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Tenants vs Landlords Responsibilities

Started by SteveB, February 09, 2024, 01:13:20 PM

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SteveB

Hi all, I'm new to this forum. I've been a BTL landlord for about 10 years now & self manage. I consider myself a good landlord, if a tenant contacts me regarding a problem I get onto a trade asap to get to the house & fix whatever.

My post here regards what is the landlords responsibility compared to the tenants responsibility. For example.

Last night a tenant messaged me & said all her electrics had gone off in the house & could I send an electrician out asap. This was sent at 18.31.
I didn't see the message until 19.10 by which point the tenant had sent another message saying she had flipped something in the fuse box & she now had lights but no electric.

After a brief discussion I said if you need an emergency electrician then the fee is down to you but I will recompense if it's down to age or bad equipment. Alternativly she could wait until tomorrow & I would pop over & look. Now this morning I havemn't heard a thing from her.

What I'm questioning is that this kind of thing happens to houses from time to time, water pipes burst, fuses blow, tiles fall off. Should tenants not have their own emergency insurance policies just like home owners do to cover out of hours issues?

Should tenants not know where fuse boxes are located. Should they not know where the main water stop cock is. In the example above the lady has lived there for 2 years.

I have no issues paying for upkeep & maintance of the property but the way some tenants just expect me to send out a electrician & pay emergency fee costs. Just thinking out loud really & something I'm considering when it comes to clauses in my leases.

I'd appreciate any comments, thanks.

Hippogriff

Quote from: SteveB on February 09, 2024, 01:13:20 PMShould tenants not have their own emergency insurance policies just like home owners do to cover out of hours issues?

It's your property.

Quote from: SteveB on February 09, 2024, 01:13:20 PMShould tenants not know where fuse boxes are located.

Yes. You will have told them where at Check-In and then will have documented it.

Quote from: SteveB on February 09, 2024, 01:13:20 PMShould they not know where the main water stop cock is.

Same answer as above. This is done at Check-In and, preferably, documented for when needed and people have forgotten.

Quote from: SteveB on February 09, 2024, 01:13:20 PM...something I'm considering when it comes to clauses in my leases.


You can't escape all of your obligations... some are in various Acts and suchlike, not only contained within reasonable expectations. The example you cite is interesting because, yes, the Tenant should know how to flip a switch on a Consumer Board... but, ideally, they should have been told as well... it certainly reads like this never happened (I find it strange, you may find my approach strange)? I get less issues like what you have described as I spend a good 45 minutes doing each Check-In and this type of thing is covered.

Plus, if there's no electricity because something has tripped... I'd usually like to have an inkling as to why. Of course, if it's a one-off then it doesn't matter, but - then - neither does the "out-of-hours" (does such a thing exist for a Landlord?) phone call.

havens

You've raised some important points about the responsibilities of landlords versus tenants. From my experience, tenants should definitely be aware of basic things like the location of the fuse box and the main water stopcock. This kind of knowledge can prevent a lot of minor issues from escalating into emergencies.

Your approach of offering to reimburse if it's due to aging equipment or something out of their control is very fair. While it's not a common practice for tenants to have emergency insurance policies, it could be beneficial to suggest this. They might not be aware such policies exist.

Including specific clauses in your leases about what constitutes an emergency and who is responsible for the costs can help set clear expectations. This can prevent misunderstandings and ensure that both parties know their responsibilities.

It's always a balancing act between maintaining the property and managing costs, but your approach of being responsive and fair is key. Sometimes, just a bit more communication and setting expectations can make a big difference.