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Can someone help with landlord problems??

(19 Posts)
coldshowers Mon 15-Sep-08 18:55:22

I'm in a private rental apartment. Is large old house converted, we have one boiler for whole house instead of seperate ones. (landlord pays gas and water bills so thought this was great deal!)
Now the boiler has been knackered for over a week, hot water dissapeared last Sat, finally got hold of landlord on the Mon, other tenants had alredy called him and he had someone come straight out. Repair man knocked and told us all that he hadn't been able to fix it because he needed a new part and would be back with it tommorow (Tues) Tues night still no hot water, called landlord on Wed, and he said part couldn't be gotton hold of until Mon (today) apologised profusely etc etc. So we all (there are four of us here) held out, boiled a lot of kettles etc. and now Mon eve and still no bloody hot water!
I have 7yr old disabled DD, she's incontinent, so you can imagine the nightmare this has been. I'm through being patient etc now, I think we've all been more than patient with landlord.
So does anyone know where I stand legally? what can I do? I don't want to risk my tenancy so am nervous of going in all guns blazing.

thanks

coldshowers Mon 15-Sep-08 19:15:09

bump....anyone?

MlleFingeot Mon 15-Sep-08 19:17:21

Can you contact your local council...they will have a 'private sector team' who deal with privately rented accom.

Mine have been great, just ring the switchboard and ask for the right dept.

They can put pressure on the LL.

I would just be very very persistent with the landlord and make it quite clear you can't put up with waiting any longer. Ring him a LOT.

Good luck x

MlleFingeot Mon 15-Sep-08 19:18:17

You must be feeling pretty depserate btw sad

Do you get on well with the other tenants?

coldshowers Mon 15-Sep-08 19:21:34

Yes I do get on with the others, nobody is home yet tonight, am wiating for them to come in and will talk to them. I wonder if theres something we can do together, so none of us have to feel nervous about jeaopardising our tenancies? He's hardly going to refuse to renew all of them is he!?
I didn't know about the council being able to help though, thanks for that grin

islandofsodor Mon 15-Sep-08 19:30:12

To be honest there would be little that can be done. If the part has to be ordered the part has to be ordered.

My Dad runs quite a large gas firm and even I had to wait for a part when my boiler concked on New Years Day!!! Some suppliers/manufacturers can take ages and it is so frustrating waiting for parts.

coldshowers Mon 15-Sep-08 19:33:35

Its not right to be left with no hot water though is it? not for this long? Surely getting hold of parts is his responsibility and we shouldn't be suffering. Am v angry about it all now. Is a house even classed as habitable with no hot water?

islandofsodor Mon 15-Sep-08 19:36:39

Whilost I sympathise just exactly how is the Landlord going to get hold of a part any faster than the gas engineer can. He won't even have an account at the suppliers or be on good terms with the reps who will try a bot faster for good regular customers.

I've been on the other end of a phone with Landlord's chasing parts and you just can not get them any faster than it takes the manufacturers to send them to the suppliers and the gas engineer to pick them up then schedule fitting it into their schedule.

The Landlord can phone the engineer every day and it won't make a blind but of difference. Sorry, but it does sometimes just take time. About up to a week can be normal if it is a hard to get/non standard make.

coldshowers Mon 15-Sep-08 20:14:30

Have just spoken to neightbour who's in unfortunate position of having the boiler in her apartment. She says the repair men who have been out arn't proffessional engineers he's just been sending out his own handymen. she said another one came today, took one look at the boiler and said it's useless and needs replacing. If he'd just had someone out who knew WTF they were doing in the first place we might have it sorted by now. So it now needs replacing god knows how long we're going to waiting.
I'm going to have to leave, and stay somewhere. else, I can't keep going like this. Have been having to take dd to my mums for baths ffs.
I'm so so so angry
Neighbour has spoken to the other two tenants and all of us are going to call landlord tommorow and give him hell, so hopefully that will set a fire under him to get it sorted asap.

LadyMuck Mon 15-Sep-08 20:20:09

You do have a number of rights which can include witholding rent and getting repair sorted yourself (though for this to be legal you do have to follow a certain procedure) or you can get the local authroity involved. However if you do not have a protected or secure tenancy then obviously you have the risk that your tenancy will be terminated at the next available opportunity. If all tenants want to unite in action then would recommend one of the get onto CAB and they can take you through the steps of withholding rent and getting the boiler repaired youself.

coldshowers Mon 15-Sep-08 20:25:11

Thanks LM, we're all going to call him tommorow and see what he says. If we don't get any definite answers/dates for completion of repairs then I think we will go to the cab

finallypregnant Mon 15-Sep-08 20:43:28

5 working days isn't really a long time for plumbers to get spare parts. What evidence do you have that the people in attendance so far are handymen and not plumbers? Be careful how you word things and don't go in all guns blazing because if the repair people are legit, the parts may only just be available in the next couple of days. Especially if the boiler is old.

coldshowers Mon 15-Sep-08 20:51:31

Well the neighbour who's had them in said that the first men who had been in were the ones we know, they are the handymen who come to fix everything. Last time I saw them they were cutting the hedges hmm
She said the man that was in today was a proper gas engineer and he condemned the boiler, said he was going to call the landlord after he left and inform him that it needs replacing. So it seems that he's tried to do it on the cheap having the handymen try to fix it with little or no knowledge of how. If we'd had real engineer in the first place he would have been told immediately that it needs replacing and I imagien would be some way towards actually getting that done already.

islandofsodor Mon 15-Sep-08 21:12:07

Have you got a Landlord's Gas Safety Certificate that is less than 12 months old? As a tenant you are legally entitled to a copy.

It concerns me that you think that someone not CORGI registered was going to attempt a repair. That is illegal, however the handyman might have just been sent in to assess what might need doing and a proper CORGI engineer was going to actually do the repair.

It is possible that the gas engineer was not available for callout for a day or two in which case the Landlord thought the handyman could at least diagnose the problem and get the part ordered. Mind you the handyman might be legit. When our firm are quiet and don;t have much work on we get them doing anything just to keep them in work til it picks up again. They have even done my garden.

islandofsodor Mon 15-Sep-08 21:13:01

Have you got a Landlord's Gas Safety Certificate that is less than 12 months old? As a tenant you are legally entitled to a copy.

It concerns me that you think that someone not CORGI registered was going to attempt a repair. That is illegal, however the handyman might have just been sent in to assess what might need doing and a proper CORGI engineer was going to actually do the repair.

It is possible that the gas engineer was not available for callout for a day or two in which case the Landlord thought the handyman could at least diagnose the problem and get the part ordered. Mind you the handyman might be legit. When our firm are quiet and don;t have much work on we get them doing anything just to keep them in work til it picks up again. They have even done my garden.

coldshowers Mon 15-Sep-08 22:02:57

I haven't got copy of safety cert, will ask him to send me a copy when I speak to him tommorow. See what he says. I doubt the handymen are legit otherwise why the faffing about ordering parts etc when gas engineer said straight away it can't be fixed and condemned it?
I think landlord is taking the pee and trying to do thing on the cheap and probably illegaly. again though, I like it here I don't want to jeopardise my tenancy.

scaryteacher Mon 15-Sep-08 23:46:17

Landlords can't afford to do things illegally, especially with gas boilers as they run a great risk of prosecution.

As a landlord myself, I know that parts can't just be magicked out of thin air, anymore than they could when I was living in my house. I was left for a week by my plumber in much the same situation as you, and not a lot I could do about it.

Secondly, the landlord is reliant on other people to tell him the problem. If the boiler went in my house, I would be reliant on others to tell me what the problem was, as I am not an expert and would perhaps need a couple of people to take a look as in this case.

Do you not have an immersion tank in an airing cupboard that runs off electricity to do hot water as a back up? I know that when I had a problem with my boiler I switched it off and used the immersion instead.

coldshowers Tue 16-Sep-08 02:58:05

I bet if the boiler went in your house though scary you'd get gas engineers in to tell you what was wrong with it! It really doesn't look like he's done that, if he had we'd have known a week ago that the whole thing needed replacing not repairing. As it is, he's had people running around looking for 'parts' that are completely unecessary.

scaryteacher Tue 16-Sep-08 07:55:31

Nope - a gas engineer would have problems with my boiler as they'd know nothing about it. We don't have gas, so my boiler is in the oil fired range. So saying, even when I was living there before I moved abroad and rented the house out, if the boiler went wrong, it could take a week for the guy who serviced it to come out, so I ended up cooking meals in the microwave as I cooked on the range as well. I ran the immersion for hot water and the woodburner for heat. (I've learned that plan B is always necessary for things that can go wrong, as they usually went wrong the minute dh went off to sea.)

The boiler has gone wrong since I've had tenants, and my letting agent who is superb has chased up the firm who deals with it, but sometimes people need to look at the problem first to see if there is a fix other than replacing the boiler.

I can understand how frustrated you are though. Can your landlord not offer a reduction in the rent for this inconvenience? I expect I'll be moaning in a couple of months as well, as the landlord of the place we rent here knows there is a boiler problem (weird boilers in Belgium) and is ignoring it. I expect it will go pop on Christmas day and I will have no hot water. No plan B here either, as they don't do airing cupboards or immersions either!

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