Damage s a result of disrepair? | The Tenants' Voice
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Damage s a result of disrepair?

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651 views 1 replies latest reply: 11 January 2017
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Tenant

Hi All

In January 2016 we moved into a flat on an assured short-hold tenancy.

In June 2016 the property lost a considerable amount of hot water pressure which the landlord confirmed was due to a faulty boiler.

The pressure problems meant that both showers were unusable (meaning we could only wash by running a very very long bath) and that hot water could only be supplied to one tap at a time (if the hot water tap was being used in the kitchen, then no hot water would come out of the tap in the bathrooms, and vice versa).

It took almost 12 weeks for a plumber to come and replace the boiler (and restore adequate hot water pressure to the property), and a few days before the repair was completed, a minor flood occurred in the kitchen as a result of there being no water pressure (I turned the hot water tap on in the kitchen but no water came out as someone was running a bath in the other room, I thought I had turned it off…but then water started flowing out of the tap after I had left the room).

The landlord is now saying that the flood is my fault and that I must pay around £500 for repairs.

Now. I consider myself to be a fair and reasonable person, and if the flood had occurred as a result of me leaving a running tap on – I would be happy to pay the damages. 

However in my opinion this flood occurred as a result of the landlords failure to repair boiler and restore water pressure in a reasonable time (since the replacement of the boiler more than one hot water tap can be used at a time). As a tenant I feel it is reasonable to expect hot water when turning the hot water tap on (and not to have to be constantly vigilant in case someone is using hot water in another room, and my actions may cause a flood).

It is my understanding that the landlord should “keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of hot water”, and that any repairs should be conducted in a “reasonable time”.

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on whether it is justified to bill me for damages caused in the above case? Or whether the 3 month repair time renders his claim invalid?

Thanks 

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Tenant

Hello, 
Lets make a couple of things clear: 
Your landlord is responsible for repairing the boiler and ensuring hot water is supplied at all times. Your landlord has effectively done this, albeit taking 3 months of time. However, considering that the issue was not urgent – you HAD access to hot water and could do, albeit inconveniently, personal hygiene. 
There is not set time frame for repairs, except when experiencing total loss of utilities. Three months is a long time, but the work is done and you do have a new boiler, so you should be content with the service. Many tenants don’t get that at all. 
The flood resulted because you forgot to turn the tap off. The landlord takes no blame, as even though they took a long time to repair, you could have forgotten the tap on the second day after the pressure dropped and the result would be the same. 
I would ask you how minor the flood was, as 500 pounds is a pretty fat bill. Could you not look into other repair companies that can provide lower quotes, or do part of the work yourself ? This will make the problem a lot smaller than it is. 
Bottom line is: you can’t blame your landlord for everything. I would look into how to resolve this matter with minimal investment, rather than play the blame game. 

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