Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 10th Oct 17, 2:42 PM
    • 9,220Posts
    • 57,775Thanks
    LEJC
    How much "in house maintenance" do you as a LL expect or as a tenant give?
    • #1
    • 10th Oct 17, 2:42 PM
    How much "in house maintenance" do you as a LL expect or as a tenant give? 10th Oct 17 at 2:42 PM
    This thread isn't meant in any way to have a go at either tenants or LL's and I would be grateful if we could refrain from apportioning too much blame either way when replying.

    It comes on the back of an email I recently received from a set of tenants asking me to arrange a plumber to deal with a wobbly toilet seat.

    The email came in during an evening and I decided it could wait till the morning to respond.
    Come the next morning as I was composing an email back came the reply...not to worry as it was just a loose screw and had now been fixed.

    Fair enough...but it got me thinking as to how much is too much to suggest the tenant first tries some simple fixes....

    I appreciate that everyone has different thresholds of capability but tenants I'd like to hear about your experiences in a light hearted manner as well as how LL's have dealt with the "smaller " requests.

    Is it a case that as a tenant you report everything first then consider your options or is it a case of if it needs any fix it's back to the LL for advice or guidance.

    Or is it a case of LL's you would rather deal with everything however small to avoid the potential of things becoming worse.
    frugal October...£37.39 of £40 food shopping spend for the 2 of us!

    2017 toiletries challenge 143 out 121 in ...£14.92 spend
Page 1
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 10th Oct 17, 2:52 PM
    • 516 Posts
    • 382 Thanks
    Comms69
    • #2
    • 10th Oct 17, 2:52 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Oct 17, 2:52 PM
    Surely a handyman would be more suited than a plumber?


    That said the answer is - it depends.


    Plenty of things that a tenant can fix on their own, but should they have to?


    In my opinion if it's going to take longer than an hour or cost more than £10, i'll report it.
    • Mossfarr
    • By Mossfarr 10th Oct 17, 2:56 PM
    • 425 Posts
    • 563 Thanks
    Mossfarr
    • #3
    • 10th Oct 17, 2:56 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Oct 17, 2:56 PM
    I think it depends on the age and experience of the renters.
    My first set of tenants were young and it was their first time away from home. They were a complete pain as they called us any time of night or day for the most minor things and expected an immediate response. Things like hanging pictures for them (?!!), changing the battery in the smoke alarm, new battery in doorbell and even changing lightbulbs. Jobs which I definitely expected them to sort themselves.
    They even phoned us at 10.30pm on a freezing Boxing Day to say they had just got home and the boiler wasn't working, they expected my husband to go straight away! Apart from the fact that my husband was very much worse for wear by that time we had told them many many times that the fault was a frozen condensation pipe which they simply needed to pour a kettle of boiling water over to clear it.
    Thankfully they left after a year and we now have older more experienced tenants who never bother us unless its a real emergency. We discuss and resolve any minor issues at the regular inspections.
    Last edited by Mossfarr; 10-10-2017 at 3:01 PM.
    • aneary
    • By aneary 10th Oct 17, 2:58 PM
    • 626 Posts
    • 480 Thanks
    aneary
    • #4
    • 10th Oct 17, 2:58 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Oct 17, 2:58 PM
    I have an issue with the door handle on my bathroom it doesn't work on the inside, I also have an issue with the sliding wardrobe door it keeps coming off the rail, I was going to get my landlord to fix it but I then had a issue with a blocked toilet which was half my fault and the LL got a plumber out the same day and didn't have a go at me.

    My dad is a carpenter and will be over at some point to put a bookcase up he will fix the door handle then, (there is only me so I rarely need to fully shut the door) and the wardrobe I can live with although my dad will be looking at that too.

    It depends what it is and whether I can fix it or not (I tried to unblock the toilet before calling my LL). Also if it's electrics, or gas I won't even try as I could cause more damage.
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 10th Oct 17, 2:59 PM
    • 9,220 Posts
    • 57,775 Thanks
    LEJC
    • #5
    • 10th Oct 17, 2:59 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Oct 17, 2:59 PM
    Surely a handyman would be more suited than a plumber?


    That said the answer is - it depends.


    Plenty of things that a tenant can fix on their own, but should they have to?


    In my opinion if it's going to take longer than an hour or cost more than £10, i'll report it.
    Originally posted by Comms69
    That's quite a good yardstick to use....
    and yes I agree it depends...I have several sets of tenants ranging from the quite adept who will pick up the instruction manual through the spectrum to "why should I deal with it...."

    The interesting thing that came up when I spoke to someone else about it was the issue of lightbulbs....another area that could be classed tenant responsibility but also could need guidance.

    ....The plumber would have been my OH...not a professional handyman as such ...but useful with a screwdriver!
    frugal October...£37.39 of £40 food shopping spend for the 2 of us!

    2017 toiletries challenge 143 out 121 in ...£14.92 spend
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Oct 17, 3:02 PM
    • 60,288 Posts
    • 352,311 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    • #6
    • 10th Oct 17, 3:02 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Oct 17, 3:02 PM
    Things like hanging pictures for them (?!!), changing the battery in the smoke alarm, new battery in doorbell and even changing lightbulbs. Jobs which I definitely expected them to sort themselves.
    Originally posted by Mossfarr
    I am a home owner and struggle with that lot. To date:
    - I have hung no pictures ... and left the "loose curtain rail" still loose as I've no idea how to fix that, what with or what tools I'd need.
    - The smoke detector was beeping every minute for a week before I finally even dared to attempt it (hard wired in/petrified of electrical wires) ... and I eventually managed to get a neighbour in to do it for me (but he's moved now!).
    - changing lightbulbs - I can do that, if I can find the right one... I've hardly any left here as I never seem to get round to getting them out and going out hunting for the right sort.
    - battery in the doorbell, been here 3+ years and not got round to it yet. Not really sure how the front'd come off...and scared of breaking something if I try.

    People who are landlords are, by nature of their interests, more likely to feel able to do these things - and more likely to have confidence and the right tools.

    Some of us have major "what if" fears of touching things.... I'd rather sit with something not working than have a go at it and totally b4lls it up and create a more urgent/big problem.
    • NaughtiusMaximus
    • By NaughtiusMaximus 10th Oct 17, 3:04 PM
    • 320 Posts
    • 758 Thanks
    NaughtiusMaximus
    • #7
    • 10th Oct 17, 3:04 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Oct 17, 3:04 PM
    In my opinion if it's going to take longer than an hour or cost more than £10, i'll report it.
    Originally posted by Comms69
    Agree with the added caveat I would only tackle a job as a tenant if I was 100% sure I wouldn't screw it up. With my own property I would take a little more of a risk on that last point.
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 10th Oct 17, 3:07 PM
    • 9,220 Posts
    • 57,775 Thanks
    LEJC
    • #8
    • 10th Oct 17, 3:07 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Oct 17, 3:07 PM
    Mossfar...I can sympathise with you over what you describe....I do think that perhaps its an experience thing and possibly if it's the first time away from home when something suddenly "breaks" it needs sorting straight away....these tenants have only been in a month so it's even too early to discuss inspections with them and in fairness I have always made it clear we are available for advice or whatever....
    frugal October...£37.39 of £40 food shopping spend for the 2 of us!

    2017 toiletries challenge 143 out 121 in ...£14.92 spend
    • Mossfarr
    • By Mossfarr 10th Oct 17, 3:10 PM
    • 425 Posts
    • 563 Thanks
    Mossfarr
    • #9
    • 10th Oct 17, 3:10 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Oct 17, 3:10 PM
    Another incident I've just recalled about my young tenants... They complained that the cooker was giving of a really nasty smell each time they used it (which was a rare event as they usually went to her Mothers house to eat)!
    When we went to investigate the smell was caused by the clumps of cat hair stuck in the grease in the very dirty oven. They used to let the cats sleep in the oven and didn't even wipe it out before they cooked their pizza's in it - YUK!!
    • NaughtiusMaximus
    • By NaughtiusMaximus 10th Oct 17, 3:13 PM
    • 320 Posts
    • 758 Thanks
    NaughtiusMaximus
    Another incident I've just recalled about my young tenants... They complained that the cooker was giving of a really nasty smell each time they used it (which was a rare event as they usually went to her Mothers house to eat)!
    When we went to investigate the smell was caused by the clumps of cat hair stuck in the grease in the very dirty oven. They used to let the cats sleep in the oven and didn't even wipe it out before they cooked their pizza's in it - YUK!!
    Originally posted by Mossfarr


    Sounds like you could write a sitcom about this pair.
    • aneary
    • By aneary 10th Oct 17, 3:16 PM
    • 626 Posts
    • 480 Thanks
    aneary
    Another incident I've just recalled about my young tenants... They complained that the cooker was giving of a really nasty smell each time they used it (which was a rare event as they usually went to her Mothers house to eat)!
    When we went to investigate the smell was caused by the clumps of cat hair stuck in the grease in the very dirty oven. They used to let the cats sleep in the oven and didn't even wipe it out before they cooked their pizza's in it - YUK!!
    Originally posted by Mossfarr
    That makes me want to vomit.
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 10th Oct 17, 3:17 PM
    • 9,220 Posts
    • 57,775 Thanks
    LEJC
    I guess thinking about it as a LL....I would prefer that a tenant contacts at the point that they are not confident with an aspect of "maintenance"...I'm certainly not trying to get out of a LL's responsibility of providing a safe functioning property to our tenants.

    But there is the issue that what a tenant may consider urgent could wait for a suitable appointment and doesn't always need a professional to attend as an emergency call out....and sometimes I guess it's about getting the balance right so that the tenant gets the issue fixed without huge expense to either side.

    I've also had a tenant who didnt report a leaking boiler but left it for the flat downstairs to do so when water flowed into their hallway....so really I should be thankfull that this bathroom incident was we hope just a loose screw.
    Last edited by LEJC; 10-10-2017 at 3:19 PM.
    frugal October...£37.39 of £40 food shopping spend for the 2 of us!

    2017 toiletries challenge 143 out 121 in ...£14.92 spend
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 10th Oct 17, 3:43 PM
    • 11,012 Posts
    • 15,188 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    I was quite happy to deal with small jobs round my home such as replacing the old shower hose that was leaking. It was less hassle for me to do these things myself and wouldn’t involve having other people entering my home. I also didn’t want to be like the boy who cried wolf so that if I did raise a repair or maintenance issue the landlord would know it was series whether the landlord did anything about it is another matter but at least I had acted in a tenant like manner.

    The last place I rented came with a guide that explained, amoungst other things, how to shop for lightbulbs.
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • aneary
    • By aneary 10th Oct 17, 3:48 PM
    • 626 Posts
    • 480 Thanks
    aneary
    .

    The last place I rented came with a guide that explained, amoungst other things, how to shop for lightbulbs.
    Originally posted by Pixie5740
    Not that I would need to be told how to shop for lightbulbs but maybe LL should consider guides maybe that would limit the phone calls.

    In a shared house the LL paid for appliance insurance and we were named so we could call out engineers it was £170.00 a year and we ended up with a replacement oven and fridge freezer whilst I was there. (Note although they were a good make they were both old when they were replaced).
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 10th Oct 17, 3:49 PM
    • 5,951 Posts
    • 5,707 Thanks
    davidmcn
    Agree with the added caveat I would only tackle a job as a tenant if I was 100% sure I wouldn't screw it up. With my own property I would take a little more of a risk on that last point.
    Originally posted by NaughtiusMaximus
    Same here really. I first rented after 18 years as an owner-occupier, so was happy to do minor DIY, especially if it avoided having to arrange for the landlord's tradespeople to visit for quoting and/or to do the work. But I presumed he wouldn't have wanted to know that I was meddling with electrics or plumbing.
    • Mossfarr
    • By Mossfarr 10th Oct 17, 4:03 PM
    • 425 Posts
    • 563 Thanks
    Mossfarr


    Sounds like you could write a sitcom about this pair.
    Originally posted by NaughtiusMaximus
    Yes I probably could......

    There was also the time that they moved their bed into the middle of the living room because they didn't want to use the central heating. They just used an electric fan heater which probably cost more to run than the newly installed central heating

    Also, they never asked permission for the two cats they had which they never let out so they clawed the wallpaper, paintwork, window blinds and carpets (and oh yes they were Toms so sprayed everywhere)! We don't object to pets, but would never have given permission for cats as my husband is allergic to them. He used to start coughing and sneezing the minute they opened the door. It was a nightmare for him doing any work in there.
    • aneary
    • By aneary 10th Oct 17, 4:12 PM
    • 626 Posts
    • 480 Thanks
    aneary
    Yes I probably could......

    There was also the time that they moved their bed into the middle of the living room because they didn't want to use the central heating. They just used an electric fan heater which probably cost more to run than the newly installed central heating

    Also, they never asked permission for the two cats they had which they never let out so they clawed the wallpaper, paintwork, window blinds and carpets (and oh yes they were Toms so sprayed everywhere)! We don't object to pets, but would never have given permission for cats as my husband is allergic to them. He used to start coughing and sneezing the minute they opened the door. It was a nightmare for him doing any work in there.
    Originally posted by Mossfarr

    How do people live like that???

    Makes me wonder what their parents house was like to think that is acceptable.
    • Helen2k8
    • By Helen2k8 10th Oct 17, 4:14 PM
    • 339 Posts
    • 1,961 Thanks
    Helen2k8
    I've rented from a housing association before so they have some guidance (and that guidance is in very plain English so tenants with different languages or abilities get the idea).
    In essence, lightbulbs and loose screws are for the tenant - to the point where we got a free screwdriver and little pair of pliers upon moving in. A nice touch actually!
    H.A.s expect tenants to pay for own decorating and carpet, so that is different to private tenancies I've had.
    Electrics wise, we were expressly forbidden from messing with anything beyond a lightbulb. Anything else has to be approved and carried out by a qualified person.
    Plumbing is limited to blocked pipes.
    We did have a way to report small things as well as emergencies, which I used. E.g. a lot of the elderly window latches gave up at around the same time, so when 3 or 4 had gone I logged a report but noted it wasn't critical. However a water leak above the fuse box was taken seriously!
    • Wyndham
    • By Wyndham 10th Oct 17, 4:15 PM
    • 1,971 Posts
    • 2,208 Thanks
    Wyndham
    In my last flat, it quickly became apparent that my landlord wasn't very good at DIY himself (he actually said that to me while trying to fix something), but also reluctant to pay for things to be fixed. In that flat I did a few minor things, and didn't hesitate.

    My current flat is more at the 'showhome' end of things - more looks over substance and practicality (it's furnished). My landlords have made it clear that they are perfectionists, so that means that I won't try anything myself. I'm not even allowed to put up coat hooks! Thankfully nothing major has gone wrong, but if it did, I would be straight on the phone to them and not try to do it myself.

    In both cases the attitude of the landlord has informed how I behave.
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 10th Oct 17, 4:17 PM
    • 9,220 Posts
    • 57,775 Thanks
    LEJC
    Not that I would need to be told how to shop for lightbulbs but maybe LL should consider guides maybe that would limit the phone calls.
    Originally posted by aneary
    Funnily enough this is something that we actually do....there is also a cupboard in each property that contains a few replacement bulbs and some cleaning materials....we call it the honesty cupboard.

    the idea is that there is a basic stock of essential cleaning bits and bobs which we say are for the tenants use,subject to them feeling comfortable using the products.Whilst we don't ask for replacement at the end of the tenancy we suggest that if they have found the products useful that they may leave any unfinished bottles they are currently using....it usually rolls on quite well....apart from the tenant who once said they had run out of hob cleaner and could we supply some more.

    On the flip side though we also have a tenant who before they make any contact has usually phoned an associated helpline to diagnose a problem to establish who is best to attend and what actually needs fixing.
    frugal October...£37.39 of £40 food shopping spend for the 2 of us!

    2017 toiletries challenge 143 out 121 in ...£14.92 spend
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,044Posts Today

10,064Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @LordsEconCom: On Tuesday Martin Lewis, Hannah Morrish & Shakira Martin gave evidence to the Cttee. Read the full transcript here: https?

  • Ta ta for now. Half term's starting, so I'm exchanging my MoneySavingExpert hat for one that says Daddy in big letters. See you in a week.

  • RT @thismorning: Can @MartinSLewis' deals save YOU cash? ???? https://t.co/igbHCwzeiN

  • Follow Martin