Helpful Tips Property Management

Call of the Week: Can the broadband be fixed?

Written by NRLA Advice

This week the advice team have continued to assist our members with their questions relating to the coronavirus pandemic.

A member gave the team a call with a question about fixing the broadband at their rental property. Their tenants were able to choose their own provider and service, but had informed the landlord that there was an issue with the current broadband, which was having an effect on their ability to work from home.

They asked the landlord whether under the current circumstances as engineer would be able to come into the property to take a look.

The situation

The member had already been in touch with their tenant to confirm that a previously arranged inspection wouldn’t be going ahead. As the landlord wasn’t aware of any repair issues that were urgent, the tenant and the landlord agreed to delay this inspection so that they could remain distanced and that no unnecessary access took place.

Whilst discussing this with their tenant, the matter of the internet connection at the property arose. The landlord makes the facility for broadband to be installed available at their properties but leaves it up to the tenant to choose their own provider and service. An issue with the connection arose and the tenant was worried that they would not be able to have this resolved.

Although not their responsibility, the landlord contacted us to see if we had any guidance on the matter that they could inform their tenant of to help them out.

Internet providers can go out to perform works, but only in certain situations where it is deemed essential. This is where a problem needs to be fixed, or where an improvement in the connection quality is required for the person to work from home or to educate a child. It could also be to install a connection where one was not present before, but it couldn’t be just because of a change of provider to get a better deal for example.

Staff from these companies also cannot and should not enter properties without following HSE guidance on the matter and must wear PPE, similarly they cannot enter if any occupants are self-isolating.

In general, when it comes to repair work contractors can still go out and work at properties, as long as they are able to do so whilst following the guidance issued by the government. This includes social distancing, hand washing, and self-isolation.

 Non-emergency works should be avoided where they are not urgent or posing threats to health or life, things like lack of access to utilities, sanitation or heating. Contractors or tenants may wish to consult with Public Health England if a repair is required but the tenant is self-isolating.

  • Read more about managing your property at this time in our coronavirus guidance here. Members can log in and download a template letter on this, and give our advice team a call if they have a question.

About the author

NRLA Advice

1 Comment

  • So, basicaly, from the landlord’s point of view the reply to the tenant would/should be, “No reason why not, as getting this problem fixed is ‘esssential’ – though if you are self-isolating it must wait until this is over.”
    I would add that tenant should confirm with the service provider – ‘cos their “mileage” may vary, and they might have their own reasons for this.
    Oh, and, the way I see it, “change of provider” should be OK if present provider is unable or unwilling to fix the problem.

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