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Boiler repairs

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Author Topic: Boiler repairs  (Read 187 times)
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« on: December 04, 2020, 06:47:03 PM »

Hi
My mum moved into her rented property 17 years ago and there was no central heating. Just an immersion heater and some storage heaters. Two of the storage heaters did not work and had condemned stickers in the. The landlord wasnít interested so I paid for central heating to be installed. That was about 16.5 years ago. Last year at Xmas the boiler broke and we contacted landlord agency and they said they were not responsible for it as we had it installed. They have since enrolled her in a boiler repair scheme and increased her rent. We asked for a refund if the repair and they refused. Is it worth pursuing this or should we just drop it.
 
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2020, 11:33:00 AM »

If they did not pay towards this then it is your  mother's responsibility to repair it. I don't think they can have arranged the repair scheme without her consent or signature? Again,they are entitled to pass the fee for this onto her.If this was very recent it may be possible to cancel in a cooling off period.If this scheme has good reviews it could be worth while to stay with it. I am guessing that the rent is lowish anyway ? 
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2020, 12:36:01 PM »

Thanks for replying. The rent is £500 month but we are up north where rents are cheaper so itís not that cheap to say it also came with no kitchen and the electrics are a bit suspicious.
I am looking for somewhere else for her but she is 78 and has a couple of very good neighbours who help her with shopping etc so she doesnít really want to move.
She really had no idea about the scheme and only found out when it stopped working again a few months later and the people came out and told her it was covered. She is happy enough to be in the scheme to be honest but just wishes she had been before as she didnít know it existed.
One of my issues is why wasnít offered the scheme previously when all the other tenants were. I mean if it existed shouldnít they have written to everyone offering them the chance to enrol?
« Last Edit: December 05, 2020, 01:42:37 PM by Pippa75 »
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2020, 06:13:09 PM »

I found the tenancy agreement with the note saying that the storage heaters are not their responsibility even though that was the only heating available in the property. This proves they were not following the landlord act does it help at all?
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2020, 12:12:28 PM »

It is a pity she did not press to have the problems with heating etc.put right before signing up.I can't imagine why anyone would want to rent somewhere with no kitchen.That said,have the legal requirements been met regarding annual gas checks (if applicable) EPC certificates,and from this year an electrical safety certificate ? If not,you should write to the agents requesting these be done.If they refuse,you have to weigh up options.
You could report these and other matters to the council, but in this case the consequences (being evicted after  the work is carried out)  would be very stressful for your mother.It would be best to make it known you could take action,but would rather keep it amicable.
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2020, 12:54:44 PM »

They have a lot of properties and they say they donít do anything inside as they are usually very long term tenancies and people spend their own money getting how they want them. Not sure how legal that is but eventually those people move out and they have a property in pretty good shape for the tenant.
They have always had the gas safe checks done though.
She was desperate to move out of a horrendous property with a really bad landlord who didnít do the gas checks alongside other things. If I had known then what I know now I would have pushed more but theyíre a big landlord round here so thought if they were saying thatís how it is then it must be true.
I just thought if we could show that they were not really complying with the landlord act when we moved in there might be some wiggle room with regard to the heating. As in they left us little choice but to install it as they were not willing to take responsibility for the heating that was there.
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2020, 02:08:00 PM »

The landlord sounds like a relic from a lost age. I presume they're nevertheless letting the property under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, regardless of whether most of their tenants actually stay for long periods? I can't imagine there are many prospective tenants these days who'd be willing to fork out for a new kitchen and central heating system when they could be forced to leave it behind in six months' time. In any case, it would be tricky to get an adequate EPC rating these days on a house without a functional heating system.

You might find something useful in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985: the provisions on fitness for habitation were recently beefed up by the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70/contents - However, I don't think it specifically covers the provision of adequate space heating.
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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2020, 02:41:11 PM »

The way I understood the landlords act is they have to provide heating and hot water. It doesnít have to be central heating. They are not responsible for anything the tenant installs but they shouldnít have been able to deny responsibility got the storage heaters that were in the property when she moved in. Iím guessing they did that because they knew they werenít working and we didnít know any better then.
She also had to have an electrician install extra sockets in kitchen cause there was just one double socket. At the moment her washing machine and oven plug into one socket. It was a double but it blew a few weeks ago and now only one works so they are both going into in one. She has told them and they said they would sent and their electrician  but he hasnít been yet.
The next step for electrics would be the council but as someone already said they might evict her if she causes trouble.
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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2020, 03:11:13 PM »

Bloody hell, she really is being treated badly.I take it then that the electrical inspection has not been carried out so far this year? This could be a fire risk as I understand it. Time to get heavy with them.
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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2020, 03:24:01 PM »

They havenít done an electrical inspection for about 8 years. She is being treated badly but whenever she speaks the the agent they are quite rude and she gets upset. I sent them an email and they called her and had a go at her so sheís told me to leave it.
I am
Looking fur somewhere else for her but she doesnít want to start again somewhere she doesnít know anyone. Itís a real problem.
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2020, 04:52:37 PM »

Obviously I don't know your mother's financial/health circumstances,but  could it be worth having a word with Age Concern or Citizens Advice? She might qualify for social housing or some kind of assisted living. It will only get harder to uproot herself with each passing year. She can't plan her future on the nice neighbours  always living there either. The landlords and agents sound horrible, let the authorities deal with their bullying. 
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