Can repairs be independantly assessed?

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    Can repairs be independantly assessed?

    I have been doing large changes for minor complaints lately - e.g. new back door on an unjustified complaint of "damp" - knowing the work doesn't really need doing as it is my former home and is problem-free.

    Up to now I've been happy to pay for the extra work - I might move back in one day - but it's getting out of hand.

    Does anyone know if there's such a thing as an independant inspector/ works assessor I can use to decide fairly what really needs doing?

    Thanks

    #2
    Your tenants are taking you for a mug. Get rid of them.

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      #3
      Are they genuine repairs or improvements to the property?

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        #4
        You need to decide yourself what needs doing, and then stick to it.
        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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          #5
          Yeah, easy.

          Ask tenant to invite council to do a HHSRS

          But I agree with the earlier posters
          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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            #6
            The opinion of a reputable contractor or two unconnected to yourself should be enough I would imagine. Then working out if the work falls within s11 repairing obligations or your responsibilities under the TA.

            Improvements and repairs could allow you to put up the rent possibly, maybe mention that to tenants then they might stop asking you to go OTT.

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              #7
              Originally posted by FairEnough View Post
              Improvements and repairs could allow you to put up the rent possibly, maybe mention that to tenants then they might stop asking you to go OTT.
              Actually scrap that last bit if its for a genuine repair that you are responsible for! That wouldn't be an ethical response! I was thinking more along the lines of if they were asking for expensive improvements that you aren't responsible for!

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                #8
                Thanks, these thoughts confirm my gut feelings.

                In future I will ask for the council to do a HHSRS; it is a good house and I suspect the builder is in on the whole thing.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                  Ask tenant to invite council to do a HHSRS.
                  And then they will come up with plenty of random 'necessary' improvements...

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                    #10
                    Do not invite the council in if it is an older property. They will try and apply modern standards to a non modern property.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by pete's properties View Post
                      In future I will ask for the council to do a HHSRS; it is a good house and I suspect the builder is in on the whole thing.
                      What builder is this?

                      Agree with the others - for goodness' sake don't invite in HHSRS or you'll have a whole new can of worms to deal with.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by pete's properties View Post
                        ....In future I will ask for the council to do a HHSRS; it is a good house and I suspect the builder is in on the whole thing.
                        Opps! My HHSRS suggestion was (largely) ironic, not meant to be taken seriously.

                        Can't think of circumstances when a landlord would ever want to request a HHSRS...

                        - but, yes, you would get an "independent" view... but one that might cost you a lot & make you do repairs most sane people would not think sensible...
                        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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                          #13
                          Just to put the HHSRS into a fair perspective here,

                          If a HHSRS assessment requires 'repairs' they will be related to hazards, typically Category 1 hazards. The HHSRS formula is set up to base calculations on given property types, ages of construction etc. A local authority officer using HHSRS has guidance documents to follow to achieve a reasonable and logical calculation. So, HHSRS will view in the context of hazard elimination or reduction.

                          Surely, any responsible LL would welcome the removal or reduction of Category 1 hazards? If the Council ended up serving an Improvement Notice to formalise the required works, then the LL can always Appeal it if they disagreed with it. Then an RPT panel will consider it reasonably and logically.

                          So, if concerned about alleged 'hazards', then HHSRS is the applicable tool / statutory provision. This would help discriminate between a 'repair' relating to a 'hazard'; and a 'contractual repair' as it were (which may not represent a hazard).

                          If concerned only about 'repairs', ie, a hole in a wall, then LL can take a reasonable position here, based on inventory, schedule of repair etc. There's loads of Case Law on 'repairs' as well.

                          Cheers, Ghost.

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                            #14
                            There are many things which can be recommended for an old house which can be either detrimental or alternatively, cost a lot for no or minimal improvement.

                            Leader of the pack being chemically injected damp courses, followed closely by cavity wall insulation. Both of which are money well spent elsewhere.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Agree to some extent.

                              Jeff Howell wrote a book called the Rising Damp Myth. There is literature available to support the alleged myth of rising damp, and the subsequent phenomenal amounts of cash blown on this.

                              Cavity wall insulation, I'm in two minds about it. I think, in certain aspects, it can be beneficial in thermal improvement, but in exposed aspects it can be detrimental, as you say. I removed cavity fill from a relatives house because it was clearly causing defects.

                              However, my point about HHSRS is, if used correctly, in the intended manner, it is and remains applicable to any property. Therefore, if a HHSRS inspector specified cavity fill without logical thought, so much so that new hazards would be introduced, ie in an exposed SW aspect on the coast, then they clearly would not know what they were doing. However, if they specified it for a cold property, in a 'safe' aspect, it could be both fine and applicable to reduce the 'excess cold' hazard.

                              HHSRS is a useful tool if used correctly. Perhaps above all that, it is the prescribed statutory tool for assessing hazards in dwellings.

                              Cheers Ghost

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