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Oct, 2014

Tuesday

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Welshpool
    Posts
    25

    Default Times for Repairs

    New here - can anyone help?

    New tenants as of 3/1. Only there for 3 months between selling their old home and waiting for the new one to be built. No deposit taken as still in dispute from old tenants and am already fed up with DPS.

    Plus, silly me, they seemed really nice and were desperate for temporary accommodation. I've been in the property since they moved in and am frankly quite horrified as the walls are in a mess already where they moved stuff in. They've just dumped furniture and boxes everywhere and the only room to move is around where they need to use beds and sofas. I'm worried about ceilings collapsing as there's so much stuff piled upstairs - there's a huge crack on a downstairs ceiling that wasn't there before they moved in. It looks like one of those American hoarder programmes!

    Anyway, new gas cert issued 5/11, but last week, their CO monitor went off. They texted me from the hospital late at night so I immediately rang the engineer who serviced the boiler. He was there by 9am but in the meantime, tenants have called out BG.

    Engineer can find nothing wrong. Half hour later BG engineer turns up and also finds nothing wrong. CO monitor goes off so he checks the air and there's no CO. Tenant has arrived, BG bloke tells him there's nothing wrong but his monitor is faulty. Tenant accepts that and moves back in, but buys another monitor (offered mine which he took, but he still wanted a new one).

    Few days later, exactly the same thing happens but this time tenant rings me from a hotel. BG arrive and find nothing wrong again. They check out the new monitor but there are no CO recordings. Tenant's wife tells gas man that it was just going off intermittently, but tenant says it was all the time. BG man leaves his own monitor and tells them to scrap their Argos jobbie. Hopefully, that chapter's closed.

    Friday I get a text saying he can't open the front door and needs it opened ASAP. I call a locksmith who points out damage. I have no option but to have the door repaired £200 + VAT. While waiting for l/s to fetch parts I get text asking how long as it's awkward to use back door (which is on the side and actually more accessible than the front!). I mentioned damage to him and he got defensive about his moving men causing it, but offered no apology.

    Last night I get a text saying one of the electric hob rings has broken. I text back saying that there probably won't be much chance of me getting an electrician in to look at it over the weekend and I definitely won't be able to get a new ring until he sees it and tells me what to get. Later I get a text asking me to get a camping stove. I text back asking about how many rings are still working and get told the other 3 are working but they're the smaller rings (so are obviously slower than the big broken one). I text him back explaining I don't have a stove and I'm at a loss as to what to advise on a Saturday night. He texts back saying they'll get a takeaway - again! But I need to sort something out for Sunday (already explained I wouldn't be able to get a sparky til Monday).

    So having explained the situation, here are my questions: How soon do I have to get the ring fixed? I know the sparky will need to look at it first and then I'll have to order one in so even if I get him in on Monday early enough to order one and get a next-day delivery, it's not gonna come til Tuesday earliest and then I'm at the mercy of the sparky to when he can fit it.

    Also, do I have to pay for his hotel room and his BG call out (as I'd already told him my engineer would be there at 9am, which was hours before the BG man arrived). He's taken it upon himself to take out a contract with BG which he says will be going with him when he moves to his new property - fair enough, that's his prerogative. But am I liable for the charges? I'm also worried about mould growing on the walls where their stuff has been piled. They seem to keep the house warm but don't open windows for ventilation. It's an old single-wall house and having lived there previously I know that if the house gets damp, mould will form where there's no air circulation.

    To be honest, I'm starting to feel a bit threatened by my tenant now. It's 3am and my heart has been hammering since his snarky text about eating takeaway AGAIN. He doesn't seem to have any boundaries. He has my home and mobile numbers, which I don't mind, but last Tuesday, I was having a telephone session with my counsellor (I already have some mental health issues) and he rang my other number 12 times in an hour. I have no idea what he wanted as he must have given up when I wasn't answering. I told him from the start to call any time if there's an emergency, but he has no problem phoning and texting at hours I wouldn't dream of calling friends or family! For stuff I thought I'd already explained.

    Please help as I have no idea how to handle this. Or him!

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    North West
    Posts
    1,772

    Default

    Personally I think T sounds like a right PAIN. I wouldn't pay for their gas man or anything else. It's perfectly possible to cook on just 3 rings and I doubt they could or would get the cooker fixed any faster than you can.

    Tell them that your working hours are between 8.30am and 5 pm and that outside these hours could they text you only. Ask them to confirm any problems in writing.

    Issue a section 21.

    Hope it gets sorted. Remember it won't last forever.

  3. #3

    Default

    H. This nightmare is clearly getting you down. The advice above is very good.

    You need to set some boundaries. I would say that you'll only take calls or texts between, say 9-12 unless it's an emergency. If they keep calling, I would consider changing my numbers, and just leaving one number that you only answer at certain times. If you feel really threatened you could consider calling the police.

    I would also prepare the eviction paperwork just in case they don't leave, that will make you feel a little better.

    With regard to repairs, you only need to do what is reasonable. 3 working rings on a cooker should be enough for two people. As for a camping stove, using calor gas, that sounds unsafe to use indoors, and will release water vapour, that could cause mould and damp. You are likely to need a new gas safety test if a calor gas stove is bought into the house. Hardly worth it for a short tenancy.

    You might consider buying a new cooker, you can get them for about £200, this could solve the problems for this lot and for the next people.

    As for mould, go round with mould spray and mould paint. This should only cost about £30 from a DIY store. The problem you may have is moving around all their items to apply spray and paint. You could leave the spray and paint with them for future applications if you think it's worth it.

    Don't let it upset you, there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel, although at 3am it may not seem like it!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Central south coast
    Posts
    2,859

    Default

    Jones- you need to take control. The tenants are not behaving in a' tenant like manner' by storing goods in such a compact way.

    You don't say why the tenant could not get in through the door? No you do not have to pay his hotel bill and three rings is plenty to cook on. ( A new ring costs about £ 15- 25 depending on type + installation.

    Try to stop yourself re-acting to every request - the more you do the more they will ask. Yes, issue Section 21 - don't keep these tenants longer than you have too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    9,170

    Default

    Indeed: and suggest both now & in response to all complaints or requests you write (yes, WRITE! - keep copies) to tenant calm & polite letters noting what they want, what you have/will be doing & what you wish them to do.

    I fear this may end in court: I strongly suspect they won't be gone when you have expect.

    Cheers!
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    524

    Default

    Yes I am paying them nothing, no need to go to hotel, just switch gas off at mains and air propperty for an hour, the house was not on fire. Additionaly they called B-Gas not you.

    They sound like they are just coming it. At least if they are getting there own home built then you can take them to court and get everything you are owed. Try and keep a record of everything and text whenever possible as they sound like you are going to have a legal problem over this.

    Also do not let it get you down, these things happen, move on, move upwards!

  7. #7

    Default

    I feel for you and you have been given good advice.
    I just wanted to say something about the CO alarm.
    They are often triggered by CO entering from another property - there migt be nothing wrong in your house but a neighbour could be laying dead with faulty gas fire/ boiler...
    Definitely don't supply any portable gas appliances - another can o worms.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Welshpool
    Posts
    25

    Default

    Thank you, All for your advice so far,

    Mrs TP, BG man suggested that - neighbour still out and about, though.

    Well, it hasn't gotten any better. I've managed to get hold of a ring but am unable to get it fitted until this Thursday. Tenant seems to have accepted this, but has now started persistently texting and ringing about "his" £100 (call out was £99 and for some reason, him adding the extra £ is really rankling!). He's suggested taking it off the rent (due tomorrow) which I've refused. I stated that the locksmith had pointed out damage to the door threshold when he got it open and tenant has muttered something about it being the movers fault. I told him that I would be willing to settle the account for anything that either of us is owed (I'm reluctant to say that I'll pay the £99 for his call out) at check out but now I've had two more texts and a phone call telling me that they need "their £100" this weekend.

    I know that the advice I've had here and from my solicitor is that I shouldn't pay them so I won't bang on about that any more. I am uncomfortable about not paying, though, as I feel responsible even though I know that I've done everything right so far (gas records etc.). I know that I would be a bit put out at monitors going off left, right and centre (but I think I'm reasonable enough to believe 4 different engineers telling me it's safe).

    However, I wonder if anyone here can clarify for me if I'm responsible for their CO alarm? In the text he's sent he's asking me to pay him for a new CO monitor as his "has been contaminated". Just to recap, I did NOT provide a CO monitor. He had his own two monitors, one battery, one mains. The battery one that originally sounded went off while the BG man was there so he waved his snooper around it and told tenant that it was clearly faulty, took it outside and broke it open. The new monitor they bought which went off intermittently has a read out that the BG read and said it showed no reading - this is the monitor I believe he's asking me to pay for.

    My solicitor tells me that as I did not provide one (and he understands that at the moment the only requirement is to provide smoke alarms, which I have), I am not responsible for it and therefore, should not pay him. Is he correct? Do I have to pay?

    Thanks All. The support I've found here has been invaluable, as I'm at a pretty low point at the mo and have lost all my fight (am quickly losing the will to live, too).

    ETA to add that BG have nailed a brand new monitor to the wall, which I am more than happy for him to take with him, however, I will be asking him to pay for the damage removing it will cause!

  9. #9

    Default

    Hi. Try to keep your spirits up, it's not forever.

    CO detectors aren't mandatory, and he installed it, so it's his responsibility.

    Consult with your solicitor about issuing a Section 21 Notice, and consider changing your phone number to give yourself a little breathing space.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by isabella View Post
    Hi. Try to keep your spirits up, it's not forever.

    CO detectors aren't mandatory, and he installed it, so it's his responsibility.

    Consult with your solicitor about issuing a Section 21 Notice, and consider changing your phone number to give yourself a little breathing space.
    big Ditto to all this.
    Turn your phone on to silent and don't feel you have to constantly deal with their calls.
    You aren't responsible for damage to any of the tenants property - including their CO alarm - and reember you didnt cause it to go off - even if there was CO in the property that doesn't mean it was your fault (could even be from vehicle exhaust outside).

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