Requiring some advice....
My husband and I let out our home as he's in the Armed Forces (we are in Service Families Accomodation). Its a 2 bedroom terraced property, it doesnt have central heating, but does have a gas fire in the lounge and a gas wall mounted heaters in the kitchen and bedrooms. We never fitted central heating when were living there as for us, it never got that cold (we were there for 10 years).
Our tenant moved in April 2012, a young single lady with a 2 year old and a 4 month old baby, she knew that the property didnt have central heating.
Last week, I received a letter from the EH dept at the council advising that they were going into the property to inspect it due to a complaint from the tenant. I contacted my tenant, who tells me that both her girls had recently had colds, and her health visitor was concerned the house was too cold for her and her children, so recommended she get the council to check it over.
I met with the council officer as I couldnt attend the visit, and he confirmed that any findings he would inform me, of which I now have the letter. (just an informal letter at this stage, no improvement notice as yet)
There were a couple of category 2 hazards raised (mould in the front bedroom in one corner and drainage pipe from the washing machine needing replacing) but the main one is a category 1 hazard raised as excess cold, and the recommendation is 'the property requires a complete new heating system such as a gas central heating system with water filled radiators, and the seals around all of the windows (which are double glazed and fitted when we moved in 10 years ago)need replacing as there is a constant draft around the windows'
I fully understand the councils recommendations, and know that I need to adhere to them and get them done, but we simply do not have the money to install a full central heating system.
As my tenant is on income support, would we be able to apply for a grant to fit central heating and insulation as part of the 'Warmfront' scheme? (Edit - have since heard from the council this is coming to an and and wont be of help)
If we cannot do this, then my fear is we will have to sell the property as at this time, we just dont have the finance to comply with their request for central heating. Once the council have issued this recommendation, would we still have to do it, even if we cant afford it, and therefore have to sell? Would the works still have to be done if the tenant moves out and we do sell? I need to understand the legal implications of this should we not be able to get a grant and pay for the works to be done.
One other point to mention is the tenant didnt want to sign up for another 6 months in October and is now on a periodic tenancy as shes looking to move back to her parents in February next year.