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Hello and Help reg. a landlord!!


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Hello everyone,

 

I've been told by my best friend what an amazing site this is and what incredible advice you can get from a unique bunch of people. 8)

 

I hope someone (or more) can help me with my landlord.

 

I already know he is a penny pincher (from the agency), and now have found that the shower (complete with housing and nozzle mounted 6 feet off the bath bottom) only works about 30-40cm from the bottom of the bath! I've been told that he tells them it is only meant to work with the person sitting in the bathtub (but why have it mounted 6 ft up? It lead me to believe the shower was perfectly A-OK).

 

However, the biggest cause I have for complaint is that the water that weakly comes out is scaldingly hot and I cannot lower its temperature by mixing it with cold water because as soon as I do the hot water completely switches off!

 

This has already lead to two painfully near-burning (:mad2:)experiences (me, and then a guest), and I am unable to use the shower as a result.

 

The landlord refuses to install a pump that would ensure that hot water would remain coming out, whether I turn on the cold water to lower the temperature, or not.

 

Can anyone help me and tell me what my best steps of action ought to be, and in what order...

 

I have never lived alone before and am at a loss... please HELP? :-(

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Is there a combi boiler in the property?

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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Well theres not neccessarily a positive result to get - unless this has suddenly stopped working (it sounds very much from your description that it was the same since move in day) then the landlord has no obligation to change this set up for you.

 

I asked about the combi boiler as the hot water temperature is usually adjustable.

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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OK, I understand... but what if the water is searingly hot?

 

All the tanks were switched off when I initially looked at the property, so I didn't know about the temperature problem at the time.

 

Isn't that a hazard?

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Is this an electric shower? If it is it sounds like a fault and it's the responsibility of the landlord to have it PAT tested http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/pdf/3-Step%20Safety%20Checks.pdf

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Sounds like an off-bath mixer shower to me cerberus.

 

The landlord has zero responsibility to PAT test or perform any other electrical installation test. Clearly it would be prudent to do so under due dilligence.

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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I'm unsure... there are two tanks, one powered by gas - the water tank, and the immersion heater by electricity... it's kind of old fashioned, and reminds me of the tanks from the 70s!

 

The shower can run off either of the two tanks... the water tanks is immediately above the immersion heater... the immersion (electricity) starts at ground level and goes up ~3ft, then there's a 5inch gap and there the water tank (gas) bottom lies and goes up to about 7ft.

 

I'm also unsure of the role of the agency in all of this, because had they furnished me with the truth about the shower, I would never have moved in at all!

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I would suggest writing to the landlord in polite terms, formally requesting that the shower situation is resolved, and that you feel the property was misadvertised due to the lack of working shower. See what the response is.

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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Is the agency managing your property, or did they just "find" you as tenant?

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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Sounds like an off-bath mixer shower to me cerberus.

 

The landlord has zero responsibility to PAT test or perform any other electrical installation test. Clearly it would be prudent to do so under due dilligence.

Why do landlords need to complete an electrical inspection?

 

There are two main Acts of Parliament that impose a statutory duty on landlords

with respect to the safety of electrical equipment:

1. The Consumer Protection Act 1987

2. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974

The Consumer Protection Act affects all persons who let property in the course of

their business because it defines them as "suppliers", i.e. they are supplying goods

to the tenant. There are several items of secondary legislation under the umbrella of

the Consumer protection Act which are directly relevant to the supply of electrical

goods, including:

 

1. The Low Voltage Electrical Equipment Regulations 1989

2. The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994

3. The General Product Safety Regulations 1994

4. The Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994

 

In essence, these regulations impose a duty on landlords to ensure that all

electrical equipment supplied by them is safe for use by the tenant. The Consumer

Protection Act provides a defence of 'due diligence', i.e. a landlord can defend a

contravention of the Act if he can demonstrate that he took reasonable steps to

avoid committing the offence.

Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

Make sure you do not post anything which identifies you. Although we can remove certain things from the site unless it's done in a timely manner everything you post will appear in Google cache & we do not have any control over that.

 

Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit

 

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

17 Port & Maritime Regiment RCT

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The agency are managing the property... I cannot communicate directly with the landlord. All communiques pass through their hands.

 

It was one of their staff members advice that assuaged my concerns about the shower... which turned out to be completely wrong!

 

Any possible course of action in that area?

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Why do landlords need to complete an electrical inspection?

 

There are two main Acts of Parliament that impose a statutory duty on landlords

with respect to the safety of electrical equipment:

1. The Consumer Protection Act 1987

2. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974

The Consumer Protection Act affects all persons who let property in the course of

their business because it defines them as "suppliers", i.e. they are supplying goods

to the tenant. There are several items of secondary legislation under the umbrella of

the Consumer protection Act which are directly relevant to the supply of electrical

goods, including:

 

1. The Low Voltage Electrical Equipment Regulations 1989

2. The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994

3. The General Product Safety Regulations 1994

4. The Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994

 

In essence, these regulations impose a duty on landlords to ensure that all

electrical equipment supplied by them is safe for use by the tenant. The Consumer

Protection Act provides a defence of 'due diligence', i.e. a landlord can defend a

contravention of the Act if he can demonstrate that he took reasonable steps to

avoid committing the offence.

 

That is their assessment.

 

There is ZERO LEGAL OBLIGATION for a landlord to perform ANY electrical testing.

 

They DO have a legal obligation to ensure the electrical installation is safe. This may or may not be done using formal testing.

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 agency are managing the property... I cannot communicate directly with the landlord. All communiques pass through their hands.

 

It was one of their staff members advice that assuaged my concerns about the shower... which turned out to be completely wrong!

 

Any possible course of action in that area?

 

In that case write the letter above to the agents not the landlord.

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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Thats up to them. I wouldnt start conjecture until you get a response.

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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HMM the long and short of it is you will probably never force the landlord to do anything other than adjust the tempreature of the thermostat DOWN in order to stop you burning yourself, and an electrical safety certifcate is not going to change the way the shower flows either, and I dont think the thermostat is covered (apart from electrical safety) unless it was installed after 2003 (when all thermostats became sealed and tempreature couldnt be adjusted from XX degress)

 

Also in my experience a shower pump will not help either, they are a good idea in principle but in reality they constantly airlock, or cavitate the hot water, they are so noisy that they upset neigbours and even with a very good thermostatic mixer they rarely provide a comfortable shower due to all the above..

 

Unfortunatley there is no easy answer!

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Sorry to join the discussion late, but hope what follows also helps too

 

A few things things occur to me, but it's early, kids'll be up very shortly, so I'm typing at speed! Not on speed, mind, even if it seems like it, just at speed :)

A) Is there any way you can post a photograph of your heating / hot water set up on CAG, so we can all "see" the system?

 

B) Also, need to consider the dreaded 'Health & Safety' aspects here, although fully appreciate what follows may not apply to your system.

 

Even if it doesn't the point here is as much to put your Agent on notice in some way.

 

The link, below, was released by the HSE is recent years:

 

http://www.hse.gov.uk/services/localgovernment/hotwatersystems.htm

 

Don't mean to scare you with that, but it sounds like some of the posters here have some useful plumbing installation experience and could comment, perhaps, on your set up once you've posted some pictures

 

C) In addition, you could also send the HSE link to the Agent and say something to the effect that

 

"Dear Agent

 

Further to our recent exchanges I'm still concerned about the scalding water, but have no plumbing experience myself, of course, plus this is my first home.

 

A friend has since advised me of the HSE warning at http://www.hse.gov.uk/services/localgovernment/hotwatersystems.htm

 

Please can you confirm as a matter of urgency whether or not the HSE warning is applicable to the system in my own home, please, so that I may reassure my friend and, indeed, myself that there is not a more serious problem with my hot water system.

 

I look forward to hearing from you and, in the meantime, please will you also confirm receipt of this email, for which my thanks in advance

 

Regards,"

This came about, in part, as there was dreadful story in the papers a couple of years back where a tank exploded on to a baby's bed. I haven't googled that, as felt ill enough reading about it at the time.

 

Do bare in mind though that often it seems you're more likely, statistically speaking, to be hit by a sky-diving cow anyway, but the HSE alerts are released for a reason, so your Agent would do well to bear the HSE alert in mind...

 

D) On a slightly different tack have just read Andymcq's comment "unless it was installed after 2003 (when all thermostats became sealed and tempreature couldnt be adjusted from XX degress)" and it got me thinking...

 

Is there anyway you can take a photo of the set up and post it here? Obviously remove anything that could identify you, if you can... I ask as our boiler at home AND immersion both failed at the same time last week :( so I've replaced the immersion myself (only about the third one I've ever had to do) and a plumber friend (suitably qualified/experienced) has changed the boiler's PCB board for me... so we're back with heating and hot water too :)

 

Anyway, I mention all this as the new immersion has a built in, sealed thermostat, just as Andymcq says, of course, unlike the old one, plus there is an external one too - and the new immersion seems not to heat the water as well as the last one... probably as the new standard/built in temperature settings appear to be set lower than the 10/15 year old one that failed, perhaps

 

All of which got me thinking...

 

It sounds as if you may have both a gas fired boiler AND an immersion

 

If so, you may not need the immersion on all the time anyway

- firstly, as the electric immersion will eat electricity/money and,

- secondly, the point of this ramble, when we used to (accidentally) leave the immersion on the water would pretty much come out piping hot, as the immersion is/was effectively working like a continuing boiling kettle... when all is needed is for the gas fired boiler to kick in

 

So, you may find you have sufficient hot water from the gas fired boiler, which may provide hot water, as well as heating, without the need for the immersion being on and 'boiling' away all the time anyway - so, is there a built in, fused wall switch near the immersion that you can just switch off...?

 

Hope all that makes some sense, as I say, I'm typing at speed - and best that you post some photos here first anyway, so can make more sense of your set up

 

E) Lastly, if OK, I'd suggest:

 

1) See if you can post some pictures here, so we can actually 'see' the system you have in place (ie immersion in bathroom, gas boiler, well, wherever it's located, possibly kitchen) and so on

 

2) Confirm to us all here, if you have a gas supply, that have you been provided with a Gas Safety Certificate too.

 

The Certificate is essential, as the gas installation needs to be checked every year without fail by the Agent/Landlord. It's a legal requirement and carries a criminal liablity, as I recall, and fines if not done. That said, I did read elsewhere that enforcement of the same is a whole other issue

 

3) Perhaps consider sending the draft email, above, to the Agent anyway, as some good may come from it.

 

Keep it pleasant and polite though, as some Agents, when aggrieved, may then not renew your tenancy, or, if they do, you'll find your rent goes up and up and up. Plus, you need to 'manage' your Agent, so you can also recover your deposit with minimum grief when you do come to leave too.

 

4) Confirm to us all at CAG if your deposit is protected :)

 

A whole other topic too though, but worth our asking! Don't ask the Agent though, for if they have NOT protected it, then the general consenus on CAG seemed to be to not tip the Agent of to the ommission.

 

Post again here if you need any help with this, as there are other posters on CAG better experienced with tenancy deposit schemes than me.

 

5) Are you in England and Wales? Different legislation may apply elsewhere, hence the question.

 

Hope all that helps - and fully appreciate I may well come back to edit later, as typed far more than intended!

 

Best of luck and hope it gets sorted very soon now

Edited by NewSAHD
typo

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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  • 8 months later...

Hi

Welcome to The Consumer Action Group.

 

 

I am just letting you know that as you haven't had any replies to your post yet, it might be better if you post your message again in an appropriate sub-forum. You will get lots of help there.

 

Also take some time to read around the forum and get used to the layout. It is a big forum and takes a lot of getting used to.

 

 

Once you start to find your way, you will soon realise that it is fairly easy to get round and to get the help you need.

 

It can be bit confusing at first.

Please be advised that my time will be limited for the next few weeks.Thanks for your understanding.

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