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Responsibility for Burglar Alarm

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Author Topic: Responsibility for Burglar Alarm  (Read 38 times)
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Posts: 1

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« on: September 10, 2020, 01:30:47 PM »

Hi,

Whose responsibility is it to maintain a burglar alarm in rented accommodation? We had to call an electrician out to disconnect the alarm after it went off as we were never given the code to turn it off. We did this to avoid our entire street being kept awake with the alarm going off in the middle of the night.

Landlord is claiming we should’ve asked them for the code as we should be setting it every time we leave the flat (tenancy agreement says to use it as appropriate). Inventory lists the alarm as untested. We assumed it didn’t work.

They refuse to reimburse us for the call out fee and have demanded we pay to reconnect the alarm or it will be taken from our deposit.

Any advice? We had been model tenants up to this point (zero issues, fully paid, kept in good condition) for 1.5 years and were planning to stay here for a few years but we are now reconsidering that.

Thanks
« Last Edit: September 10, 2020, 01:48:33 PM by SalemCat223 »
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2020, 03:32:10 PM »

The Landlord is responsible for the maintenance of a burglar alarm.

However, you cannot incur expense on the behalf of the Landlord without their prior approval... was there a reason this wasn't sought? It isn't implied that you tried. On top of that... I suppose their point of view that you have now broken it (effectively, via disconnection) is valid... "untested" in the Inventory does not mean "broken" or "defunct" or "disconnected" - it just means "untested". You can't make assumptions along these lines, sadly. I think I'd try to be more pragmatic about the situation - why did it go off? Someone must've tried to set it or unset it incorrectly, right? It can't be the result of a power cut, right? You'd have had more power cuts in 1.5 years than just one time. Also, most (possibly not all) alarms would silence themselves after 30 minutes (recent experience of this myself) so whether it was an actual emergency is a genuine question. So you weren't given the code to turn it off, but how did it come on? Genuine question.

Threatening to reconsider your tenancy is no skin off the Landlord's nose... they'll just re-let it at a higher rent... and you'll have to go through the rigmarole of moving and possibly paying a higher rent - this is called cutting off your nose to spite your face... acting out of pique... because things didn't go your way... most people make decisions and then handle the fall-out from those decisions. I am struggling to see a way your actions here weren't your own responsibility... but if you want to elaborate?
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