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Who is responsible for repairs- landlord or tenant?

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  1. #1

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    Who is responsible for repairs- landlord or tenant?

    Background- I have been in this flat for 2 years, recently extended my contract on the same terms for 2 more years. Overall it's a good place, but for every little repair, the landlord wants to be involved. Soon after we moved in, there were some minor repairs, and the landlord got their contractor to fix it free of cost. Now there is a light bulb that needs to be replaced, and we found out that the entire unit has to be changed, because it's wired that way.

    Again landlord 'prefers' to use their contractor, who is not very responsive, and who has given us a quote for 500 dollars. I am not ready to pay that much for a light bulb. Even if I had to, I would rather get quotes from more handymen, before taking a decision. After 2 months of no response, I am also annoyed by the "we need to decide within 2 days" pressure.

    The contract states that tenant is responsible for the repairs and maintenance, and when I asked for clarification, agent told me that wear and tear is tenant's responsibility, anything affecting the structure of the house is the landlord's.

    I don't mind using their contractors and their terms- if they are ready to pay for it. If I am paying, I want to get the most value for my money. My sense is that LL thought they could get this done for free or cheaply, but it became my responsibility when they heard the cost, and that's not okay.

    Q- is it the norm in HK for landlords to be involved in every repair? If I contact some handymen and get them to fix it, or give me an alternative set-up, will that create problems?

    Sorry for the long question.

    Last edited by DrWho; 02-03-2017 at 08:51 PM. Reason: That was long!

  2. #2

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    Anything that's wear and tear them get your own people in and no need to tell the landlord if you're replacing like for like.

    I don't see what the problem is.


  3. #3

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    These are fittings they hunted down from god-knows-where, and apparently only the original contractor knows what needs to be done. It's wired in a way that the entire unit needs to be replaced, just because the bulb wore out.


  4. #4

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    First, I wouldn't sign a contract that puts responsibility on the tenant. That's just asking to never see your deposit again.

    Second, why do you need to call the landlord. I guess if you are changing the whole unit then you need to save the old one, but to have someone come out and install a new one isn't necessarily going to be cheap.


  5. #5

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    or do what i did, I just replaced the damm lighting fixture that was probably from the 90's, had it replaced with something shitty from IKEA, kept the old one in the storeroom so when I leave its still there LOL

    DrWho, Fiona in HKG and jimbo like this.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWho
    These are fittings they hunted down from god-knows-where, and apparently only the original contractor knows what needs to be done. It's wired in a way that the entire unit needs to be replaced, just because the bulb wore out.
    Are you saying that if ONE single bulb in your apartment burns out, then all the others in the entire apartment (how many do you have in total, 20 ? 25 ?) need to be replaced as well ?

    Doesn't sound like we have the full story to me.

  7. #7

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    Umm... no. One bulb burnt out, and the entire unit of that bulb (including wiring through the panels) needs to be replaced- and that alone is $500.


  8. #8

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    Sounds like the landlord got taken for a ride by the contractor.

    jrkob, Fiona in HKG and DrWho like this.

  9. #9

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    We have been through this - very nice enclosure purchased from some obscure source on Taobao ... could never find the replacement bulb / lighting rig for it. Got a handyman to rig the enclosure up and put a standard lighting fixture inside the larger thingy.

    Yeah, not a very technical explanation.

    We have LED lighting strips in a couple of places which I have no clue how we'd replace. But we rarely ever use them...

    Happens... $500, not the end of the world, just make sure the landlord does not make you replace the original in "as is" condition. That would be fun.

    DrWho likes this.

  10. #10

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    Dec 2015
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    Thanks for your comments, everyone! Spoke to LL and we agreed that I would take care of this myself. Fun weekend project coming up!


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