Plumbing repair woes
Question from Tautini updated on 20th April 2019:
We have recently had work done on one of our properties. This was organised by our property manager. Only one quote was submitted by a plumber and, due to the urgency for the repairs, we accepted the quote. Once the work was complete, our property manager told us he had done a marvellous job. So in good faith we paid without inspecting.
However, a week later we visited the property to do some minor repairs. We discovered the plumbing job was substandard and the repairs were not done properly. Further, our tenants told us the plumber – who turns out to be a friend of our property manager - spent less than half the time he charged us for. He also over charged us for the materials.
We tried mediation through our property manager but they do not support our claims and are covering up for their friend, the plumber. Who do we take the Small Claims Court? The plumber or our property manager? And where can we report our non-professional property manager?
Our expert Bernard Parker responded:
You seem to have received information from the tenants that conflicts with the plumber’s account of the work that he did. It’s difficult for the tenants to have an accurate view, as the plumber may have done some work elsewhere, (e.g: driving to a supply depot to obtain parts). Presumably you had given your property manager the authority to engage contractors such as the plumber.
If you have a problem with the quality of the work I suggest you contact the plumber direct and ask him to explain both his work and the charges. Then you will be in a position to bring the matter to your property manager’s attention. That company is your agent under your management contract. If you don’t get satisfactory resolution you can apply to the Disputes Tribunal.
Bernard is principal of Quinovic – Kapiti-Mana. Quinovic's outstanding people and systems provide the most professional, effective and reliable residential property management service in the NZ market for over 30 years.