Tenants tightening taps too tightly – HELP!

by Readers Question

15:10 PM, 4th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Tenants tightening taps too tightly – HELP!

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Tenants tightening taps too tightly – HELP!

Tenants tightening taps too tightly - HELPI have a situation and I would like some other landlords thoughts and advice please.

I completed the refurbishment of a large property last August and lret the property in October 2012.

A few weeks ago I had a late night call from my tenants to say that water was coming  through the ceiling of the lounge. I attended the property and went into the bathroom to discover that the new taps had obviously been turned too tight which had caused a leak underneath that had probably been going on since they moved in.

Suddenly there was a bang and when I looked I could see into the lounge as the ceiling had fallen down.

I checked the taps in the kitchen and pointed out to the tenants that they were turning the taps too hard as they were also showing signs of movement.

I have waited till now to sort out the ceiling as I am finishing another property but also wanted to check that the new laminate floor in the lounge was OK and I was giving it time to see if the water had damaged that as well.

I have just been given a quote for the plasterer to sort out ceiling of nearly £400.

I have already had more new taps put in the bathroom and kitchen and the question is do I try and get some help with this bill from my tenant or should I be carrying the whole cost.

Many thanks

Jan.



Comments

11:50 AM, 5th February 2013
About 6 years ago

I think your issue here is being able to prove the damage was done by the tenant fault. The DPS etc will ask for proof (if the tenant disputes the claim) and I think this is hard to give via photos etc that your taps were simply just not faulty... I think I would certainly attempt a 50-50 split with the tenant, but if it goes to dispute then I think you would lose, personally... Perhaps there is an arguement that the leak was not reported as soon as it was visible which I would have though was in your contract (it's in mine)... They have a responsiblity to report and defects asap to the landlord...
http://www.skylight-properties.co.uk

12:07 PM, 5th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Unless you can get some independent verification that the problem arose as a result of tap tightening and only occurred during this tenancy (and was not as a result of leaky taps prior to tenancy commencement), I think you may struggle to get your argument to stick and recover your costs....

Jan Martin

16:01 PM, 5th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Hi Freda they were new taps fitted for the start of the tenancy. Thank you for replying.

17:45 PM, 5th February 2013
About 6 years ago

I expect the nut under the taps were not tighten enough, unless the tenants were using tools, I can’t see how they moved taps that were correctly tighten with tools.

However the fact that they did not turn off the water when they discovered a leak, may let you show they did not act in a tenant like manner.

Jan Martin

21:08 PM, 5th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Hi there. Years ago you could tighten so they would never move but today the materials are different and with fiberglass bath and plastic fittings you cant tighten same way. We have changed the taps again and given levers so hopefully they will go steady. I have decided despite this cheesing me off having spent so much on the propertyalready to pay for this myself on this occasion as I will end up loosing thousands if we disagree and tenants move out. I am trying to look at the bigger picture and if they stay a couple of years or more it will pay me to say nothing.
And if they dont I will sit and cry.

23:14 PM, 5th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Try fitting the taps with a Hep20 (or speedfit) connector, as unlike solder connectors they allow a pipe to rotate without damage.

Nat Patel

7:51 AM, 6th February 2013
About 6 years ago

I think taps always been fitted tight enough.No landlord wants trouble.But tenants are giving trouble.I have been through this.Most tenants will not call you and tell you about small leak until water come through ceiling that's there practice.I have changed new modern taps and mixers as easy operating . Old type taps always give problem as tenants are not friendly with .They always think They need to close too tight.And last I have not heard that any tenants have paid damages to landlord for this reason doesn't matter how many years they lived in.That's my opinion.

Joe Bloggs

9:45 AM, 6th February 2013
About 6 years ago

hi jan
i think you are probably wrong to blame the tenant. i have seen this problem a lot. it is caused by the use of flexible hoses rather than rigid copper pipes. the hoses are ok for mixer taps but no good at all for pillar taps as they will spin around eventually. were these fitted with hoses on pillar taps?

9:56 AM, 6th February 2013
About 6 years ago

A good solution to these types of problems is to fit
lever taps, no twisting. I suppose if the tenants are total animals or
malicious, they could break these to but I think you would have grounds for their
removal or a claim against the tap manufacturer, at least?
Kev

Mark Alexander

11:21 AM, 8th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Good call Jan


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