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Boiler Faulty for 6 Months- Landlord Refused to Replace

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Hello,

 

I would appreciate your wisdom and advice.

 

I moved into a property in August last year in which I have had a number of issues. The main one has been the boiler which did not produce continuous hot water. This has been repaired 4 times over the course of 6 months and the issue has come back every time within weeks. The landlord obtained a boiler contract with a gas company who advised every time that the boiler was obsolete and should be replaced, however this advice was never taken

 

The property is rented through a letting agent who have just dragged their heels and told me they could do nothing to force the landlord to replace. I therefore threatened legal action and requested the landlords details as this was initially withheld from me a number of weeks ago. This has resulted in the landlord agreeing to now replace the boiler.

 

I have had multiple gas engineers to the property for which I have had to take time off work or ask family members to be present. I have also had to he present for multiple quotes to he obtained for a new boiler to be installed. I wrote to the agent stating I found it unacceptable that after all that has happened I should be expected to now allow the landlord to obtain the best price for a boiler at my inconvenience whole I'm still without water.

 

I have read various websites and believe that it may be possible to obtain compensation for inconvenience. I have had to shower at the gym or family members houses for 6 months on and off due to this problem and I have wasted so many hours having to sit in waiting for tradesmen.

 

Based on the landlords previous behaviour I don't think he will willingly offer any sort of inconvenience unless obliged by a court. I have had some experience of court previously so if the compensation I could claim were high enough I would be happy to go to court.

 

Thanks for your advice

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Hi and Welcome to CAG

 

What details with regards to the heating and hot water facilities are contained in your Tenancy Agreement and what recourse if any is detailed ?

 

Regards

 

Andy


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54 minutes ago, Andyorch said:

Hi and Welcome to CAG

 

What details with regards to the heating and hot water facilities are contained in your Tenancy Agreement and what recourse if any is detailed ?

 

Regards

 

Andy

 

Hello Andy, thanks for replying so fast.

 

I have found these relevant terms from the contract

 

Statutory Repairing Obligations

To comply with the obligations to repair the property as set out in sections 11 to 16 of the Landlord and Tenant Act

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1 hour ago, Andyorch said:

Hi and Welcome to CAG

 

What details with regards to the heating and hot water facilities are contained in your Tenancy Agreement and what recourse if any is detailed ?

 

Regards

 

Andy

 

Hello Andy, thanks for replying so fast.

 

I have found these relevant terms from the contract

 

Statutory Repairing Obligations

To comply with the obligations to repair the property as set out in sections 11 to 16 of the Landlord and Tenant Act. These sections impose on  the landlord to repair and keep in good order:

1. Structure of the property and exterior

2. Certain installations for the supply of water, electricity and gas

 

Other repairs

1. To keep in repair and proper working order all mechanical and electrical items belonging to the landlord and forming part of the fixture and fittings, unless the lack of repair is due  to negligence or misuse of the tenant, his family or visitors.

 

2. To provide and maintain the Fixtures and Fittings in good repair and replace any of the items that may become defective due to fair wear and tear during the tenancy except  if the damage has been caused by the Tenant, his family or visitors.  

 

3. To maintain all gas and electrical appliances and central heating system (if any) and make good to replace any parts which become defective due to fair wear and tear (except for light bulbs and electrical fuses) and not caused by any negligence on the part of the Tenant or the Tenant's visitors and to have all boilers and any other appliance powered by solid fuel gas or oil serviced annually by a qualified contractor.

 

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

To confirm that as from 1st October 2015 the property complies with the Smoke and Carbon monoxide  Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 and that the Landlord has installed a smoke alarm on every floor and carbon monoxide alarm in every room where a solid fuel appliance is present. The landlord hereby confirms these were checked at the start of every tenancy

 

 

From reading through the tenancy agreement the landlord has breached all of these terms.

 

1. The boiler has not been repaird depsite multiple engineers stating it is obsolete and beyond repair

2. No working carbon monoxide detector   

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Question is...do you wish to sue your LL or Letting Agency ?


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Well originally I wasn't really wanting to sue anyone, as I was able to manage by showering at the gym and the weather wasn't too cold. I have only wanted to take things further as I've had to use so much annual leave sitting in waiting for tradesmen and my family have been inconvenienced that if I am due compensation I would really want it.

 

The letting agent and landlord have been equally incompetent. The letting agent have fobbed me off. I raised a complaint with how they were dealing with things and they haven't followed things up. They even illegally refused to provide the landlords details initially. Having been through the court process before I know how much of a drain it can have on a person so that's what I'm weary of.

 

In your experience Andy what would you suggest? Is this something that would even be worth taking further? I wasn't aware I could pursue the letting agent. Is one preferable over the other?

 

Thanks

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Well again you would have to check the T&Cs of the Letting Agent and what liabilities they are legally responsible for.


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1 minute ago, Andyorch said:

Well again you would have to check the T&Cs of the Letting Agent and what liabilities they are legally responsible for.

 

There is nothing I can find in the T&Cs which states that the letting agent is responsible for these issues. It all states "The Landlord"

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So you can only take legal action against the LL

 

For reference....

 

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70


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Thank you. Ive had a skim through this legislation before and it would seem that this is relevant to me:

 

11 Repairing obligations in short leases.

(1)In a lease to which this section applies (as to which, see sections 13 and 14) there is implied a covenant by the lessor—

(a)to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes),

(b)to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity), and

(c)to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water.

 

Do you know how compensation is calculated or when it is due? Is it just down to the discretion of a judge? I thought it would be fair to ask for a 25% reduction in rent for all the months for which I was without continuous running water and the 8 days or so I have had to sit and wait for tradespeople to come and make repairs. I have documentary evidence from the gas company who was contracted to do repairs every time that the boiler needs repair due to obsolete parts.

Edited by Kingyy
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Why not try a Letter before Action with your grievances listed and what you require to abate your dissatisfactions ? It may not put you on good footing with the LL for the remainder of your tenancy but obviously you feel you have been let down and require some kind of compensate. 


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8 minutes ago, Andyorch said:

Why not try a Letter before Action with your grievances listed and what you require to abate your dissatisfactions ? It may not put you on good footing with the LL for the remainder of your tenancy but obviously you feel you have been let down and require some kind of compensate. 

As I have 6 years to make a claim would it be better to wait until the end of the tenancy to then start proceedings?

I will not be renewing the tenancy and I was concerned there may be some retaliation or problems with my deposit if I made it clear that I was going to start proceedings against the Landlord.

 

Also I have thought about making a subject access request to the letting agent so I can get copies of all the communication between the landlord and agent regarding myself and the property. Again I was going to do this at the end of the tenancy to gather evidence to support my claim.

 

Is there any case law you are aware of regarding situations such as this?

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Not really my Field Kingyy but a DSAR would probably be pointless as that data would be between the LL and them...not you as a data subject.

 

There is some very good advice in the following on how to approach these problems...

 

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/renting-privately/during-your-tenancy/complaining-about-your-landlord/


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letters between LL and lettings agency where you are the data subject is still your personal data. they should redact the hadrs so the names of the recipients of the emails or letters dont appear and then it will be legit.

What tests did the boiler engineer do after it was mended each time? What  is his gas safe number/ There are a lot of little things you can do to make the LL's and agent's position undefendable. You could ahve goen to the council and comapined that LL was in breach of the Housing Act and they would initially give L/agentL a prod and enforce if things were still not sorted.

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7 hours ago, ericsbrother said:

letters between LL and lettings agency where you are the data subject is still your personal data. they should redact the hadrs so the names of the recipients of the emails or letters dont appear and then it will be legit.

What tests did the boiler engineer do after it was mended each time? What  is his gas safe number/ There are a lot of little things you can do to make the LL's and agent's position undefendable. You could ahve goen to the council and comapined that LL was in breach of the Housing Act and they would initially give L/agentL a prod and enforce if things were still not sorted.

 

Hi Ericsbrother,

 

I was under the impression that the subject access request would show that the LL and LA have been speaking and that the LL was aware of the problems and still chose to do nothing. As it concerns me, then it would be my data. Either way I have nothing to lose by applying for that data.

 

Unfortunately I didn't realise that I was able to go to the council regarding these issues until fairly recently. It was British Gas who came out every time. The landlord had boiler cover in his name for the boiler. The boiler broke down initially and he sent a repair man around, and then he decided to put it under the British Gas repair scheme where you pay a subscription for a year and they will repair it and take it under contract.

 

The engineers told me that a valve kept getting blocked and that because the boiler was >18 years old and there was no filter and sediment in the system, it was going to keep failing again and again- which it did every time.

 

The letting agent just kept telling me that the landlord won't replace the boiler as it keeps successfully getting repaired, despite me telling them that British Gas are saying its an obsolete boiler and it needs to be replaced.

 

Do you think its too late now to make a claim? I have British Gas slips which have written on them "boiler obsolete, recommend replacement" every time.

 

Thanks

Edited by Kingyy
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Hi

 

Have a wee look also at this CAG link: 

 


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21 hours ago, stu007 said:

Hi

 

Have a wee look also at this CAG link: 

 

Thanks for the useful links.

 

What would the consensus be on my options taking things further?

1. Wait until end of tenancy, then do subject access request and make representations against the Landlord

 

2. Write letter before action now asking for compensation for time, stress and inconvenience of having a defective boiler for 6 months?

 

Thanks

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Hello,

 

Just an update and if anyone could give any advice it would be much appreciated

 

I requested a subject access request from the letting agent and it shows the landlord admitting that he cannot afford the repairs and delaying the replacement of the boiler.

 

Furthermore when I requested the landlords details the letting agent wrote to the landlord stating that they legally have to provide this information but they are trying to delay in order to avoid giving out the information

 

It paints the picture of what I suspected which is the landlord and letting agent conspiring and avoiding resolving the issues that I had been having

 

I am likely going to pursue a county court claim once my tenancy ends, however I'm not sure how I would go about calculating the level of compensation or "loss" I have occurred

 

My electricity bill has been very high throughout as I have used electric heaters rather than gas, and I have suffered a lot of inconveniece through not being able to shower and going to family's houses or the gym when the boiler was not working at all. How can all this be quantified?
 

Thanks for the help

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Hi

 

As this is to do with Gas when was your last Gas Safety Cetificate issued? (you should have been given a copy) anyone working on that on Gas need to be registered with Gas Safety Register:
https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/
(you can ask for there ID and check them out as well on the above link to ensure they are actually registered)

 

Have a look at this link as well: https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/help-and-advice/renting-a-property/

 

Landlord and Tenant Act 1985: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70

 

Is your Estate Agent registered with a Redress Scheme? https://www.gov.uk/redress-scheme-estate-agencies

 

I would contact the Councils Dept that deals with Private Renting and inform them of your issue and what the SAR has revealed also if the Landlord if registered with them. (most now have to be registered with the relevant council)

 

Something else to note is the Estate Agent has been contracted by the Landlord(LL) to carry out this service on behalf of the LL, ultimately the buck stops with the LL


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I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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