I'd also sack the agent.
                  Why is everyone assuming it's the agent who's to blame over this? It's not him who would ultimately have to pay for the machine to be fixed, is it: it's the landlord; it's no skin off the agent's nose whether the repair is carried out or not. In fact, it would make life easier for the agent if the repair went ahead, so he can avoid thinking up excuses for a stroppy tenant who keeps pestering him.

                  I would assume it's the landlord who's given the instruction to draw this out, so he can just dump the faulty machine when the OP moves out.

                  To that end, I think it's pretty pointless the OP considering renegiing on his next let with the same agent.

                  Comment

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