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boiler problem!! how long is reasonable to get fixed by the landlord!


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Hello a newbie here with nowhere to turn!!

 

Ive just started to rent a house in kent with a private landlord but all corespondance is done through a letting agent!!

 

I moved my stuff in on oct 6th and was going to start living there 2 days after which i did ..when i switched the boiler on it made alot of noise and then didnt work again..

 

I called the letting agent and they sent their contractor round the next night. He looked at the boiler and found several problems with it he worked till 10 pm and then said that the boiler was not economical to repair and he will put a report in to the L.A the next day.(he left the boiler in pieces but turned the gas off at the mains!!)

 

That was exactly a week ago ive not been staying at the house due to no hot water or heating and the fact i have a dirty job i cannot live there!

 

the L.A has called the landlord several times and has told me that the landlord wants to get her own engineer to double check. Now as i said a week later she has fiannaly got an engineer to come out (tommoro at 5:30pm) but he is just going to have a look at the job!!!

 

Ive been asking for compensation but had no reply..

 

Where do i stand on this........???????

 

When we looked round the house we was told the boiler would be changed in nov sometimes which leads me to beleve that the landlord was aware of problems!! but we was assured it worked!!!

 

can someone please give me advice on where to go with this ...does the landlord have to legally .1, service the boiler every year (we have a gas safety cert but no boiler cert) 2,should the landlord pay us compensation?

3,what is a reasonable amount of time to get a boiler fixed!!!

 

hope someone can help

 

thanks

 

matt

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I am at work so cannot give a detailed response, but briefly:

 

1) YES

2) IMO, yes - the property has been uninhabitable

3) Again IMO: 24 hours, 48 hours max

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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Re; (3)- I once had a judge who decided that a week would be reasonable. He based his decision on what an owner occupier can expect with regards to fixing his own boiler, presuming that a contractor may not be available straight away, that someone has to be indoors to let the contractor in, that contractor may have to order parts.

We have argued 48 hrs- the judge said that that would not be reasonable but "desirable" and the landlord could not be expected to perform better then he would for his own home.

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Thanks for that Joa, useful!

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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Thanks for the tips im very grateful and glad to have found this site!!!

 

The update is that after a bit of a rant at the letting agents i was told that someone would be round today at 5.30pm...but later i was called again and told that it will be possibly thurs before 7pm or definatly friday....am!!!! very non specific..nut i was assured it will be fixed by fri evening!!!!

 

What i would like to know is are landlords legally bound to service the boiler every year. i know they have to provide a gas safety cert but should they provide a boiler cert too????

 

As for compensation its not looking good the letting agent said the landlord will think about it....

 

The letting agent hasnt really been much help in all of this it has become more of a hiderance dealing with them instead of directly with the landlord!!!

 

Again thanks for the help im going to tell more people about this as people get ripped off left right and centre and just accept it because they feel there is nowhere to turn ..espeacially against big corporations!!

 

thanks

 

matt

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The boiler is covered under the gas safety cert. You are probably legally entitled to have a refund of the rent over the period that the boiler was broken - IMO anyway.

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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The boiler is covered under the gas safety cert. You are probably legally entitled to have a refund of the rent over the period that the boiler was broken - IMO anyway.

 

 

If the gas safety certificate is in order, and the landlord complies with his repairing obligation within a reasonable time, there is no breach of contract by the landlord; thus no right to "damages" (compensation) arises.

 

 

 

Advice & opinions on this forum are offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgment. Seek advice of a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

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Refund- I'd say no, but reduction (due to inconvenience)- maybe. Worth another try- formally, in writing. Come back if nicely nicely approach is not working.

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Ed there are two points on which I am basing this:

 

- "Reasonable time" - I agree this is open to some dispute, but in this case I think the timescale has been unreasonable - although the courts may clearly disagree.

 

- The property is(to my knowledge, and I welcome correction) legally uninhabitable without a supply of hot water, therefore a refund may be payable, as a breach has occurred where an inhabitable property has not been provided during this time period.

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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it's the hot water bit that I am not sure about. I do not recall that hot has to be supplied. It's late, though, my yawns could swallow the lion. Good night.

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Under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, which applies to Shorthold Tenancies , the following repairs are the landlord’s responsibility :

 

• To keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling for the supply of water, gas, electricity and sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths, and sanitary conveniences); and

 

• To keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling for space heating and heating water.

 

Whether or not the tenancy agreement addresses those matters, section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 imposes those obligations on the landlord. If the tenancy agreement requires the tenant to undertake any of those obligations, that provision of the agreement is void.

 

Disrepair falling within section 11 must be put right by the landlord within a reasonable time.

 

The rent would probably abate (i.e. would not be payable in respect of the period that the disrepair existed) if the property was not fit for habitation, as to which a written determination by the Council's Environmental Health department would be required.

 

If the repair is carried out within a reasonable time there is no breach of contract, in which case this is not a right to "damages" (i.e. compensation). Therefore no consequential loss could be recovered. But the rent for the time of the disrepair would not be due.

 

 

 

Advice & opinions on this forum are offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgment. Seek advice of a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

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But the rent for the time of the disrepair would not be due.

I think we need to make it absolutely clear; when the rent is payable and when it is not in cases of disrepair.

Let me go first, I am sure I'll be corrected if I am talking rubbish.

The following are bare bones scenarios, without getting into details.

Rent is always payable (I am talking only about disrepairs, because I know that there are some twists and kinks regarding other issues). So, rent is payable but may be withheld or reduced. Withholding of rent in cases of disrepair is a very last option and the disrepair must be severe, the negotiation with the landlord fruitless and all other reasonable routes of dealing with the disrepair failed. The rent, in such circumstances, should be kept safe (for example in another account), so can be paid speedily. It is a dangerous route of forcing the landlord to undertake repairs as the security of tenure in a standard tenancy is fairly low and the landlord can choose to evict rather then repair. Another scenario is when the rent is used to pay for repairs- but this is also a step which can only be taken after careful consideration and seeking advice. The tenant has to take reasonable steps to notify the landlord about disrepairs, the tenant must obtain quotes and choose the most reasonable one, invoices have to be submitted, so there is clarity of calculations.

Finally, the tenant who duly pays the rent and suffers disrepairs but the landlord finally, after unreasonable delay, gets around to deal with the problem, is entitled to request that their next payable rent is reduced to reflect the inconvenience and discomfort.The tenant has to be able to make a realistic connection between the disrepair and it's affect on the tenant. For example: tenant having to use more electricity to heat the property with electric heaters because of broken central heating, or cost and inconvenience of having to use a hotel room to have a shower etc etc. The amount of reduction is open to negotiation. Lack of hot water in a middle of the winter for family with small children would warrant bigger reduction then lack of hot water in the middle of summer for a single person, etc etc.

 

So, to summarise; before the rent is used towards anything to do with disrepairs, advice should be sought and rent should not be withheld under any circumstances without specialist advice

Tenant who pays the rent can always negotiate and haggle with the landlord.

 

See the following leaflet for overlook Repairs - a guide for landlords and tenants - Housing - Communities and Local Government

 

 

This is the way the government would like us to do it. Very faffy but the structure ay be helpful in serious cases.

PRE-ACTION PROTOCOL FOR HOUSING DISREPAIR CASES

Pre-Action Protocol for Housing Disrepair Cases - [Prepared by the Housing Disrepair Protocol Working Party]

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