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No heating or hot water

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473 views 1 replies latest reply: 23 January 2017

On January 3Rd I had a gas leak late at night. Called the gas board who confirmed it and switched it off. Following day I rang my agent and informed them and sent out our usual engineer who services the boiler every year who told us it needed replacing as it was over 20 years old and contains asbestos. But he didn’t have the correct licence to remove it himself. The Monday a firm comes to remove boiler but as it hadn’t been disconnected he couldn’t remove it and also found a square of asbestos plaster board above boiler. In the meantime two companies came to give quotes to my landlord via agents.  Because of this extra square of asbestos in caused the bill to triple in price which my landlord didn’t want to pay. He also didn’t like the cost of the quotes for the new system. I then contacted my council environmental health department to see if she could help. She came to the house and inspected it and also said we should have a radiator in every room as upstairs we only have one in the bathroom. So this Monday someone eventually came and removed the old boiler. I rang the plumber that had been eventually selected to do the job as when the old boiler wad removed they found asbestos in the old flu. Plumber arranged to come this morning to see if he could work around it. He’s not turned up! So now I have no heating hot water or upstairs toilet as that was plumbed from the tank upstairs which has now been drained. And I have a three month old baby in the house. What more can I realistically do. Should I really be expected to live like this for nearly three weeks and have to pay another £400 for the privilege?  Any help would be really appreciated 

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It would seem that you’re doing everything possible. Normally, I’d advise you to call the EH department and request their help, but as you’ve done so, your only option is to make repeated phone calls to everybody involved and demand a faster resolution of the problem. 

Unfortunately, you’ve just had a bad luck with this repair. It’s not simple at all, as there may be more asbestos popping up in places nobody knew existed, and it will cause the job to become longer, harder and more expensive to your landlord. 

On their part, the landlord is probably doing what they can. Remember that this is probably costing them a fortune, so it’s normal if they want to shop around a bit and maybe look for a better deal. 

However, as a tenant you have a right to heating and hot water in your property. You should negotiate with the landlord to either find you an alternative accommodation OR give you a rent reduction for the time you have no utilities OR provide an alternative method for heating your rooms and your water. 

The landlord should make every effort to provide you with temporary equipment to allow you to live somewhat a normal life, while the repairs get done. 

If they are not compliant, you can request EH to help you further in your demands. Ultimately, you may claim compensation for lack of basic services in your property, and for health hazards (asbestos, low room temperature, no mean of maintaining personal hygiene). 

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