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Temporary heating response

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440 views 1 replies latest reply: 24 March 2015
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Tenant

We rent through a letting agent and had our back boiler condemned a week ago during the gas safety check. The owner has been saying he will replace it for the last year but wanted to wait until we are away to do it – despite us saying we hardly ever go away and will put up with disruption.  We now have no heating but can get hot water with an immersion tank. The owber has got two quotes with both saying they don’t have availability for at least two weeks.

The letting agent said that the owner had no duty to provide us with temporary heating, and that they wouldntnas it wouldn’t be PAT tested. We cant afford to buy heaters so have borrowed a convector heater and a small fan heater but they are not effective. Does our landlord have a responsibility to provide us with heaters or do we just have to sit it out? I have offered to buy more efficient ones and recharge the owner but they have not accepted. Can we ask for this, or ask for help towards increase in electric?  We have two young kids and one is poorly with a bad chest. Surely the owner has a responsibilty to us but neither he nor the agent seem to think they do.  It’s currently 5 degrees outside 🙁

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Administrator

Hi Jody

If there was heating and hot water installed in the property when you moved in then the landlord is obliged to keep that in proper repair. Part of the rent you’re paying is for that.

You normally have to allow a reasonable time for this kind of thing to be fixed and two weeks is probably just about the maximum. If they were being fair they should provide you with temporary heating but the agent is probably right that there isn’t a duty to do so. However, it’s a bit of a grey area – tenants feel the landlord is in breach of the obligations in the tenancy agreement, landlords want to avoid spending money wherever they can. The best thing I think is simply to ask – put it reasonably to the landlord and hope that they will see that it’s still winter, you have a sick child and that they won’t have to spend much to keep everyone happy.

Just a note: don’t pay for anything yourself and then take it out of your rent payments without the landlord’s permission in writing. This could put you in breach of your tenancy agreement for non-payment of rent.

Alex

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