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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Napier
    Posts
    4

    Question Landlord or Tenant Responsible for Repair

    Hi

    I am looking after a rental property on behalf.
    Just recently the tenant emailed asking to arrange an electrician as the hot water cylinder was not working. When phoning the tenant to arrange a suitable time for the electrician to visit he informed me that it was now working. I asked him if he had been switching the hot water cylinder off in which he replied that he was doing this on a weekly basis at least. I explained to him that it would be best left on as he is from overseas.
    When talking to the electrician, he said that turning the cylinder off and on can eventually damage the elements when the cylinder cools down, the element expands, then when it heats up.

    A couple of weeks later the tenant phoned to say this time the hot water cylinder had not been going for over a day so I went to have a look before arranging the electrician. The tenant believed it was the switch and I explained to him about not turning the cylinder off and on so many times as it could damage the elements.

    The landlord then arranged the electrican to do the repair (she prefers arranging this herself from out of town) and I have now had an email from the tenant asking why he has been sent the invoice of $175.
    I have asked him to forward the invoice on to me so I can see exactly what was repaired.

    After reading up on this, I am starting to think the Landlord should pay for this repair, despite personally believing that the tenant is at fault (innocently due to misunderstanding).

    I would like to clarify this before going any further as the landlord is also of difficult nature and being a first rental is never happy about the costs involved.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    North Shore City
    Posts
    342

    Default

    Whoever told you turning the HWC on and of is bad for it is in GAGA land, its on a seperate circut and most 90 to 135ltr cylinders are around 1500 watt elements. You had better be able to turn them on and of, or I'm going to be suing and alfull lot of electricians. Electrical responsibility is the domain of the property owner in the first instance, if they have to recover the cost from somewhere then thats there issue, not yours or the tennants at this stage.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Napier
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Many thanks for your prompt reply - much appreciated!!
    I also believe that because the landlord was the one that ordered the repair work that the invoice should have been directed to her in the first place not the tenant.

    Will now be able to clarify with the tenant that this is not their bill!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    NZ
    Posts
    1,017

    Default

    This is a cost of the Landlord, regardless of the merits or demerits of turning the cylinder on and off. I have told tenants that I prefer them to leave the cylinder on at all times but if they choose to turn it on and off, then there is not a lot that can be done about it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Wellington
    Posts
    1,237

    Default

    Landlord wears the cost here:
    1. It's their property, and no-one can PROVE that the tenants actions caused the fault.
    2. The LL ordered the repairs without first agreeing with the tenant that the tenant would pay (ie a 10 day letter to fix issued to the tenant, which they accepted).


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    141

    Default Education the key

    tkbran - I suspect from your post that you are a property manager. Perhaps a good way to handle the situation is to explain why it is their responsibility as spelt out in this thread. Part of your job as a good property manager is education. At the end of the day the landlord is paying your salary; never bit the hand that feeds!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    925

    Default

    Maybe the tenant was sent the invoice simply because that was the only address the electrician had.
    I agree that the landlord should pay.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by egan123 View Post
    Whoever told you turning the HWC on and of is bad for it is in GAGA land, its on a seperate circut and most 90 to 135ltr cylinders are around 1500 watt elements. You had better be able to turn them on and of, or I'm going to be suing and alfull lot of electricians. Electrical responsibility is the domain of the property owner in the first instance, if they have to recover the cost from somewhere then thats there issue, not yours or the tennants at this stage.

    You are correct about the HWC having a separate circuit, but it is also common for the smaller cylinders to have larger elements than 1500watts and not uncommon for 3000w elements to be fitted. In my 25 plus year experience as a sparky it is true that an element can fail if it has been turned off long enough for the cyclinder to cool off and when turned back on again the element may blow. It is all dependant on how hard the water is and how old the element is. Because the element contracts and expands with the heat change, the element metal corrodes with age, cracks when expanding with the heat reapplied, lets water in and causes a short circuit. It is not healthy to turn old elements off and on.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    131

    Default

    Reminds of some tenants I had from Scotland. Had their showers etc in the morning, then turned the HW off. Went to shower at night 10 minutes after turning the HW back on.
    Took quite of a lot of explanation before it finally sunk in that you can't expect the water to go from cold to hot in 10 minutes.
    They were used to the instant gas type sytems they have over there and couldn't come to grips with the water "slowly heating up"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    North Shore City
    Posts
    342

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by unhinged View Post
    You are correct about the HWC having a separate circuit, but it is also common for the smaller cylinders to have larger elements than 1500watts and not uncommon for 3000w elements to be fitted. In my 25 plus year experience as a sparky it is true that an element can fail if it has been turned off long enough for the cyclinder to cool off and when turned back on again the element may blow. It is all dependant on how hard the water is and how old the element is. Because the element contracts and expands with the heat change, the element metal corrodes with age, cracks when expanding with the heat reapplied, lets water in and causes a short circuit. It is not healthy to turn old elements off and on.
    Yes, I'm aware of the element loads or wattage, mine is a 3000w and I meant turning of and on when going overseas, is probably what I should have said, I felt the writer was saying you can't turn them off and on, whats the point of a switch if its a risk, as its on a" RCD" if the distribution is a new one, at least a fuse anyway. But, point taken.


 

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