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.