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DD in private rent house share in London - boiler broken for over a week

(7 Posts)
SuburbanRhonda Sun 04-Oct-15 08:09:23

DD has just started her second year at uni.

She is house-sharing with four others. The boiler stopped working last
Saturday (7 days ago). The landlord came to fix it and it worked for half a day then stopped working again. They have no heating and no hot water for showers and washing up.

A few days ago the old tenants came to pick up mail and told the current tenants that the boiler saga has been going on a long time. According to DD the landlord hasn't called in an engineer - he's been trying to fix it himself as it's just the pilot light that keeps going out. The tenants have just paid 4 months rent in advance so the LL has received nearly £10,000 in rent but still hasn't fixed the boiler. I'm concerned about the safety aspects of someone unqualified fixing a boiler.

It's not my problem but I want to give her some advice that doesn't result in the LL throwing them all out. I've heard so many horror stories about LLs getting rid of tenants when they make a fuss about repairs.

cdtaylornats Sun 04-Oct-15 08:41:20

Has the boiler got a Gas Safety certificate as per -

Landlord's responsibilities
If you let a property equipped with gas appliances you have three main responsibilities:

Maintenance: pipework, appliances and flues must be maintained in a safe condition. Gas appliances should be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If these are not available it is recommended that they are serviced annually unless advised otherwise by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Gas safety checks: a 12 monthly gas safety check must be carried out on every gas appliance/flue. A gas safety check will make sure gas fittings and appliances are safe to use.

Record: a record of the annual gas safety check must be provided to your tenant within 28 days of the check being completed or to new tenants before they move in. Landlords must keep copies of the gas safety record for two years.

SuburbanRhonda Sun 04-Oct-15 08:48:27

Thanks, cdtaylornats.

I'll get her to check all those things. I have a feeling none of that will be in place. I presume she can contact her local council if that's the case?

whataboutbob Sun 04-Oct-15 13:24:46

Hello I am an "accidental landlady" (my dad's student rental property, but he's too poorly to manage it so I do so with power of attorney). A broken boiler is not on and obviously he's trying to spare himself the cost of a plumber. I am currently dealing with defective hot water pipes and am paying £1700 to replace them so the tenants have hot water. It will take 3 weeks but there's no question of it not happening.
Anyway, the students could check Shelter's website and maybe ring them on Monday, they give advice with a slant towards the tenants' rights. I am pretty sure that a functional heating system is a legal requirement if you are going to rent a home. It's not just about safety (as raised by cdtaylor) it's also about keeping warm, and clean.
Money is obviously what matters most to this landlord. They could ask for compensation while there is no heating. Ultimately they could threaten to withold payment (maybe after they've been there 3-4 months, it would take at least 6 months to get them out legally as per a section 21, and a judge probably would not be too indulgent towards a landlord who expected tenants to live through the winter with no heating.
Is there a letting agent?

3littlefrogs Sun 04-Oct-15 13:32:02

She may be able to get support and advice through the students union.

SuburbanRhonda Sun 04-Oct-15 14:00:04

Thanks for your reply, bob, the fact that the LL has tried to fix the boiler himself suggests to me that he's trying to save money.

Shelter is another good idea. I didn't think of them.

And frogs, yes, I think the student union should be able to help also, so thanks for that tip. smile

redspottyladybird Tue 20-Oct-15 11:01:37

Can i ask if this issue with the landlord has been resolved? All tenants have rights and the landlord has a duty in law. There is a firm of Solicitors in Birmingham that covers England and Wales with regard to landlord and tenant disputes including disrepair and wont cost the tenant any money. Due to the house being multi occupational it should be licenced with the Local Authority also your daughter should have a gas safety certificate from the landlord which is renewed each year after the boiler has been serviced by an approved engineer. If there isnt a certificate then the landlord has breached his agreement with the tenants and action needs to be taken immediately. Rest assured he will not evict your daughter. I hope this puts your mind at rest a little

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