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Recurring bolier and hot water problems

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391 views 1 replies latest reply: 06 November 2015
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Tenant

Hi,

So I have recently moved into a block of flats. During my 2 months here I have had a loss of hot water of no less than 6 times sometimes upto 2 days at a time.

The block of flats is provided hot water by a centrally managed system and so we don’t have an individual boiler. So ultimately when the hot water and heating fails the whole block is without hot water.

The flats within the block are owned partly by corporate landlords and individuals. Mine is an individual.

Each time I have contacted the agent but she has been of little help (although to be fair to her there is little she can do other than provide me with a day she hopes the water will be back up).

My question is, what are my options? Although the managment company are quick to respond (within a day) this is a recurring problem and causes so much inconvenience, especially out of hours when there is no one to contact as there is no working emergency number.

What can I realistically do?

Any help would be great.

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Administrator

Hi Ali

This is a really problematic issue for so many people. Your tenancy agreement will no doubt oblige the landlord to maintain the supply of hot water and heating so, technically (although I’m not a lawyer), the landlord is in breach of contract every time it happens. So, theoretically you could sue under the contract but that would probably mean you’d have to move and I’m not sure whether you’d get much in terms of compensation. It sounds like the entire system needs to be replaced – would it be worth calling in the council? If you speak to the environmental health department they might be able to compel the landlords to do something, especially if there’s any kind of risk (which there must be from such a faulty system). Alternatively, you could club together with all the other tenants and take group action. The first step would probably be to put something in writing setting out how regularly the contract is being breached and the potential inconvenience/loss for all the tenants in the block. If you want legal help, Shelter might be able to advise, or a law centre or Citizens Advice.

It’s worth bearing in mind that a new law came into force on 1 October, which means that a landlord cannot evict you using section 21 if you’ve complained about repairs that are not done. This stops landlords from retaliating against tenants who have to repeatedly complain on these sorts of issues by getting rid of them. 

Hope that helps.

Alex

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