Tenant paid for repair herself at extortionate price?

by Readers Question

9:35 AM, 1st June 2020
About 4 months ago

Tenant paid for repair herself at extortionate price?

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Tenant paid for repair herself at extortionate price?

I have a tenant who had a leak from  the toilet cistern. She found a plumber herself who repaired the leak without telling the agent or myself as the landlord.

The repair cost an extortion£276!

When the agent later questioned their own plumber on the cost of the repair carried out they quoted a maximum of £85.

The tenant now obviously wants reimbursing for the £276 invoice.

Where do I stand as a landlord for covering this unauthorised cost?

Many thanks

Mike


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Comments

Clint

13:26 PM, 1st June 2020
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Kabs at 01/06/2020 - 12:59
I agree the landlord business is dead. Tenants can do as they like and are complimented for everything they do to make the life of a landlord a misery

Cathie Hawkins

13:34 PM, 1st June 2020
About 4 months ago

I’ve had a similar situation. I paid it but explained to the tenant that they should contact me and that I wouldn’t pay if it happened again. They have since always contacted me.

Matarredonda

13:37 PM, 1st June 2020
About 4 months ago

An awful lots depends upon the relationship you have with the tenant.
If relatively new to you it might be a genuine mistake on her part not realising what should be done.
To build a longterm relationship might be best to take the hit but explain what process she should follow.
The idea above of reducing the rent payable until paid off is a good one and one I have used with a tenant who some years did the same thing. She has now been with me over ten years so good dialogue can have huge longterm benefits.
Whatever, good luck.

Chris @ Possession Friend

14:24 PM, 1st June 2020
About 4 months ago

Too little information to comment, was the invoice a genuine one, on headed paper with a serial number.
Was Plumber a 'one-man-band' ( and a friend of the tenants, - who falsely inflated the Invoice for tenants benefit ?

Porky

15:12 PM, 1st June 2020
About 4 months ago

You say you have an agent? If the agent is managing this tenant what is their advice?. If they say you should pay up then a) this tells me they are not managing your property or the tenant very well and b) they are taking you for a ride. They should deal with this and take the hit. What are they doing for their monthly take??

Clint

15:14 PM, 1st June 2020
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Porky at 01/06/2020 - 15:12
If the Agent found the tenant, I would agree, the Agent should take the hit or sort it out.

Mike

17:24 PM, 1st June 2020
About 4 months ago

She most likely called Mr Rip off Britain, entirely her own undertaking, if she did not first call you, or what if she said she called you but failed to answer your phone, so in future text message as it has date and time stamp, secondly if your agreement says she needs to have called the agent, but they were locked down and shut, so she has a genuine excuse to have undertaken it herself, and plumbers and gas safe engineers are real pi55takers when it comes to ripping off people in situations like these, whilst i would do it for free.

JohnCaversham

8:30 AM, 3rd June 2020
About 4 months ago

Sounds like the relationship is under question from the start as most tenants would have advised agents/LL first, i would pay a reasonable sum to the tenants, and hold the the rest with the proviso that if the tenancy goes well then you will pay her the balance at the end of the tenancy or maybe at month 12 for good behavior..

Puzzler

19:34 PM, 5th June 2020
About 4 months ago

The tenant was probably panicking and didn't have the experience to know what the cost should be, and trying to be helpful. Once you have the invoice I would query it with the plumber, it may have been a bigger job than you think. If this occurred in lockdown, it would be an emergency as not all tradesmen are working and they are hard to come by and can name their price

Clint

20:19 PM, 5th June 2020
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Puzzler at 05/06/2020 - 19:34
I have posted emergency plumbing jobs during the lockdown in the (Croydon) London area and have had quotes ranging from £40 to £60 per hour so £276 seems excessive however, in posting a job it is to an extent plumbers competing for work. I was in fact told by a plumber that the prices have come down due to the lockdown as there is no work.

I recently had a combi-boiler fitted by a gas safe engineer and he charged me only £350 and I have had many boilers fitted in the last two or three years all costing £500 +

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