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HA tenant offered new boiler and central heating and I’m frightened

(26 Posts)
NervousSHtenant Tue 15-Sep-20 16:54:29

They are doing improvements on the houses on my estate and we’ve been offered two choices:

(1) a new boiler and new radiator valves (will take at least one day)
(2) a new boiler and new radiators, pipes etc (will take at least three days)

Can anyone explain to me what the difference is between getting the new pipes and radiators or not and just getting the valves? Am I stupid if I choose option 1 for the least disruption when I have the chance for option 2? If we decline option 2, it won’t be offered again until the boiler needs replacing again in another 15 years.

(I know we are very lucky to wave bye bye to our 15 year old boiler and be offered these improvements but I have severe mental health issues which make the thought of any work being done very difficult and I’m just trying to prepare myself mentally for the disruption when really my first thought is run off and abandon the tenancy so I don’t have to deal with this. I also am petrified of workmen since I was threatened by one once when I rented privately so that frightens me a lot too that there will be workmen here for possibly three days. Plus the workman that threatened me damaged some of our property during the work he was doing eg used our baby’s pram to rest dirty wet rags, used our mugs to catch a leak from a pipe, used our high chair as a stepping stool and I’m frightened of that type of thing happening again too).

OP’s posts: |
HollowTalk Tue 15-Sep-20 16:57:42

OK well you need to definitely go for the second option. It's a much, much better deal.

Then you need to work out where you'll be when they're doing the work. Can a friend or family member stay with you or at least stay 9-5 while the work's taking place?

They will be in every room, whichever option you choose. If you have anything valuable or private then I'd put it in a suitcase under your bed. They've no reason to go there.

HollowTalk Tue 15-Sep-20 16:59:08

Do you have a garage that you could put things in, like your pram?

Do you have anything like tupperware boxes that you could give them in case there are small leaks? Old towels are useful, too, or a pack of paper towels.

Lightsabre Tue 15-Sep-20 17:00:17

I would definitely try to find a way to get option 2 done. Could you stay with family or friends for those three days? They'll probably only be there 9-3pm.

Butterer Tue 15-Sep-20 17:02:26

I had all my radiators and boiler replaced. It took a few days, and obviously there was always space for me to go in another room they weren't physically in when they were working. It wasn't especially messy, there was a small bit of power tools work, and I'm so glad it was done. My plumber recommended changing the radiators because she said a new boiler (that was all that initially needed replacing) wouldn't have been as efficient with the old radiators. My heating bills have dropped hugely, my house is warmer and I don't regret it.

Butterer Tue 15-Sep-20 17:05:13

If you're worried about workmen and their behaviour, is it worth asking your housing officer if they or someone else can act as a chaperone ? If you're worried about leaks, get some trays etc out in advance - most plumbers will have their own flood-catching kit though tbh.

TwixTwixtwoo Tue 15-Sep-20 17:27:38

My HA replaced my kitchen and then my windows and doors all in the space of a few months last year. I have anxiety/depression, was practically agoraphobic at that time, some hoarding issues so the house was a tip and was still suffering PTSD from a violent attack so terrified of having men in the house.

I was a complete state beforehand and I won't say it was pleasant but actually the thought of it in the weeks before they started work was 100 times worse than while it was happening in the end. My mum came and sat with me as much as she could but I literally just had to grit my teeth and get through the days til they knocked off and went home. I just kept telling myself it was only a few days and then it would be over and they wouldn't have to come again for years, that seemed to help a bit.

Our boiler is ancient and I'm fully expecting that to be next on the list to do, and no doubt I will be a state in the run up to that too but the best advice I can give you is just to try not to think about it anymore than you have to beforehand (I deliberately push unwelcome thoughts away and force myself to think about something that makes me happy instead, it's a good trick once you get the hang of it!), do what you can to prepare (organise someone to sit with you, think about where in the house you can be where you'll be disturbed the least etc) and then just try to get through the rest on auto-pilot as much as you can. I bought myself a few books so I could tuck myself away and be absorbed by something else so maybe something like that to keep you distracted too?

It's absolutely worth it if you can manage to get through the 3 days though, better than the boiler breaking down unexpectedly and you having to have an emergency replacement with no notice. I do understand exactly how you feel, it was a huge amount of stress for me but I am glad I did it, I'm very fortunate to have had a shiny new kitchen and better windows and doors essentially for free, and a new boiler will mean you won't need to worry for a long, long time flowers

dottiedodah Tue 15-Sep-20 17:27:39

Firstly please take the second offer .It is much better VFM in the long term .Secondly WTAF is a workman doing threatening people FFS! I would imagine that Council workmen will be vetted thoroughly and be of the highest order .However as PP said above .Maybe explain to your HA office ,the ordeal you went through previously and I would think they will be able to offer some sort of support for you .I am sorry to hear you had to go through that .We have had many workmen here and they have all been super polite thankfully ,I think you were unlucky TBH .Dont worry OP Its only a few days and you will be super and snug in Winter!

Butterer Tue 15-Sep-20 17:30:40

I've sent you a message about this, OP.
Definitely try for option 2 if you can find a way to work with it.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 15-Sep-20 17:36:23

You absolutely have to go for the second option. Try and think of it this way: it's disruption that is worrying you, and the length of the disruption is almost irrelevant.

The workers involved will have a huge contract from your HA and they will be petrified to put a foot wrong. Imagine being the workie that bankrupted the plumbing firm because they were rude to a resident? So that's not gonna happen.

They potentially will be messy, but not deliberately damage your property. Can you get someone to sit with you?

TwixTwixtwoo Tue 15-Sep-20 18:21:40

PP's are right, our HA have strict rules about how workmen should conduct themselves and both the window and kitchen fitters were nothing but polite and respectful. They know if they're not up to standard their contract won't be renewed and jobs of that size (they did our whole estate) aren't easy to come by. Definitely speak to your HA though, my housing officer was really helpful with the concerns I had.

opinionatedfreak Tue 15-Sep-20 18:25:48

You should get 2 done.

Old pipe work & radiators and a new boiler is a really bad plan. Crud from the old system can get into the new boiler and cause havoc.

Sirrah Tue 15-Sep-20 20:09:30

We had everything replaced (also HA) and it made a big difference to the warmth of the house, and the bills! A few days of disruption is worth it.

I am dreading the next possible job... New windows! We need them though.

Butterer Tue 15-Sep-20 20:12:27

@Sirrah I turned down having that done a while ago and really regret it.

Dragongirl10 Tue 15-Sep-20 20:15:03

Gosh, l would jump at the chance of getting a free updated boiler and radiator offer....my last one cost 5.5K...... misses point..

Your bills should be cheaper too as a new boiler will be more efficient.

Iggypoppie Tue 15-Sep-20 20:18:06

If you're very anxious I'd got for option 1. As far as I know option 2 can be quite disruptive and flooring might have to be taken up.

But a new boiler will be brilliant for your heating bills etc.

Butterer Tue 15-Sep-20 20:19:42

Dragongirl10

Gosh, l would jump at the chance of getting a free updated boiler and radiator offer....my last one cost 5.5K...... misses point..

Your bills should be cheaper too as a new boiler will be more efficient.

It's not just a housing association thing - I don't think I've ever heard of private tenants being asked to cover the cost of similar work. I suspect service charges and rent also go towards maintenance...

also misses point entirely

MJMG2015 Tue 15-Sep-20 20:28:18

You need to go for option 2 - you'd be mad not to!

Arrange to have someone with you or go out somewhere.

I wonder if I could sneak my house onto the HA list for upgrades? Boiler/rads already done, but I need a new kitchen & new windows....

Seriously though, make the most of it. Focus on how much cheaper it'll be to run & how much cosier the house will be

You CAN do this!! 👍🏻

MJMG2015 Tue 15-Sep-20 20:31:04

Iggypoppie

If you're very anxious I'd got for option 1. As far as I know option 2 can be quite disruptive and flooring might have to be taken up.

But a new boiler will be brilliant for your heating bills etc.

Yeah it might be disruptive, but it's only a few days and she won't be offered this opportunity again for a very long time

Far better to focus on alleviating the anxiety & Pushing though with help!

Ghouliet Tue 15-Sep-20 20:33:53

Option 2 definitely, if your boiler and valves need replacing then it’s likely the pipes could do with an upgrade too. If they do the pipes they have to clear out the crap in the system so your heating will be much more efficient with new boiler, radiators, valves and pipes.

Yes there will be distribution, to help your anxiety put the things you don’t want touched away or send some to a friend for those 3 days. It will be worth it.

Sirrah Tue 15-Sep-20 21:03:32

Butterer

*@Sirrah* I turned down having that done a while ago and really regret it.

And that is why you need to have option 2!

We've lived here 30 years, and the windows weren't new when we moved in, so they're long overdue. We had a new roof two years ago, that was a long, drawn out job, but again, it was worth it because the house is much warmer.

Butterer Tue 15-Sep-20 21:13:44

I took option 2 with the gas because my boiler was condemned in a safety check, and I (eventually) got a contractor I was comfortable letting in my house; the window offer was years before that and didn't have that as an option at the time.

I regret not having it done, but in all honesty if i was offered the chance again with the same original conditions re contractors (I'm in a similar situation to others re PTSD and men in my home), I would refuse again - or fight like heck to get my request for an alternative worker/someone to sit in while workmen are around is met.

Movinghouseatlast Wed 16-Sep-20 11:50:25

I used to do a lot of work with a Housing Association on the subject of customer service from contractors.

You must phone your housing officer and explain the situation. They are very well trained to deal with mental health issues and they will have a solution for you.

Contractors are taken on and have to sign agreements in standards of behaviour.

ScrapThatThen Wed 16-Sep-20 11:57:59

Get the work done, face your fears it might help.

TheQueef Wed 16-Sep-20 12:08:30

Ah fuck off with the 'we paid from our pockets' free boiler bobbins. You are talking shite.

Nervous please don't feel beholden to anybody or grateful. You've already paid in advance through your rent. All SH has it built in so the only person who has paid for the work is you.
Imo the advice you've been given here is good, a full system will take longer (even though they use flexi pipes to minimise upheaval) but you will be left with a fully upgraded system.

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