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Heating issues

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49 views 1 replies latest reply: 14 November 2016
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Tenant

Help please!

Im in a privately rented property with my family, which includes a 14month old baby. 

Over a month ago (when we started using the heating) we realised that it wasn’t working properly.

We alerted the landlords management company. On the first time it happened they told me to call a number for a call out. We called the premium rate call out number (cost us £18 in phone bills) and they told us to bleed the radiators and reset the boiler and then it started working. 

As the month went on, it became clear that the boiler was not working properly as either the heating would not work at all or the boiler had to be reset anywhere between one and 10 times before it did start working.

this culminated in last weekend when we had no hot water or heating all weekend (Friday evening to Monday morning)

since then it has worked one day out of three. The management company is blaming the landlord for their useless emergency repair insurance who can’t fix it, theee people have come to take a look this week (once with no notice and no documentation!) and now we have had no heating or hot water since Friday lunchtime. 

Meanwhile my 14 month old is sick and has been for about 2 weeks: I’m fairly sure being freezing at night and having to use electric heaters is making her cough worse. 

My quesions are 

1) legally what can I threaten the landlords with since the boiler works intermittently?

2) do I have any stronger grounds given the fact I have a child in the house?

3) can I withhold rent for the days I’ve had no heating this month?

thanks for any help!

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Tenant

1) legally what can I threaten the landlords with since the boiler works intermittently?

You can get the council on your case, as having no heating / hot water, especially in the colder months is a hazard in the property. Especially for a baby !

For this you need to go through a complaint procedure, which you’ve more or less completed. Now you need to send a final notice to the landlord telling them that you’re contacting the council in X days if repairs have no been initiated. 

We’ve prepared an official guide how to do this. You can grab it from this page – http://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/letter-templates/request-repairs-heating-and-hot-water

2) do I have any stronger grounds given the fact I have a child in the house?

Yes. No heating and hot water to a 14 month baby is a super serious hazard (in my eyes, at least). The council should get on your case faster and demand faster resolution from the landlord.

3) can I withhold rent for the days I’ve had no heating this month?

No no no. Don’t withhold any rent. It will not make any dent on your case and may only be used against you by the landlord (and practically everybody else).

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