Emergency repairs??

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by dan2101, 27th Apr, 2017.

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  1. dan2101

    dan2101 Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    Just curious would a leaking tap and ceiling fan repair be considered emergency repairs?

    I Could have fixed both myself but the agent had them done without my permission. When I confronted them (cost $550) they stated they were emergency repairs so too bad.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. DaveM

    DaveM Adelaide Buyers Agent & KFC Strategist Business Member

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    A drip, no. A gushing tap thats threatening to overflow/flood, yes.

    In nsw heating and cooling are essential items, but depends on what the fault was.
     
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  3. dan2101

    dan2101 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @DaveM

    Dripping tap. Fan broke a few weeks ago so I wouldn't think fixing a fan during a central coast Autumn would be an emergency repair but maybe I'm wrong.
     
  4. MyPropertyPro

    MyPropertyPro REBAA Buyer's Agents Sydney Multiple Areas Business Member

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    I would say almost definitely not and what has happened is that your PM has organised repairs and is now trying to hide behind 'emergency repairs'. Personally speaking, I still feel a good and transparent agent would and should contact the owner to advise what is happening and why, prior to the remedy.

    Here's the extract from the Qld guidance:

    Emergency repairs
    The Act states emergency repairs are:

    • a burst water service or a serious water service leak
    • a blocked or broken lavatory system or fittings
    • a serious roof leak
    • a gas leak
    • a dangerous electrical fault
    • flooding or serious flood damage
    • serious storm, fire or impact damage
    • a failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply to the premises
    • a failure or breakdown of an essential service or appliance on premises for hot water, cooking or heating
    • a fault or damage that makes premises unsafe or unsecure
    • a fault or damage likely to injure a person, damage property or unduly inconvenience a tenant of premises, or
    • a serious fault in any staircase, lift or other common area which inhibits or unduly inconveniences residents in gaining access to or using the premises
    The property manager/owner must organise and pay for any emergency repairs. The tenant should try to contact the property manager/owner or nominated repairer. If neither can be contacted, the tenant can get a suitably qualified person to carry out emergency repairs to a maximum value of two weeks’ rent, or can apply to the Tribunal for an order about the repairs.

    Payment for emergency repairs
    If the tenant arranges for the emergency repairs, they must give a copy of the invoice and/or receipt to the property manager/owner who must reimburse the tenant or pay the invoice within seven days.

    If the tenant has problems, or is likely to have problems about the emergency repairs, they can apply to the Tribunal for an order:

    • for the property manager/owner to arrange for the repairs
    • for the tenant to arrange for the repairs, or
    • for the property manager/owner to reimburse the tenant or repairer.
    The property manager/owner can also apply to the Tribunal if they object to the emergency repairs or reimbursement.
     
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  5. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    Those are not emergency repairs IMO. What do you do next though? Ask the agent to cover the cost or take the agent to tribunal to be reimbursed the cost over and above what it would have cost to have those maintenance items fixed?
     
  6. paulF

    paulF Well-Known Member

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    Had my PM do the same in regards to aircon not working a few years back. Out of the bleu i received an email from the agent telling me i have to pay around 2k for a new Aircon that the tenant organised with the PM's knowing but not immediately telling me about it.
    Emailed back the PM telling him its ok but if anything of this sorts (doing works without my permission) happens again, he'll be sacked and the tenant(long term tenant) will be looking for a new place to rent.
    Let your PM know that its unacceptable but might not be worth escalating this specific matter if it's a first.
     
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  7. MyPropertyPro

    MyPropertyPro REBAA Buyer's Agents Sydney Multiple Areas Business Member

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    That's nice of you! I would have forwarded the invoice to the tenant seeing as they engaged the trade making the contract between them and the contractor. I would have then fired my PM.

    Outside of emergency repairs, if the amount is over and above that stipulated in your management agreement then you're not obligated to pay anything if there is no record of you giving permission. A new air conditioner is definitely not emergency repairs!
     
  8. JacM

    JacM VIC Buyer's Agent - Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat Business Member

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    On the topic of emergency repairs, it is worthwhile pondering getting a second safety switch in the dwelling's meter box. ie One switch controls half the powerpoints in the home, the other switch controls the rest of them.

    So let's say a faulty appliance trips the safety switch and the darn thing won't turn back on straight away. Let's say it's a Sunday. Tenant is angry, especially if there is a lot of food in the freezer that will now defrost. No power to the property is indeed an emergency so an electrician has to be sent at Sunday rates. If however the home has two safety switches, only half the powerpoints have been disabled. So there is still the option to run an extension lead to the fridge (or other appliance) from the nearest available functional powerpoint and wait till Monday to get an electrician out on regular call-out rates. With that said, that may raise a whole other question about the potential liability of the extension lead causing a trip hazard. Thoughts @Andrew Hancock & @DaveM ?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 14th May, 2018
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  9. MyPropertyPro

    MyPropertyPro REBAA Buyer's Agents Sydney Multiple Areas Business Member

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    I can see what you're saying but I guess there's the practical application of the 'probability' argument. What are the chances that a safety switch would a) trip in the first place and then b) not turn on again and c) happen on a Sunday?

    Scenario A is probably somewhat likely but B less so and C has a 1:7 probability. Even if it did, I would say the cost of any rewiring (I'm not an electrician but I can't image it's cheap to rewire half the powerpoints in the house) plus the cost of the switch itself may be greater than the cost of the emergency electrician on a Sunday.

    In my opinion the probability of both events occurring on a Sunday (total of 3 'events') is quite low and my maths brain tells me to take the chance as it's unlikely to happen :)
     
  10. dan2101

    dan2101 Well-Known Member

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    Wow thanks for all the advice everyone! Amazing as always. Special thanks @Andrew Hancock great advice.

    I think I'll email and say the expense is to be born the agent as the repairs weren't an emergency and see what they say. Not the first time they've stuffed up so think I'll be changing agents anyway.

    Cheers all
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 14th May, 2018
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  11. zac101

    zac101 Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure about Vic but here in WA it is the law to have the house divided in two circuits and have two RCDs or Residual Current Devices installed. These are the safety devices which trip the circuit in case of a leakage and stop people from being electrocuted. This law has been here for at least 10 year or so.
     
  12. zac101

    zac101 Well-Known Member

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    It is actually not that far fetched. It is one of the reason of that there is a law requiring two separate safety circuits. See my post above.
     
  13. D.T.

    D.T. Specialist Property Manager Business Member

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    You're still legally obliged to do repairs regardless of whether emergency or not. It just changes the timeframe.

    It doesn't change who bears the cost (except maybe the penalty rate bit)
     
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  14. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd be asking for the cost over and above the cost to have had this stuff repaired without the penalty rates and hit the PM for that cost (as mentioned above in my other post).

    I doubt the owner wants the whole amount reimbursed, just the extra cost due to having had an emergency callout with the more expensive hourly rate.
     
    Last edited: 28th Apr, 2017
  15. Pumpkin

    Pumpkin Well-Known Member

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    Your PM could have argued that it's within their spending limit, assuming that's the case? It doesn't seem very smart to say those are emergency repairs. Do they know you can and will and should do all the repairs?
     
  16. MyPropertyPro

    MyPropertyPro REBAA Buyer's Agents Sydney Multiple Areas Business Member

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    To my understanding the dual requirement for RCDs in WA is mainly to do with the requirement of having two separate circuits (for safety) and therefore a RCD to protect each one (which makes sense). Having residual power in the even of a single trip is a secondary benefit. Are you saying the requirement is for split power?

    My far fetched scenario wasn't necessarily an RCD tripping (which happens all the time), it was having one trip then not being able to reset it (usually they can be) and it all happening on a Sunday which I still think is highly unlikely. If the house is already fitted with dual circuitry as required in WA then this is a great benefit! I just don't think I'd rewire my house to do it.
     
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  17. jins13

    jins13 Well-Known Member

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    If my property agent did that, I'd be ****** off with them doing it. Maybe I have been very good with my managing agent but they email me for everything and I usually email them back within 10 minutes. The only real emergency I've received in the last 12 months was a request for x2 HWS which they contacted me and I approved for the urgent replacements.
     
  18. Tools

    Tools Well-Known Member

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    Even better would be to change the MCBs to RCBOs and have each circuit protected seperately.

    Tools
     
  19. dan2101

    dan2101 Well-Known Member

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    Repair limit is set at $250 @Pumpkin

    Good point @wylie hadnt thought of just trying to get the extra call out amount reimbursed
     
  20. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    No, not urgent or emergency.
     
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