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Condemned boiler (no heating/hot water)

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629 views 1 replies latest reply: 02 October 2015
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Tenant

My landlord had a surveyor come out to our boiler as the pressure kept dropping and had been doing for sometime. When looking at the boiler the surveyor (from a company called holdcrofts) immediately condemned the boiler, for several reasons 1) the flew was not attached properly to the boiler (the bracket was bein held on with such tape) 2) the flew was not high enough out of the building 3) if the flew was at the correct height (outside)it would be too close to wall and to an opening window. The surveyor told me that with cases this bad they have to report both the landlord and the person who signed the boiler off as fit. He asked to see my annual certificate for the boiler which I didn’t have not have I never had in the 6yrs of living here as we have never had the boiler serviced. Myself and my partner tried to contact our landlord to inform him of this n resorted to sending him a text message asking him to ring us as the boiler had been condemned. 4 days later our landlord finally rang us back saying he will send someone out to get the boiler up and running until he can get a new boiler. We have 3 young children with no heating or hot water and don’t know when will have any. The surveyor also informed me our landlord should provide us with electric heaters for every room until our boiler is replaced….we haven’t had any from our landlord. It’s now been 8days since are boiler was condemned and our landlord has been nowhere near and rang us the once. Where do we stand? Do we have to continuing to pay rent? 

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Administrator

Hi Laura

Yes you need to continue paying rent otherwise you are in breach of your tenancy, which immediately puts you in a difficult position. As the boiler was there when you moved in the landlord needs to repair it – currently he is in breach of the tenancy and also landlord and tenant legislation.

In terms of what you can do, what result do you want from the situation? The difficulty with this is that it’s not easy to force the landlord to take action without resorting to legal action. Do you have a postal address for the landlord? It’s always a good idea to start with a formal letter setting out exactly what has happened, the timeline and the issues and dangers to you and your family. Then state what you want i.e. a new boiler within X amount of time and in the meantime hot water and warmth, in accordance with the terms of the tenancy agreement.

You could then mention to the landlord that not having provided you with a gas safety certificate is a criminal offence and if the landlord doesn’t take action then you will be reporting them to the Health & Safety Executive, which can prosecute and also issue five figure fines for complacent landlords. You could also say that you’ve been made aware of the risks to your health and the health of your children from the current boiler and if it’s not replaced you’ll be seeking legal advice. You could also point out that you have had no heat or water for however many days and request a rent reduction to cover the period already passed and for every day that you continue to have no boiler.

Give the landlord a specific period of time in which to respond to you and then if he doesn’t contact the HSE. You could also speak to the environmental health department of your local authority as they might be able to compel the landlord to do something if he’s putting you in danger or putting your health at risk (especially now winter is coming). It might be worth speaking to a solicitor (I’m not a lawyer) – you should be able to get some free advice from a Law Centre.

Out of interest has your deposit been protected? You should have been notified that this has been done within 30 days. If not then you can make a claim against the landlord for 1-3 times the deposit going through a small claims court. Even the threat of doing this can sometimes be enough to get a landlord moving on any outstanding issues.

Hope that helps.

Alex

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