Tenants requesting compensation – ADVICE REQUESTMake Text Bigger
What advice would you offer to Pauline in terms of tenants requesting compensation based on the following scenario?
Pauline’s email to Property118 reads as follows:-
I have had a problem with rats in the loft above a single storey kitchen/bathroom extension in one of my properties.
The property is remote from where I live, so managed by a local agent (for more than 5 years) with reasonable attention.
Previously I / we have had professional pest control people out as well as local environmental health who assured us the problem had been dealt with, all holes stopped etc. etc. It was suggested to me that the problems were due to / exacerbated by tenants leaving rubbish about.
All has been quiet through the last tenancy but the problem recently recurred, our agents advised local fast food shops are the likely cause, pest contol was called out and the problem dealt with.
However, the issue recurred and the outcome of further investigation was that the rats were coming from collapsed sewer pipe beneath the building. I was advised that best solution was to fit new piping and bypass the old by a builder apparently familiar with these types of properties, used before by letting agent and worked with pest control firm.
I considered getting details in writing (re. possible insurance, additional quotes etc) but decided to let work proceed asap.
My tenant is now asking for compensation for inconvenience and distress (seems there was a smell from the loft due to contaminated insulation). In the meantime, the loft will need to be rewired in the kitchen and bathroom because of damage by the rats.
Is the request for compensation reasonable?
Should I pay up even if unreasonable?
What amount would be appropriate and should the agent also contribute e.g by waiving agency fees if I waive/refund 1 or 2 months rent.
Any advice appreciated.
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