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Landlord Obligations

(21 Posts)
OberonTheHopeful Wed 30-Oct-13 12:49:52

I was just wondering what my landlady's obligations are. My boiler has been out of action since the weekend (about the ninth or tenth time in the last three years), and she doesn't seem to be in a hurry to do anything about it.

It's a combi, which means I have no heating or hot water (and no electric shower). Any advice would be much appreciated smile

Clargo55 Wed 30-Oct-13 12:56:17

Legally I am not sure without looking into it. But we let out DH old bachelor pad and we would sort anything like this ASAP. We also try to work within a maximum 72hour period. Would not leave our tenants without heating or hot water.

Clargo55 Wed 30-Oct-13 12:57:49

My guess is she knows it needs replacing and cannot afford the cost.

Do you have any clauses covering property maintenance in your contract? She could be in breach of contract if you do.

bananastar Wed 30-Oct-13 13:12:43

I'd be interested to know the answer to this too as we've got a similar problem at the moment.

We had our yearly gas safe check about 2 months ago and the engineer who did it said that our boiler needed a service as the flame was burning yellow which isn't good.

He said that he should turn it off but obviously we'd be without hot water or heating (we also have no electric shower)so he'd speak to our letting agents and get them to ok him to come the following week and fix it.

We heard nothing and when we spoke to the letting agent they pretty much dismissed us saying they'd emailed the landlord but hadn't heard anything back and if it was dangerous the engineer would have turned it off! They also said it was just an advisory note and that it wasn't something that desperately needed be fixed but why would the engineer have said it needed turning off?

Now we don't know what to do. We've got a 6 week old so obviously we couldn't cope with no heating but it seems like we're going to be stuck with a boiler that could break at any moment or be dangerous while we wait for the landlord to get around to relaying to the letting agent.

What would you do?

VanitasVanitatum Wed 30-Oct-13 13:14:51

banana if you don't have one get a carbon monoxide alarm. They are not expensive, then if anything does go wrong you will at least be safe from that aspect.

I would suggest contacting Shelter www.shelter.org.uk for advice. They'll be able to tell you your landlord's obligations and what action you can take.

VanitasVanitatum Wed 30-Oct-13 13:16:47

Sorry OP, meant to reply to you too! you should check your lease carefully for her repairing obligations, unfortunately they're often drafted in favour of the LL in that she has an obligation to repair, but probably not much you can do if she drags her feet. Just keep phoning and chasing as much as possible.

LIZS Wed 30-Oct-13 13:18:45

You could speak to the local council Housing office which should be able to advise private tenants as well as those in social housing on H & S and Environmental Health matters. I don't think timescales for repairs are clearly defined but should be reasonable and a dubious Gas Safety issue warrants priority especially with a young baby in the house. Alternatively try Shelter.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 30-Oct-13 13:24:18

First of all he should have turned it off if it needed it, irrespective of you not having hot water etc. He is at fault here.
I would call the agency and tell them what he said and you fear for safety tbh.
Get the boiler man back out and if it needs replacing or work done the LL will have to have this done.
Ask them about the advisory note and if you could have a copy and confirmation that the boiler is safe.
You need to do this asap, you have a baby and your safety comes first. There seems to be lack of communication here, which may not be a problem with the boiler, but even if it just puts your mind at rest you must do it.
I don't know about gas at all, but there is bound to be somebody who does. I would also start your own thread in chat where there is more traffic.

OberonTheHopeful Wed 30-Oct-13 14:49:24

This seems to be a depressingly common experience sad

The plumber who looked at my boiler yesterday said the repairs would be between £600 and £800 (so about a quarter to a third of the cost of a replacement), but it has had quite a few expensive repairs in the past and he recommended replacement (as did the last couple of plumbers). The letting agency have said that he was sending two quotes to them today (repair and replacement) and they would ask the landlady what she wants to do.

Unfortunately, I'm stuck in the middle! As it keeps going wrong, a replacement would obviously be better in the long term but would take much longer to effect than a repair.

I think I first need to find and check my letting agreement, and also chase the agency to see if they now know any more. Cold showers aren't fun!

Thanks everyone smile

specialsubject Wed 30-Oct-13 21:36:28

there's no legal time (as obviously plumbers/gasmen cannot be produced instantly) but your landlord is obliged to make the place habitable.

this means she should be arranging a fix and keeping you informed. If she can't be arsed, then you are throwing good money after bad and should start to think about a move. It's not good enough.

BTW combi boilers mean there really should be an electric shower too. So if the boiler conks out, there is still a hot shower.

twattock Thu 31-Oct-13 17:10:01

haven't got the precise reference to hand but it's a breach of the landlord and tenant act 1987, it's an implied term of the tenancy agreement that water and space heating appliances function correctly. as it's a fundamental breach it means the agreement can be avoided by you. you aren't bound by it and you can leave if you wish and get your deposit back. alternatively you can fix the boiler out of the rent although tell the landlord first. shelter a good place to start.

OberonTheHopeful Thu 31-Oct-13 20:17:50

Well there has been progress in that I've been told today that the landlady has agreed to replace the boiler, and the agent tells me that the plumber has already been asked to go ahead and order a replacement and arrange to do the work.

There is about a three day lead time to order the replacement, and then (from what I remember) it would probably take about three or four days to remove the old one and install the new one. Having said that, there have been at least a couple of occasions in the past when it has been repaired only to develop a different fault a week or two later. All of the plumbers who have looked at it have said that this particular model (an 'Ideal Isar') is notoriously unreliable, so I think this is the best resolution overall.

It would be good if the landlady could arrange for a portable water heater in the meantime, but I won't hold my breath and I do at least have a couple of portable space heaters. And obviously I have to accept that replacing a boiler simply takes a finite amount of time.

Thank you everyone for your advice! bananastar I do hope you have your boiler sorted out soon smile

Madlizzy Thu 31-Oct-13 20:25:22

It took 5 hours for my boiler to be replaced 6 weeks ago. Just to let people know, if you're on certain benefits, you can have a new boiler for free under a government scheme even if you're in a private let. Have a look here. https://www.gov.uk/energy-company-obligation

Madlizzy Thu 31-Oct-13 20:25:35
Clargo55 Thu 31-Oct-13 20:28:12

We have recently had central heating installed and the boiler took less than a day, so I would highly doubt it should need to take them so long.
Hope it is resolved quickly for you.

OberonTheHopeful Thu 31-Oct-13 20:32:54

It was a few years ago, and from what I remember it took about a day to remove the old one and a couple of days or so to install the new one. Having said that, it was very awkwardly situated and the swap required some substantial reworking of the both the gas and water pipes, so hopefully this one will be a lot more straightforward! Under 5 hours is very encouraging smile

I am always hopeful grin

mousmous Fri 01-Nov-13 11:41:13

depends on how much needs changing regarding pipework. a neighbour had an ancient boiler replaced recently and that too 3 days.
basically 1 day boiler out, 1 day new gaspipe to boiler (the old one was the wrong bore), 1 day new boiler in and testing.

great that things are moving.
do keep any receipts, manuals etc. and follow up any phone call with a short email (...as discussed today...) so you have it for future reference.

specialsubject Fri 01-Nov-13 20:48:33

glad to hear this.

BTW if it is gas then a new gas safety certificate needs to be done too.

OberonTheHopeful Wed 06-Nov-13 20:35:57

Thank you everyone for your advice smile It certainly helped me in dealing with the agents.

The good news is that I now have a brand new (and working) boiler grin.

Kafri Sun 10-Nov-13 11:05:36

We've just had a new boiler fitted. It took a day and a half to remove the old (not a combi) from the kitchen and put a new combi in the airing cupboard on the landing with new pipe work and patching up the kitchen once finished.

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