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rainbowcuddles
02-10-2006, 15:46 PM
I have a tenant who moved in 2nd September.
She reported that her fridge was not working properly on the 14th of September. I called out the aftercare service who sent an engineer on Monday 18th September. They needed to order a part and wait for it to come in to fix it. The fridge got fixed this morning so its been a total of just over 2weeks.
Shes been calling because now she wants compensation for loss of food during this time. I know as a landlord I have to take responsibilty for this but do I really owe her compensation?
How much would I give anyway? Im sure I did all I could to fix the fridge. And they did it as quick as possible.

Can anyone advise?

Jennifer_M
02-10-2006, 15:51 PM
Don't quote me on this but I've got the feeling that you should have supplied her with a replacement fridge (at least a small one) while waiting for repairs to be carried out as 2 weeks without anywhere to keep the milk is fairly annoying.

The food lost in the freezer and fridge should be covered by insurance (well it is on mine) but I can't help when it come sto who's insurance should be used.

Sorry I'm not much help. :o

islandgirl
02-10-2006, 16:18 PM
I would feel a section 21 coming on... this one will be trouble. I would point out that I had fulfilled my obligations by getting the fridge repaired. After all, if your fridge had broken you would have been without one for 2 weeks - it is not your fault that the part took a while to arrive.

pippay
02-10-2006, 16:56 PM
If it was a fridge that had broken down and not a fridge freezer then I fail to see how there could be any "loss of food" and as such I thnk her claim is frivolous.

MrShed
02-10-2006, 17:10 PM
I disagree here....I think that if they had food in the faulty fridge, then the landlord should cover the cost. How much is she asking for? At the end of the day, it is as a direct consequence of the appliance supplied by the landlord failing that the tenant has incurred extra costs. I can't really see any argument against reimbursing her this amount.

P.Pilcher
02-10-2006, 18:57 PM
To what extend are tenants to be mollycoddled??
If the boiler packs up then they can expect us to pay for alternative accomodation for them in the winter. If the fridge packs up, then we have to re-imburse them for a spoiled bottle of milk. I suppose if the roof leaks, then we can't expect them to find a bucket to collect the drips, merely be expected to shell out for the additional repair work, replacements and compensation that this leads to.
No, I'm afraid I wouldn't be prepared to compensate a tenant for loss of food under the circumstances, but his/her section 21 notice would be in the post by return!

P.P.

islandgirl
02-10-2006, 19:30 PM
I think we have to look at what we would have done in this situation. If my fridge broke down and couldn't be fixed for 2 weeks because it needed a new part I would have moaned a bit and gone shopping more frequently! I would have kept the milk in cold water in the sink and cursed every time I made a cup of tea! What I would not do is go out and buy a replacement fridge, or hire one, or expect the fridge fairy to deliver one! The LL arranged for it to be fixed, end of story. How much food can spoil? What was in there, caviar and lobster?

P.Pilcher
02-10-2006, 20:12 PM
No - it would be in the post by return under any circumstances! The date it expired would of course depend on the length left on the fixed portion of said tenants AST or two months, or at least two months ending on a rent day.

P.P.

Jennifer_M
02-10-2006, 21:10 PM
Well if it was a fridge-freezer I guess you could have a certan amount of food spoilt. I know in my freezer there must be around £50-£70 worth of food.

If it broke down I know I'd be annoyed at the cost of loosing the food. Not sure I'd go to the extent of claiming on my insurance though; the excess itself would be higher.

RichieP
02-10-2006, 21:21 PM
Issuing a Section 21 at such an early stage of the AST is likely to ruin any good will in the tenant/landlord relationship and could create problems. Why not offer £50 as a goodwill gesture, saying that in future there will be no such compensation paid, and that it is the tenant's responsibility to arange for contents insurance?

Or am I too soft?

pms
02-10-2006, 21:39 PM
I would feel a section 21 coming on... this one will be trouble. I would point out that I had fulfilled my obligations by getting the fridge repaired. After all, if your fridge had broken you would have been without one for 2 weeks - it is not your fault that the part took a while to arrive.

I wouldn't issue a S21 because that way you would be playing straight into the tenants hands.I tend to agree with Richie P offer £50 as a gesture of goodwill and suggest that she takes out some insurence.Issuing a "sword of damocles" would only be counterproductive and you could well end up with a "tenant from hell".By offering a gesture at least you may get a lot more respect from the tenant and for what it cost for the part wouldn't be more economically viable to buy a new fridge.

pippay
02-10-2006, 23:04 PM
We are talking about the chilled contents of a fridge which are perishable in a relatively short time anyway.

£50 for the contents of a fridge is a ridiculous amount to offer !! I live alone (and the OP infers this tenant also lives alone) and I would be pushed to have £15 worth of food in my fridge at any given time! And most of this could be kept in an ambient temperature.

Granted, though, that if it were a freezer that had broken down, there may be some justification for some recompense - but definitely not for the contents of a fridge !!

Whatever next? the electricity fails for an hour one morning and the LL has to pay for the tenant to have her hair done at a salon ???

red40
03-10-2006, 06:16 AM
Issuing a Section 21 at such an early stage of the AST is likely to ruin any good will in the tenant/landlord relationship and could create problems.

My thoughts exactly Richie, surely it would be better to ask the tenant to supply you with a list of the articles that where lost and for you to go to your local supermarket and replace the items, that way you have not given the tenant any money in hand. If the items listed are execessive then tell them to contact their insurers, but I have a feeling their insurers wouldn't do anything and as it was your fridge.

If further problems arise with the tenant then issue your section 21 notice as and when.

Dont forget the tenant can mess you around more than you can mess the tenant around.

welshgold
03-10-2006, 09:57 AM
£50 for the contents of a fridge is a ridiculous amount to offer !! I live alone (and the OP infers this tenant also lives alone) and I would be pushed to have £15 worth of food in my fridge at any given time! And most of this could be kept in an ambient temperature.



Agree completely It was said originally a fridge, so perishable goods i would have thought maximum £15 - properly a lot less, so as others have said ask for detailed list, in my opinion tenant unreasonable and trying it on, one of problems in supplying white goods, next you will have to call regularly and de-frost it.

Jennifer_M
03-10-2006, 11:25 AM
one of problems in supplying white goods, next you will have to call regularly and de-frost it.

To be fair landlords will charge more for a property that's let partly furnished. Even if it's £25 more a month than the unfurnished neighbour, that's £1500 over 5 years. Plenty enough to buy a new fridge, washing machine fitted and have spare change.
And I don't think most landlords actually change the white goods every 5 years !

So it's not as raw a deal as you'd think, even if you have to pay £50 compensation once in a while for wasted food.

islandgirl
03-10-2006, 11:56 AM
Any tenant who starts talking "compensation" for the contents of a fridge (I agree the £15 figure quoted above!) is already heading rapidly into being a "tenant from hell". The LL did everything possible to fix the fridge as quickly as possible. Just to be devilish - did the tenant do her best to mitigate the loss? Did she make rice pudding with the milk? Did she cook the chicken? Did she change her plans to go out that night and eat in to use up the food? The deeper you go, the sillier it gets. Everyone deals with things differently...but my section 21 would be in the post!

rainbowcuddles
03-10-2006, 12:57 PM
Thanks for all your replies. I can see both sides to the story as it is my fridge but it was bought brand new in March and I provided 1years guarantee on it. Im sure other landlords dont do this.
Compensation sounds ridiculous and she complained that she had to go to the shops everyday for fresh milk and she kept throwing pints of it away. I cant understand why she never bought small cartons of milk..sounded to me as if shed bought 4pinters!!

The problem with the fridge was the temperature. Turn it down and the fridge was too hot, turn it up and the food was ice cold.

Im sure she could have bought other goods whilst it was being fixed. 10days is hardly a month long wait.

Jennifer_M
03-10-2006, 13:43 PM
it was bought brand new in March and I provided 1years guarantee on it. Im sure other landlords dont do this.

What do you mean by this ??
If you bought the fridge and supplied it to the tenant as part of the tenancy you are liable for any repairs for as long as it's there and you'd have to replace it if it broke down completely. This can extend well beyond one year.

MrShed
03-10-2006, 22:09 PM
Hang on. I'm sorry I really don't get this! The amount of food lost is irrelevant. The fact is, pure and simple, that the tenant has had a financial cost incurred due to the landlord's appliance, therefore the responsibility of the landlord. Surely there can be no argument against the tenant wanting this money back? If a tenant left a property most landlords would charge for small bits of damages such as £10-20, so how is this any different?