Following a number of outstanding maintenance issues, the Tenant raised a complaint alleging that the managing Agent had failed to address those matters in a timely manner. They concerned repairs to the toilet and the balcony door, along with the delivery of a replacement fridge.
I advised that I was unable to reach a judgement on the actions of the Landlord, but that I would consider the Agent’s actions in relation to their obligation to respond promptly to maintenance issues reported to them, to then inform the Landlord and seek his instructions, acting promptly upon the same. The toilet repair had been recorded in the Inventory returned to the Agent and appeared to take over three weeks to be notified to the Landlord. The balcony door repair was also detailed in the Inventory. However, despite obtaining the Landlord’s instructions, the Agent failed to demonstrate that they had acted upon them. Regarding the fridge, the Agent’s file recorded that they had reported the matter to the Landlord and that a replacement was provided two months later. The information on file did not indicate whether the Agent or the Landlord was responsible for this delay.
I advised the Complainant that the responsibility to authorise repairs and maintenance lay with the Landlord and not the Agent. However, in respect of two of the maintenance issues reported, I found that the Agent had failed to communicate matters to the relevant parties in the appropriate manner. I, therefore, supported the complaint to this extent and made an award of £200.
Unless otherwise instructed, all maintenance and repair issues must be reported to the landlord in a timely manner and instructions obtained as to how to proceed. The agent must act according to those instructions whilst updating the tenant appropriately throughout.