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Question

England | Landlord Responsibility for Repairs and Maintenance (England) | Responsibilities and Liabilities (England)

Tenants calling out own tradesmen, who pays?

18 Jan 2022 | 1 comment

Good morning, this is a long one sorry.

See below, my question is am I liable for the electrician I did not arrange? I am happy to contribute the rate which my electrician quoted me, and the tenants pay the outstanding balance.

On the 23rd of December I received a message 10:30 from a tenant. The downstairs ring main was tripping the rcd. I told them to unplug everything and see if it would reset. In the mean time I called the local electrician to find out his availability.

11:15 the tenant messaged the rcd was still tripping. I got a confirmed call-out for tomorrow morning from the electrician, I also called 2 other electricians in an attempt to get one of them out today. The first electrician explained that he could confirm tomorrow but might be able to get there late in the afternoon.

11:30 I messaged the tenant again to go over what was arranged and to confirm everything had been unplugs and fused spurs had been switched off.

Then tenant explained the food in the fridge would spoil.

12:20 the tenant messaged that their neighbour can arrange an emergency electrician. I was still on the phone to electrician. I messaged them back stating an electrician had already been booked and due to conflict I do not pay for trademen I have not requested.

12:28 tenant messaged they are out tomorrow, I messaged them again explaining I can come down to give the electrician access. I also asked who they had arranged.

12:54 tenant messaged their electricians arrived, also explaining that I should have emergency electrician’s on call for occasions like this, it was explained that the electrics had been off since 8:00.

13:32 tenant message the job was finished £120. the fault was behind the dishwasher.

13:49 my electrician messaged to say he was on his way, which I then cancelled.

Back ground, property rewired 2015, ECIR done Novemeber 2020, minor work test done June 2021 (kitchen was upgraded).

Answer

1 Comment

  1. guildy

    We agree that the tenant shouldn’t have made any arrangements and in the case of a repair, it just needs to be repaired “with reasonable expedition”. Anytime same day would have been “reasonable” in our view.

    However, like you say, you would have had a bill to pay of some amount so as suggested as a minimum that should be paid to the tenant.

    However, the estimate you had was presumably just a callout in the first instance. Presumably, as works were found, your electrician would have had to do the same works and it’s likely the bill would have been more than the estimate.

    By now you’re probably getting close to the £120 for both electricians and so it will then depend how much of an easy life you want! If the difference between the two is negligible, we would probably pay the £120 just to keep things simple and save future argument. But, if there’s a substantial difference, in our view, you would be entitled to only pay what your electrician would have charged (which may be difficult to know for certain).

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