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Tenant's take ages to tell me when things go wrong

(35 Posts)
CoffeeDuchess Mon 29-Aug-16 22:09:23

Name changed for this.

I've been a LL for 9 years and I've never had tenants like these.

They pay on time, keep the place clean and seem like nice people. They had 2 great references from 2 previous landlords.

The only issue is that they don't tell me or the letting agency when something goes wrong immediately. They moved in in Janury and so far:

A light switch stopped working and it was only noticed when an agent when down to do their 3 month inspection, when asked, they said it had been like that for almost 2 months, I thought it was strange that they didn't just ring the agent and tell them straight away but shrugged it off.

The cooker stopped somewhat working, so the stove didn't work but the oven did, it took them 3 weeks to let someone know.

Neighbours tree fell over, toppling on to the properties fence and it took the agents inspection for us to find out, the fence had been down for more then a month.

At that point agent asked if they'd report things straight away, so that we could get it fixed asap and they wouldn't be inconvenienced.

They agreed but just got an email from the agency, the boiler has stopped working for 5 days and they've just reported it this evening shock who can last without hot water for 5 days, surely most people would have reported it immediately.

They're good tenants and I'm not planning to take any actions, I'm just really befuddled, why not report an issue immediately?

FarelyKnuts Mon 29-Aug-16 22:11:24

Laziness?
Not wanting to "bother" anyone?
Afraid they'll endanger their tenancy if they complain too much?
Extreme laid back attitudes?

LIZS Mon 29-Aug-16 22:12:58

Maybe they've been away ? I guess these things just haven't bothered them enough to report.

BlurtonOnKites4eva Mon 29-Aug-16 22:17:21

I despise my letting agencies maintenance man plus I hate strangers in my house so I put off reporting things. I'm a normal person the rest of the time.

PitchFork Mon 29-Aug-16 22:17:56

I would consider giving them notice.
imagine they don't report a water leak for weeks shock

CoffeeDuchess Mon 29-Aug-16 22:18:06

They told the agent that it's been a bit difficult without hot water so I'm assuming that they haven't been away.

Maybe I find it strange because all my previous tenants would have phoned immediately, is this actually a common thing?

I don't see how any of the issues could have endangered their tenancy, it's things anyone would have called to get fixed.

CoffeeDuchess Mon 29-Aug-16 22:19:27

Pitchfork, that's a bit extreme, I'm sure even they would report a water leak.

LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 29-Aug-16 22:20:32

It might be because they are scared you will react badly? Not that you do, clearly. But they may think that part of being a 'good' tenant is not making a fuss. I remember telling our LL that the grill didn't work, only for them to make it quite clear that 'complaints' were a black mark. They also explained that, when the hot water didn't work, we were bad tenants because we wanted it to be fixed asap, and pointed out patronisingly that if we'd owned our own home, we'd have had to save up for a repair, so we shouldn't expect a quick fix or money off the rent.

I wasn't a doormat in either situation - I was pretty furious, actually - but I was aware in both cases that they could easily have given us notice to leave, and that would have meant we needed the money to move, which not everyone has. So, your tenants might be coming from this perspective, despite you saying you want things reported? Maybe reassure them that you know there have been some issues and you only want to be able to fix things early, because it's your job as a LL and to care for your property?

vulgarbunting Mon 29-Aug-16 22:22:12

I hate bothering my landlord. Partially because I want to be seen as a tenant who doesn't cause any problems, but also because the company the landlord employs to manage the property are unbelievably rude, and it makes me too angry to speak to them.

SprogletsMum Mon 29-Aug-16 22:24:36

Are you sure the letting agents are passing reports to you? In the last house I lived in I'd call about a problem they'd say they'd sort it, a couple of weeks later I'd call again etc etc nothing got sorted. There were a couple of things that I flagged up on every 6 monthly check for the whole 5 years I lived there and nothing got done.
In the house I'm in now the letting agent can be really vague about when they'll send somebody out e.g. at some point tomorrow or the next day. So if something breaks and I know I'm busy the next few days I'll save reporting it until I know I'm in.

CoffeeDuchess Mon 29-Aug-16 22:25:01

LRD you're LL sounds like an absolute twat. It's an agreement that both parties sign up to, it's part of my agreement to keep the property livable, which means boilers, cookers, light switches all need to work. I don't expect my tenants to live in a condition that I wouldn't.

LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 29-Aug-16 22:26:34

coffee - no, they weren't twats, just not very experienced in renting places out. It is very common, which is why I think it might be that your tenants had the same sort of experience.

EssentialHummus Mon 29-Aug-16 22:28:02

I've had this before with tenants, and interpreted it as reluctance to be seen as a troublemaker. Drove me bonkers. It was a shared house, so I resolved it by contacting them all when i was due to attend, in the vein of "I'll be in next Tuesday to do X. Please let me know if anything else needs doing/fixing so I can attend to it."

CurbsideProphet Mon 29-Aug-16 22:28:25

I would also put off reporting things, as the Letting Agents are so rude. We moved in and discovered the fridge freezer did not work. We were left for 2 weeks waiting for a new one. They didn't give a shit that no fridge freezer for that long is very inconvenient. I would now think twice before reporting anything unless it was absolutely necessary. No one wants to risk being known as a "difficult" tenant.

Gusthetheatrecat Mon 29-Aug-16 22:29:08

Is it possible that they're subletting to someone else and hence they don't know themselves when things go wrong? Just a thought.

CoffeeDuchess Mon 29-Aug-16 22:29:38

Sproglet, I've had the same letting agency for 7 years and they're amazing. We've had 2 previous tenants before these ones and things were reported immediately and fixed asap. The specific agent that deals with my property is lovely but of course people can show different sides but I very much doubt it's an agency issue as he was just as suprised that it took them 5 days to report the boiler.

LRD, I think I'll take your advice and email the tenants, tell them that it's perfectly fine to report when things go wrong.

sentia Mon 29-Aug-16 22:30:21

We never bothered our landlord if we could avoid it when we rented. I hate having strangers in my house.

NancyNamechange Mon 29-Aug-16 22:31:49

I hate reporting things. I usually have

(1) a landlord telling me I have to pay for the broken thing (for example, an oven that stopped working one month after I moved in!)

(2) a letting agent tutting and making out that I am being difficult

(3) I swear landlords try to deduct from the deposit for things you've complained about during the year

(4) It feels like every time I complain I end up with a builder being given a key and permission to come into the house WITHOUT MY PERMISSIONS/KNOWLEDGE.

I hate renting. I have rented 4 houses now and every time the landlord and letting agents are absolute crooks.

LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 29-Aug-16 22:33:35

Good luck! It must be infuriating to be dealing with this.

CrotchetQuaverMinim Mon 29-Aug-16 22:33:37

Yes I'm always worried that the landlords will raise my rent if I complain about things that cost to be fixed. Or that they'll just have me down as 'difficult'. Or that at some point they'll decide it's easier to sell than keep renting, etc. It's such an insecure and anxious thing to be renting, and such a worry that they'll put the rent up or change their mind or whatever. And I never like to bother them for little things, because I always think maybe I should be dealing with it myself, or it's not a real problem, or it's my fault somehow.

It's so nervewracking to email about a problem, wait to see how they'll respond, wait for the hassle of people coming to see and decide what to do, waiting for them to actually come do it, etc. Sometimes you just want to put off that worry for a little while!

Muddlewitch Mon 29-Aug-16 22:34:30

I'm a tenant and must admit I do put off reporting things, and if it's something minor I will arrange for it to be sorted myself rather than ask the landlord (I rent direct from LL not through agency.)

As pp's have mentioned above it is fear of being thought of as a difficult tenant. I've had horrible landlords before and I love my house, my kids are settled in school, I don't have the money to move and just don't want to rock the boat.

Maybe they have had bad landlords before and worry too.

wowfudge Mon 29-Aug-16 22:35:02

I would be wondering if they have something to hide and don't want anyone coming round. On the other hand, maybe they are just dozy and notice things straight away.

tametempo Mon 29-Aug-16 22:39:25

Maybe they work full time and will find it difficult to get the time off for lots of little jobs to be fixed.
Not everyone is happy for Landlord's / tradespeople to enter their home while they're out.

CoffeeDuchess Mon 29-Aug-16 22:44:33

LRD, not infuriating just slightly annoying.

Tame, I don't enter homes without asking and the issue isn't people coming in but the fact that it's not reported at all for ages.

I didn't realise people we're so reluctant to report issues shock perhaps they've had horrible experiences with LL's but boilers and fences and cookers aren't tiny things, but I can see how fear of being labelled difficult would stop people from reporting.

Yika Mon 29-Aug-16 22:45:09

I am rather like your tenants. I have a high tolerance for inconvenience and hate to bother other people (the two issues being related). Quite interesting (and useful) for me to hear that this reluctance to report is actually an inconvience in its own right.

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