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View Full Version : Landlord refuses to carry out repair - advice?



sommiewoman
25-03-2010, 14:56 PM
Hi Guys,

My landlord refuses point blank to carry out a repair.

I have an inadequate supply of hot water, and the BG engineer said the pressure was only half of what it should be, requiring an upgrade in the pipe from 15mm to 22mm. He also said there was a safety risk, especially if the oven was on and the flame went out.

Anyway, he was happy for BG to look at it, and get a quote, but since then he will not authorise the work. In fact, he has lodged a complaint against them becuase he is not happy with their diagnosis!

I want to know what my options are - for example, can I arrange to have the work done myslef, and deduct the money from the rent? I want to do everything by the book, so he doesn't have an excuse to sue me or something.

I am a private tenant, AST, for six months.

Any advice is much appreciated.

jeffrey
25-03-2010, 14:59 PM
Read-up on LZ about section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. L is inescapably liable.

westminster
25-03-2010, 15:12 PM
I want to know what my options are - for example, can I arrange to have the work done myslef, and deduct the money from the rent? I want to do everything by the book, so he doesn't have an excuse to sue me or something.

You have two options:

report disrepair and safety hazard to the Environmental Health Officer at the local council (though I would hope the danger isn't significant or the engineer should have made it safe)
arrange the work yourself and deduct the money from the rent

There is a strict procedure for the latter. See halfway down this link
http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/repairs_and_bad_conditions/repairs_in_private_lets/tenants_doing_repairs

Also note that either course of action may well result in the landlord serving a s.21 notice seeking possession at the end of the six month fixed term.

Did the LL provide you with a gas safety certificate? If not, request this in writing and if not forthcoming report LL to the Health & Safety Executive.

sommiewoman
25-03-2010, 15:16 PM
thanks for the advice guys.

Ericthelobster
25-03-2010, 18:42 PM
I have an inadequate supply of hot water, and the BG engineer said the pressure was only half of what it should be, requiring an upgrade in the pipe from 15mm to 22mm. He also said there was a safety risk, especially if the oven was on and the flame went out.I'm thinking that if it was genuinely a safety risk, he'd have simply disconnected your gas supply and slapped a warning sign on the meter. As he hasn't done so, I'd question that - sounds like this is more about inconvenience of not having as much water as you'd like?

As somebody else asked - do you have a current gas safety certificate?

I'm not asking these questions to have a go at you - I'd say the answers are fundamental about what you can and should do as your next steps.

mind the gap
25-03-2010, 18:47 PM
I have an inadequate supply of hot water, and the BG engineer said the pressure was only half of what it should be, requiring an upgrade in the pipe from 15mm to 22mm. He also said there was a safety risk, especially if the oven was on and the flame went out.


Do you mean the gas pressure or the water pressure?

Kittaycat
25-03-2010, 19:04 PM
Hi sommiewoman

I have had a similar problem with my landlord - see my posts under Kittaycat - and it is at the stage where it will go through the courts, so when I have a result I will do an update.

Basically what I would say is this:
1. Follow the Shelter steps as westminster suggested - this is vital re. the repairs and should it go to court and for you to win your claim.
2. You say your landlord 'refuses point blank to carry out a repair' - do you have some sort of evidence of this in writing? ie have you written to him, pointed out what needs to be done, and do you have his (written) reply? This would be useful. If you haven't got anything in writing think about getting it.
3. From my experience of Environmental Health at the council - they are understaffed/underfunded. This means they take ages to get back to you, if at all. But you need to be prepared because it is important to have their view should it go to court. Be prepared to nag. And nag. And nag. Do not give up.

Don't want to sound downbeat, don't give up.:)

grouse
25-03-2010, 20:18 PM
I'm thinking that if it was genuinely a safety risk, he'd have simply disconnected your gas supply and slapped a warning sign on the meter. As he hasn't done so, I'd question that - sounds like this is more about inconvenience of not having as much water as you'd like?

As somebody else asked - do you have a current gas safety certificate?

I'm not asking these questions to have a go at you - I'd say the answers are fundamental about what you can and should do as your next steps.

Agreed, if the supply pipe has been adequate in the past then what has changed? Has a higher rated boiler been installed without upgrading the pipe?

I always thought that if a flame goes out on either the boiler or the oven then a safety valve will shut off the gas, not so with a hob which will continue to supply gas even when unlit.

Ask the LL to get a different 'gas safe' registered engineer to have a look at the hot water problem, if he agrees with the BG engineer that it is unsafe and not just an inconvenience then you can insist on getting the work done.

property mongrel
25-03-2010, 20:33 PM
i recently had a new ch and hw system fitted and had low hot water pressure on my shower above bath. the registered plumber/engineer told me time and time again that low pressure can not be cured by fitting larger bore pipework. the mains water pressure is also pitiful as we are near the start of the supply it is regulated low for us so it does not blow washers out of taps at the bottom of the hill.

as i understand it gas to a boiler requires/should have 22mm, so i suspect in this instance it is the gas that is low.

friends had a BG engineer round for a boiler water leak and he claimed boiler was beyond repair and a new one was needed. the water leaking joint was tightened and is fine 4 years later. i would not trust BG who have targets to achieve re selling boilers and getting work. my main point is before you get work done i would make sure it is necessary and can be justified.

pm