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Landlords obligations - hot water

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830 views 1 replies latest reply: 26 November 2015

Hi, looking for legal rights/obligations here please.

Moved into new rental property one week ago, managed by agency. Lovely place, everything fine except the shower runs hot/cold with minimal pressure. It is a over bath mixer tap, upon inspection it seems to be non-thermostatic.

The whole property was cosmetically refurbished prior to moving in, including a new combi boiler which works really well on the bathroom and kitchen sinks. The only issue is the bath/shower and this is virtually unusable due to the rapid fluctuations in temperature.

I contacted the agents and was informed the pipes might need to ‘settle’ as the house was unoccupied for awhile. It has been 7 days now and we have been unable to shower/bathe at the property. At that time I offered to pay half the costs involved, as goodwill, to fit a thermostatic mixer (the cheapest solution) but was told ‘the landlord does not wish to alter the bathroom at this time’.

So my question is; Is a landlord obliged to provide a constant flow of hot water in a shower bath? Obviously seeing a shower/bath when viewing we assumed that this would be in working order.

I am loathe to start quoting tenancy law at the agency but do want to be clean.

Help and advice greatly appreciated.

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Hi Simon

As far as I know (I’m not a lawyer) the landlord’s obligations are to maintain and repair everything that was there when you moved in so if the shower is specifically mentioned (and included in the inventory is working) then it’s a legal obligation. You don’t have to quote any law for that, it’s just in the tenancy agreement that the landlord signed. 

In terms of the law, this implies an obligation to repair and maintain the major installations (Landlord and Tenant Act 1985) but I have a feeling it doesn’t cover showers:

“to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling for the supply of water, gas, electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences) but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity,”

I think showers are “fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water.” Whether the agent will know that or not…

Have you thought about going direct to the landlord? In many of these cases the landlord simply doesn’t know and you could put your reasonable offer to them directly, perhaps explaining that you don’t want to have to continue to make a fuss (implying that you will if no action is taken) but that it needs to be dealt with. Your landlord’s contact details should be on your tenancy. You can also ask the agent for the details (which they legally have to supply you with within 21 days) and this will also put them on notice that you feel the need to go direct to the landlord.


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