Welcome to Home Relief Bulletin Board
Post No. 218
by Your Freelance e-Property Letting Agency
The importance of explaining to tenants the functioning of appliances and fittings in a rented property
This week, we are working with landlords/ladies on the importance of explaining to the incoming or already living-in tenants the functioning of white goods and fittings in a rented property, especially when these types of items required specific instructions to follow to handle them.
What the law says about white goods
The law states that landlords/ladies are responsible for the state of any machines and white goods they provide in the rental property.
What are white goods?
White goods are typically white coloured and free-standing large electrical goods used domestically. They are appliances such as washing machines, fridge-freezers, tumble dryers and dishwashers.
What are fixtures and fittings?
Fixtures are permanent items affixed or attached or fixed. Examples of fixtures include: cupboards, door handles, electrical sockets, light switches, satellite dishes, television aerials, security alarms, door bells, boilers, toilets, showers, fireplaces, etc.
Fittings are any things not attached. Examples of fittings are: carpets, curtains, poles, blinds, tables, chairs, mirrors, etc.
Landlords/ladies’ obligations concerning installations
There are some legal obligations for landlords/ladies fixtures and installations. For example, the landlords/ladies are responsible for servicing the boiler. The Landlord and Tenant Act of 1985 requires that landlords/ladies keep in good repair and working order installations that supply water, gas and electricity as well as sanitation systems.
This week’s topic gives us the opportunity to remember a case we came across. It was a case related to a landlord who installed a new boiler in his rented property through the work of a boiler engineer. The engineer who installed the boiler explained that before turning on the heat key, the boiler must be first fed with water. The landlord forgot to pass this information to the tenants. One evening, the tenants ran the boiler without activating the water feeding system. As a result, the boiler broke down.
What this week’s process will include
This week, we are going to look at the following elements:
√ The transfer of information about white goods and fittings from landlords/ladies to tenants (how to conduct this transfer, what information to pass on and what not pass on)
√ Working manuals (including digital operating instructions and online videos) of white goods and fittings in a rented accommodation
√ Instruction books (including online videos) related to peripherals such as thermostats, remote controls for homes with digital or e-technologies
√ Areas of insurance policies and cover plans about these items where there is a need to pass some information to the tenants for mutual benefit (to avoid risk of missing the deadline for renewal of cover plans although service providers always send a reminder)
√ Stickers or labels (including important contact numbers, makes, serial numbers, etc.) on these machines (where to find them) where tenants can find relevant information if there is a need to do so
How to pass on maintenance information to tenants
During the check-in, inventory and hand-over key processes; the landlords/ladies can pass on maintenance information. Alternatively, the landlords/ladies or their letting/managing agents can make an appointment to in-person meet the tenants at the property while respecting the COVID-19 protection rules.
In today’s world, almost every body has a smart phone or just a mobile phone. If your tenants have a smart phone, it is even easy to pass on this information to them. You can even pass on to them (via mobile phone or e-mail) a link to watch the videos about these white goods and fittings for the purpose of better informed maintenance.
Where landlords/ladies involve a managing agent, this area of property maintenance responsibility becomes obvious and falls within the hands of this agent, unless landlords/ladies decide to fully or partly take this responsibility.
Why it is important to correctly pass maintenance information to tenants
This area of property maintenance is important to avoid conflicting tenancies. It is vital to avoid the breakdown of very expensive items (such as boiler) in privately rented property. They can break if landlords/ladies do not correctly pass the information to handle them or if tenants are careless.
However, as landlords/ladies you should always make sure you correctly pass the information on these items to your tenants and make sure the tenants use them correctly as well.
Extra learning and support for landlords/ladies
Want to learn or find out more about the process of correctly pass on maintenance information to the tenants, please work with Home Relief.
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Home Relief – freelance e-property people dealing with affordable homes