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To think checking appliances work before renting out a property would make sense?

(109 Posts)
tangerineclouds Tue 08-Nov-16 08:20:14

I decided to rent out my house via an agent and things ended up moving very quickly as there was someone in the pipeline.

Last weekend I painted the downstairs rooms ready for the new tenant moving in. I left a tin of paint out in the kitchen (new tin, unopened.) Also the trapdoor to the loft was open.

Every day i get calls from the estate agent and I feel like it's beyond a joke. They wanted me to go there on Sunday to move the paint and close the loft hmm and then yesterday's drama was a leaking tap and a washing machine not working properly.

Now here is my gripe: surely before doing an inventory you would check everything works? Or AIBU? smile

PinkSwimGoggles Tue 08-Nov-16 08:26:55

as a landlord the buck stops with you so yabu. it's you who has to make sure the property is up to standard.

BolivarAtasco Tue 08-Nov-16 08:27:11

Not sure if serious. It's your house and you are the LL. Isn't it your responsibility to make sure it's ready for tenants?

BreconBeBuggered Tue 08-Nov-16 08:30:06

I thought you were going to be the tenant here.

tangerineclouds Tue 08-Nov-16 08:31:42

I don't honestly know as i genuinely thought this is what the agents are for. I live a long way away so my belief was that when the agents checked and did the inventory they also checked everything was in working order. Otherwise, they got over £300 for walking around a property and saying what was in it!

princessconsuelabannahammock Tue 08-Nov-16 08:35:24

You are the landlord it's your job. A letting agent does virtually nothing except take 10% of your rent and find ways of charging your tenants extra - 6 monthly contract renewal fees!

princessconsuelabannahammock Tue 08-Nov-16 08:39:01

The inventory is to provide you with impartial evidence in case a claim is ever need to be taken against the leaving tenant - they probably use a 3rd party and charge you extra on top. Check out landlordzone - the agent won't do everything for you and you just collect a massive wedge. The buck stops with you and YOU need to ensure that YOU are meeting your legal responsibilities.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 08-Nov-16 08:41:41

A bit U on both sides I think. What exactly is your agent supposed to do? Have you read the fine print of your contract with them to be sure who is responsible for what. Some will deal with maintenance if the tenant has a problem, but afaik they h do it proactively. An inventory reflects the state of the property - if while doing it they've found problems and alerted you then at that point either you fix it or you ask them to get one of their tradespeople in - but note they generally take a commission on this sort of work so actually its good they tell you so you can sort it yourself if you want.

They may specifically not do anything with loft access (for safety reasons I think).

Some agents are pretty useless though - you will need to keep a careful eye on things. Stuff like your gas safety certificate is (i think) your responsibility.

WindInThePussyWillows Tue 08-Nov-16 08:47:10

YABU the inventory is a record of exactly how the property has been left for the tenants.
You've paid for them to take inventory of the house, not change things, and also to find suitable tenants. The rest is down to you as a LL.

Did you not research your responsibilities before deciding to become a LL?
Surely you'd check everything was in working order and suitable for new tenants?

I'm sure you'd rather ensure and prioritise working appliances over a fresh lick of paint.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 08-Nov-16 08:47:41

Sounds like they did check things were in working order, found a couple of things that weren't and let you know. Sounds like correct procedure. At that point either you fix it or ask them to arrange it - either way you pay for the work and they might charge about 6% on top commission if they arrange it.

MauiChristmas Tue 08-Nov-16 08:48:21

an agent wouldnt check that appliances worked, no. And they wouldn't clise the loft hatch.

Have you checked that you comply with gas safety etc? As a landlord you have many serious legal responsabilities, do you know what they all are?!

ErrolTheDragon Tue 08-Nov-16 08:56:35

* surely before doing an inventory you would check everything works?*

Hopefully you're clear now - yes indeed, you.

The only people sure to make money from renting a house are the agents. All the costs and nearly all of the responsibility is still the landlord's.

tangerineclouds Tue 08-Nov-16 09:07:13

Thanks, Errol

The problem is, the property has been empty since the start of August and in that time presumably the washing machine stopped working, so the tenant has moved in and the washing machine isn't working. But unfortunately I had no way of knowing that.

AppleMagic Tue 08-Nov-16 09:07:58

YAB a bit U.
The agents we use would have moved the paint and shut the loft door (they'll also do things like replace lightbulbs and batteries in the doorbell but they wouldn't actually do repairs). They might have flagged the leaky tap too (although presumably you didn't notice it before you left so I wouldn't be particularly shocked if it hadn't been noticed during the inventory inspection). I wouldn't expect them to run the washing machine as part of the inventory so how would they know it didn't work?

We live abroad and have a good relationship with our agent. They use my preferred tradesmen for repairs (like taps and washing machines) and just send me an email to approve. There are often a flurry of small repairs when a new tenant moves in and notices things but it should settle down.

AppleMagic Tue 08-Nov-16 09:10:11

Ps our agents charge 10% of rent as a management fee but don't charge commission on repairs.

tangerineclouds Tue 08-Nov-16 09:10:32

I suppose this is the issue really - no one could have known these things were happening which is what I thought the agents would do prior to the tenants moving in. I just feel that on a daily basis I am inundated with phone calls about things I realistically can't do very much about!

donajimena Tue 08-Nov-16 09:11:03

300 for an inventory? Don't know where the property is but that seems excessive! Ring around in future. You don't have to use the agency.

AppleMagic Tue 08-Nov-16 09:13:26

Why can't you do something about it? You just need to tell them to get a plumber/repair person in and you pay the bill/they deduct cost from your rent.

mintyflamingo Tue 08-Nov-16 09:14:57

If you can't do anything about it then you really shouldn't be letting a property.

tangerineclouds Tue 08-Nov-16 09:16:28

Well yes, Apple but that's surely common sense. Anyway the point is I would have thought (mistakenly it seems) that part of having an agent when you yourself aren't local is that prior to the tenant moving in they check everything is working.

It's proving a bit of a nightmare as I can't answer the phone when at work and I feel as if I'm constantly bombarded with 'this needs moving / isn't working / is open / needs painting / is the wrong colour / is leaking / is not as expected'.

londonrach Tue 08-Nov-16 09:18:14

Yabu. Its your responsibility to check before letting out. I would expect everything to work when i first moved in.

mintyflamingo Tue 08-Nov-16 09:18:51

Just to add. We rent a property, the LLs live hundreds of miles away but are fantastic when it comes to quickly sorting issues. They have arranged plumbers, gas engineers and roofers, all through the marvellous medium of the telephone!

alltouchedout Tue 08-Nov-16 09:19:08

Everyone hates agents. Tenants and landlords alike. What they actually do to earn their fees is beyond me.

tangerineclouds Tue 08-Nov-16 09:22:00

I have done so minty, that's not my gripe.

If you had moved into your property and discovered various things weren't working, wouldn't it have been preferable for this to have been discovered BEFORE you moved in?

That's the point I'm making.

YelloDraw Tue 08-Nov-16 09:22:33

Anyway the point is I would have thought (mistakenly it seems) that part of having an agent when you yourself aren't local is that prior to the tenant moving in they check everything is working.

Well now you know differently!

I was inundated with calls when my first set of tenants moved in - always the way. Quite rightly they will be like 'the bathroom lock is broken, please can it be fixed' rather than doing the funny jiggly twist to get it to open and close ;-)

And you can do something about these things - you pay the agent to sort them out.

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