...to think a flushing toilet is a fairly basic requirement in a rented property?

(16 Posts)
FuzzyHeaded Mon 08-Jun-15 09:13:31

DH and I live in a rented property with two bedrooms and one bathroom. We've been tenants for a couple of years and our landlord is fairly 'hands-off'. If we have a problem he tells us to ring the plumber / electrician etc and sort it out ourselves.

We have a push-button toilet with a concealed cistern (so the button is connected to the cistern by a long tube). Last Saturday it stopped working. So I rang the local plumber, who said the button was totally worn out (this is apparently a common flaw in this type of flush). He fetched the part, fixed the toilet, great.

Anyway, I then email my landlord and (rather stupidly) say that we'd be happy to pay any extra Saturday call-out fee, as we hadn't okayed the work with him first. He doesn't pick the email up until Monday and rings me then to say that he 'always tells his tenants' that unless something is an emergency such as fire or flood then they should wait until the weekend is over to get it sorted.

Anyway, he's now got the bill and is complaining about how high it is, and seems to be implying that he thinks the weekend call-out charge comes to just under half the bill. I'd be happy to pay, at most, a quarter, but mainly I'm irritated by his suggestion that it was strange and demanding of us to want a flushing toilet at the weekend! WI really BU to get a repair of our only toilet done as soon as possible?

Theycallmemellowjello Mon 08-Jun-15 09:17:31

Since you've agreed to pay the weekend fee, ask the plumber what it is.

Radiatorvalves Mon 08-Jun-15 09:20:19

We have a similar loo in our property, that we rented out for a year. Despite a big 3 loos, when it stopped working, we paid the bill in full. I did query it, and spoke to plumber as it seemed high, but felt it was 100% our responsibility as LL to pay. In your situation with 1 loo, I think the emergency call out fee was justified. Can't the plumber tell you what that element of the bill was, if you agreed to pay it?

LazyLouLou Mon 08-Jun-15 09:21:02

NU and you were following his usual routine. However if the bill is large then he has probably had a shock and is reiterating the emergency calls at weekends idea.

He is being grumpy but not unreasonable. You are being defensive, but not unreasonable.

Email back saying that when your only loo stops working you consider that to be an emergency and have already agreed to pay the additional cost. Ask for a copy of the bill then reimburse him, exactly as you offered. So if he s right and the emergency call out charge is really high, you still pay it, as you offered.

Then you have a working loo and a happier landlord.

InstitutionCode Mon 08-Jun-15 09:23:04

Well, if it was my house, that I live in, it would be fixed when I had the money to pay for it and could arrange to be at home. I'd get it done ASAP, but I wouldn't consider it a drop everything, it must be done today kind of job. Meantime, I'd flush the toilet using a bucket.

I don't think LL is being entirely reasonable but I do think he's entitled to be put out that you arranged for work to be done without even speaking to him. That is probably why he's resisting paying, more than the actual cost IYSWIM.

As PP says, just ask the plumber what difference the weekend call out made.

IAmAPaleontologist Mon 08-Jun-15 09:25:15

I'm in 2 minds really as it is perfectly possible to flush a toilet by tipping a bucket of water down it so you were not without sanitation and could have waited. However, the landlord should have been clear in advance about what what is reasonable to have fixed at the weekend and if the landlord is going to complain about bills then perhaps he should have a list of tradesmen he knows and trusts for tenants to use. You may have put your foot in it by saying you would pay the saturday call out, you've opened yourself to being taken advantage of, but that is done now. I'd ask to see a breakdown of the bill as proof of what you owe.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 08-Jun-15 09:26:41

Well a loo can be flushed using a bucket for a couple of days so not an emergency as such. Just ask the plumber wich bit is weekend extra charge and cover that.

expatinscotland Mon 08-Jun-15 09:27:48

If the flush mechanism doesn't work, then nor will a bucket.

Find out what the weekend fallout charge is.

InstitutionCode Mon 08-Jun-15 09:29:24

Yes it will Sparkling. Tip a bucket of water down the pan - does the same job as the flush

FuzzyHeaded Mon 08-Jun-15 09:38:06

Yeah, we knew about the flushing bucket trick. I was partly influenced by the fact that we were having guests over (including overnight) and I felt that equipping them with a bucket might not be the nicest thing to do!

Just been over to the plumbers and got the breakdown for the weekend charge, which came to about a quarter of the bill - happy with that.

FuzzyHeaded Mon 08-Jun-15 09:39:35

And thanks all for the eminently sensible and calming responses! smile

millymae Mon 08-Jun-15 09:44:06

Where's piglet john when you need him!!

We have one of these toilets and the plumber taught us to blow down the tube if we were ever stuck again.

FuzzyHeaded Mon 08-Jun-15 09:46:27

milly - yes, I watched the plumber do that when he came! Will bear it in mind for future (though hopefully the darn thing won't break again during our tenancy...)

InstitutionCode Mon 08-Jun-15 09:49:42

Why have toilets all been changed to these button flushes? Ours has cost us £££ over the last 10 years. Before that, if the flush broke (which was much more rarely) it was a few pence at the DIY shop and I could fix it myself.

It's a conspiracy....

FuzzyHeaded Mon 08-Jun-15 10:08:57

Institution, I know! I remembered my DF doing fixes to our toilet when I grew up and so when this problem happened I pulled off the false wall thing and had a peer - the whole system looked much more complicated and harder to DIY.

Oldraver Mon 08-Jun-15 10:13:25

I would say its not exactly an emergency. You only had to wait two days and you could flush it with a bucket of water, the loo was still usuable. Had it of been blocked..yes to the call out.

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