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  • FIRST POST
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 10th Oct 17, 2:42 PM
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    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...£41.82 of £40 food shopping spend for the 2 of us!

    2017 toiletries challenge 170 out 144 in ...£18.64 spend
Page 2
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 10th Oct 17, 4:20 PM
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    iammumtoone
    I am a home owner so have no choice to sort theses things out myself (or get someone to do them for me) and it costs me, normally a few cans of beer etc depending on who I asked.

    However if I was a tenant I would be asking the LL to do everything (apart from light bulbs) as, as far as I am concerned that is the advantage of renting you don't need to sort out these issues the cost of doing so comes in with your rent.

    I wouldn't however expect small issues like this to be done straight away. I would wait until a time when the LL was available (much like I do now in my own home). I also wouldn't expect a tradesman just the LL to turn up with a toolbox - then if they made the problem worse it would be their fault and not mine.

    The only way I would sort myself is if I knew I was getting cheap rent, paying market rate I would expect LL to sort.
    Last edited by iammumtoone; 10-10-2017 at 4:23 PM.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 10th Oct 17, 4:22 PM
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    FBaby
    However if I was a tenant I would be asking the LL to do everything (apart from light bulbs) as, as far as I am concerned that is the advantage of renting you don't need to sort out these issues the cost of doing so comes in with your rent.
    If that's the case, it should be made clear in the contract. An additional fee added to the rent can then be agreed.

    As long as both parties know where they stand, then there are no issues. The problem comes when the tenant assume that the service comes with the rental price, the LL assumes it doesn't.
    • aneary
    • By aneary 10th Oct 17, 4:23 PM
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    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.supply some more.
    .
    Originally posted by LEJC
    Lightbulbs are handy I now have 3 different types of lightbulbs as I tend to buy a pack of 4 and my last three places have all used different spot light bulbs.
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 10th Oct 17, 4:24 PM
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    LEJC
    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!
    Originally posted by Helen2k8
    Thank you Helen....this has really given me an insight....it's interesting that you mention screws being a tenant responsibility in a HA property....as I suspect that my tenants panicked when the toilet seat wobbled...sent the email and then probably phoned mum and dad who perhaps suggested tightening the screw.

    We do also provide tenants with a torch in case of powercut etc...and I guess the screwdriver is a nice touch but it's just a case of prioritising what you include in the inventory without coming across that you are already filling the property with things before they even move in.
    frugal October...£41.82 of £40 food shopping spend for the 2 of us!

    2017 toiletries challenge 170 out 144 in ...£18.64 spend
    • Helen2k8
    • By Helen2k8 10th Oct 17, 4:27 PM
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    Helen2k8
    Does this help?
    https://www.placesforpeople.co.uk/customers/report_a_repair/is_it_my_responsibility.aspx
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 10th Oct 17, 4:35 PM
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    LEJC
    I am a home owner so have no choice to sort theses things out myself (or get someone to do them for me) and it costs me, normally a few cans of beer etc depending on who I asked.

    However if I was a tenant I would be asking the LL to do everything (apart from light bulbs) as, as far as I am concerned that is the advantage of renting you don't need to sort out these issues the cost of doing so comes in with your rent.

    I wouldn't however expect small issues like this to be done straight away. I would wait until a time when the LL was available (much like I do now in my own home). I also wouldn't expect a tradesman just the LL to turn up with a toolbox - then if they made the problem worse it would be their fault and not mine.

    The only way I would sort myself is if I knew I was getting cheap rent, paying market rate I would expect LL to sort.
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    I agree thats a reasonable attitude to have and as LL's we have never shied away from our responsibilities to repair or replace anything....It comes as part of the perks of being a LL I think.

    My reluctance in the case I highlighted in the opening post was not the fact that I didnt want to arrange to get the toilet seat fixed it centred more along trying to word the email to them to suggest them trying to establish if it would require a simple fix...ie the twist or 2 of a screwdriver without sounding patronising or reluctant...hence me leaving it till the morning to reply by which time thankfully they had sorted it.
    frugal October...£41.82 of £40 food shopping spend for the 2 of us!

    2017 toiletries challenge 170 out 144 in ...£18.64 spend
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 10th Oct 17, 4:55 PM
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    LEJC
    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.
    Originally posted by Wyndham
    Out of curiosity,which situation do you prefer....to have a little control(albeit possibly driven by the LL's reluctance) or do you prefer your current situation in a "showhome"?

    I guess the optimum is somewhere inbetween...but I also guess that it's possibly hard striking that balance and that only comes when the LL and tenant are on the same wavelength.

    I'm the first to admit I'm probably not the perfect LL but I'm not the worst either...but I do like to think I am fair.
    frugal October...£41.82 of £40 food shopping spend for the 2 of us!

    2017 toiletries challenge 170 out 144 in ...£18.64 spend
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 10th Oct 17, 4:57 PM
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    cjdavies
    It's a difficult one, if simple and then the tenent messes up, the tenent has to cover the damages and it's not worth it from the tenent side.

    I'm a homeowner and had to change a lightbulb, taking off the glass shade thing, how the he'll does this come off? Trying and next minute smashed on floor, lovely!

    No heat from radiator, YouTube, thermostat off and hitting with a hammer to get the pin back up, less than 5 min job - as a tenent would I hammer the radiator? No chance.
    Last edited by cjdavies; 10-10-2017 at 5:07 PM.
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 10th Oct 17, 6:00 PM
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    iammumtoone
    If that's the case, it should be made clear in the contract. An additional fee added to the rent can then be agreed.

    As long as both parties know where they stand, then there are no issues. The problem comes when the tenant assume that the service comes with the rental price, the LL assumes it doesn't.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    But thats the point if I was paying market rate rent I would except these things included in the rent, the case in the OP tightening of a screw I'd attempt it but I wouldn'd spend too much of my time trying to resolve as that's what I believe I would be paying for in the market rate rent (cheap rent, yes I would expect to have to make more of an effort to resolve things). I would not think to mention it at contact stage as its what I would expect, unless of the course the contract specifically stated what jobs I would be expected to carry out.

    As a home owner, never rented, this is just my perception of what renting should be. I am well aware from the many posts on here its not like that in reality, the OP sounds like a good landlord, I realise there are plenty of tenants can't get major jobs done let alone small ones.
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 10th Oct 17, 6:05 PM
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    iammumtoone
    I agree thats a reasonable attitude to have and as LL's we have never shied away from our responsibilities to repair or replace anything....It comes as part of the perks of being a LL I think.

    My reluctance in the case I highlighted in the opening post was not the fact that I didnt want to arrange to get the toilet seat fixed it centred more along trying to word the email to them to suggest them trying to establish if it would require a simple fix...ie the twist or 2 of a screwdriver without sounding patronising or reluctant...hence me leaving it till the morning to reply by which time thankfully they had sorted it.
    Originally posted by LEJC
    No I'd wouldn't mind an email telling/asking me what to attempt first. If it was something I could mange I would give it a go and get back to you if I had attempted and failed or if I thought it was something beyond my capabilities.

    I would also feel covered if I had told of the problem and was asked to try to resolve myself, if it went wrong I would have 'proof' that I was only following instructions therefore wasn't liable for any extra cost involved in my messing of it up.
    Sealed pot challenge ~ 11 #017 - Open 1st Nov


    • Wyndham
    • By Wyndham 11th Oct 17, 10:52 AM
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    Wyndham
    Out of curiosity,which situation do you prefer....to have a little control(albeit possibly driven by the LL's reluctance) or do you prefer your current situation in a "showhome"?

    I guess the optimum is somewhere inbetween...but I also guess that it's possibly hard striking that balance and that only comes when the LL and tenant are on the same wavelength.

    I'm the first to admit I'm probably not the perfect LL but I'm not the worst either...but I do like to think I am fair.
    Originally posted by LEJC
    My situation is strange, in that I have a permanent home, but currently work a long way from it (I'm a contractor) so this is why I'm renting, and renting furnished. In that situation, I want it to be a hassle free as possible - it's basically an alternative for me to staying in a hotel.

    In terms of what I prefer - it's tricky. I want hassle free, but I'd really like somewhere to hang my dressing gown and in my current rental I'm not allowed to put hooks on the doors
    Last edited by Wyndham; 11-10-2017 at 10:54 AM.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 11th Oct 17, 11:14 AM
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    FBaby
    But thats the point if I was paying market rate rent I would except these things included in the rent
    But what's market rent but what someone is prepared to pay for? The level of maintenance required is likely to be mainly affected by how old the property is and this is likely to be reflected in the rental cost already.
    • cloo
    • By cloo 11th Oct 17, 12:07 PM
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    cloo
    It really does depend... when I was LL one of my tenant family was a tradesman, so they could do all minor repairs, but I got in electricians, plumbers etc when necessary. At other times tenants asked me if they could get a professional friend in to do things like decoration, carpets or replacing a light and I would reimburse them for the 'mates' rates' they got after inspecting the work, which went quite well.

    As a LL I always erred on the side of being resposive and getting stuff done, as that's basically your responsibility. Plus I always felt really bad if anything went wrong and wanted it sorted ASAP!
    • aneary
    • By aneary 11th Oct 17, 12:13 PM
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    aneary
    But what's market rent but what someone is prepared to pay for? The level of maintenance required is likely to be mainly affected by how old the property is and this is likely to be reflected in the rental cost already.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    I looked at two flats in the same building and the same layout one had a slightly larger terrace and was £25 a month more (the one I stupidly rented). After talking to my neighbour about the issues I was having with my LL she told me her LL was actually really good and the level of service was far better than I got.

    So no the level of maintenance the LL does is often not reflected in the price. Market rate is market rate the input of the LL is down to whether he is a prat or not.
    • p00hsticks
    • By p00hsticks 11th Oct 17, 12:19 PM
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    p00hsticks
    In terms of what I prefer - it's tricky. I want hassle free, but I'd really like somewhere to hang my dressing gown and in my current rental I'm not allowed to put hooks on the doors
    Originally posted by Wyndham
    If you're not too fussed about completely closing the doors (as in my experience you can't when using them) one of these might do the trick https://www.matalan.co.uk/product/detail/s2538067/chrome-over-door-hooks?gclid=CjwKCAjwgvfOBRB7EiwAeP7ehos9nBK_DQLJC-QopAwHizsUs4e8iEWhwltzI8vXZZ5KodsZ3AOK8xoCPJMQAvD_ BwE
    • clairesilverspar
    • By clairesilverspar 11th Oct 17, 12:49 PM
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    clairesilverspar
    I think it depends on a number of things, including cost, skills and risk. I'm not going to spend money on fixtures/fittings that I'm only going to leave behind.


    As a tenant, I'm happy to bleed radiators and change lightbulbs as I'm confident in my ability to not screw it up. Afterall, I've worn the lightbulb out with use, and I'm not going to sit in darkness, and I want my heating to be as efficient as possible - I'm paying for it.
    When it comes to the bigger stuff though, If I thought there would be a risk for me to mess it up and cause damage, I would be asking the landlord. It's not my house to risk damaging it.


    I'd probably be happy to have a go fixing the toilet seat, especially if it is just tightening a screw, but if I though I was going to risk breaking it, I'd inform/check with my landlord first.
    I like to think I'm fairly handy with small DIY, but it would eventually come down to the idea of "it's not my house".


    I'd be happy for the landlord to say to me "could you try doing it yourself" as long as they accepted that I'm no professional, and if I thought it was too risky (but wasn't being ridiculous) they'd need to accept no as an answer.
    • rtho782
    • By rtho782 11th Oct 17, 12:57 PM
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    rtho782
    I guess it depends on the tenant.

    I'm a homeowner now, but probably did more than the landlord would have liked me to do in the past. I've changed toilet valves, because I'd usually rather do it myself and spend £15 than have people come to visit my home. Going back futher, I once changed an immersion heater element myself (because the old one had corroded and died, it was tripping the electrics). Again, only cost me about £25 for the element, and I would rather spend £25 than have an "inspection".

    On neither occasion did I even tell the LL I had done these, as then they would probably have come visit.

    Part of my reluctance to have visits is that my other half will go through a cleaning spree panic (it's always clean anyway, she's just a bit houseproud and will go mad when we have visitors) which I find becomes stressful, the other part is that I don't tend to want to wait however long it would take to get someone to come out when I have no hot water/no working toilet.

    Finally, I used to have cats when I wasn't supposed to, so having visits meant hiding the cats away, taking them to a friends.

    I'm not sure if that means I was a good tenant or a bad tenant on balance. However none of our LLs ever knew we had cats on leaving, so it's not like we left the place in a state!
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    • doverdover
    • By doverdover 11th Oct 17, 1:01 PM
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    doverdover
    As a tenant, I expect the landlord to deal with major things (usually structural, boiler, locks, floors, electrical faults etc).

    We do most other things - stuff like fixing curtain rails, doors, cosmetic things etc we just do ourselves as it's quicker than spending 6 weeks negotiating with a letting agent about it.

    I find it a bit scary that people would request lightbulbs to be changed or similar.

    My landlord sees no responsibility other than collecting his rent though. I dread to think what would happen if the boiler packed in.
    • Hutchch0920
    • By Hutchch0920 11th Oct 17, 1:04 PM
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    Hutchch0920
    My LL is about as useful as a chocolate fireguard so if me or my housemates think we can fix it we'll give it a go.

    Most recently our washing machine packed up, the LL had conveniently bought one back in 2015 which was stored in the shed, so we (myself a 5'3" 60kg woman and my male housemate) carried it in and fitted it. Without the right tools it took us ages to get the transport bolts out but was much quicker than begging the LL to see to it, which would have taken him months.

    I also recently patched a hole in the wall which a mouse was using for access into the kitchen. I'd told LL and his brother (Who was living there at the time) that it was an issue on a couple of occasions with no reply. I eventually saw to it myself with a glue gun and some cardboard....which obviously looks a right mess but does the job....more fool the LL for being a useless !!!!! (there is no inventory and our deposit is not protected so it's being used as the last month's rent - probably shows you how interested the LL is in going things properly).
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    • Carl31
    • By Carl31 11th Oct 17, 1:16 PM
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    Carl31
    When we rented, we treated the house as our own, so minor damage, bulb replacements etc.. we did ourselves. The only time we called the LL was either for failed white goods, or a major flood issue
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