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Boiler down for 15 days

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426 views 1 replies latest reply: 22 January 2015
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Tenant

Hi,

Our boiler broke down Sunday 11. On Monday 12, the engineer (from the management company) discovered there was a monoxide leak. so it disabled all gas. On Monday afternoon, the landlord company were made aware of it.

They required 3 quotes from contractors for installing a new boiler, which they finished obtaining by Friday 16.

This evening, Monday 19, the selected contractor called and said they would start work Friday 23.

This has taken so long. We pay for electric because we are using electric heaters. We go bath elsewhere. Our son is uncomfortable.

Do we have any right to claim compensation for the big inconvenience?

Regards,

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Administrator

Hi Hicham

15 days is a very long time to be without a boiler in the coldest part of winter. Your landlord is contracted to ensure that your heating and hot water installations work so this is certainly their responsibility. There’s some more information on that here.

It’s always difficult to decide whether or not someone is entitled to compensation – many landlords would adamantly state that as long as they did their best to get it fixed within a reasonable time then why should there be any compensation?  What this fails to recognise is that you pay rent every single day of every month and part of that rent is for a working boiler. So, if there is no working boiler it’s logical that the rent for that period should take account of that.

If you want legal advice on this I would contact an organisation like Shelter or the Citizens Advice Bureau. If not then what many tenants do is ask for a rent reduction for the period in which the boiler wasn’t working – this is sensible if you think about it as you’re just asking for the amount you pay to be reduced by a percentage to reflect the fact that you’re not getting everything the tenancy entitles you to for your rent.

Whether the landlord has taken a reasonable about of time is probably not worth arguing over with them, as your perspective is so different from theirs. Personally, I think that’s an emergency situation and taking a week to just obtain a quote is way too long (this is the kind of thing a landlord should have prepared in advance if they’re taking landlording seriously) but I’m not an expert. If you want to have a reasonable ongoing relationship with them then you also need to bear that in mind when deciding how much to ask for. If you had additional expenses during that time (i.e. the electric heater cost) then you can also factor that in.

Alex 

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