Pilot Error

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    Tenant & husband were still unable to replace the rewirable fuse, so yesterday I called round to do it as a favour.

    They still intend to discard my working cooker and replace with one of their own. This would annoy me if they hadn't been there five years.


      Clothes on Storage Heaters

      I've been back at the washing machine saga flat this week. Washing machine is fine. I was replacing the immersion in the hot water cylinder... Then today I had to replace the bleed valve as that wouldn't stop dripping.

      While I was there, I noticed my tenant is drying her washing on the storage heaters. This is a really bad idea, as even if it doesn't catch light, it may melt the cutouts.

      Anyone found a way to persuade tenants not to do that? The mad thing is that she has the washer dryer, and her electricity is free because the meter doesn't work.


        Had call from students:. All electrics off when they woke up. Said they'd reset all trips (consumer unit replaced 12months ago, complete house test certificate) but still dead. That evening after failing to get electrician round (Scottish Highlands) told lighting & most sockets OK but one circuit still dead. Electrician goes round 2 days later, all working, no fault found, I pay bill (less than £50……)

        Oh well,
        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...


          For future tenancies, do what BT does? "If the LL has to call out an electrician etc. and there was no fault found, the tenant is responsible for the call out charge."?
          I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

          I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.


            My lovely Romanian tenants called me out today to replace a couple of cooker switches. Fortunately they live next door to Wickes, so the job was soon done.

            As I was going, they mentioned the lounge heater would not go off even if they switched it off.

            'Yes it's not meant to. It's a storage heater,' I said.

            'But why can't we switch it off?' said my tenant's wife.

            I explained that electricity is one third of the price overnight. The idea is that the heater warms up on the cheap electricity, and stays warm all day. Finally I think the penny dropped.


              Another phone message from the Washer Drier lady today...

              You may remember that last time she was unable to get the door open, I struggled with it for ages, but eventually had to call out Siemens. The weekend before the Monday service call, she managed to open it. Presumably she had realised she set the wrong program and moved the control after it started. The machine thinks a child is fiddling, stops working and locks the door. The only way to get it working is to put the control back where it started.

              Today she tells me that she was unable to open the door again, and so has unscrewed it to get her clothes out! Of course the machine still won't work, even if she screws the door back again, FFS!

              Any thoughts?


                This afternoon I've been over to the flat to look at the machine. OMG, I wish she had unscrewed the door. It looks like someone's used a crowbar. This is the remains of the door latching mechanism. The various parts of the door have been separated for some reason. They are resting on the side of the sink:


                Sorry it's blurred. There is now only one lug for the latch to fit in. The other seems to have been broken off by the crowbar. The corresponding piece on the machine has dropped inside.

                I'm minded to tell my tenant it's up to her to arrange and pay for repairs. Any thoughts?


                  More than up to her. Deduction from the deposit if she doesn't...
                  I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                  I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.


                    Why are tenants so tight about light bulbs?

                    Last month I was called out to a particular tenant to replace the fill valve on the toilet. I noticed that of the two bathroom lights, one bulb was dead. These are energy saving mini edison screw bulbs.

                    The lady just rang me today to tell me the pull cord switch was broken.

                    'Have you put new bulbs in?' I asked.

                    'No, I know the right hand bulb is fine. It's definitely the switch.'

                    'Well just try a new bulb for me to check,' I said.

                    'I don't have any'

                    'Well go and buy some to check. If it's not the bulb, by all means call me back.'


                      Called out again today...

                      Tenant says she bought new lightbulbs, but the switch still has a problem. I arrived there to find both bulbs burning, but the switch was unable to turn them off. I replaced the switch, and found the previous one had obviously been taken apart.

                      Tenant says that she asked her brother in law to repair the switch. He was obviously unable to, as there was nothing wrong with the switch but with the bulbs.



                        Got a call today from the tenant who reckoned there was sand in his washing machine a few months ago:

                        Today's problem is his bath won't empty, and he thinks the (copper) waste pipe is frozen. I resisted the temptation to say: 'What the F do you expect me to do about that?' and asked if he had poured some hot water over the pipe.

                        'What pipe?'

                        'The pipe that comes out of the building about a foot above ground and goes into the drain!'

                        These are the tenants who bought a new cooker when the fuse went.


                          On Sunday, a friend brought a modern standard lamp round for me to repair. He first brought it here about two years ago, and it turned out to be the bulb.

                          In view of this, I checked the bulb and found it blown. These are similar to exterior security light bulbs, so not something I keep here. My friend rushed home and got me a 'new' bulb still in its cardboard. I put this in, but still nothing. I checked the fuse in the plug, the one in the inline dimmer, and they were both fine. Then my friend suggested it might be the bulb again. It was! He'd come back with the duff bulb I took out two years ago!


                            Got a phone message yesterday from 0040...

                            My tenant was ringing me from holiday in Romania. The family had gone back there for 3 weeks. Could I let another of my Romanian tenants into her flat today, to collect their daughter's birth certificate? They needed this as her passport expires before they return.

                            I cooperated, as they are good tenants.


                              Not sure if this was my pilot error today...

                              A new tenant moved in today. I took a new pack of two 9v Duracells dated March 2021 over to replace those in the smoke alarm. Blow me, but the new Duracells made the thing start beeping. I had to replace them with the old batteries.

                              Of course, the receipt is long gone. Back home, my battery tester shows them to be fine, and they each read 9.55 volts with no load.

                              Odd, eh?


                                Did you test the old batteries? (Touch them to your tongue if you don't have a tester handy).
                                Or test the alarm with the old battery in it?

                                It could be that the alarm is faulty and wasn't beeping because the old battery was flat?


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