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Broken boiler in private rented house


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I've only been in my new house a week and the boiler doesn't work. I am 34 weeks pregnant and the house is freezing and have no hot water. A handyman has been out to check it yesterday and has told me he can't get it to work and will let me know if he can organise a new one to be fitted. My landlord is on holiday until Wednesday so I'm hoping he can get in contact with him.

 

What are my rights to have a new one fitted? I have read that it needs to be done within 48 hours and if this is the case can I organise my own boiler to be done and bill the landlord if I don't get one by tomorrow? Surely there are health risks involved as it's winter and I can't be getting ill while 34 weeks pregnant?

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Hi, not a great situation to find yourself in, hope the following helps in some way.

 

When did the boiler stop working?

 

When/who did you notify when the boiler stopped working?

 

The landlord may be away, but who arranged for the contractor to call?

 

Was the boiler working when you moved in?

Also, as an aside, was there an upto date gas safety certificate available? (Come back to this later, priority now is to get heating/hot water.)

 

I ask as someone, somewhere may have a mobile / email for the landlord where he/she can be reached. It's a private rental, but were you introduced to it through an Agent? If so, they may have additional contact details.

 

Sorry if some of this you have already covered / already know.

 

If you really have no contact details for the landlord I would tend to get, say, three local - and suitably qualified - contractors in to give you a quote for repair / replacement of the boiler.

 

Depending on where you are it may take them a day or so to get to you anyway and then a couple of days to book in an appointment too. No point suffering lack of heat/hot water, so is there a friend/family member you can stay with for now too?

 

If you are going down the route of replacing the boiler, without prior approval of the landlord, you need to make sure you are in a position to have the contractors paid, possibly by way of deduction from your rent, if needs be.

 

Also, one contractor has said he will see "if he can organise a new one to be fitted". Who was he intending to speak with and when was he going to come back to you?

 

Is "a new one" really the only option?

 

Do all that you can to be seen to be reasonable now and it will make it much less painful when the landlord gets back too. If needs be, speak to the local authority to ''independently" document/formalise what has occurred/is happening.

 

Incidentally, if this were an Agent I would tend to deal with it differently, here I'm hoping this approach helps get it sorted AND minimises any aggravation for you both for now and also when the landlord returns. Any reasonable landlord should not be worried by all of this, but you need to cover yourself.

 

Not ideal, but if it means work can't be done for a little while yet it does mean you can present your landlord with several competitive quotes when he/she returns Wednesday and then get it sorted mid/end next week.

 

I'm not underplaying the urgency of this and fully appreciate you need heat/hot water, but it could - as a worse case - still be a few days more to get it repaired/replaced, even if you were to confirm an instruction today.

 

Is there a friend/family member you can stay with for now?

 

I've typed this quickly as back on the school run now, will catch up on emails later today/tonight.

Edited by NewSAHD

As for me, happy to help out. I am not a Landlord, but I have been in the past. I am not an Agent, but I have been in the past. I am, therefore, a has been, so always seek independent and suitably qualified advice elsewhere before relying upon whatever has been posted here :-)

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