Fergus Wilson Panorama documentary – now available on iPlayer22:10 PM, 18th March 2019
About A week ago 99
I moved to the current flat as I tenant in May this year and I have been dealing with (not so helpful) agency only since then. Upon my arrival, I did not receive any instructions nor gas safety certificate as I was presented with the keys by an inventory person that knew nothing about the flat and was not from the agency.
Earlier this week I had no hot water/heating and, before I contacted the agency I checked and tried everything to enable the card (I only topped it up that day again). However, despite it showing that there was money, it also showed the sign ‘off’ next to the amount and the gas was not working. I then called the agency and explained the situation.
The agency sent the maintenance team to my flat on the day and explained to me that there was no money on the card and the maintenance team will invoice me with £75 shortly (without actually checking with me whether I tried to top up or not and without receiving a full feedback and a confirmation that it is in a working condition now). When I came back to my flat, the gas was still not working. I explained to the agency by email that the gas is still not working and that I do have money on my card, I even went back to the shop to top the card up again (and I have a proof that the payments were successful) and I took photos to show the proof that there are funds but the gas is still not working.
The agency sent the maintenance to my flat again next day and the maintenance team again said that the ‘there was no money on the card’ and ‘the heating is now working’ with no further explanation and disregarding my actions and queries.
I was then sent an invoice on the same day by the maintenance and told that if I didn’t pay in 7 days, the bill would rise to £150.
I personally do not see why I should pay for the bill when I did everything in my power to try and handle the meter before I called the agency. Given that this is a gas issue and I was not aware of the extent of the issue, I did not want to ‘fiddle’ with the meter myself so my logical action was to consult my property agent.
I am due to meet with the agency tomorrow, as per my request, to clarify this situation and I would appreciate an advice: Should I be liable for this expense? With no appliance instructions nor safety certificate proof provided upon my move,and also by simply contacting my property agency when the gas is not working, is it me to have to bare the cost? Also, does maintenance team really have the right to make the decision who should be billed (agency/landlord or the tenant) as this was not mentioned anywhere in the tenancy agreement?
I would be very grateful to obtain any advice I can before I take this further with my agency.
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