Tenant claiming for associated costs from water leak visits?

by Readers Question

2 weeks ago

Tenant claiming for associated costs from water leak visits?

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Tenant claiming for associated costs from water leak visits?

Hello – there was a water leak in the property where I am the landlord.

There was more than one visit to fix this and the tenant was informed prior (but claims not enough notice). Now he tells me due to time taken off work and re-arranged trips etc at work I am liable for those costs.

Question is, the tenant does not have to be present, they choose to be present. There are also alternatives like send a friend or ask a neighbour to supervise me (not that I need it!)?

So where do I stand on these associated costs which are based on the tenant’s decisions?

Thanks

Jon



Comments

Neil Patterson

2 weeks ago

Hi Jon,

Out of interest how much is the tenant claiming and for how many hours?

Gary Nock

2 weeks ago

Jon,

Refer the tenant to the tenancy agreement. There should be a clause in there about allowing access for repairs etc. And ask him where it says in the agreement that you will compensate him for his time. He is just trying it on and I would not be impressed by it.

Ian Cognito

2 weeks ago

Notice - Tenancy Agreement will probably state minimum 24hrs notice required, or at any time without notice in case of emergency.

Claim for costs - Was more than one visit required to fix the leak really necessary, or was it because you didn't employ a professional? Did he warn you beforehand that he would have to take time off work, or did he only tell you once the leak was fixed?

What has been your relationship with the tenant up until now?

Mike D

2 weeks ago

Interesting one, we could be moving into ambulance chasing territory!
I would say no, landlords do need access to make repairs that's law, sometimes these things aren't straight forward and I've had times 2 visits are needed....force majeure (act of god). That's life. Just about all my tenant's allow me to pop in whether they are there or not, that's about choice, relationship or just being silly like its a risk, its your property, and why would anything go missing, too obvious even if you were a bad landlord.
Did they cause the leak, was it poor care......
Brush them off trying it on, their choice to take time off you didn't insist.

Graham Bowcock

2 weeks ago

Dear Jon

This is possibly the thin end of the wedge. I have spent nearly 30 years as a landlord and also acting (as a chartered surveyor) in compensation claims so have seen a few try-ons.

If the tenant was unduly inconvenienced then there may be a discussion to be had (along the bottle of wine/box of chocolates line), but if he was there by choice why should you reimburse him?

There is a cost to owning and occupying property which is not always compensatable. Sometimes things just have to be deal with, even if it does require some time and input.

If the manner in which you have dealt with the repairs is reasonable (i.e. least number of visits, actually getting the problem sorted, etc.) then any claim is unreasonable.

As an aside, we give all our tenants gift vouchers at Christmas to try and maintain goodwill. It goes a long way to making tenants engaged in their relationship with us and less likely to make spurious claims.

Resist.

Graham

Jon D

A week ago

The agreement says no notice required for urgent repairs, else 24h. In each case if a plumber n/a same day he arrived next day, but clearly I had to inspect same day to find out what was going on.

Police told him to change the locks without even speaking to me - the owner. This was on the basis of prior entry without his presence - false, never happened.

Anyway, in the spirit of How to Win Friends and Influence People, once I allowed him to vent and feel important I think we've reached a new understanding.

H B

A week ago

Unless your requests for entry were unreasonable or excessive you should be OK.

If the tenant had been an owner occupier would he have been in the same situation or was there some additional request - like not being given a time or the job taking an unnecessarily excessive number of visit requests?

Jon D

6 days ago

Reply to the comment left by H B at 15/07/2018 - 17:13
Just 3 visits in total. Gave notice by email, phoned etc, but not absolutely necessary within the agreement.


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