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    • carofg
    • By carofg 14th Jul 17, 5:29 AM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Letting Agency Negligent???
    • #1
    • 14th Jul 17, 5:29 AM
    Letting Agency Negligent??? 14th Jul 17 at 5:29 AM
    My partner has a flat he rents out and is managed by a well known estate agency.
    The boiler broke and he was informed. The tenant got a quote which sounded too expensive, so the lettings agency got one also. It took 83 days for the boiler to be fixed. The tenant paid rent during the 83 days the boiler was not working, but as soon as it was fixed, stopped paying rent for those 83 days.
    The EA now want to wipe off the debt and are asking my partner to give permission to do so.
    My questions are: who is at fault here? The EA for not completing the repairs in a reasonable time, and should the EA incur the cost of the non payment of rent?
    I realise my partner should have been on top of the EA making sure everything was being done, but he pays a management fee so thought everything was being done by the agency.
    ( The flat is rented by a company who use it as a serviced apartment and charge per night and not rented out by a family or single person on a permanent basis. Just to be clear.)
    Thanks for reading. Any advice greatly received.
Page 1
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 14th Jul 17, 5:56 AM
    • 16,684 Posts
    • 41,272 Thanks
    • #2
    • 14th Jul 17, 5:56 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Jul 17, 5:56 AM
    Surely it depends on the reasons for the delay? Is it because the person the AE instructed wasn't available for 3 months and the EA did nothing? Is it because the tenant was never around at the appointment date/time and wouldn't allow them to go in without them present? Is it because the part wasn't available in this country? Was the boiler totally broken or not efficient?

    Did the tenants complain to the AE at anytime? Did the AE contact your partner at anytime to explain the situation?

    3 months without water/gas would be totally unacceptable and tenants should indeed be compensated. Your partner needs to get his contract with the AE out and start reading the small print!
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 14th Jul 17, 7:37 AM
    • 7,664 Posts
    • 7,800 Thanks
    • #3
    • 14th Jul 17, 7:37 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Jul 17, 7:37 AM
    You don't get property rent-free just because the boiler is broken, so at least some of that should be recovered from the tenant.
    • GrumpyDil
    • By GrumpyDil 14th Jul 17, 8:09 AM
    • 154 Posts
    • 112 Thanks
    • #4
    • 14th Jul 17, 8:09 AM
    • #4
    • 14th Jul 17, 8:09 AM
    Quick question as I have some doubts about the nature of the agreement. Is the flat rented under an AST as the description of the arrangements sounds strange and the type of agreement may make a difference to the aedvice.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 14th Jul 17, 8:34 AM
    • 20,145 Posts
    • 15,872 Thanks
    • #5
    • 14th Jul 17, 8:34 AM
    • #5
    • 14th Jul 17, 8:34 AM
    I agree with Dil, it sounds like it will be a business to business contract so what happens will depend on what the contract says.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 14th Jul 17, 10:06 AM
    • 15,118 Posts
    • 14,796 Thanks
    • #6
    • 14th Jul 17, 10:06 AM
    • #6
    • 14th Jul 17, 10:06 AM
    This is definitely a b2b lease, which makes it both easier and harder for the OP.

    Easier in the sense that the contract sets the terms and conditions for ending the agreement and chasing the money.

    Harder because a business is more likely to fight a case in court.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 14th Jul 17, 11:39 AM
    • 44,096 Posts
    • 52,245 Thanks
    • #7
    • 14th Jul 17, 11:39 AM
    • #7
    • 14th Jul 17, 11:39 AM
    We also need to know about the OP's contrat with the agent.

    If the agent is not authorised to affect repairs without the LL's consent, then the delay is the LL's fault.

    If the agent is contracted to undertake all repairs irrespective of cost, then the agent may be at fault if he delay in repair was unreasonable.

    Quite why the initial quote came from the tenant is a mystery.

    We'd also need to know the exact time-line
    * date boiler broke
    * date tenant informed LL/agent formally
    * date agent arranged quote (I think the tenant's quote is a red herring)
    * date quote received (just one? Why?)
    * date agent instructed engineer to proceed
    * date engineer started installation
    * dates of any issues encountered (missing parts needed, additional work discovered eg piping)
    * date work completed

    (plus any other relevant dates in the processs.....)
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 14th Jul 17, 4:03 PM
    • 1,228 Posts
    • 853 Thanks
    • #8
    • 14th Jul 17, 4:03 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Jul 17, 4:03 PM
    What was the effect of the broken boiler - was the property uninhabitable or could the tenant's damages have been mitigated by buying a temporary electric heater for example. The rent would not be free for the entire period that the boiler was broken. Repairs are expected, and as long as the repair was handled efficiently and reasonably, there should be no problem. The tenant would only have a recourse if there were unreasonable delays or the place was uninhabitable.
    • carofg
    • By carofg 18th Jul 17, 2:00 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    • #9
    • 18th Jul 17, 2:00 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Jul 17, 2:00 PM
    Thank you to everyone who responded. Looking through his contract the EA is his stating point and will take it from there.
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