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Can I refuse to use the designated repair agency?

(11 Posts)
lampshady Sat 20-Jun-15 11:04:56

I'm currently in a private rental. The boiler was broken on arrival and it was verbally confirmed to me to have been 'out of action for months', predating our arrival. The engineer told me he'd email the letting agent confirming this, as we have an ongoing dispute with them regarding the state of the property.

However, the letting agent has told us the engineer emailed to say the fault could have happened at any time and implicated the instillation of our washing machine. The washing machine was installed after we noted on the inventory that the boiler was broken.

I am going to chase this on Monday, but as there are ongoing repairs needed, can I refuse to let this engineer carry them out and insist another agency is used? I have no faith in a company that is willing to lie and it calls into question their professionalism and ability to do the work.

Thank you!

lampshady Sat 20-Jun-15 17:25:16

Tiny bump in case anyone knows.

Rattitude Sat 20-Jun-15 17:27:16

Are you sure the letting agent is telling the truth? It is possible that the engineer said nothing of the sort in his email...

lampshady Sat 20-Jun-15 17:40:27

I'll ask the engineer to forward/cc the email. It's been a bloody horror show tbh. Moved into an absolutely filthy house, provided with ab inventory that would've taken the clerk less than ten minutes, broken boiler, broken fittings, cigarette butt's everywhere. So disappointed.

Rattitude Sat 20-Jun-15 17:45:23

The landlord and letting agent don't look great for letting a property in such a state. I hope things get sorted for you.

LazyLouLou Sat 20-Jun-15 17:52:38

And remember to contact the landlord directly... they may have no idea what the agent is allowing to happen.

lampshady Sat 20-Jun-15 21:55:52

I don't have the landlord's details - he is abroad. I hate renting. Sigh. I saw this as long term and somewhere to settle but they've been awful. Not allowed guinea pigs in the garden but am allowed to creosote fences, put up trellises and anything else that 'adds value'. I shouldn't be surprised anymore, tenants are sitting ducks.

lastnightiwenttomanderley Sun 21-Jun-15 06:53:52

OP...do you know if your washing machine is cold or hot fed? If the former then there is no way the two would ever be linked. Even if the latter, I have no idea how a washing machine could kill a boiler! Sounds like they're trying it on...

LIZS Sun 21-Jun-15 07:18:54

You are legally entitled to the ll's details , abroad or not. Let their engineer fix it , if it still doesn't work then you can complain. It is irrelevant what caused it and when.

lampshady Sun 21-Jun-15 11:01:33

I really don't want the engineer they've used to do it if he's lied to the letting agency about what he's said to me. I received a really snotty email basically calling me a liar. The repair, including flushing through the system, will take six hours and I don't want him in my home for that long.

SugarOnTop Tue 23-Jun-15 00:39:28

The engineer told the truth, he's not psychic - the damage could have happened at anytime, i.e when previous tenants were there/during unocccupation/moving etc. It's the agency who are adding their own interpretation and trying to blame it on you, most probably so they can make you pay for it.

i've had similar experiences in private let and you have to get very firm and assertive with them - and make sure you know your rights. Also, keep an email/written record of all ongoing issues/correspondence as this may prove useful later.

You should have received a gas/electric safety certificate when you moved in and this should note the condition etc of boiler from when you moved in. If not, the agency/landlord should have a copy of when it was last done. This is your proof of the condition of the boiler/date inspected/not your fault.

They will play email-ping pong with you whilst you chase them for repairs, i found the following worked after 5 months of being messed around -

*emailed agency with a list of the unresolved issues, gave them 28 days to fix the non emergency repairs and 1 week to fix the boiler. i can't remember the details but i think there is something in rental law that things like hot water and heating are considered 'emergency' repairs and therefore the agency and landlord are legally bound to fix them within a certain time period - check it out.
* As they were faffing around with excuses of 'can't get hold of landlord' etc, i used my right to withhold the rent up until such a time the repairs had been confirmed/completed. Keep the rent money secure as you will have to pay it all once the repairs have been done.
* The second option was that i use a contractor of my own choosing to do the repairs, pay for them and then send them a copy of the invoices as proof and then deduct those charges from the rent. At this point the agency magically managed to confirm dates within 2 days! Funny how money talks!
* i got hold of my landlords address via the Council as agency refused to give it to me and wrote to her direct - just in case the agency was messing her about too/no excuse that she did not know about problems.
* Your deposit should be securely held by a 3rd party company, i rang mine and they gave me advice on how to proceed with the agency. If they had carried on being time wasters i could have taken them and landlord to the council and county court and given them a big headache.

i happened to mention in one of my emails to the agency and the letter to the landlord that the messing about and anxiety and stress they were causing by not carrying out repairs in a timely manner meant that they were seriously affecting my enjoyment of my home (that right is legally protected). maybe the thought of being sued made them get on with the job!

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