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david14700
04-02-2009, 11:28 AM
We moved into a 2 bed flat last March for £1,500 a month and found the boiler wasn't working properly so we only had intermittent hot water. We had no hot water or heating for several days each week, and sometimes more than a whole week and had to use the kettle to heat water for baths as we have a new baby and a small toddler. The flat is rented through Foxtons but they have been no help at all, and when the winter came, the flat got very cold (it has poor insulation and no double glazing). We bought electric heaters for every room, but it's still freezing and our electricity bills are more than 3 times what we paid in our last flat. I have a file with about 30 written requests (letters and emails) for something to be done about it and nearly all went unanswered.

At the end of December the plumber finally came and replaced some faulty parts and the boiler is now working, (although the timer is still dead and we only have manual control).

I'd like to ask for some compensation for all the problems we've had, like taking time off work to wait for plumbers who never turned up and our kids getting colds so often. We've had to spend months wearing coats inside because it was so cold.

The problem we have is that the lease is due for renewal soon and I'm worried the landlord could refuse to renew if we raise a fuss. With the kids being so young, we'd like avoid moving again if possible.

Can someone please tell me what level of compensation would be appropriate? Is there some way to calculate? Apart from the missed days at work, there is also the cost of the electric heaters which I told Foxtons about and which cost about £240 in total.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Izzycam
04-02-2009, 11:33 AM
I'm not sure if this is a joke or not, surely no one would be expected to have no heating and hot water for this amount of time.
Phone enviromental health and state your case they will help you.
As for compensation, very tricky to ask fo this if you want to stay at the property, (Why you would after the way they have treated you, is beyond me)

david14700
04-02-2009, 12:00 PM
Believe me, this is not a joke. There's nothing funny about coming home late from work to find both your kids coughing in a freezing flat and having to take a cold shower.

You have no idea how frustrating it's been trying to get an answer out of Foxtons. I wrote two letters threatening to sue them if they didn't take action and they still acted as if there was nothing wrong. The only reason they fixed the boiler in December was because I cancelled my direct debit for the rent. I have since paid the rent for Dec and Jan but have not reset the direct debit.

Meanwhile, Foxtons have already invoiced me twice for late rent payments (they were very quick to send out these letters) and are demanding £90, even though I wrote to them beforehand and said I would withhold rent if they didn't fix the boiler. I'm planning to ignore these invoices but they might refuse to allow us to renew the lease until they are paid.

To be honest, I would be more than happy to move somewhere else, but another move would be very hard on my wife and the kids. Before here, we lived in a flat in the Docklands for four years and didn't have any problems or issues whatsoever.

P.Pilcher
04-02-2009, 12:07 PM
I hate to say it but I think you should seriously consider biting the bullet and moving as soon as possible. Such inaction from your landlord ('s agent) is totally unacceptable. With no heating under the circumstances you state, you are justified in moving your family to a small hotel while the landlord repairs the heating and then reclaiming the cost of doing so through the courts. You would win!

P.P.

P.P.

jeffrey
04-02-2009, 12:12 PM
I hate to say it but I think you should seriously consider biting the bullet and moving as soon as possible. Such inaction from your landlord ('s agent) is totally unacceptable. With no heating under the circumstances you state, you are justified in moving your family to a small hotel while the landlord repairs the heating and then reclaiming the cost of doing so through the courts. You would win!
I agree. Also, see section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 [making your L inescapably liable for heating/boiler/etc.]. Even though your L is probably himself only a leaseholder of the flat (so his own landlord is probably responsible for structural matters), it's your L - not even his agents- who has a legal duty to you and has lamentably failed to deliver!

david14700
06-02-2009, 13:40 PM
Thank you both for your advice.

Is there any way to quantify the compensation if any is given? I've read somewhere that courts sometimes award a week's rent for every month without heat. Have you heard of anything like that?

Otherwise, I was going to simply ask for one month rent free, but I don't know if that's too much or too little. Plus, I was going to ask for the cost of the electric heaters. The Landlord can have them when we move out.