How many tenants does it take to change a light bulb?

How many tenants does it take to change a light bulb?

9:31 AM, 22nd May 2023, About 9 months ago 30

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Hello, During a routine property inspection by my letting agents, the tenant advised that the bulb in a bathroom wall fixture had failed. He said he did not know how to undo the fixture to replace the bulb and the inspection report has come back that it is a “landlord repair”.

The fixture itself is nothing special and I believe that it is a standard wattage bulb.

Would I be wrong to pass the “repair” cost onto the tenant because sending someone out to simply change a light bulb is ridiculous in the extreme.

I think he’s having a larf.

Thank you,

Simon


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Comments

SCP

10:44 AM, 22nd May 2023, About 9 months ago

Hi
It will be interesting to read what the learned opinion is.
In my case, I explain to the tenant before he takes up the tenancy that he has to act in a tenant-like manner, which means doing minor repairs or jobs, including looking up YouTube videos.
This is then put in a Schedule to the AST.
I have never had a problem.
Tenants ring me up and I give them advice, and occasionally buying the replacement item as a goodwill gesture.

Denise G

10:50 AM, 22nd May 2023, About 9 months ago

Some 10 years back now my brother - at the time an 'accidental' landlord, having moved in with his now wife - took a phone call while he was on holiday abroad from his tenant insisting he call in to change a standard lightbulb for her! He told her where to get off - but that call impacted on his decision to sell up and leave the sector then and there. As soon as he got home the house went on the market.

Luke P

10:56 AM, 22nd May 2023, About 9 months ago

If, as it should be, a proper sealed unit in a bathroom, changing them may not be easy/possible by a tenant.

Nick Faulkner

11:00 AM, 22nd May 2023, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by SCP at 22/05/2023 - 10:44
Having been in the letting business for several decades I have found that most tenants that can do basic jobs such as changing light bulbs do it. Those that cannot ask. Telling the tenant how to do it and that they should be doing it raises several problems.The first is the insurance. If the tenant tries and fails a causes damage or injures himself who is responsible? Secondly I have found that old light fittings dating back to tungsten lighting frequently are fragile due to the heat from the old bulb and can crumble as the new bulb is fitted. All in all if they are unsure it is better to do it yourself or get your electrician to do it. It may seem expensive but perhaps cheaper in the long run.

Smartermind

11:07 AM, 22nd May 2023, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Denise G at 22/05/2023 - 10:50
If that is the main reason your brother sold up for, then with all due respect, he does appear to have a short fuse and did well to get out.

Old Mrs Landlord

11:08 AM, 22nd May 2023, About 9 months ago

Circumstances alter cases. Our properties are in a town with many tenanted flats in converted Victorian mansions with really high ceilings. We have no such properties ourselves but I have been told by a letting agent that they routinely advise landlords to either change central fitting lightbulbs themselves or pay the managing agent to do it in order to avoid risk of injury claims from tenants who may climb on furniture to reach the light.

RoseD

11:08 AM, 22nd May 2023, About 9 months ago

Luke P precisely spot on. Those sealed units can be an absolute pain and far from straight forward. If your letting agent is flagging it as a repair then speak to them also. Only way to be 100% sure is go and check for yourself how difficult it is. That way you'll know for certain!

Denise G

11:09 AM, 22nd May 2023, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Smartermind at 22/05/2023 - 11:07I didn't say he was professional landlord did I - I was simply re-affirming the ridiculous demands some tenants think it's their right to make - this was a standard simple light bulb change in a main living area ... and to be fair he'd also heard some of the nightmares we've endured and so decided it wasn't the game for him.

Graham Bowcock

11:15 AM, 22nd May 2023, About 9 months ago

You need to assess how difficult it is. My own house was built with some pretty odd light fittings and I hate doing them. many also have glass covers which I worry about dropping. Most need ladders for access.

If I were to let my house, I think I'd return myself to change these odd bulbs, or get an electrician in.

David Smith

11:19 AM, 22nd May 2023, About 9 months ago

As a good will gesture just sort the issue out yourself.
I always do.

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