Long-term broken boiler | The Tenants' Voice
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Long-term broken boiler

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117 views 1 replies latest reply: 10 July 2017

Hi all, I’m a bit stuck with where to go with this one now so I thought I’d ask here as I keep getting sent in circles! 

Background: I live in a private rent but rent is provided by the council. In April my boiler broke down and I tried to report it but the letting office was shut for two weeks for Easter. Managed to get through to the ’emergency’ maintenance team, who didn’t arrive until the next day and couldn’t get the boiler working due to it needing replacement parts, or just fully replacing – which they claimed was their advice to the landlord. I heard nothing over Easter, bearing in mind it was freezing cold, snowing at one point and I had no heating or hot water and a 2 year old daughter living with me. Maintenence offered to drop off electric heaters and never did, luckily I managed to get hold of one from another source. After the Easter break, I rang maintenance yet again to ask what the outcome was and they stated that the landlord was aware of the problem but was away on holiday and had said he wasn’t dealing with it until he returned…which is nice of him, of course. I continued to ask weekly and eventually I was told that the job had been passed on to someone who fitted new boilers for free as part of a government scheme, based on certain criteria. Three weeks after I reported the fault, this man rang me and said the scheme would be effective from the beginning of May but I was going away for the last three weeks of May to visit family (and actually access hot running water and heating for a change). He responded that I should get in touch once I returned and it would be sorted. I did just that and each time he requested information (model of boiler, types of valves on heaters etc) and would then fail to respond until I contacted again and he could never remember who I was, claimed I hadn’t sent the information he needed or acted like it was a new case that had just come up. Eventually I got annoyed and contacted the letting agent to tell him what was going on, and he got in touch with the contractor as well and eventually I was told that the boiler wasn’t eligible on the government scheme after all and the landlord would have to deal with it asap. Maintenence turned up again this week to assess what work would be needed and said they would send a quote to the landlord and push for it to be done this week. Surprise surprise, still no boiler. And now I’ve just received a message from the government scheme contractor asking for copies of benefits letters, water rates, gas rates etc and yet I’d been told it wasn’t to be done on that scheme? 

Its now been over three months since I first reported the broken boiler and there’s been no replacement, no alternative offered and I’ve had the letting agent request my rent each month before the agreed contract date, in full. What are my rights on this now? To say I’m fed up with it all is an understatement because not only has it been cold and miserable, it’s degrading to not be able to keep my daughter and myself properly clean, and it’s absolutely unhygienic for washing dishes unless a kettle is boiled every single time. I have to use a boiled kettle in the bathroom to strip wash us both and I’ve scalded myself more times than I can count – what if that’s my daughter one of these days? I’m absolutely furious now that this just seems to keep getting passed around with no resolution, on top of all the other maintenance work in the house that has never been dealt with. What should my next steps be? What can I do as a tenant? 

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You need to locate the office of Environmental Health at your local council. Then, you can file an official complaint, pass through copies of your communication to show how long has past from the beginning and request a health and safety inspection of your home. 

Upon confirming your claim the council will issue the landlord with a mandatory inspection notice, requiring them to complete a specific set of tasts within a short period of time -> to restore your heating and hot water access. 

Use the guide here to help you out with the steps – http://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/letter-templates/request-repairs-heating-and-hot-water

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