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If the Water Softner stops working properly during lease does the LL have to replace it?


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The lease terms that the TA is responsible for Soft Water system servicing and salt replacement.  TA notified landlord that he had a plumber out who states the unit is old and needs replacement as it is not functioning properly with the water leveler in the brine tank not functioning properly and requires manual regeneration.  Plumber recommends replacement as the unit is old.

Is the landlord required to replace the unit or can it simply be turned off and disconnected?

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To answer that question, we would need to know if the tenant would be disadvantaged by turning off and disabling the water softner.

Water softeners generally, are installed to increase the life of components in the property such as immersion heater elements or electric showers.....but it depends if you are in a hard water area.

They can also extend the life of washing machines & dishwashers so, if you supply these then there is no affect on the tenant.

You could serve notice on the tenant and ensure any new tenant doesn't have the benefit of a water softener system in the property

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Soft Water system servicing and salt replacement by the tenant is a reasonable condition to have in place however replacement of a defective water softener is down to the landlord.

You can by-pass the water softener or have it removed completely. Your decision to do this.

Avoid specialist water softener companies for a replacement unit as your invoice will be roughly double the price a good qualified plumber will charge you. Spoken from experience!

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How interesting....

I've addressed it from a legal perspective. Melboy has answered it from a plumbing perspectiive.

Reading the original post again, its not clear whether you want a legal or plumbing answer. Perhaps you can clarify.

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From a agent perspective the tenant could argue having a water softener was part of their decision making in choosing that property in the first place. (unlikely but possible) so therefore they are entitled to it being replaced.

You could just tell the tenant it will not be replaced or ask them their thoughts on it not being replaced. I would think making the big jump from soft water to hard water would be quite noticeable (extra limescale on showers, taps etc) and would be surprised if they dont make a little issue of it. 

Would you question it if all of a sudden you had all this extra limescale cleaning to do. 

This has got me thinking now, should I have a extra clause in the tenancy to cover this? It could be a slight amendment to a current clause in the agreement I am using at present. 

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Note: There are alternatives to a full salt reservoir water softener system.

If your current system/equipment is broken/ beyond economic repair and your tenancy agreement/ inventory/ tenant insists on you providing a water softner in the property why not do what I do ?

Some of my places have a plug in system that works on electro magnatism. They need to be fitted on the incoming cold water mains pipe. I've had one of these on my own property for 20 years that does the job and I fitted a few in my rentals.......they sell them for under £50.

If your incoming cold main is in the bathroom so that there is no electrical supply to power it there is yet another alternative for even less expense. These just attach by magnets to the incoming cold mains pipe, no electrical connection required.

Obviously they are not as effective or efficient as a full blown water softener system but they would meet the landlords legal requirement to supply a water softner.......and they're quick and easy to fit with no on going maintenance.

Check out Amazon, Screwfix, Toolstation et C for details

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