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Need help with the landlord

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hi guys, I hope someone will be able to help me.

The freezer (property of the landlords) in our flat does not fully close and so subsequently becomes iced and frosted. We told the landlord and they organised to have a repair-man come round and look at it, asking for it to be defrosted. We defrosted as much as we could, but the repair-man took one look and said there's nothing wrong with the freezer and we just needed to defrost it properly. Two days later it was fully defrosted, emptied and closed. Maybe a day later we noticed frost and ice forming, we have also noted that the suction on the door is not fully tight to the frame, I suspect this is the cause of our problems.

The landlord is wanting us to pay a £110 callout fee which I think is both unreasonable and that we're not liable for it. The fault was not due to our negligance or anything similar.

I've put below the email I am planning on sending to him once I've had you guys check it out and possibly someone else. Included are the most relevant and appropriate parts of our rental agreement that I feel remove any liability on our part. The first part of the letter is he was saying we had not informed him of the current condition of the freezer, despite a long email four days ago detailing what was currently happening.

"Hi *****,

I have just asked **** to show me the email she sent you, and in it is "Since it was only defrosted a week ago", this email was sent on the 28/*/** so on the 21*/** it was fully defrosted. I have just gone and checked the freezer myself and there is clearly frost and ice forming on certain parts of the drawers and on certain parts of the freezer itself. I can also see that the lining is not completely closed along the top and the actual suction itself is very weak and after a number of hours it will have opened even further even if it is left completely alone. We were very thorough when we defrosted it as we are convinced there is a mechanical fault, however small, that is effecting the freezer.

I am also unaware of why we are being held liable for the call out costs, in the discussion up to the call out it was never mentioned that we would be accountable if there was no fault to be found or any other term or condition. Also, I have looked through our rental agreement and have found no evidence to suggest we are liable for repairs to the fridge. On the contrary I have found multiple items that point towards ***** as being responsible for the repairs:

5.114. To keep in repair and proper working order all mechanical and electrical items belonging to the
Landlord and forming part of the Fixtures and Fittings, unless the lack of repair is due to the
negligence or misuse of the Tenant, his family, or visitors.

5.145. “Fixtures and Fittings” include references to any of the fixtures, fittings, furnishings, or effects,
floor, ceiling or wall coverings.

My understanding is that the fridge comes under the banner of "Fixtures and fittings", and the "lack of repair" and/or the condition of the freezers suction has not been caused by our negligance or any other parties mentioned.

5.23. To pay to the Landlord the cost of any repairs of any mechanical and electrical appliances
belonging to the Landlord arising from misuse or negligence by the Tenant, his family, or his
visitors.

The repairs needed are not because of our misuse or negligence, or any other parties. They are down to either "fair wear and tear" or an pre-exisitng fault that was not noticed before.



5.112. To insure the buildings and contents of the Premises under a general household policy with a
reputable insurer.

My understanding is that the repairs needed would come under the landlords own personal insurance.

"

I have included this last one as I'm unsure of it's relevance or exact meaning.

5.35 To carry out any work or repairs that the Tenant is required to carry out under this Agreement
within a reasonable time of being notified; provided the Landlord or the Agent has given the
Tenant written notice of those repairs; or to authorise the Landlord or the Agent to have the
work carried out at the Tenant’s expense. Where this obligation has not been met, the Landlord
may enter the Premises (provided the Tenant has been given at least 24 hours notice in writing)
with workmen, to carry out any repairs or other works. The reasonable cost of any repairs or
work will be charged to and paid for by the Tenant.
Other Repairs


Any help or advice would be muchly appreciated.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    When I had a similar problem with a landlord I put their fridge-freezer in a shed, used my own and then put theirs back when I moved out.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Your contract will probably state that you are liable to pay reasonable costs if you have an engineer called out and either there was nothing wrong or what was wrong was caused by your negligence.

    Check through your tenancy agreement- if it is in then legally you have to stump up, unless you can show that you weren't negligent or unreasonable, if it isn't then tell the landlord to get bent.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    is that even part of the landlords remit?
    Probably cheaper to buy a new fridge than call someone out, although thats a fairly hefty call out charge.
    Id suggest as katralla. Get your own
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi,

    Sorry to hear about the hard time you're having at the moment with your landlord about your freezer.

    It's great that you have looked at your tenancy agreement for guidance. Essentially you want to know who is liable for paying the cost of the engineer's visit.

    It is difficult at times to establish who is liable for costs incurred after a landlord sends an engineer to a tenant's home. This is because the issue of 'reasonableness' arises and unfortunately this is not defined clearly.

    It may be best for you to obtain expert legal advise on this matter. You can call Shelter on their free advice line; 0808 800 4444. (8am-8pm Monday-Friday 8am-5pm Saturday-Sunday).

    :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Citizens advice would probably be a better option ^^
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Er, no they wouldn't.

    Citizens Advice's specialist housing support team is actually run by Shelter. Shelter are pretty much the gold standard in housing law advice. Shelter are the specialist support advisers we use at my work, and most advice agencies are the same.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You learn something new eevery day ^^
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