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Renting, and I've had no hot water since Monday, when can I start to get really shirty?

(17 Posts)
purpleturtle Fri 03-Aug-07 15:41:10

Today we've heard that dh has got the college place we've been hoping for, so we'll be moving to a new city in time for the dcs to start school there. Technically, I have to give one month's notice by the 1st of the month (rent due date) - so because today is the 3rd, I'm now expected to pay rent till the end of September. Estate Agent tells me it's absolutely binding, no room for goodwill gestures, blah, blah, blah.

I tried to negotiate on the grounds that we've had no hot water since the leaky boiler had to be turned off on Monday, and have no idea when anybody's coming to fix it. No good.

If I were our landlord, I would want to have the house available for viewings this month, in time for a 1 September potential let, as we're in a University city and this is classic changeover time. By September I would have thought the rental market slows down considerably.

Do you think it's worth going directly to the landlord to ask her to release us at the end of August? And if you were a landlord, would you want to know that when water leaks through the kitchen ceiling no one even looks at it for the best part of a week?

expatinscotland Fri 03-Aug-07 15:48:49

Don't pay them the last month's rent. They're going to eat your deposit, anyway.

Leave no forwarding address.

ib Fri 03-Aug-07 15:52:23

I would already be really shirty. I would certainly claim my rent back for any days without hot water, and I would contact the landlord directly.

And definitely withhold the last month's rent.

purpleturtle Fri 03-Aug-07 15:54:41

I'd really like to persuade the landlord to move to a different estate agents, because I'm sure it's them that's the weakest link.

expatinscotland Fri 03-Aug-07 15:55:13

Don't waste your time.

Withhold the last month's rent and don't leave a forwarding address.

purpleturtle Fri 03-Aug-07 15:57:46

Think I may be making a phone call this evening, then.

As well as the one that I'm going to make at 4pm, which is when I told the eejit at the estate agents I wanted to know when the plumber would be coming out to fix the boiler.

Of course, I can find nothing in my heap of papers from them that tells me what is deemed a reasonable length of time for repairs to be carried out.

Earlybird Fri 03-Aug-07 16:03:15

Your landlord sounds unreasonable. When do they propose fixing the boiler? What does the Estate Agent advise regarding the problem boiler? Could you break the lease on the grounds that the landlord has not fulfilled his obligation to provide you with a fully functioning house? Surely the rent you pay is based on that....

Do you think you'll need a landlord reference in order to rent a place in your new city?

LIZS Fri 03-Aug-07 16:06:13

Contact landlord direct . I bet the agents , assuming they've told him at all , have said it is in hand.

Earlybird Fri 03-Aug-07 16:23:40

Is the estate agent supposed to be managing the property for the landlord? If so, isn't it the estate agents responsibility to deal with the leaky boiler?

crumpet Fri 03-Aug-07 16:27:46

Might be worth a quick look the internet (I think some if the government sites have info) but I think it is illegal for you not to be provided with hot water.

LIZS Fri 03-Aug-07 16:30:06

No immersion heater ?

Mumpbump Fri 03-Aug-07 16:39:56

I would contact the landlord directly. When I was abroad and renting my flat out, the tenants didn't mention to anyone that there was a damp patch in the stairwell. When I moved back into my flat and investigated it, it turned out the immersion heater was leaking and was almost on the point of falling through the supporting shelf because it had got so wet.

Also, I think most landlords would sort out the water and prefer to find new tenants before September which is not only when people start uni, but often when people take up graduate jobs or children start school.

If they don't fix the immersion heater, tell them you'll arrange for it to be fixed and deduct the cost from the last month's rent.

purpleturtle Fri 03-Aug-07 17:01:17

Estate Agent tried to tell me the contractor had rung today to arrange to come. When I said that I had been in all day and no one had done that he backtracked claiming he may have misheard. Made it up, more like.

It's a combi boiler, LIZS, so as it's had to be shut off to stop it dripping water through the floor into the kitchen, we have no hot water. (Apart from the electric shower, but as that takes an age to put a decent amount of water in the bath, and the children hate showering, I'm discounting it for my own convenience. ) It's as well we have a dishwasher, or I'd be much more annoyed than I actually am.

There is a legal obligation to supply hot water, but to be fair, it can take a day or two to get the necessary part. 4 is pushing it though.

Have now chased up the contractor myself, with the result that the office manager bod (that's a generous description - she answered the phone with 'Hello?' rather than any company name or other indication I'd got through to a professional outfit) is now going to phone the plumber again, and tell him to put us down as emergency.

purpleturtle Fri 03-Aug-07 17:03:26

Oh, and Earlybird, Yes, I will need a reference for the next place, so I don't want to be unreasonable, but neither do I feel like being a walkover.

purpleturtle Fri 03-Aug-07 17:04:49

Thanks Mumpbump for the landlord's point of view. Think we might phone her later.

Peachy Fri 03-Aug-07 17:14:17

Am a tenant and have also been a landlord, and indeed in your situation

We wrote to the landlord (you could call, we didnt ahev a telephone number) to request n early release and it was agreed. Worth a go surely?

purpleturtle Fri 03-Aug-07 17:27:15

Thanks Peachy. Will wait till dcs are in bed and a civilised phone call can be made.

The plumber (sub-contracted by the estate agents' plumber) just rang to say he's been given the go-ahead this afternoon, and has ordered the part, which should be in on Monday. But as he has to come to Sheffield from Worksop, it may be Tuesday before he comes to fit it.

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