I've been renting my current home for 5 years now. The master bedroom has 2 ceiling lights given there is a ceiling fan in the middle, and when I moved in only one of the lights was working, so noted it down on the inspection report and assumed it was faulty. The other light was bright enough on its own so didnt worry about it.
I recently changed some other blown globes in the house and decided to try changing the one that had never worked, screwed a new globe in and it still wouldn't turn on. Tried the new globe in the second light which has always worked, it turned on straight away, so wasn't an issue with the globe. Again, thought that fitting was just faulty.
Had a rental inspection recently so thought I'd mention the light not working, and the agent organised for an electrician to come out. He tried putting in a new globe then mentioned we hadn't tightened it enough, as it turned on. But he had to turn the globe a lot more than the second fitting in the room before it would turn even turn on. He was in the house for maybe 2 minutes.
The agent passed on the invoice to me today for $205.70. I think this is ridiculous for the following reasons:
There seems to be an actual issue with the fitting given the second light in the bedroom didn't need to have the globe screwed in as much to actually turn on. I thought I would break the globe or the fitting if I tried to force it in further. I'm not stupid, I've changed other globes in the house without any issues.
The electrician was here for 2 minutes. I can understand a call out fee for his time, but $100 per minute seems excessive.
It obviously seems like the electrician decided to overcharge as he assumed the landlord would just pay for it, but now the agent is just assuming we're the stupid ones for not being able to change a light bulb and passing the bill onto us.
We're good tenants and look after the house as if it were our own, we've had hardly any issues requiring maintenance. This is making me not want to report any maintenance issues if we're just going to be given an exorbitant bill.
Has anyone else had to deal with something like this before? Can the agent argue that the electrician overcharged and have the bill reduced?
Or is this just a case of too bad, just cough up?