right to heating in freezing conditions | The Tenants' Voice
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right to heating in freezing conditions

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393 views 1 replies latest reply: 24 January 2017


I need some advice. My son, his partner and an 18 month old and 4 year old are currently in a “homeless persons” temporary accomodation ( Through no fault of their own ). It is a pre-fab type building with 3 small rooms out in the countryside. They are paying full rent, including heating. The hostel manager has the heating timers set to go off at 10.30 at night until 6.30am the following morning. The baby suffers with severe respitory problems and has been diagnosed as asthmatic. They have asked that during these extremely cold spells that the heating is available through the night. They have even offered to pay for this but have been refused outright. The council, Epping Forest, who manage the hostel state that they are not prepared to change the settings on the heating for this cold snap and will not enter into any further discussions. A call from my grandson’s health Visitor has also proved fruitless.   Can they do this ? I would really appreciate a response from anyone with advice.


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What is the temperature in the room ? A minimum of 18 C in bedrooms and 21 C in living rooms must be maintained at -1 C outside. Below this threshold, your son and their family can claim hazardous conditions and even go to court. 

With a young child and a baby in the house, this issue gets drastically worse for the landlord. 

I suggest your son downloads and reads our guide – Getting repairs to heating and hot water in rented accommodation – there he will read all the rights and responsibilities that are bestowed upon the landlord and tenant during renting. 

The sample letters inside will help them articulate their issues to the council and at the end, there are guidelines, how to proceed with a formal complaint in the EH department of any local council and take more serious action. 

I think with the health visitor’s testimony, probably the GP’s testimony as well, and recordings of the room temperature, there is even a good chance that court action will be successful. 

HOWEVER, please consult a real solicitor before you go filing cases. We’re here for information only.

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