OpenRent Community

Rent discount for faulty appliance

Hi All,

Im a London Landlord and have been for several years. I like to think that Im a good and conscientious, I treat my tenants with respect and get issues resolved as quickly as possible.
A week before Christmas a gas hob developed a fault, I decided the quickest resolution was to get it replaced, but so close to Christmas was a nightmare co-ordinating access, delivery and installation. As my tenants, 4 professional sharers, were away most of the holiday period we agreed on today, sunday, as the best time for delivery and installation.

Anyway, the delivery company has dropped the ball and today isn’t going to happen which is a real inconvenience for me any my tenants. by way of compensation, my tenants have asked not to pay any rent until the hob is repaired/replaced as they like to cook at home a lot.

I was wondering if anyone else has had such a situation/request and what would be a reasonable solution as i think pay NO rent is not reasonable.

appreciate your feedback and advice.

Dean.

Even if they were totally unable to cook - no oven, no microwave, no slow cooker etc, paying no rent is unrealistic. Especially if they haven’t been there. You have made reasonable efforts to rectify the situation. If they don’t have a microwave, I’d drop one off tomorrow. If they’re otherwise good tenants, perhaps make a small gesture on the rent but not 100%.

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Hi Dean, I fully agree with @Tony.

It sounds like you’ve done everything reasonable to try and fix the situation. You can’t fix the hob yourself because you’re not a gas engineer.

I agree that a small gesture plus your apologies and an explanation of what you’ve tried to do to fix the situation so far should be enough to satisfy a reasonable tenant.

Keep us updated on how things go. Would be great to hear if the tenants are happy with your solution or if they choose to withold rent.

Sam

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Hi Sam,

I also agree, but was hoping that someone could point in the right direction for remuneration, maybe 10% or 20% for the days without the hob?

The tenants are fully aware of whats been going on, we have a whats App group and communicate well, of course I have apologised profusely, I see my tenants as customers and we have a good relationship.

OK, sure. I understand.

I suppose my point was that tenants don’t have an automatic to withold any rent just because repairs are taking longer than expected. Given this, any discount on the rent that you give is down to how generous you are feeling.

I trust other landlords will chip in and offer their thoughts on what the appropriate amount to discount is, if a discount is what you want to do.

One way to think about it may be to offset the marginal cost of eating without a hob (e.g. having to eat out) with the rent discount.

Sam

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I always try to think how it would be if it was in my home. If they owned the house, would they have been able to fix it any quicker than you have? If the answer is yes, then they are not getting the service that their rent is paying for, but if you have acted promptly and been let down, then this could have happened to them as well, so of course they would still owe rent. If they have been good tenants, I would give them a goodwill payment for the inconvenience, but you can cook things without a hob if you have an oven/grill and a microwave.

A couple of years ago I had a range cooker break on Christmas Eve and it was 4th January before I could get a new one delivered and fitted. Fortunately my tenants were very understanding - and they had to change their Christmas dinner plans - and saw that I could not have done anything quicker than I did. I gave them 6 bottles of wine as a goodwill gesture.

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@Dean4 I think it’s impossible to generalise. It depends entirely on how inconvenienced they really have been, how much rent they’re paying, how much you want to keep them happy, etc, etc. The key thing is that you are under an obligation to do your best and they are under an obligation to pay rent.

Just as a gut feel, most of my tenants pay around £800pcm. If they couldn’t use ANY cooking facilities for a fortnight I’d probably offer £100.

I had a couple who were without hot water for a few days and they were happy with ‘sorry I’m doing my best’

I had another couple where the oven failed and they were happy to go without for a month while they sorted it out themselves.

Let us know how this is resolved.

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No rent at all !!! OTT

I agree with Colin.

Also Tenants should understand what they would have done if they had their own home.
As long as they have other appliances such as microwave, oven then tenants cannot withhold the rent and pay full rent.
Then you as a landlord can decide can decide what would you like to do and as long as you are providing the service and trying your best to fix and resolve the issues.
All the best

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Hey All,

thanks very much for your feedback, its been very helpful. As I said before, I have a good relationship with my tenants and they’ve been good tenants up to now so Im happy to ensure they are treated well.
I ended up offering them a 15% discount for every day that they are without a hob, as mentioned they do have an oven, grill, toaster and microwave oven, but they were happy with the offer and gracefully accepted it.
So alls well that ends well I guess, both parties are happy with a mutually agreeable outcome.

All the best,
Dean.

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12 years ago (I too am a London LL) I had the same problem
Tried 14 local engineers not one turned up

I started a British Gas Homecare agreement
We have our differences,but, its been a great boon
They will repair,or, advise replacement on major items even fitting a hob you supplied if its from a recognised supplier -argos etc

As for your potential legal problem;

Always act quickly -above all keep them informed daily

Be seen to be doing all that can be done- document

As to whether no rent during period is fair-only a legal arbitrator can decide -by which time its too late

A hob implies the oven still works
If your supplying a microwave always make sure its a convection type -grilling possible

Otherwise play it by ear
Offer a box of chocs to wife ,bottle of scotch to male-or various options on a theme

If not acceptable suggest they go to arbitration-their inconvenience,little cost ,and, after all you have done all you could -and been seen to do do
Yes?

Dr David Noble

Speaking as a former tenant, they’re being a tad cheeky. I’m sure the Oven still works?
I’d offer £20 - £30 per day to cover the cost of a takeaway between them from the date they were all back after the Christmas Break until the date the replacement is installed.

Hi Dean4,

Firstly, may i say that you should of bought a portable electric 2 burner hob for between £40-£80 immediately due to the time of year, and again when you found out about the reliability issue of the gas engineer, again you could of bought a portable hob until the matter has been properly resolved as it costs a small amount and you always then have a back up, you could do that even now if you still are in need as the first thing here is to resolve the issue before any talk about deductions of rent or such like and if the place is a HMO then you should act much more quickly before you have multiple claims/issues.

Im sure my words will feel untactful for your short term wallet, however for long term wallet remaining full then initial action for a solution is always paramount.

Finally may i also say that most councils and/or courts dont take kindly to landlords leaving tenants without basic necessary amenities regardless of any mitigating circumstances such as you being let down by a gas engineer for instance, basically the liability/responsibility falls on you to what us landlords feel to be a unfair yet it is what it is.

If any tenants wish to make any deductions in any capacity then they should be asked to submit their claim to you and to provide evidence and reasonable reasoning and further to be fair, yet only thereafter the issue has been resolved.

I personally rip out any gas hobs immediately and replace with a ceramic induction how which never needs any certification ever so i have never had this exact issue myself.

I hope this helps you.

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I dont provide any oven or hob .no white goods I leave a space for a cooker, washing machine and fridge .They buy and repair their own. Way forward!

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i wish i could be so brutal yet tenants im my areas all demand such white and brown goods, i loath to supply them yet i do have 1 property in a more rough area where i dont as the last white goods all grew legs and disapeared

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Andrew8 Its not brutal its realistic!

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Fairone, Poor choice of words from me, I can only but fantasise about not having appliance breakdowns and all the other long stories that go along with supplying white goods,
do you not have any property anywhere where you supply any white goods such as a dishwasher or washing machine or a fridge freezer then?
Also do the prospective tenants not moan and groan about no appliances when they’re on the viewing as I have had that before which made me feel the need to supply them more than anything

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Not had any problem with that at all and i have rented out for about 30 years .Places always full. Sometimes they leave them behind and I take to scrap yard and get a fiver . I am able to be hands on as I am a builder

PS I am also of the opinion if they cannot afford to buy a fridge, washing machine and cooker, either new or s/hand how can they afford the rent?

you have inspired me to not do appliances where possible, sounds like a dream doing it your way, thanks

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