I rent an apartment and the electronic fob for the car park stopped working recently. I phoned the management company who said it would cost €90 to replace. I then phoned the landlord and she told me it was up to me to pay for a new one since it was working when they gave it to me. Surely this isn’t fair — is it really up to me to pay for it?
There is no legal standing on this query so in essence it falls under best practice. It is important at the outset to agree in advance with your landlord who is responsible for replacement keys, fobs car park zappers, etc in the event that they fail or get damaged. When questions like this arise after the event happens, it always leads to uncertainty for both parties. Many landlords take deposits from tenants to cover lost or broken fobs and you should check your lease agreement to see if there is a provision for instances like this.
In your question you state that the “electronic fob for the car park stopped working”. The first thing to establish is why the fob stopped. If it was because the fob had been damaged because of the tenant’s misuse then I feel the tenant should replace it. If the fob stopped working because it was faulty and this can be proven then perhaps the provider should be contacted by the managing agent to seek a free replacement. If the fob stopped working through normal wear and tear then there may be a case that it is up to the landlord to replace it as it may be considered part and parcel of the workings of the apartment and overall access to the property you are renting. You should also check the battery — it sounds like an obvious thing but this can be a common occurrence.
Without this level of detail it is hard to advise but without an agreement with your landlord in advance of the letting or a clear explanation as to why the fob stopped working it is 50-50 as to whether the landlord or tenant should replace the fob. My advice is to see if you can ascertain the reason why it stopped working and then discuss the issue with the landlord.
Fergal Hopkins is a member of the SCSI.