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View Full Version : Faulty central-heating boiler; how to make L fix it?



BooHoo
25-10-2009, 18:40 PM
Hi All,

I occupy a privately rented house and have found communicating with my landlord a nightmare from the word go.

The current issue is this:
The boiler has been faulty for the past month with the problem being that the water tank loses pressure when the heating has been turned on and we have to manually reset it. We have been promised time and time again that the landlord will sort it out, but she has not thus far.

Previously to this, the boiler was leaking. This was supposed to be repaired before we moved in but it was not and the work was only addressed about a month ago (2months after the start of the contract). Other issues abound such as paint work not having been done, minor repairs that were promised (all before we moved in).

I'm at the end of my tether with this woman. She is slow at replying to me and if I don't chase and chase, she does not inform me of what is happening.

Aside from the above issues, she also told me that she would attend at the property with any workmen that needed access so that I would not have to take time off work. I late found out that she gives the keys to whoever visits and allows them to attend alone.

Please help.

Many thanks in advance!!! :)

westminster
25-10-2009, 19:28 PM
The current issue is this:
The boiler has been faulty for the past month with the problem being that the water tank loses pressure when the heating has been turned on and we have to manually reset it. We have been promised time and time again that the landlord will sort it out, but she has not thus far.
Always report disrepair in writing, get a free certificate of posting, and keep a copy of the letter (same with any communications with LL, if you phone then follow up in writing - you never know when you might need evidence of something or other). If LL fails to carry out repairs, you have various options. See
http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/repairs_and_bad_conditions/repairs_in_private_lets

One of these options is arranging the repair yourself, and deducting the cost from the rent - BUT - you MUST follow the following procedure before doing this, as you otherwise risk eviction for rent arrears:


give the landlord notice of the disrepair and a reasonable time to remedy it; then
inform the landlord (preferably in writing) that s/he will do the repair her/himself unless the landlord complies with her/his obligations; then
allow a further reasonable period for the landlord to do the work; then
obtain three estimates for the cost of the work from reputable builders; then
write to the landlord again, enclosing copies of the estimates and reminding her/him of her/his obligation to do the work, giving a further reasonable period to carry it out. The letter should warn that, otherwise, the tenant will do the work her/himself and deduct the cost from rent; then, if there is no response
arrange for the contractor who gave the lowest estimate to do the work, and obtain (and send to the landlord) receipts, with a request for payment; then
if the landlord does not pay, the tenant may deduct the cost from the rent (but not other charges such as service charges), then send the landlord a breakdown of the amount and period of the rent to be withheld.

(The above taken from this (http://www.bilberrybloom.com/citizens-advice/11/11081805.HTM) website, but there's a similar step-by-step on the Shelter link).


Other issues abound such as paint work not having been done, minor repairs that were promised (all before we moved in).
Unless you got these promises in writing, or the repairs fall under LL's statutory obligations (such as heating/hot water, etc) then you have no way to force LL to carry out these repairs (and do not arrange them yourself as per the above unless you can prove LL is liable).


Aside from the above issues, she also told me that she would attend at the property with any workmen that needed access so that I would not have to take time off work. I late found out that she gives the keys to whoever visits and allows them to attend alone.

I'm a LL and I do this - I have a plumber, electrician and builders I have known for many years and have worked with on various renovations. I know I can trust them, and it'd be a complete waste of my time to sit around for hours 'supervising' them. I wouldn't do it with an unknown contractor, obviously. I can appreciate your concern but all I'm saying is it's possible that your LL knows the contractors as well as I know mine.

If you're not happy about it, then your only option is to take time off work. LL may be obliged to carry out the repair, but is not obliged to hang around supervising the repair.