An accidental slumlord

30/05/2012 § 3 Comments

We’ve just had to deal with EQC. There’s clearly an electrical fault in our property in Christchurch. It has arisen since the earthquakes and been accepted as earthquake-related.  The fault is causing problems with the lights in the house. An electrical fault is also, of course, a fire hazard.

The tenants in the house would like it fixed.

EQC has said no. They will fix it when they get to it.

I realise that I am now an accidental slumlord, renting out a substandard house, a potential firetrap, in a market with few vacancies.

Who is responsible? EQC now knows about the problem, but it is choosing to follow its bureaucratic process rather than provide safe housing. I know about the problem and could pay a sparky to deal with it. The last time I paid out of pocket for earthquake work, it took nearly a year to get the invoice paid, and only after serious wrangling with EQC. I paid for my EQC cover — why should I have to foot the bill?

I wonder where my insurance company stands on this? If there’s a fire, am I covered? Or will they decline the claim on the basis that someone should have done something?

Let’s hope we don’t have to find out.

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§ 3 Responses to An accidental slumlord

  • Eric House says:

    Perhaps contact the insurance company, they may have more influence with EQC to get things moving…

  • EQC ought to be responsible. But you won’t ever forgive yourself if the fire happens and yields bad outcomes. So hire the sparky and increase the rent to cover your increased costs of ownership.

    • Bill says:

      That’s what we’ve sort of decided. We are giving it one go-round of ‘you can escalate your claim if you like’, and then we’ll hire a sparky and curse EQC for five years until we can claim it back on the final reckoning. But — shhh! — don’t tell anyone that we’re push-overs.

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