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papillon
08-03-2010, 20:59 PM
Seems like things really haven't kicked off on the right foot.

I've just recently - 3 weeks ago - moved into rented accommodation after living in my own place for 8 years (fast relocation required). The place is lovely, but there were a couple of minor things - a loose kitchen tap and a loose light fitting which I hadn't got round to reporting because they weren't causing any trouble.

On Sunday morning I turned on the kitchen tap and then couldn't turn it off again. The tap just wouldn't get any purchase and kept slipping. When I tried to turn the stopcock on, it was too tight for me to turn. Lots of water pouring down the drain. I called the number on my AST agreement and got an answering machine, and left a message to report the problem, adding that I didn't want to pay the extra money on the water meter that this was going to cost. I wasn't shouting, but yeah, I was stressed. With the water still running I tried an alternative number and got the landlord on that. I repeated the same thing. "Now don't get excited," LL said. "I'm going to make a call and will call you right back."

Couple of minutes later a friend showed up, and he was able to turn the stopcock, thankfully. Ten minutes after that, a bloke (not the LL) showed up. I said we'd sorted the stopcock, and he took a look at the tap and said the seal had gone and it'd need to be repaired. He said he'd speak to the LL. I didn't hear from the LL himself again that day.

Monday morning rolls round and, needing a shower, I had a lightbulb moment and managed to jury rig a seal for the tap with an elastic hairband and managed to get it turned off. Stopcock off again, shower had, and I went off to work, thankful that the tap was no longer dripping, if only temporarily. I didn't turn the stopcock on again as it wasn't needed. I got a phone call from the LL on the way in to say he'd send someone round about 10am. Come 5.30pm, I got home to find the hairband off the tap, the seal still broken, and the tap dribbling away. This time, I wasn't able to fix it with the hairband, so the stopcock went on. Cue another call to the LL.

"I thought the guy had left you a message," he said. "The seal is gone completely and the whole tap needs replacing."
"No," said I. "And the tap wasn't dribbling this morning when I left and it is now. I still don't expect to pay the excess on the water meter from yesterday or today."
"If you couldn't turn the stopcock," he said, "that's not my fault. There wasn't anything wrong with it. And if you want to have this argument we could keep it going for years. But I'm not going to argue over a couple of pounds difference on your water bill when it's going to cost me over £100 to replace the tap."
"I'm not raising my voice," I said, "But-"
He cut me off. "Neither am I. But there'll come a time," he said, "when you'll need me to do something else for you. And I can make things just as difficult for you. So we can keep on having this argument if you want. The tap will be replaced tomorrow."

When he hung up I got really upset. Ok, truthfully - I burst into tears. I'm not normally so emotional, but - new job, still trying to rent out or sell my own house so paying mortgage and rent, the fast move, blah blah. Anyhow, whatever. Let's glaze over that embarrassing bit!

I've turned the stopcock again this evening to stop the dribbling, which means I'm out of water unless I want to keep on with the dribbling tap. I'll turn it on briefly in the morning to shower.

I know it's pretty much impossible to judge how much higher the water bill is going to be so I doubt I'm gonna see anything from the LL in that respect, even if he had any kind of obligation to do so, which I suspect he doesn't.

Am I being unreasonable? I could definitely have been calmer, I admit that, but I didn't shout or scream down the phone. Did I sound angry and/or stressed? Yes, I'm sure I did. But for him to basically threaten that he could make things difficult for me... that was not cool :(

Awesome start to a tenancy, right?

mind the gap
08-03-2010, 21:04 PM
I'm not sure why you have told us all this, but I am impressed by your ability to punctuate direct speech. It's a rare thing these days!

:confused: Sorry... what was your question? (On the assumption that the question in your last line is purely rhetorical).

papillon
08-03-2010, 21:15 PM
Some people can still write English reasonably well, thank you ;)

Re-reading, it does seem kind of question-less, doesn't it? Wow, maybe it was mostly catharsis. I think what freaked me the most was the hinted possibly-not-even threat. I haven't been a tenant in so long, and I don't want to kick it all off by making the LL antagonistic and leave him counting down the 6 months till the end of the AST so he can get shot of me. But at the same time, I shouldn't be made to feel uncomfortable just because a repair is needed.

mind the gap
08-03-2010, 21:25 PM
Some people can still write English reasonably well, thank you ;)

Re-reading, it does seem kind of question-less, doesn't it? Wow, maybe it was mostly catharsis. I think what freaked me the most was the hinted possibly-not-even threat. I haven't been a tenant in so long, and I don't want to kick it all off by making the LL antagonistic and leave him counting down the 6 months till the end of the AST so he can get shot of me. But at the same time, I shouldn't be made to feel uncomfortable just because a repair is needed.
Well, catharsis is strictly speaking a function of the operation of pity and terror on an audience's sensibilities. I'm not sure your leaking tap drama really qualifies as Greek tragedy as such, frustrating as it must have been.

Since you still haven't explained what we can do for you, perhaps I can offer you a poem by way of consolation:


BLESSING

The skin cracks like a pod.
There never is enough water.
Imagine the drip of it,
the small splash, echo
in a tin mug,
the voice of a kindly god.
Sometimes, the sudden rush
of fortune. The municipal pipe bursts,
silver crashes to the ground
and the flow has found
a roar of tongues. From the huts,
a congregation: every man woman
child for streets around
butts in, with pots,
brass, copper, aluminium,
plastic buckets,
frantic hands,
and naked children
screaming in the liquid sun,
their highlights polished to perfection,
flashing light,
as the blessing sings
over their small bones.

Imtiaz Dakhar

papillon
08-03-2010, 21:38 PM
Okay, okay, I get it - no use crying over spilt water. Just adds to the mess, right?

A question, then: If I get two consecutive water bills, with the first one (for this quarter) being appreciably higher than the second, is it (a) fair to assume that the tap problem caused the difference, taking into account my water bills over the past year have varied by no more than a pound or two each quarter; and (b) within my rights as a tenant to expect the landlord to recompense me for it?

Would the same be true for a similar situation like gas or electricity or.... etc? Not that I'm expecting there to be! Just curious in that respect.

mind the gap
08-03-2010, 21:44 PM
Okay, okay, I get it - no use crying over spilt water. Just adds to the mess, right?

A question, then: If I get two consecutive water bills, with the first one (for this quarter) being appreciably higher than the second, is it (a) fair to assume that the tap problem caused the difference, taking into account my water bills over the past year have varied by no more than a pound or two each quarter; and (b) within my rights as a tenant to expect the landlord to recompense me for it?

Would the same be true for a similar situation like gas or electricity or.... etc? Not that I'm expecting there to be! Just curious in that respect.
It might be reasonable to assume that a steep spike in the bill for any one period might be due to a leak, but in your situation I would stop fretting and chalk it up to experience. You could reasonably have been expected to turn off the stop tap as soon as the leak started. You would struggle to claim a few quid compensation for this. You could ask your LL for a contribution if the bill is much higher than expected - or you could just move on. It's quite stressful moving into a new property. Conserve your energy?

papillon
08-03-2010, 21:50 PM
I hear you - thanks.

GJMSurrey
08-03-2010, 22:12 PM
Honestly and frankly, and this is just one mans view...

The last thing tis landlord wants to deal with when he is trying to coordinate and fix a leak as quickly as possible is to talk about the far less important concern of the water bill - alike to trying to urgently send an apple to starving ethiopia, but they keep calling to say they are concerned about pips.

The landlord initially got someone around in 10 minutes - thats very good. This guy stopped the leak (most important bit) and went off to get a seal. Sounds like there was no time to source this and get back the same day, so came the next morning 10am. This is reasonable. Lanlord should have told you the day of the initial leak nothing would happen that day so some communication breakdown there.

When the guy arrived he realised the whole tap needed replacing. It appears he removed your hairband and did not replace it, possibly because he did not view dribbling as a problem (or expensive), and I neither agree nor disagree with this assumption.

Overall, in context, I would worry less and be more charitable/tactful on the water loss - be pleased that the landlord appears to be acting adequately.

I think the landlords comments about "i can make things difficult for you" are not intended maliciously but more he felt you were being difficult about the water bill when he honestly felt he was doing a good job resolving the issue and was not being appreciated.

Equally I think you were not being malicious at all, and your getting upet says a lot... (all positive)

I put it down to a breakdown in communication and neither of you acted innapropriatey really. Just a little heat of the moment stuff.

One mans view :) just hope you get it sorted quickly

papillon
09-03-2010, 08:32 AM
All true, and things a lot calmer in the light of day. Not spoken to the LL since last night. With a bit of luck, I'll have a tap that no longer drips by the time I get home this evening!

mind the gap
09-03-2010, 09:57 AM
All true, and things a lot calmer in the light of day. Not spoken to the LL since last night. With a bit of luck, I'll have a tap that no longer drips by the time I get home this evening!

That's great. Glad you feel happier about it! :)

papillon
09-03-2010, 18:19 PM
In closing, got home tonight to find a shiny new spout fitting, with both hot and cold tap heads replaced. Both turn off with nary a drip or dribble :)

mind the gap
09-03-2010, 18:33 PM
In closing, got home tonight to find a shiny new spout fitting, with both hot and cold tap heads replaced. Both turn off with nary a drip or dribble :)

Luxury! (The tap is connected to the water supply, I take it?)

papillon
09-03-2010, 19:56 PM
If they're not, I would be curious to know where the water's coming from when I turn them on ;)

mind the gap
09-03-2010, 20:01 PM
If they're not, I would be curious to know where the water's coming from when I turn them on

My parents weren't very scientifically minded, so I grew up thinking it was magic.

Hope that helps :)