Tenant got locked into flat and demands refund?

by Readers Question

8:40 AM, 24th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Tenant got locked into flat and demands refund?

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Tenant got locked into flat and demands refund?

I would like some advice on a tenant landlord issue, the property has a key card lock on the flat door which has been deactivated and has not been in operation for several years.
Some how the tenant managed to get himself locked into the flat by this lock over the weekend. key card lock

He had to call a lock smith out to get the lock unlocked, which he was charged £107 for the call out charge of the lock smith.

Now he is demanding his payment back for this. Does this charge come under damages as refereed to in his tenancy agreement or not? As he is demanding a refund which may have been due to him damaging the lock, but this can not be proven.

Also he is threatening to take the money from his rent payments and to report me to some sort of regulatory body.

Personally I think he is out of order and causing problems, I think it comes down to what is stated in his tenancy agreement.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks
Tony



Comments

Neil Patterson

8:43 AM, 24th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi Tony,

For the sake of good relations and it might not be the tenant's fault I would refund the lock smith's bill. It could cost you a lot more if it goes pear shaped and imagine if you were locked in for however long you would be pretty ticked off too.

Steven Burman

9:55 AM, 24th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Tony,

I totally agree with Neil.

Also, if you haven't done so already, get the key card lock removed ASAP.

SB

Andrew Holmes

11:42 AM, 24th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi Tony,

If you have Landlord insurance just check if you are covered just in case.

I had a problem recently where the lock on a double glazed front door failed, i had to get it fixed at my expense, if it hasn't been abused and just failed then it will fall under yourself to fix.

Andrew

hughesje@hotmail.com

17:45 PM, 24th February 2016
About 3 years ago

You may also have a H&S issue, imagine if the lock seized and there was a fire!

Rob Spencer

2:26 AM, 26th February 2016
About 3 years ago

As James says safety is paramount. I had a case where tenants claimed an internal lock spring failed locking them in a room. They had to damage the door frame, albeit as little as possible, to open the door. I paid the invoice for repair and a new lock without question, mine were long term tenants who don't cause me any problems so I had no reason to doubt them.

Dr Rosalind Beck

9:43 AM, 27th February 2016
About 3 years ago

I had a girl locked in her room - and she was dying for the loo. I had to get someone there asap!
I agree that you should pay for the locksmith for many reasons - it is a lock that you didn't remove that got the person locked in; that's not their fault and as others have said, it could be a lot worse. I think you're lucky the tenant isn't also demanding compensation, as they often do. I would tell them to deduct it from the next rental payment, give you the receipt, as it will be tax deductible and get them a bottle of vino as an apology.

Tony Church

15:40 PM, 9th March 2016
About 3 years ago

Thanks for all your comments guys, the tenant has only been in the property for 2-3 months which I did not mention earlier. I replaced the washing machine for a bran new one, when he moved in which I also had to arrange and pay for to be repaired,so I understand your point but he seams not to be taking care of the fixtures and fittings appliances etc in the flat. But this is not so easy to actually prove as I do not live local to the property and it is being managed by an agent.
But none of the previous tenants had this problem with the door lock.

Thanks
Tony


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