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Must a landlord fix a broken tap? The tap does not function…

Must a landlord fix a...
Must a landlord fix a broken tap ? The tap does not function at all; it can’t be opened or closed.
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Answered in 51 minutes by:
1/22/2018
Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,820
Experience: Practicing attorney and conveyancer with 16 years post article experience.
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Hi I'm Freddie,

Welcome to Just Answer. Thank you for your question. I am reviewing it now and will post a reply here ASAP.

Regards

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Ok, I look forward to your feedback.

No, there is not necessarily a time limit, but he must follow the proper procedure in terms of section 189 of the Labour Relations Act.

Normally, you can then demand that should circumstances improve, that they must rehire you, in case you have not yet started a new job elsewhere.

I hope this answered your question.

I know it will take an extra minute of your time to rate my service, but if you do not rate it, I do not get paid by the website so I would really appreciate it if you would be so kind as to rate my service positively. Feel free to ask further questions here on this topic at no extra cost if you need more information.

Regards

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
This response is for someone else's question ?

Yes, sorry, not sure what happened there...

Regarding the broken tap. The responsibility to fix the tap will depend on whether the tap was broken when you moved in, or not, and then, more importantly on what the contract says about maintenance of taps etc inside the house - whether the landlord or tenant must maintain these things.

you will have to check your contract terms to be sure. You are welcome to post a copy of the contract here for me to have a look at.

I hope this answered your question.

I know it will take an extra minute of your time to rate my service, but if you do not rate it, I do not get paid by the website so I would really appreciate it if you would be so kind as to rate my service positively. Feel free to ask further questions here on this topic at no extra cost if you need more information.

Regards

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
The contract does not specify that the landlord must fix a tap in a certain time. So it is simply a matter of Fit For Purpose. The kitchen only has one tap and the tap is broken. Surely a kitchen is not Fit For Purpose without a functioning tap ? So the landlord must fix the tap.. ?

No, it is not as simple as that. Are you renting the kitchen or the entire house? If the house is fit for habitation, then it is fit for purpose.

So again, the question is, was the tap functioning when the tenant took occupation or not? If it was, and it became faulty (broke) while the tenant was using it, then, depending on the contract, the most likely scenario is that it would be part of responsibilities of the tenant to repair/maintain the tap. Since it is also the tenant's responsibility to, at the end of the contract, return the property to the landlord in the same good condition that he/she received it, it follows that if the tenant took occupation of a house with a functioning tap in the kitchen, he/she must return the house to the owner with a functioning tap in the kitchen - in other words, if the tap breaks, the tenant must repair it.

If the tenant broke the tap then it will be his responsibility to fix it regardless of any liability contained in the agreement that the landlord must do so. However, normally, lease agreements will place the burden of maintenance of the taps, lightbulbs etc (actually the entire inside of the premises) on the tenant.

So, my best guess is that this repair would be for the account of the tenant.

Please remember to rate the service positively.

Regards

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
The tap was working but the tap broke due to wear and tear. Wear and tear is the landlords responsibility .. ?

No, not necessarily. Can you prove it was wear and tear?

As I said, MOST contracts says (for instance) that the tenant must replace all light bulbs. When a light bulb blows, is that wear and tear? Yet, the tenant must replace it.

Most contracts also say that the tenant is liable for the upkeep and maintenance of the inside of the house, including the plumbing.

You are welcome to attach a copy of your contract for me to look at.

Please remember to rate the service positively.

Regards

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
this is a very grey area.. because a burst geyser is certainly paid for by the landlord.., and rusted pipes that leak is also certainly paid for by the landlord.

Well, I think it is not that grey - a tap is not a geyser or a pipe fixed into a wall.

Regards

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
It is guaranteed that a tap will break sooner or later due to wear and tear, but it is not guaranteed that a tenant will break a tap due negligence. To say that a tenant must prove he did not break the tap is the same as saying the tenant must prove his innocense. Is it not supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.. ?

I do not know how to say this more clearly - what does the contract say?

The tenant is not ONLY liable for things the tenant broke himself/herself. The tenant is liable for any repairs or maintenance in terms of the contract - whether through wear and tear or negligence.

Again, think about the example of the light bulbs. Are you going to call the landlord to replace a light bulb everytime one blows?

As you say, it is guaranteed that a tap will break sooner or later - so, the landlord knows this, but he never used the tap - so, he covers himself by saying in the contract that the tenant is liable to maintain these things.

Regards

Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,820
Experience: Practicing attorney and conveyancer with 16 years post article experience.
Verified
Freddie Lombard and 87 other South Africa Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Thank you so much for the positive rating. I hope I can be of assistance to you again in the future.

You may request me personally.

http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-fwlombard1/

Regards

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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