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Urgent advice required on this one please, as part of a local rejuvenation scheme run by the local council our landlord has signed up to have the boiler replaced at our property as well as having the outer walls insulated. I don’t know the exact details as everything is discussed between the landlord and council but for the past four months we’ve had scaffolding and builders outside the house working on the walls and it has all been so noisy and messy with drink cans and food wrappers in addition to the usual mess.

 

Today (on the rare occasion I have time off work due to snow) one of the builders tells me that they’ll need to come inside the house to work on the boiler for at least four days from Monday. I told him that four days seemed a bit excessive and I can not guarantee that I’ll be able to get that much leave from work at such short notice but his attitude was tough luck and that they’ll come in whether I like it or not.

 

So if neither my wife or I are able to get time off work, and I certainly don’t like the idea of just handing over the keys (landlord does not have any himself) to a group of builders, where do I stand? As the current boiler is working fine I don’t consider this to be essential but after all the time we’ve had off over Christmas and New Year I wish they could have done it then.

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I'm not sure it's the builders' place to tell you they need access - surely that's the Landlord's job?!

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I would have thought so too but he seemed a thuggish sort, pushed past when I told him I couldn’t guarantee the time off work and stormed out the front door mumbling to himself. He then told the builders working on the outside wall to turn up the loud music on their radio! Yeah like hell I want his rabble working inside my home when I’m not there.

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The presumption must be that you are getting a condensing boiler that will be more efficient than your current one.

 

Are they fixing insulation to the outside of your walls? That's an expensive job and should make your house warmer and cheaper to heat. There may be an issue that the LL thinks you should be thankful for what you are getting.

 

Ultimately, what will happen is that if you don't let them in then either the work won't happen or the landlord will give them a key. Although you say they are a "rabble" they are probably just your normal workmen who are being paid a fixed amount to get a job done and therefore have a schedule to meet. Could you secure the rest of your house somehow? I don't mean, lock the doors. But make sure valuables are away, doors are shut and obstructed, stairs obstructed and so forth, such that in the unlikely event that they have a nose around your house, you know.

 

If they are fixing exernal insulation I'd be interested to know who is your local council. I would like to get external insulation on the outside of the walls of my tenants' house. But I can't find any builders who have done it before in my area.

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Contact the Council renovations dept. I suspect Contactor is ultimately engaged by them. Also lodge complaint with your local Ward councillor. Also if anyone does work on gas boiler, insist on seeing their personal GasSafe ID card before allowing any work. Have you had min 24hr formal written Notice from LL, that access is reqd for repair work? Even if you have, you should be able to negotiate mutual convenient time. Verbal demand for access from contractor is not valid, unless you agree. Give the gang a letter stating you deny access to property until mutually convenient, send copies to boss of firm, LL & Council. Don't hand over any keys!

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Thank you for the responses. I can understand how this would be a benefit to me in the long run (even though I’m moving out in two months) and in all fairness to the landlord he understands that I work long hours away from home so I’m not always able to drop everything at the snap of someone’s fingers. I think what concerned me the most is that the builder was very threatening about getting inside on Monday and that there was nothing I could do about it so I was worried that if push came to shove, he’d get access regardless of my wanting to be here at the time.

 

I will definitely contact the council about it though, that is a great idea, and I’ll start clearing out the rooms they need to access (three so far) just to get it ready for when I am able to be off work again. Still can’t fathom it taking four days though, ok so I’m not a plumber or engineer but a group of four blokes taking that long to replace one boiler? Sounded odd to me.

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Contact the Council renovations dept. I suspect Contactor is ultimately engaged by them. Also lodge complaint with your local Ward councillor. Also if anyone does work on gas boiler, insist on seeing their personal GasSafe ID card before allowing any work. Have you had min 24hr formal written Notice from LL, that access is reqd for repair work? Even if you have, you should be able to negotiate mutual convenient time. Verbal demand for access from contractor is not valid, unless you agree. Give the gang a letter stating you deny access to property until mutually convenient, send copies to boss of firm, LL & Council. Don't hand over any keys!

 

Further to Mariner's excellent advice, I would also add that if you haven't already done so, ask your neighbours if they have had any problems with the conduct or standard of work of the contractors. If they have, let your landlord know - while I'm not a landlord myself, I know if I was I would appreciate the heads up if I was just about to unwittingly let a bunch of cowboys loose on my house!


"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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Ultimately you dont have to let them in, unless for essential or emergency repairs, and this must be done and agreed through your LL only.

Suggest you discuss this and your problem with him direct.

If you are leaving in a few months that would be an appropriate time to change the boiler, if that can be arranged.

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Well it’s Monday and as much as I struggled to get today off work the whole thing turned out to be a huge waste of time. I saw the builder out on the street early this morning who told me that he’s doing another job instead and that I should rebook with the council renovations department. This department had called me a load of times on Friday afternoon but didn’t leave a message or contact number.

 

I went to their offices earlier and was told that perhaps they can rebook for next Monday (though the job will last until Thursday so no hot water or heating until it was done) but they weren’t sure. Spoke to a number of ‘supervisors’ neither who had a clue of what to do and was told they would call me back to confirm a date so that I could book time off work to let the builder in. Also added that if he can’t access my boiler then the landlord will have to pay for all the other renovation work and you can bet that cost will be passed on to me.

 

Five hours later and still no call, blooming typical. :|

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