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Hello,

 

Yesterday I had a safety check on the boiler in the flat that I rent. Unfortunately it was found to be unsafe so it has been switched off until the engineer can find the appropriate part to fix it.

 

A Scottish friend of mine said that the law up there states that landlords must do these checks before a new tenancy commences, does anybody here know if this is also the case in England? We have been in our flat 6 weeks and have had to battle to get the check done at all so would be interested to know if this is the case here.

 

Thanks for any help!

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Yes and no. There isnt legislation to have one done prior to the beginning of a tenancy per se, but there must be one always in place, and renewed each year.

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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.

 

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The law does state, however, that the landlord must provide the new tenant with a copy of the gas safety certificate for the property within 28 days of the tenancy commencing, so your landlord has been a bit naughty, not to mention potentially putting your life at risk....

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Read this thread: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/tenants/74057-disrepairs-privately-rented-accommodation.html

 

 

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

 

• To keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling, including drains, gutters and external pipes;

 

• 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.

 

 

If there is no gas safety certificate, you might have a Corgi-registered engineer test the system, and deduct the cost from the rent.

 

If there is disrepair, carry out yourself the repairs which the landlord is liable to carry out, if the landlord fails to do so within 21 days of being given written notification by you to do so, and deduct the cost from the rent.

 

 

How long is reasonable?

 

In one case a judge decided that a week would be a reasonable time for a landford to repair a central heating boiler.

 

He based his decision on what an owner-occupier can expect with regard 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, and that the contractor may have to order the necessary spare parts.

 

The judge said that a shorter time than 7 days would not be reasonable, only "desirable", and that the landlord could not be expected to perform better than he would for his own home.

 

 

 

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.

Note

 

This is a self-help forum in which users share their experiences. Assistance is offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgement; obtain advice from a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

 

This posting gives general guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law. Consult a Solicitor for specific advice before deciding on any course of action.

 

 

Further information:

 

Assured and Shorthold tenancies - A guide for tenants

 

Renting and Leasehold - Advice from Shelter

 

 

All posts are opinion only

 

 

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Thanks for your response. The replies I've had on this site has been really useful, and it's nice to feel there are people on my side after so much battling with the landlord and the letting agents, none of whom want to take responsibility.

 

We've finally had another engineer out today - he looked at the boiler about a month ago and told the landlord that it wasn't in a good enough state to give a safety certificate to. The landlord did nothing (which is why the letting agents then sent out the engineer who then switched the boiler off earlier this week). This means that the landlord has been aware that we've been living in this flat with a dodgy boiler all this time which I am gobsmacked about.

 

Fingers crossed we'll have hot water again soon!

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this means that your landlord has broken the law. If there was no safety certicate in place, then it should never of been let. CORGI would go nuts. Trust me, I am registered with them..

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