to think that tenants can do SOME repairs themselves

(56 Posts)
SarahBumBarer Wed 30-Jan-13 12:08:31

Minor issues.

I rent out a house. Current tenants have been in there for 8/9 months. They moved in the day after my previous tenants moved out. The freezer stopped working properly a week or so ago. It is a recurring problem (the seal comes loose) and the freezer is no longer in warrranty and it made sense to replace the freezer rather than repair it. I immediately checked what day they could be in for delivery, confirmed that they wanted me to have the old freezer removed by the delivery people (rather than them put it outside for the free council collection) etc etc - all fine and a new freezer was delivered within 48 hours of them letting me know it was not working properly.

In addition they noted that the kettle was not working. I asked if they could possibly pick up a new kettle for c£30 and deduct it from their next rent. They advised that they were a bit busy at work and could I drop one round. I wanted to measure the freezer space anyway so I agreed (and resisted pointing out that I was a bit busy myself because hey - I'm a landlord and have obligations).

A knob has come off the cooker. Apparently they could not turn it so used pliers and it cracked and came off. I am organising the replacement knob but it has taken me a week or two mainly because they failed ro respond to my query as to the model number of the cooker and I've just had a chaser email.

They texted me before Christmas to say that two lightbulbs had blown. Standard bayonet lightbulds - nothing fancy or difficult. I told them to replace them themselves. Had they just moved in I would have replaced them - I think tenants can expect to move in with everything fully functioning.

Am I getting the balance right in terms of what I am doing compared to what they should be doing? I think that perhaps they should be replacing the cooker knob themselves (although I will do it now as I have said I will) and am not too sure about the kettle. They are adults and a lease is a legal interest in land after all but am I expecting a bit too much? I feel a bit like their mummy sometimes and am starting to think they are cheeky feckers!

idlovetogo Wed 30-Jan-13 12:12:34

Lightbulbs, really? Do you have to fit the bulb for them too?

I can understand the freezer and cooker if it's advertised as furnished but surely they should get their own kettle and lightbulbs?

carabos Wed 30-Jan-13 12:12:41

Are you renting furnished or unfurnished? If furnished, then they are right to let you know about the kettle, but it's not unreasonable to ask them to replace it and bill you in some way.

Perhaps they are new to renting and not sure about what they can and can't do? Some LLs are very fussy indeed about things and would want to know about any little thing, others, not so much.

fairylightsinthesnow Wed 30-Jan-13 12:13:09

If the kettle was part of the inventory then you need to provide one, though I agree perhaps they could have popped and got one themselves. As to the lightbulbs they are being ridiculous but to save you bother, why don't you go and buy a job lot and take them round so you don't get called out all the time for that. How old are they? The cooker knob - was it actually broken hence the need for the pliers or were they just being numpties? If the latter, then as you say, replace it this time but make it clear that in future any issues need to be reported FIRST before they make it worse or else you will not step in.

hopenglory Wed 30-Jan-13 12:13:33

They should be replacing the lightbulbs themselves shock but as a tenant, in a fully furnished house then yes, I would be expecting things to be repaired / replaced and not expected to do it myself and then knock the cost off of the rent.

If they are slow in giving you the info needed then it's their fault if repairs take a little longer than they would like, but rent should be kept as a separate issue otherwise you'll end up in a situation whereby they could start not paying you the full amount every time something needs doing

Bejeena Wed 30-Jan-13 12:13:39

Of course rental laws are different in different countries and it depends on what is written in the contract. If it says in your agreement that you provide light bulbs and kettle then you are obliged to. Does it say in the lease that kettle is provided? I would personally use my own as a tenant anyway.

jester68 Wed 30-Jan-13 12:13:50

When they rented were things like kettle/cooker etc included in their lease/rent prices?

Years ago I rented a room in a shared house. Things like kettle/cooker/microwave etc were all included in terms of lease. So if any went wrong/needed replacing then it was the landlord who had to fix/replace the items.

Can't remember about light bulbs though -pretty sure we replaced them once they ran out. They aren't much to buy anyway

jester68 Wed 30-Jan-13 12:18:04

And though I understand saying pop out and buy a kettle and take it off next months rent when I was living where I lived I could not have afforded that.

Used to work/go to college. When I was paid I used to pay rent, bus pass so I could get to work and college, food and other groceries etc. Very rare once I had paid all this that I even had £30 left spare

FeckOffCup Wed 30-Jan-13 12:19:45

YANBU about the lightbulbs but YABU about the kettle, I'm assuming they pay the rent by standing order not cash and it would be a load of hassle for them to change the amount for one month with the bank when you should replace it for them.

When i rented i saw the landlord once when he came to fix a leak under the sink with his plumber brother. Other times when things broke under the agreement or needed painting ect i sent a quick email to check it was ok and worked out what we do if i bought anything then i did it myself. it worked well but then i was at college part time at home the rest i might of begrudged it more if i worked full time. No chance would my landlord have paid for lightbulbs!

MrsBertMacklin Wed 30-Jan-13 12:21:02

Light bulbs are not furnishings, they are consumables. Tenants should replace (might be worth tightening up the wording in your contract for avoidance of doubt in the future).
Personally, I'd get the kettle myself, if part of the furnishings. I'd want to know it was brand new, i.e. not likely to cause a power short or worse. They are being arsey though, nothing to stop them from buying one online and getting it delivered to work.
The other minor repairs mentioned are part of being a landlord, bearing in mind that if they've been caused by carelessness, rather than fair wear and tear, I'd be considering whether to recharge the repair costs to the tenant.

Sneezingwakesthebaby Wed 30-Jan-13 12:26:44

YABU about the cooker and kettle etc but YADNBU about the lightbulbs! That's something they should be dealing with unless they have physical reasons why they can't which would probably have been discussed with you already anyway. Oh my I can just imagine my landlords response if I rang him about bulbs!!!

lottiegarbanzo Wed 30-Jan-13 12:26:49

Depends on your contract and inventory. They should replace lightbulbs but no harm leaving a few spares there. They should not have damaged the cooker knob. Make it clear they should tell you immediately about problems, not take things into their own hands. This relies on you responding when they do.

Don't ask them to deduct money from rent. They may start to do things and knock money off without confirming first, if that's how they think you want to operate. If it really is easier for them to replace the kettle and they are happy to, reimburse separately.

Communication is key to good landlord tenant relationships. I would always rather hear from them too often than too little. My last ones called me round to unblock the u-bend under the kitchen sink and defrost the freezer, both jobs I consider regular domestic tasks a tenant should do, not a repair but, I'd rather that than them not tell me when there's a problem that could get worse and become dangerous or expensive.

ReindeerBollocks Wed 30-Jan-13 12:27:34

I was ready to come on and say that YABU but actually they are being pathetic. We rent a furnished property. The dodgy old electrics mean that some lightbulbs need changing every couple of weeks. Also we are getting the tap washers replaced as they are old and it makes the taps difficult to turn off. We have also replaced other types of things like this around the house.

We have complained (and are still waiting on our landlord) for actual repairs that I would expect the LL to deal with - such as a broken boiler.

Needing new lightbulbs replaced is just ridiculous. Time to check the Tenancy agreement and see whether you have those items down as yours, otherwise it falls under wear and tear and reasonable maintenance of the tenants.The cooker knob came off but they broke it by using pliers so that actually makes them liable for the repair costs.

Bogeyface Wed 30-Jan-13 12:28:26

I am surprised that a kettle is part of the inventory tbh. White goods, fair enough, but things like kettles and toasters are part of a tenants possessions surely?! I would knock things like that off the inventory in future. And unless the lightbulbs are actually mentioned in the contact/inventory, email them to say that as they consumables, they are the tenants responsibility. You can get value ones from Tesco for about 20p!

This is the exact reason I rent unfurnished. If anything you provide breaks then you are obliged to mend or replace it.

However, asking you to replace light bulbs is just ridiculous.

Are you renting privately or through an agency?

LIZS Wed 30-Jan-13 12:34:08

Surely the tenant can pay for and install a lightbulb unless it is a particularly awkward fitting (like a sealed bathroom fitting). Maybe make a folder of all the appliance model numbers (for your ref too) and list the standard bulbs and batteries which go where. cooker knob tricky - they should have notified you that it wouldn't turn rather than force it but even then it isn't rocket science to fit one and you can easily order a replacement from espares or manufacturer. If kettle was on inventory then you have a duty to replace , could you not order one via www ?

DizzySometimes Wed 30-Jan-13 12:35:22

Just from reading the title, I was ready with a YABU, as it is the landlord's responsibility to ensure repairs are completed. It's one of the few perks of renting - that repairs are not the renter's responsibility, as long as the problem is due to wear and tear.

I agree with other posters - if the kettle was on the initial inventory then, yes, it is up to you to replace it. As for the cooker - that's a tough one. If it was not usable anyway, then it would have needed replacing so, again, your responsibility. However, if it's not clear whether it was broken anyway or if they have made it unusable, I would be tempted to suggest sharing the cost.

As for the lightbulbs - no way should you have to pay for those. And I would be careful about providing them, to be honest, although I'd check the wording of your lease first about what exactly they should be doing. In all the places I've rented, I've never expected the landlord to pay for my lightbulbs - I would equate that to expecting them to pay for my food or something. Very nice, but not what the landlord should actually have to do.

In two houses we have lived in DP has cleared the drains on moving in himself as they were blocked.

He has also repaired the oven door and the heating where we are now.

Our landlord is lovely and very quick to respond to any issues. But honestly, we would feel terrible if we called her about lightbulbs or a broken kettle.

SarahBumBarer Wed 30-Jan-13 12:49:35

*Idloveto" - I think that was the idea.

On they day they moved in I checked all the lights and smoke detectors with them and replaced one bulb and I'm certain that I left the couple of left-over lightbulbs that I had from the pack after I replaced the odd lightbulb so I suspect they used what I had left and then texted me the next time a bulb went and they had none left. Maybe I created an expectation by leaving them that I would be responsible for them.

They are quite young - I have their ages somewhere as I had copy driving licences but not to hand. They make two payments of rent, generally by bank transfer and not always for the same amount (he seems to sub her on some months) so I adjusting the rent would not have been a big deal admin-wise I don't think.

Good points re the kettle. It is rented furnished but I think the kettle is not on the inventory because then it has to be part of the electric testing. I think the old tenants left it though (we have quite an accumulation of kitchen equipment which I make clear is not in the inventory, I don't care if they use it/lose it/throw it out but I actually forgot about this when they raised the kettle with me. Must check.

I don't really know about the cooker. They said it was too stiff to turn hence the pliers so I guess they would say it was faulty. It's only around £9 to replace (assuming it does not need more than just a new know) which I don't care about it's just been a very long time since I rented but even then I can't remember ever not just quickly taking care of little things that I would see as wear and tear. It was quick for me to order a part as text/email/call my landlord.

Oh yes - they had a problem with a door sticking so I asked them to call the joiner/handyman ( I provided name/number etc because it is the guy I usually use and told him to expect a call) because it would be easier for them to agree direct with him when they would be in for him to call round and look at it (unless they want me to meet him there without them - many tenants are fine with this but these guys don't seem they type - which is fair enough). They have not done this yet but I have been reminded that it needs doing.

Thanks everyone. I think it is the jump when we click attitude (but without the courtesy of responding to my queries - eg re cooker model/letting joiner know when available) that has me a bit bemused.

SlowLooseChippings Wed 30-Jan-13 12:50:00

Check the contract - the AST agreements I've signed as both landlord and renter specifically mentioned lightbulbs as being something the tenant is expected to replace themselves. I've seen it expressly mentioned in some letting agencies' standard agreements.

As someone else said - lightbulbs are a consumable item, not a furnishing. Don't buy the job lot and deliver them to the property as suggested above, it's more unnecessary expense and you're setting expectations that you'll do it every time.

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Wed 30-Jan-13 12:59:38

I feel I am missing out as a tennent. I am now contemplating billing my landlord for 5 years worth of lightbulbs that I've replaced and not told him about hmm
I think you need to be very clear with your tennents as to what you And they are expected to replace/repair.
Personally I think that the cooker door knob is their responsibility as they broke it, and have a duty under the tenancy agreement to keep the property and contents in good working order.

SarahBumBarer Wed 30-Jan-13 13:01:20

Sorry - to whoever asked - it's a private let. I've actually been pretty lucky with tenants both in terms of finding - mainly through a large local emloyer whose employees are always looking for lets and issues during the let and these are no different really - it is just minor niggles that I have.

Worst issue usually is locking themselves out the house (usually late on a Friday night) but then I got a bit ruthless about chucking the spare keys into a taxi and charging them for it!

MrsBertMacklin Wed 30-Jan-13 13:05:07

"There was toilet roll in the bathroom when we moved in and it's now run out, can you replace it?"
One of my old flatmates actually asked our letting agents this question.

Bogeyface Wed 30-Jan-13 13:11:23

Is this their first rental by any chance? Sounds like they are used to Mummy doing this sort of thing for them, and now expect you to do it.

If the kettle is not on the inventory then explain that it was left by the previous tenant and if they need a new one then they can get one for less than £10 from Argos.

SarahBumBarer Wed 30-Jan-13 13:13:07

grin Frustrated and MrsBert I've previously left toilet roll tea bags and sugar at the house for the new tenants (if I'd been in painting etc pre-let) but so far no-one has asked me for a replacement of those!

ILikeBirds Wed 30-Jan-13 13:16:08

We used to have to call the landlord to change lightbulbs in our flat because of the ridiculously high ceilings. As long as this isn't something similar then YANBU

Having said that one place also tried to charge us because one bulb in a lightfitting of 3 was out when we moved out, which suggests the landlord viewed them as part of the property.

lougle Wed 30-Jan-13 13:18:11

I don't think it's their responsibility to tell you the model of the cooker - you should know that.

QueenofDreams Wed 30-Jan-13 13:19:02

Well I've rented fully furnished before, and a kettle was never part of the deal! I certainly wouldn't expect a landlord to replace lightbulbs either, that's just ridiculous. However when it comes to fittings and furnishings included in the rent then the landlord should organise repairs. Mind you I've never yet had a landlord who bothered fixing anything or even doing basic maintenance.

helenthemadex Wed 30-Jan-13 13:20:44

I cant believe that people would text a landlord about a lightbulb or a kettle YANBU

SarahBumBarer Wed 30-Jan-13 13:23:18

I expect so Bogey unless they did a student let. I do feel a bit like mummy. I thought £30 budget for a kettle was very generous!

Ceilings are not high and just standard bayonet fittings. There is a safety light thinggy in the bathroom and while it is not difficult to change you do need a screw-driver and I would not quibble about being asked to do that.

I've never thought about light-bulbs on moving out - when the last tenants left there was a bulb out and I replaced it as part of the new tenants moving in and never gave it a thought. I suppose in principle I do think that tenants have a right to have all bulbs working when they move in and the LL has a right to have all bulbs working when the tenants move out so I guess I do not see your LL as being too unreasonable in principle Birds. Buggered if I could be arsed to argue over or charge a tenant for a lightbulb though. Only deposit I have ever withheld that was not pre-agreed was from the lad who never put any sheets on his bed - I charged him for a new mattress. Disgusting!

I agree with bogey - they sound like first time renters.

Make your position clear OP, don't get too friendly with them and they will soon calm down.

SarahBumBarer Wed 30-Jan-13 13:25:19

Yes lougle I should. Unfortunately I lost my blackberry which has these details in so I asked them to remind me until I could take a new copy of the "house manual" which has all the appliance instructions etc in. Hardly the landlord crime of the centrury to expect a little give and take.

ScaredySquirrel Wed 30-Jan-13 13:30:36

I rent partly furnished and although I replace lightbulbs myself, I do phone the landlord for lots of things that I could possibly sort out myself, or at least would put up with if it was my own house.

I take the view that there are few advantages of renting over owning your own place, but that is definitely one (that you can phone the landlord and ask him to sort it out). So I wouldn't take time off to wait in for a kettle etc, but would do it if it was convenient. the mattress went on the bed and I couldn't carry it downstairs, so the landlord arranged for someone to come and carry it out and brought me a new one up.

lougle Wed 30-Jan-13 13:30:53

Well you didn't say that smile

lottiegarbanzo Wed 30-Jan-13 13:32:24

Mine were young too and just a bit clueless, domestically and tenancy-wise. You have to be extra clear about expectations and not assume.

I would not want tenants replacing parts, however cheap and easy, because then I don't know what has been done, can't guarantee the standard of the result and am not the trader's customer.

Them telling you immediately there's a problem is not the same as you jumping to order, you can respond in a reasonable time, I operate a triage type system. So asap if it's a failed boiler in winter, within days or a week or so for a major / minor repair, depending on the problem and when they / I can be there to meet the tradesman.

It is worth knowing straight away though. When my tenants had trouble with the freezer - it needed defrosting, they didn't realise, the ice jammed the mechanism and it stopped working - they didn't tell me for more than two days, by which time their food had all defrosted. Had they told me the first day, I could have taken our cool box round to store their food while it was sorted out, or even offered to store it in our freezer. As it was, their problem, as they hadn't attempted to tell me.

Cosmosim Wed 30-Jan-13 13:34:10

Most landlords leave the manuals for tenants and inventories don't usually include these details, so I would think its normal I include the model number when I tell my LL something is broken on the oven. cheeky about the kettle but then again, in my first let I was afraid to annoy my LL too much and didn't complain when something (non essential) broke. LL then tried to charge me for it at end of my lease shock - taught me to always tell the LL something needs replacing when it happens.

I think it is ridiculous if they can't change a lightbulb. And if the kettle breaks, frankly, I would not be crying to my LL for a new one. I would mention it'd broken and I suppose if lots of things are breaking (as they are), they may feel less than thrilled to have to shell out for a new one.

You should know the model of the cooker. I think if it was broken, it was broken - I'm not sure why they used pliers, though!

It's tricky - you sound very nice and you're doing a lot of things very promptly that I wouldn't expect. But, if the freezer, the cooker, and the kettle have all broken within the same short space of time, as a tenant, I would be really browned off.

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Wed 30-Jan-13 13:53:46

I accidentally killed the freezer in a house I rented, as I killed it I replaced it (I told the LL and they were happy if it was replaced like for like, which it pretty much was I replaced with a newer model )
I generally don't bother my LL unless the boiler breaks (which has only happened once) if I can get something safely fixed/replaced myself then I do.

hmm toilet roll, we were left some when we moved in no tea bags though can I request toilet roll replacement?

DeWe Wed 30-Jan-13 14:00:01

The lightbulbs made me laugh! I think you may need to be clear to them that they's their responsibility.

But a lot of landlords don't want tennants doing their own repairs. We were lucky when we rented that our landlady was along the lines of let her know, get a quote, tell her, she'd pay.
But others will get a couple of quotes and want their own people to do it. As someone else said, if you ask them to do it you might find somone like my bil who thinks he's God's gift to DIY, rewiring the kitchen which would be not just dodgy legally, but more than dodgy for anyone using it in the future.

I would not want my tenants doing any repairs to be honest.......

However, I wouldn't not use an agency either...might save a few quid but I would probably spend that money on head ache tablets smile

PaellaUmbrella Wed 30-Jan-13 14:04:33

Obviously they should be buying and changing their lightbulbs, unless it was strip lighting or something in which case it would be reasonable to ask the LL to buy and fit.

Kettle - depends whether it's on the inventory or not. If it is, then you are BU asking them to buy a new one and deduct from the rent. You should supply that.

Cooker knobs - I think that's your responsibility as the LL.

Yep, I've been told that by LL, betty. One of my LL told me that she let a tenant paint over the marks on the wall and found they'd got paint all over a new carpet and all over the woodwork. Nice. hmm

My last one wouldn't let me bleed a radiator in case I got the gunky water everywhere, either.

Thank god this one lets me paint over the mould! grin

I think you just have to weigh up how much damage they might do trying to mend something.

LRD - I wouldn't have a problem with a tenant bleeding a rad and my property doesn't have any mould to be painted over.

I just like to be made aware of any little problems and then as the LL it is down to me if I let them loose or get it sorted myself. My DH's family are all builders so it isn't a problem for me to get somewhere there pretty quick. The only thing I don't get involved with is plumbing and the boiler - I leave that to the agency to sort smile

SpicyPear Wed 30-Jan-13 14:15:47

I would say

- Lightbulb: YANBU, check the AST agreement but usually tenant responsibility. If I had to replace bulbs at end of tenancy I would deduct from deposit, but maybe I am a cowbag.
- Kettle: If it was made clear it wasn't part of the inventory, they need to get their own. If not you should replace yourself. Asking them to get it is unfair as it's not their repsonsibilty and setting a precedent of withholding rent not a great idea imo.
- Cooker: your responsibilty to fix faulty knob but if their actions increased cost of repair I would bill for this. In any case I would remind them that they are obligated to inform you of it
- Joiner: bit unfair just to give them a number to sort. I would offer them choice of meeting joiner there and supervise myself or they call joiner to arrange time, you having authorised work first.
- Locking out: not landlord's problem really. One or two off is fine but no way would I respond to repeated calls. Emergency locksmith at their expense and bill for any damage caused.

I'd be hopping mad if tenants attempted anything but the most basic of repairs as they could do more harm than good

IncognitoIsMyFavouriteWord Wed 30-Jan-13 14:16:24

When I moved into my new house, two years ago, my landlady left me a new home card and a bottle of wine.

Now I have drank the wine should I expect them to replace it?? no of course not (although they always give me one at christmas grin)

I take care of properties that my boss lets out. If a tenant told me that a bulb had gone I'd point them in the direction of the nearest supplier!!

I didn't suggest your property did have mould. confused

I'm saying mine does, and thank god they let me paint over it.

I think it is quite common for LL (especially those who've had a bad experience) to be concerned that someone who's renting may not do a repair/maintenance work that's up to scratch. Sometimes that's a fair point, sometimes not. Hence me saying the OP should weigh up what she thinks these tenants might manage.

I would worry, from the sound of them, that they might make things worse because they're obviously pretty useless.

StuntGirl Wed 30-Jan-13 14:25:43

Some landlords don't want you doing a single thing in their houses. Others could give a crap as long as the rent is paid. Make it clear to your tenants which kind you are smile

Lightbulbs are pretty standard for tenants to change themselves, anything else my landlord would want to be notified for. She then either lets us fix it ourselves if its a small thing it would easier for us to do, or arranges a professional if its a big job.

The kettle depends on whether it was part of the inventory. If it wasn't, but you left it there anyway they've probably assumed its your responsibility. I guess in future don't leave anything you don't want to take responsibility for, or make it absolutely clear which bits you will.

LessMissAbs Wed 30-Jan-13 14:28:11

I rent out a room in my house, and some tenants are great, while others are Precious Princesses that can do nothing themselves. And some of them just seem to have that magic touch where everything they touch breaks.

Fortunatley my last Precious Princess has now moved out, but before she did so, she broke my washing machine. She had been trying for a while to do this by constantly repeating the spin phase to dry clothes so it overheated, but on her last day she broke the door by not waiting til the 2 minutes safety lock was over and forcing it open. Fortunately as its only 5 months old, its still covered by guarantee.

Before this, she blocked my toilet, complained about her bedroom having a carpet because she was allergic to it, kept switching off my central heating boiler then saying it wasn't working, claimed the hoover was blocked because she couldn't replace the hoover bag, burnt the inside of my oven, and had numerous other little dramas. I also had to replace a light bulb in her room because she claimed she couldn't do it. All of these were quite some feats as the house is a new build and every single thing in it is brand new.

Your tenants sound like a nightmare, as if they expect a free cocierge service. I would honestly make up some polite excuse, such as needing the house back yourself to live in, and give them their notice. Lifes too short to deal with things like replacing people's lightbulbs and you can almost guarantee they will break more things like the knob on the cooker and it will cost you.

MammytoM Wed 30-Jan-13 14:35:32

I don't think you are being unreasonable to expect them to change a light bulb. I have never asked my LL to change them. As for the kettle, I would just buy one myself and tell the LL theirs is broken. They don't have to get a fancy one and can just take it with them when they leave or you could give them the men for it. The last place I was in I paid to have a shower out in and the LL paid me to leave it in when we left. The freezer I would say is up to you to replace if the house is rented as furnished. If not then they could buy one and take it when they leave - I've done this with a washing machine in the past. The cooker - I would expect my LL to replace the part if the house was advertised as furnished

I didn't suggest your property did have mould

I know, I was joking smile

Oh, good! I was worried you thought I was knocking what I'm sure is a very classy property. smile

andubelievedthat Wed 30-Jan-13 16:35:39

change your tenancy agreement i.e. certain"big?" items are your responsibility, others are theirs, and cash flow either way.i rent out a house , if a tennant had called me to change a lightbulb they would have been wearing the old one.

SarahBumBarer Wed 30-Jan-13 18:07:54

I know it seems as if a few things have gone wrong at once. Maybe it was just bad timing or perhaps they saved up a few things and told me at once. I definitely suspect they've used the freezer for a while with the seal not working properly until the over-freezing caused a problem for them. I don't mind - I decided when I had it repaired the last time that if it went wrong again I would replace the freezer.

Re the joiner - I've used him for years on my own house and the tenant's house. I am pretty sure they've met him. They also have emergency numbers for my preferred electrician and plumber/gas engineer and know if ever they can't contact me in an emergency to contact these guys direct and ultimately in a genuine emergency whoever they need to. All they need to do with the joiner is agree a time for him to call in. It just makes more sense to me than me trying to co-ordinate diaries of other people especially if it takes me a day to get hold of either one.

Thanks everyone some of the responses have made me smile. I'm not going to tell them to leave - it really is just niggles but I will do a more than usually thorough overhaul of the AST next time I get new tenants in.

SarahBumBarer Wed 30-Jan-13 18:09:26

I am astonished they OWN pliers though!

SilverClementine Wed 30-Jan-13 18:33:07

As a remnant I would expect you to sort the freezer as you did, have to pay something towards the hob, buy a kettle and you knock it off the rent, and replace the lightbulbs myself. Never in a million years would I expect my landlord to change/pay for lightbulbs, that's insane

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