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    • Thanks for posting the judgment.  Interesting reading.  It's annoying that VCS won an appeal, which of course means precedent.  However ...   The two motorists didn't turn up.  Do that and you're bound to lose.   The judge ruled against allowing "de minimis" as a defence for that particular location which was a long road with repeated signs.  I bet where you parked was completely different.   Most importantly, as dx says, bye-laws trump VCS's silly signs.  
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Landlords Agents not repairing Faulty Boiler - No Hot Water


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Hi All

 

My Mother In Law is having trouble with letting agents, basically she has been without hot water for months now due to a faulty boiler, which apparently needs a part, someone has been out to look at it, but never came back, he left his number which have text and rung but had no response. About a month or so ago a gas safety cert was even issued which mentioned faulty boiler and they didn't respond to that either.

 

Me and my wife used to live in one of the houses in the same complex and had lots of problem with the boiler and went weeks with no heating and hot water through harsh Snow and icy weather.

 

Apparently they are really bad boilers which fail regularly according to the gas fitter, the guy who came to ours didn't seems to know what he was doing, and when he came he to us to sort our lack of hot water, he made it worse and when he left he left us with no heating too for about 2 week in icy cold weather with a 3 week old baby, its the same person they are using to send to MILs.

 

The best thing is I cant find his name on Gas Safe register, maybe he is hidden under a company name but I have entered his name and 13 entries came back none of them him, and he doesn't usually bring anyone with him, he does carry the logo on his van but no registration number.

 

My MIL and a friend live in the house, both are severely disabled and are both wheelchair users, this is really starting to get them down, the only hot water they have is from a kettle, my MIL is the only one who is strong enough to hold a full kettle and she does get severe wrist cramps if she is trying to lift a kettle full of hot water into the sink and her wrist weakens she risks dropping it all over herself resulting in scalding injuries, its just luck that it hasn't happened so far (bear in mind she is in a wheelchair so the sink is quite a bit higher hense so she has to lift th kettle above her to get it in he sink)

 

About 2 weeks ago they gave my wife some cock and bull story about having to wait for approval from landlords, to me that's absolute crap, you do not wait for approval for an emergency repair such as this, but they don't seem to get that.

 

She really cant afford, nr does she have the will or energy to move but I don't know where we can go with this.

 

We also have a house that we let out with the same agents, trust me as of next week I will be removing that from their books, no way am I having any tenants of mine being treat in this way!

:madgrin:

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"About 2 weeks ago they gave my wife some cock and bull story about having to wait for approval from landlords, to me that's absolute crap, you do not wait for approval for an emergency repair such as this, but they don't seem to get that."

 

No it is not crap. Even if they have a full property management contract with LL, it would be a foolish LL not to require them to seek prior authorisation for ind expenditure above a pre-set level (say £100). Also it is not an emergency (within 24 hr) repair, but an urgent one, (2-4 wk), with winter looming & heating reqd.

 

Given delays to date, Ts should write to LL (copy to LA) stating:

1. length of time without hot water & heating.

2. fact that faulty boiler is mentioned on current GSC

3. date Ts notified LA of problem

 

Require him to arrange GasSafe engineer to attend within 10 working days of date of letter, to inspect & rectify, with prior Notice of visit; otherwise Ts will engage their own GasSafe engineer to repair or replace boiler as he reccomends. Such costs will be deducted from next & subs rent payment(s).

 

Keep a copy and either hand deliver or obtain free Cert of Posting (1st Class)

 

You are a resp LL with the same Agency, would you be happy if they spent all of your next 2 month rent without your prior knowledge?

I accept MiL et al may be elderly or infirm but Denning et al suggested they can have no expectation of quicker resolution than equivalent owner/occupiers, unless covered by Statute.

Edited by mariner51
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This is a large property management company who owns the properties I know for a fact that they have authorisation to carry out repairs of greater value they have put a brand new oven in our property before we moved out without getting authorisation, they simply wont do it. Even if this were the case, they are only at the end of the phone or an email away in an office, which does not take weeks so that doesn't wash, were it a individual landlord like us then maybe I could understand a bit more, we could be away on holiday or something but surely even then after so long for the sake of common sense they would only be able to give it so long before they would have to make the decision themselves, but not a large office in the middle of Manchester.

 

It is a basic right to have hot running water, they have been without for almost 6 months now. and to be quite frank I do not accept 2-4 week as acceptable to be without hot water never mind so many months, parts for boilers are not exactly rare, and can be obtained generally off the shelf or at the worst by next day delivery.

 

We ended up leaving our house on the complex as we had huge leaks in our roof, these homes are only about 12 year old and were built to be sold on quickly the boilers were really cheap and naff apparently, however they didn't sell, so a property agent company bought the lot to let, they refused to fix our leaking roof we had damp all the way up the inside of our lounge wall and a bedroom wall, then we had no hot water, which the so called plumber came to "fix" and broke the heating he left us like this for 2 week with no word when he would come back, all he kept saying is it needs a part, this while we had a young baby, after a few weeks of this we could bear it no longer and told them we could no longer live under those conditions and found another house, I told them there was no way I was paying rent for a house that was not habitable, and would prove it in court should they wish to pursue me for the rent, I got full bond back was told I would not be asked for the rent as they knew the house was in a bad state, they got a price to relay all the roofs this was almost 2 years ago, and they still haven't done it, so the roof will still be leaking and the walls will still be damp and there are new tenants in now, this is on a small 3 bed for 750 per month, they just don't give a toss, all they do is pay lip service, I have seen it for myself.

 

I wasn't expecting preferential treatment as you have insinuated but if you read what I said properly you will understand I was trying to explain that they cant adapt to the situation the same as most other people can, so yes it is more important that this is dealt with as there is a higher risk of injury as a direct result. Why oh why do people try to defends landlords like this, or did you not read the full content.

Writing a letter isn't going to make thing happen any quicker they don't take any notice.

 

Hand delivery and certificate of posting are not proof of receipt by the way and would never be accepted as such.

Edited by ICY
:madgrin:

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I think you'd be well advised to contact your local housing officer at this point, and ask if they can intervene on your/your MIL's behalf. A house must have a supply of hot and cold running water to be fit for human habitation, and while I'm sure a short delay in repair would not fall into this category, 6 months is completely unacceptable.

"Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me". Martin Niemöller

 

"A vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done. A person ignorant of the possibility of failure can be a half-brick in the path of the bicycle of history". - Terry Pratchett

 

If I've been helpful, please click my star. :oops:

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Read the advice I gave! The letter in writing may not make LL/agent any quicker to rectify the situation. but it is the required first step to allow T to deduct rent to pay for the work.

 

Hand delivery to local business office with a witness, or a delivery receipt signed by a member of LA staff, is acceptable legal service; as is posting First class. In this case it is deemed 'served' 2 working days after date on Cert of Posting evidence (Interpretation Act).

What may not be acceptable legal service (yet) is SMS, email or tel messages.

 

I was not 'insinuating' anything, nor defending 'landlords like this', just stating my understanding of rel case law to date.

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Can the tenant write to the LL explaining that they will pay for the boiler to be repaired themself and deduct it from the rent? I don't know if this is allowed?

 

 

 

I would also be contacting the councils enviromental health dept, they will give thew LL a kick up the ass.

Ash.

 

If you think I have helped you, please add to my reputation by clicking the star button to the left.

Thankyou.

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Can the tenant write to the LL explaining that they will pay for the boiler to be repaired themself and deduct it from the rent? I don't know if this is allowed?

 

 

 

I would also be contacting the councils enviromental health dept, they will give thew LL a kick up the ass.

 

If they get it in writing, it would be an acceptable solution. Going on personal experience, it's not something that I would recommend though.

 

After 6 months, local housing officer with a view to escalating to EH is the route I'd be going down. ICY, I have to ask - your MIL has been keeping in regular contact with the letting agent to let them know this hasn't been resolved, hasn't she?

"Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me". Martin Niemöller

 

"A vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done. A person ignorant of the possibility of failure can be a half-brick in the path of the bicycle of history". - Terry Pratchett

 

If I've been helpful, please click my star. :oops:

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I was mistaken, the Gas Safety check was not done recently as I thought, it was almost TWELVE MONTHS AGO and they still have done nothing about it despite reminders, MIL is looking for the old GSC now she is sure she has it, and she is pretty certain it states on it that the boiler is faulty.

 

She has apparently been asking the Letting agents about once a month and has been texting and phoning the gas fitter

:madgrin:

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