As we have experience of thousands of rental months across through the properties we manage, it is likely we have seen most things before, as regards running a rental property.
I include a simple example here from an experience in January 2012. Broken fridge, washing machine, oven, hob, dish washer or TV.
Feel free to email us & ask any questions you have, whether you are a client or not. We are happy to share what we know.
Recently, a client of ours with a high end apartment in a prestigious development, with furniture just 14 months old had a fridge internal failure. Problem being, the tenant, a crucial part of an investment property, rightly complained that he was unable to keep his food.
In situations like this, you have to act very quickly. At least as quickly as you would act for yourself, if not faster.
With a 2 year guarantee for the fridge, you would be forgiven for thinking that it could be resolved under guarantee in an acceptable time frame.
These are the events in sequence that were needed to reach resolution:
- day 1: received phone call to say fridge was broken
- day 2: property manager viewed the problem to confirm assumed cause/ fault
- day 3: electrician attempted & failed resolution, phone call to store (Dedeman) from which fridge was bought, Dedeman gave us phone number of approved engineers. Called them, who gave us a local branch number. Called them who gave us an appointment
- day 8: repair engineers came out, condemned the fridge as irreparable & invited us back to their base to issue the report
- day 9: repairers submitted report to manufacturer in germany to seek approval to issue a report for the store to replace the item
- day 25: manufacturer replied to repairers & OK’d the replacement.
- day 27: repairers contacted us with request to collect the replacement-authorisation-note.
- day 30: return fridge & replacement note to Dedeman for a replacement fridge
As a landlord, there is every possibility at some point, this will happen to you & below is my advice. Ask yourself now, if you had a call from your tenant asking you to resolve it, what would you do, to reach final resolution?
Here’s my recommended approach.
In short, you need to determine how urgent it is, & in what time frame you can reach the solution & act on that information. Don’t jut wobble through this step by step as it could take a month or more & you lose your tenant, plus a massive dose of stress is yours in the bargain!
Step 1: understand how critical it is with your tenant. Define the time frame you have to work with. If they say, ‘its not urgent’, then you have xx weeks, but if they say ‘they use the item daily’, remember you are in breach of contract while they are without the item & believe me, it is a lot more expensive to replace the tenant than to replace the broken item, even if you replace in full.
Step 2: If the fault is unclear, call out an engineer or other appropriate assessor to determine the issue for certain. If you cannot do this within a very few days, skip this step
Step 3: invoke the guarantee by talking to the store – your contract is with them & by law, they are obligated to help within the guarantee time frame. But, & here is the key to this post, find out what time frame, worst case, they will work in. The one I am in the middle of now, is so far, 3 weeks with at least another 2 weeks to go.
Step 4: If the guarantor will nor resolve the issue for certain within days,, I strongly recommend you consider buying a suitable replacement at your own expense. Then, with the problem fixed & the stress removed, bumble along at your own pace & get the item fixed
Step 5: when the item is finally fixed, & you have been given a new one, sell the item to another owner, friend, property management company, on eBay, ocazi.ro or newspaper etc as brand new, with a 25% discount. You might even sell it to someone in the same store shopping for a new one!
But by hanging in there for the original store to effect a repair on the original one can lead to very upset tenants. If its going to be a quick fix, ok, ride it out, but if they are wooly in their response, I suggest you act as above.
Plan ahead. As an owner, you will probably experience this. Replace, investigate, repair, sell on.