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problems with estate agents

(7 Posts)
beckymac79 Wed 07-Jan-15 19:30:24

New to mumsnet, I wondered if anyone could help with an issue I'm having. I rent my old house out though an estate agent and pay to have it fully managed. There has recently been a problem with the boiler. Despite both the tenant and I repeatedly contacting the estate agents, it has only just been fixed. She as been without heating or hot water for 10 days! The agents have blamed the delay on the bank holidays over Christmas and said that it took the contractor longer to order parts needed because of this. When the contractor did finally come out today. He only replaced one part of the boiler yet I was also told by the agents that he had assessed that two parts are faulty and was quoted a price for both parts. Agents have agreed to send me his report ASAP. The tenant is contracted until August and I want her to stay on, she is a good tenant. Anyone have any advice on how to shake agents up a bit further or recommend an alternative way of having the property managed well? I'm keen to keep the property managed by a third party as I work long hours and don't have the time to deal with problems myself. All advice greatly appreciated! Thanks!

wowfudge Wed 07-Jan-15 20:03:22

First step - what are the terms of your contract with the agents? Have they breached those in any way?

Whatever the Ts and Cs state I would have a conversation with them and tell them you expect better when you are paying them, not on for tenant to have no heating or hot water in January - you would have thought they had access to a heating engineer more quickly than most, and so on. See what they have to say. Perhaps ask them to fund a rent reduction for your tenant given their cock up.

I had a similar situation where the agent did nothing about a large, broken, ground floor window that couldn't be locked and it took them 3 weeks to let me know there was an issue, never mind get it fixed. I got a glazier to fix it within an hour of finding out. The tenant asked me to manage the place directly after that so I sacked the agent and did so. I was in the position that I had trades people I knew in the local area that I could call on when anything did go wrong.

LynetteScavo Wed 07-Jan-15 20:05:46

Maybe it was genuinely difficult to get out a boiler engineer and for them to source the necessary part?

If you're not happy with the agent, find a new letting agent.

beckymac79 Wed 07-Jan-15 20:41:31

Thanks for the advice. I'll look into the t&cs of the contract and see if that brings up any fault on their part. I doubt it, but worth a try.

bryonyelf Thu 08-Jan-15 13:30:38

BUT!

There was a holiday, there would be delays in getting parts so it isn't out of the question that there has been a slight delay.

That said, if it were one of my tenants, I'd explain that, give a small rent reduction and provide them with a hot water bottle and a couple of heaters which I have on stand by in my attic.

JeffDjevdet Thu 08-Jan-15 17:21:29

Speak to the agents – they may have genuinely struggled over Christmas to get things fixed. You’ll know more when you see the reports.

GaryBaldy Thu 08-Jan-15 17:48:24

So the end of the ten day period without water was yesterday? So guessing it broke down just before Christmas? With three bank holidays and two weekends in that period, that only leaves 3 working days for an engineer to call.

Whilst it's horrible for the tenant to be without a boiler, it does sound like they have done quite well to get it sorted tbh.

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