U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Real Estate > Renting
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-22-2011, 06:25 AM
 
Location: Little Pond Farm
559 posts, read 1,282,232 times
Reputation: 506

Advertisements

I received a call from a tenant the other night that they were having difficulties with the hot water and were calling the plumber who repaired the furnace this winter. Upon speaking to my husband he said the hot water had nothing to do with the furnace unless the furnace was not working and asked for further detail as to what the problem was which was the message I left for the tenant. I also added we were NOT authorizing a service call since we really don't have the details as to what was going on. Regardless she had the plumber come. The plumber told her it was a 600.00 job at which point I told her to have the plumber call my husband. The husband who happened to be working with a Master Plumber was told that it was a 300.00 job if anything. (replace a element). So the husband called his friend the plumber who went to the house by 3PM and the water was fixed by 330, all it was was a loose wire. So plumber #1 bills the tenant 180.00 for a service call, we get the water fixed for 100.00. Now the tenant is upset that she has to pay for a service call although we told her the night before we were not authorizing any service call. Now I have an angry tenant who is going to deduct the 180.00 from the next rent. Do I pay the service call and allow someone else to spend my money or not?
I will never again rent a SFH to a former garden apartment dweller!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-22-2011, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
3,489 posts, read 18,745,153 times
Reputation: 2686
The tenant called a plumber you did not authorize. You had the problem fixed by your plumber in a reasonable time frame. The tenant is responsible for the service call that the tenant did on his/her own. If the tenant deducts the call from the rent, the tenant is subject to eviction for not paying the rent.
Tell the tenant to read the lease that I hope addresses repairs. The lease needs to be clear that the LL has to be notified of needed repairs and no repairs are authorized unless the LL approves.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-22-2011, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,341 posts, read 6,410,218 times
Reputation: 2078
when did the tenant report the problem? when did you tell the tenant how it would be handled?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-22-2011, 07:18 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 65,036,349 times
Reputation: 26620
Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
when did the tenant report the problem? when did you tell the tenant how it would be handled?
If you re-read the post it seems that this all happened within a 24 hour period.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-22-2011, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,341 posts, read 6,410,218 times
Reputation: 2078
i'm not seeing that the original post says anything about this being in a 24 hour time frame. i'm thinking that someone calls about hot water in the morning, after the shower wasn't hot. so either it was 3pm that same day, 3pm the next day, or 3pm at some later day. really only the first is acceptable. again i don't understand the specifics very well, but if my hot water isn't working, i would expect the landlord to say, 'okay it will be fixed in 24 hours." and that would be that. i wouldn't expect to have to return a call providing "more details." even if it is just the pilot light, it really isn't my problem as the renter.

i think the landlord in this case left too much ambiguity after the first phone conversation. the renter also probably overreacted. i would split the exorbitant service charge.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-22-2011, 07:30 AM
 
232 posts, read 1,558,647 times
Reputation: 238
The renter should be responsible for the fee, as THEY made the service call to a plumber of THEIR choice. Who is to say that the first plumber isn't a "friend" and is billing the landlord to get some quick and easy money?

If the renter takes it off of the rent, you can do a 3 day pay or quit to be made whole as it would not be a legal deduction.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-22-2011, 07:40 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 65,036,349 times
Reputation: 26620
Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
...really only the first is acceptable. again i don't understand the specifics very well, but if my hot water isn't working, i would expect the landlord to say, 'okay it will be fixed in 24 hours." and that would be that. i wouldn't expect to have to return a call providing "more details." even if it is just the pilot light, it really isn't my problem as the renter.
You should probably familiarize yourself with state landlord tenant laws pertaining to such matters.

I agree that the tenant overstepped in having this plumber come over and I hope that, as Shane says, your lease contains that usually standard clause about maintenance repairs. If not, your state laws should be pretty clear on the matter. Hope it all works out easily!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-22-2011, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,341 posts, read 6,410,218 times
Reputation: 2078
Quote:
Originally Posted by STT Resident View Post
You should probably familiarize yourself with state landlord tenant laws pertaining to such matters.

I agree that the tenant overstepped in having this plumber come over and I hope that, as Shane says, your lease contains that usually standard clause about maintenance repairs. If not, your state laws should be pretty clear on the matter. Hope it all works out easily!
I wasn't speaking from a legal perspective, just an empathetic one. as tough as landlords have it, it can be just as or more difficult to be a renter, especially if there is a history of problems being ignored. in this case, the renter felt, rationally or otherwise, that if she didn't fix the problem, it would not be fixed in a timely manner. otherwise, why would she call a plumber? I don't know the history or details of this situation, as I have said.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-22-2011, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Maine
2,272 posts, read 6,245,729 times
Reputation: 2541
If she does deduct the money from the rent, make sure you do not accept/cash the reduced payment, but send it back with a certified letter stating that it is not payment in full and your policy is not to accept partial rent payments. Then file the 3-day notice.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-22-2011, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Boise, ID
8,047 posts, read 26,573,053 times
Reputation: 9406
Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
again i don't understand the specifics very well, but if my hot water isn't working, i would expect the landlord to say, 'okay it will be fixed in 24 hours." and that would be that. i wouldn't expect to have to return a call providing "more details." even if it is just the pilot light, it really isn't my problem as the renter.
So rather than return a call to clarify whether a Plumber is needed, or the gas company, or someone else, you would rather have multiple people come into the house and have it take longer to do the repair, and possibly end up responsible for the service calls because it was user error?

For example, I get a call that someone has no hot water. I send out a plumber, plumber says there is nothing wrong with the water heater, it is working fine. Problem is that tenant has turned the setting to "Vacation" and forgotten to turn it back up. Tenant gets plumber's bill. This could have been corrected with a phone call, saving everyone time and money.

For another example, I get a call that A/C isn't working. I send out the HVAC guy, he finds filthy filters (tenant's responsiblity to change, very clear in lease and in discussion at lease signing) caused the A/C to freeze up. A phone call and a $5 replaced filter would have saved that tenant the $75 service charge they are now responsible for. Or the HVAC guy finds that the tenant has flipped the switch to turn off the furnace. Again, tenant gets the $75 service charge.

For another example, I get a call that a tenant has no hot water. Rather than checking anything, they insist I just get it dealt with. I send out the plumber and he finds it was not a plumbing problem at all, but rather that the gas is out altogether, come to find out it is because the tenant didn't pay the gas bill. Tenant gets the bill for the plumbing call, plus I can't fix the problem for them, they have to deal with that themselves. But by the time they get my message, it is after 5, so they can't make the payment until the next day.

For another example, I get a call that a tenant's garbage disposal isn't working. We include an allen wrench for tenants to grind up the seeds/pits they put down the disposal when they shouldn't have, so we can walk them through how to fix this user error problem over the phone without incurring a bill.

For another example, I get a call that a garage door isn't working. The garage door guy goes out and finds out that the tenant has pushed the vacation button on the opener by mistake, which makes the remotes and keypad not work. Tenant gets that bill. Or the garage door guy finds that something tripped the GFI which covers the garage door. Tenant could have fixed that in 30 seconds if they just checked it.

I could go on and on. A "I need more information" call is very rarely out of line. Often times, things can be fixed over the phone in 30 seconds.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Real Estate > Renting
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top