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  • Buy-to-Let

    Tenant response time

    Hello Tribe

    I wanted to ask that what is the maximum response time in (legal terms ) when a tenant reports a repair?

    It seems my tenant is too demanding and wants everything done within couple of days, which seems very demanding!

    Thanks in advance.

    Regards

    MB

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    Hi MB

    From What I have picked up depending on situation like a boiler breakdown or an leak causing flooding in a cold weather if you have responded the same day or time and acted on it and made an appointment with the engineer you have done the job.  

    Now if there is drip in the tap it is not an emergency and if you show proactiveness I think it is safe to say two weeks is good time to get something like that done.  If there is a damp again it is not to be done there and then so situation will drive the time period.

    Others more experienced will advice better on this matter.

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    The response time is whatever you can reasonably achieve in the circumstances. So if it takes 2 weeks to get the parts to effect a repair and there are not other options then that is the appropriate response time. 2 days might be appropriate if the repair is critical or minor.

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    David Smith
    Landlord & Tenant Solicitor
    Anthony Gold Solicitors

    Find me on LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/dsnsmith

    All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of my firm. No comment made should be taken as legal advice and you should consult a solicitor or other legal professional for advice on your specific situation.

    Ideally you would have in place boiler breakdown cover with Tenant having a 24/7 number for direct call out - as well as a write up for Tenant so they know how your system operates - eg need for occasional water top up in sealed systems - though for latter you may prefer to pop round personally - eg if there is a callout excess to pay each time.

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    At some appropriate point verbally inform him you are confident he will be happier with response times in his next home....

    S21

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    In my book, it all depends on the nature of the problem, as already said. Water leaking through a ceiling, gas leaks, freezing cold because the boiler has failed - I give an immediate response. Common sense has to prevail.

    On the other hand, I once had a young lady tenant who worked in and estate agent's office. They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. JW, there was a seven page A4 document, with supporting photographs, sent to my letting agents, of things "requiring attention". I attended to about 6 things myself, e.g. "towel rail on bathroom door loose". A bit loose - redrilling pilot holes and fitting better woodscrews fixed that. Most of the things in her report did not require attention but were merely things to note, like normal wear and tear. My letting agent said she was paranoid and OTT. I could have taken action about her breach of contract: this was a studio flat which clearly stated single occupant only. Every time I attended, it was obvious that her boyfriend was living there. She was at work, I'd knock the door and he would shout "just a minute". He took ages answering the door. I wondered what he was hiding from my attention. He obviously wasn't working, but just sat there on the sofa, clad in jeans, trainers and one of those hoodie jackets so beloved of the street yobbos, with the hood pulled over his head, the electric heating on full bore, tapping away on his mobile phone. I think he was on drugs, maybe dealing them. He told me he had seen stuff in the passageway which meant someone was "chasing the dragon". I'd never heard the expression, but he knew what it meant; it implied someone else was doing drugs, but not he.

    I think he was sponging off his girlfriend, so I was not sorry that they left when the 6 month AST was up.

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    As above, it al depends what it is, as a rule i find new tenants always find something, its a bit like a new relationship where wants and boundaries are established. They want the reassurance you will deal with things , you show you will but make sure they realise how far you’ll go.

    90% of the time for me it works well, the. Then you get a “problem child” who takes a bit more time and effort, they generally seem to have underlying issues and just want someone visiting in my experience. Once you realise this a couple of text mesaages often sorts things out.


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