ARE LANDLORDS RESPONSIBLE FOR CHANGING BULBS IN DOWNLIGHTS? | Discuss

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ARE LANDLORDS RESPONSIBLE FOR CHANGING BULBS IN DOWNLIGHTS?
09/05/2014
4:31 pm
positive energy
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Hi guys,

Are landlord’s responsible for changing the bulbs in downlights? I’ve had a tenant move out and there are lots of downlights not working.

 

Many thanks.

 

09/05/2014
4:51 pm
rigsby
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Yes and if you have a good contract it with clarify it within it along with tube lights and starter units

09/05/2014
5:02 pm
positive energy
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Thank you for your reply. Just to be clear. Does that mean landlords ARE RESPONSIBLE for changing bulbs in downlights?

09/05/2014
5:22 pm
PaulBarrett
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Any bulbs in a PRS property are the responsibility of the tenant once they have taken over the tenancy.

A LL is NOT responsible for bulbs in a rented property once the tenant has taken over and all bulbs were confirmed as working at the time of the inventory.

If the light unit is defective then that is the responsibility of the LL.

So in a tube  light if the choke burns out then the LL is responsible; starter units are probably the LL responsibility.

But ALL tubes and bulbs are down to the tenant providing they were all working properly at tenancy commencement.

 

09/05/2014
5:48 pm
positive energy
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Hi Paul,

 

Thanks for your reply. All the downlights are in the ceilings in the various rooms and were in full working order when the tenants moved in. It is clear that the bulbs themselves need replacing as the other downlights around them are working.

 

I like reading your posts by the way:)

09/05/2014
6:25 pm
PaulBarrett
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positive energy said
 

Hi Paul,

 

Thanks for your reply. All the downlights are in the ceilings in the various rooms and were in full working order when the tenants moved in. It is clear that the bulbs themselves need replacing as the other downlights around them are working.

 

I like reading your posts by the way:)

 

 

Yeah cheers for that.

However when I post; I do so from my own perspective and I always like the posts that Cathy and bprl and rigsby  do as they are proper industry professionals and do know their stuff!

I am just the proverbial man down the pub and am always willing to be corrected.

So sometimes you throw out a post to see what comes back and I have learnt a lot that way.

The knowledge and assistance that such industry professionals provide is of inestimable value to most LL.

I just wish I knew about such fora about 6 years ago!

I would have saved myself fortunes!!!

Shame more LL don’t engage with such fora; they would help themselves a great deal!!

As for downlights!!

They are a real pain to replace.

And cos I live next door to my flats I have changed the downlight bulbs for the tenants if they have struggled.

But I didn’t have to!!

But cos I’m such a nice guy I have done and I doubt I would refuse to do so if asked for assistance.

Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be too pedantic especially in my case when I live next door to the tenants!!!

I like to get on with all my tenants!!

So sometimes I say one thing; but actually ignore myself and do the opposite to help tenants!!Smile

09/05/2014
9:30 pm
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It is a tenants responsibility to change light bulbs I am afraid.  Its good practice to note on inventories that lightbulbs are working when you check tenants in and get them to sign the inventory.  Its down to them afterwards and any good letting agent or landlord will insist that its stuck in their tenancy agreements.  In my letting agent days I used to love trotting out the lovely little phrase that Lord Denning made in his summing up in Warren V Keane in 1956 regarding acting in a tenant like manner.  Used to **** ******* **** **** ******** ******* ***** **** **** **** ***** ******* ********* ******** *** **** ****** ********** ************ **** *********** ************* some people of though ……. but hey thats just tough.

The only times I have ever advised a landlord to change a light bulb themselves, or get a tradesman in to do it is if the light fitting is in a very difficult to get to area.  This was in the light of a case  brought against a Housing Association by one of its tenants.  Said tenant was  bit of an old soak, who came home one night the worse for wear.  His lighbulb in his bathroom had gone out, and the light fitting was located over the bath itself.  The only way the tenant could get to it was by standing on the edge of the bath.  He did this, slipped in, broke his back.  Sued Housing Association and got in the region of half a million quid.

If tenants demanded that landlord replaced lightbulbs, I just told them that of course we will get a tradesman out, but you will be paying for it.  We also used to keep supplies in the office as well, and just used to give them a couple when needed.

Cathy

09/05/2014
9:45 pm
positive energy
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Thanks for the reply Paul and Cathy.

Paul I was talking about your posts generally and on other forums as you are very straight to the point and speak your mind and I like that.

Cathy I shall keep that case for future reference and thanks for taking the time to reply.

I did have a full check in inventory report with photos done when the tenant moved in. I checked my inventory after I posted this message thread and found that in fact the bulbs weren’t working when the tenant moved in so its my job to replace them.

At least this shows as a learning curve for us all that even when we have property inventories done because time goes so fast and we are all so busy we should still check our inventory no matter how sure we are that the item was working at the beginning of the tenancy. I was so sure all the downlights were working but my inventory says not. I’m just glad I checked my inventory before speaking with the tenant otherwise I would have looked a right plonker. Just goes to show we need the inventories to protect us from ourselves as well as the tenants! Embarassed

09/05/2014
10:06 pm
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positive energy – Its what this forum, and others is all about – networking and sharing information to help each other out.  As has been said before, we all need to stick together.  I personally enjoy sharing my 20 plus years experience in this business, but there are others out there with far more experience than I have ever had, and I enjoy picking their brains.

This industry is a steep learning curve for the inexperienced and naive I am afraid.  Even close to home for me.  I left my letting agency to come and set up the letting agent side of LRS RGI, and my old business partner has stood in my size fives stilletoes (not literally, he has bigger feet than me and does not have a ladies shoe fetish, that I am aware of), and now runs lettings.  We met yesterday for lunch and he told me could not understand what the fuss was about in lettings (he is an estate agent), and that it was so easy and not technical at all. ……………………….  My response is not printable on here and he will learn, and yes I am at the end of the phone for him.

Ask away, theres a lot of very experienced and very helpful people on here.

Cathy

10/05/2014
8:32 am
rigsby
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A big part of the problem is tenants only buy the cheapest bulbs they can from pound shops or similar and these bulbs only last 5mins.

If you question any tenant who says there is something wrong with the electrics because the bulbs keep blowing 8 times out of 10 it is down to cheap bulbs.

A lot of landlords are to blame also for doing the same when preparing a property for a tenant when they should put a quality, LED or energy saving bulbs in the fittings. For the sake of a couple of extra quid they could save a lot of agro down the line which could involve extra visits to the property, getting electrician’s out or being bullied by the tenant into paying for replacement bulbs. 

All working bulbs should be listed on the inventory and checked they are working at the end of the tenancy.

 

The tip of the day is to send a well written letter to the tenant about 14 days before check out explaining that a lot of tenants get deductions from their deposit because they forget to do: xyz. This will include things like skirting, door handles, cooker hoods, shower screens etc and my list runs to a full page of A4

My list also includes what likely costs will be if oven, carpets per room, hourly rate of cleaner, or diposing of items/rubbish will be.

I have found when it is complied with fully the property is spotless and ready for the next tenant. Though some do take no notice.

11/05/2014
1:38 pm
Mary Latham
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I am pleased that this is not a issue for your this time but I am wondering if you checked the bulbs during your exist inspection?  If they had been working when you took the original inventory and you did not update the inventory at check out  the tenant could simply say that they were working when he moved out and the Deposit Protections Schemes would not support your claim.

I agree with rigsby landlords who use cheap bulbs are penny wise pound foolish and landlords who do not ensure that there is adequate lighting are not complaint with the Housing Health and Safety Hazard Rating System and would be vulnerable to litigation in the event of an accident in a poorly lit area.

Follow me on Twitter @landlordtweets

13/11/2016
5:04 pm
Sarahjayne
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We are tenants our landlords installed really specific light fittings in our kitchen that will only take one type of specialist bulb running at roughly £5 a bulb and there’s 6 bulbs for the whole fitting meaning when we need to replace the bulbs which is quite often as the bulbs don’t last that long it’s £30 a time we have asked them repeatedly to remove these fittings and replace them with fittings that take standard bulbs but to no avail where do we stand as we simply can’t afford to keep changing these bulbs

15/11/2016
2:26 am
PaulBarrett
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Most halogen bulbs have stopped production and therefore led is the way to go

Replace the blown bulbs with led and you should never have to replace them.

Normally it is halogen spotlights which continually blow.

I am now replacing with LED.

 

It is cheaper to use LED

20/02/2017
1:47 pm
Sally
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Hello everyone,

I currently rent a property, there are around about 6-9 lights in each room, the Landlord had used cheap bulbs which have all blown, so I went and spent around £50 replacing all the blown bulbs with LED bulbs around the house both upstairs and downstairs had blown.

The two large flood lights outside then blew, the fridge light blew this is 6 month old fridge, purchased when I moved in.

Anyway I replaced the fridge bulb, the Kitchen tube light then went, we bought the motor thing for it but had some trouble understanding which bulb/tube could fit in, but we have now replaced this.

I rang the Landlord and their agents sent a man out who checked the lines and said they are all coming back as normal however some of the rooms need different lights fitting and the downstairs rooms have to have dimmer switches fitted for LED bulbs.

Now more LED bulbs have blown again costing around £5 each, im onto over £100 on bulbs since moving in 10 months ago, can this be normal? Can I request this cost back from the Landlord and does the Landlord have the responsibility of changing the two large outdoor lights which I am not able to replace, they are too far up which I don’t have a ladder for anyway and I read somewhere it is the Landlords responsibility to cover the exterior of the property.

The Landlord seems to have fitted lights everywhere, in my opinion it seems as though they have all been overloaded, there is at least 7 lights outside.

Can anyone give me some advice other than moving of course as I do like the property but after moving to a higher Council Tax band and this then I don’t feel as though I have many other options.

The Landlord does seem to be helping as he has agreed to replace the switches for dimmer LED switches downstairs and the fittings upstairs but wondering if I can get my money back as I will not be leaving these bulbs in (well any that are left working) when I move, unless I am compensated for the cost of them of course.

Any advice appreciated.

21/02/2017
5:20 pm
PaulBarrett
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If LED bulbs are blowing the same as halogen what is the point on having LED!?

However it does seem peculiar that your replacement LED are blowing so regularly

I will be using LED when the old halogen are phased out

I have many downlighters in my rental flats and the letting ALWAYS commences with all bulbs working.

LED is cheaper to operate.

 

Nothing wrong with buying your own LED and taking them with you when you leave having the original halogen installed.

Perhaps a chat with the LL discussing the issues 

Given the circumstances if it was me I think I might make a contribution for the LED bulbs and have the outside bulbs replaced.

24/02/2017
7:20 pm
rigsby
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As a rule of thumb any consumables such as bulbs, batteries, light tubes and starter units for tube lights are the responsibility of the tenant.

BUT if there is a fault with the electrical system that causes the bulbs to consistently blow that is down to the landlord but proving it is a different matter.  

If a tenant suspects there is a electrical fault or a incorrect electrical installation they could explain their concerns to the landlord and ask if they (the tenant) can arrange a electrical test at the property at their cost and if it proves there is a fault the landlord will reimburse them and fix the issue.

OR request the landlord does it before you suggest the above.  

26/03/2017
7:44 pm
Patricia A
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said

  

I spent a day incognito in a  Letting agents office and its like a production line.

They have many many applicants . I watched and it was huge deposit and fees first. Most of the people they had in the office were straight off the plane and i know they could not reference them . Its easy for the estate agents because its the landlord who gets all the flack from the chaos and dirt the tenant leaves behind.  

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