Repair/Replacement of Appliances | The Tenants' Voice
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Repair/Replacement of Appliances

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758 views 1 replies latest reply: 16 June 2015

Hi All,

I’m currently living in a houseshare with 3 other people in the property.

Last week (05/06/15) one of the fridges in the property broke. This was an additional fridge provided by the tenants as we found sharing the small fridge provided was insufficient. I emailed the letting agents to inform them that, although the fridge which had broken was not the one initially in the property, the fridge which was supplied has insufficient space for all tenants (it only has 3 shelves to share between 4 people). I asked that either an additional fridge or a larger one would need to be supplied. The letting agents confirmed this email had been received on the same date and said they would contact the landlord, however a follow up email I sent on 12/06/15 enquiring for any further updates has not, as of yet, been acknowledged.

Earlier this evening one of the dials on the gas oven became jammed whilst it was on which meant we were not able to turn the oven off. A message was sent to our direct contact at the letting agents as well the owner and one other employee asking for someone to attend the property asap as we were concerned. Although we have stopped the gas supply in the house, no one at the agency responded to this message. As we’ve had to cut the gas supply we’ll also be without hot water and heating until the problem is fixed.

Is there any time limit in which the repairs or replacements of these appliances must be done by? And also any conditions regarding the quality of the replacements? The agency is likely to take any shortcuts possible and have provided very poor replacements previously (normally items taken from another house due to being faulty). I’m just looking for something as a back-up, as it’s difficult to argue the case when you’re not clear on the rights and responsiblities of all involved.

Apologies for the long message!

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In terms of time limits, there’s nothing to go on other than allowing a ‘reasonable’ time for repairs to be carried out. So, for example, if it was something affecting your safety (such as a gas issue) I would have thought this would be sooner rather than later. The same goes for a boiler breaking down in the middle of winter. Days, rather than weeks. However, for the fridge this could take longer and as it’s not actually the landlord’s fridge they may not repair it at all. As far as I know, there’s no obligation to provide a fridge big enough for the number of tenants in the property.

The quality of the replacements should be similar to what is being replaced. Sometimes it’s worth offering to find the replacements yourself and get their consent in writing to take the cost out of your rent (you must get consent first). Anything the landlord provides you with must be safe.

If you want to get the agents to act then it might be worth bypassing them and contacting the landlord direct (details should be on your tenancy) – point out that the agents could be putting you in danger by not taking action and that opens the landlord up to legal issues. Or you could write to the agent and point out that the longer everything remains not fixed, the more exposure there is for the landlord being in breach of the tenancy agreement. You could also mention that if you don’t hear from them within three days you’ll contact the landlord direct. The agents will tell you that you’re not allowed to contact the landlord but that’s rubbish.


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