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Move in and find heating not working!

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599 views 1 replies latest reply: 14 April 2016

I’ve just moved into a one bedroom flat and before completing the Schedule of Condition decided to test the 3 storage heaters. None of them work although the one in the lounge looks reasonably new. It’s a large flat and in effect this means I have no heating at all. What are my rights here? And what are my landlords responsibilities? I feel I’ve been ‘sold goods not fit for purpose’ 

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Hi Cassandra

I have seen many tenants complain about storage heaters ‘not working’ simply because, not having had them before, they do not know how they work.

Storage heaters are very different to a ‘normal’ heating system where you turn on the boiler or flick on an electric rad and you get instant heat. Storage Heaters, store heat overnight (hence the name) at a lower energy tariff and then out out the heat, as neede, the next day. This ensures your bills are lower.

They take a bit of getting used to but, once you are, they are great. There is loads of tips online how to use them and get the best from them.

If, however, you do find that they are indeed faulty, the Landlord does have a legal obligation to underatke repairs. Space Heating is a key element of their legal responsibilites.

I would porceed as follows:

Write to the Landlord or Agent clarifying the issue and requesting that a contractor attending within 3 working days to investigate.

If they do attend, but are unable to repair it there and then, follow this up with another written notice stating that they now have 7 days to resolve/repair the issue.

If no one attends within this tmeframe, write another notice, stating that, if a contractor soes not attend to investigate within 7 days, you will arrange for 2-3 contractors to attend and quote for any works required.

As long as you allow reasonable timeframes, and take steps to ensure that you obtain a fair and reasonable quote, you are entitled to instruct works accordingly, pay, forward the invoice to the landlord and deduct the cost from your next rental payment. HOWEVER- this should be a last resort and you must ensure you allow reasonable time to investigate and resolve. Trust me- issues at properties often take a lot longer to resolve tyhan most Tenants appreciate so do be patient and try to see it from their side as well.

Hope this helps.

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