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In urgent need of gas safety advice about my boiler

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Author Topic: In urgent need of gas safety advice about my boiler  (Read 191 times)
Newbie
Posts: 3

Living the dream

« on: July 16, 2021, 03:13:36 AM »

HI,

I'm hoping someone can help me. I don't have a good relationship with my landlord and landlady. They have repeatedly threatened me during my time here and I was served a section 21 notice last year. My eviction date was 31st May, I have been unable to leave as I have nowhere to go. My 10 year old daughter lives with me. A decline in my mental health has left me unable to work and I have no choice but to sit and wait for social housing. Anyway, back in January the annual boiler service was due.  The engineer arrived and it turned out to be a mum of a child my older daughter had gone to school with, so I knew her pretty well but had no idea she was now a plumber. As she was carrying out the necessary tests on the boiler, I made her aware that the pressure seemed to keep dropping and I was having to top up the boiler. I also advised her that the shower wasn't running hot like it used to. She checked the radiators and said they were fine but she didn't know why the pressure kept dropping but would go back and speak to the landlord.

The boiler didn't pass it's test. I was issued a WARNING/ADVICE DO NOT USE NOTICE REPORT. She had ticked the box stating that the gas appliance/installation has been classified as 'AT RISK' because the flue is not supported/not sealed outside and has been turned off and a DANGER do not use label affixed. The boiler wasn't turned off and no label was affixed. She said to me that she has to say I shouldn't use it but I can. She said not to worry about it and we left it that she would speak to the owners about the issues I had raised, and obviously someone would be back to carry out the works and provide me with a certificate.

No one came. The dreaded quarterly house inspection was imminent so I would bring the boiler issue up then.

They weren't very pleasant on arrival. They asked me what was wrong with the house so I said straight away 'the boiler'. I was told there was nothing wrong with the boiler, they had a gas safety certificate. I said I didn't have one, and explained the above. They were getting irate at this point and I was feeling anxious. By now the boiler had no pressure multiple times a day. The landlord shouted at me that some boilers are like that. I mentioned again the warning advice report that advised me not to use the boiler. He said it has had that same advisory for years, why is it so different eh? implying I had played some part in the failing of the test. (They previously accused me of tampering with the electrics when my oven stopped working - It was wired into the hob plug, I didn't do that!, I wouldn't have the faintest idea where to start and why would I want to do that anyway for goodness sake?!). I asked again for a copy of the certificate and said no one had been to carry out the works, the landlady said I talked a load of rubbish and then slyly told me to look at the fridge freezer and washing machine she had kindly left in the property, well she was coming to take those away in 2 weeks and put them in one of her other properties. I said she couldn't do that, they were in the agreement...she said 'watch me'. Back to the boiler, I asked for a copy of the gas safety certificate again and she said she had it, there were no issues and she could email it to me now from her phone. It never arrived.

So with homelessness imminent, the council required a copy of the latest gas safety certificate. I advised I didn't have one, and I was concerned no one had been to check it. It wasn't working properly etc etc.

I've got a fair bit going on at the moment so with one thing and another I hadn't thought to chase my own copy, (which i've since learnt must be issued within 28 days.) .

Last Wednesday night (just before the England game) I tried to top up the boiler, gushing sound and absolutely no pressure. Water shot out of a pipe out the front in the wall. I prayed for a miracle overnight that it would fix itself and I wouldn't have to contact them.

No miracle!. I sent a text message to landlady on Thursday lunchtime, and again a couple of hours later. I get a response 24 hours later advising she is waiting for them to get back to her. Saturday lunchtime miss 2 texts from her asking if i'm home someone was coming to look at the boiler.! i didn't get those messages before I get a scribbled not through the door asking me to ring him to arrange a time. So I do, 12 minutes after he posted the note (he left a time on it) and he sounds drunk and says he's off out now to a christening dressed as batman!!!. This is the same man the came to fix the electrics when the cooker broke, incidentally. We agreed Monday late afternoon.

Monday teatime, no sign so I call the landline from the scribbled note.... his wife answers the phone. I asked if Batman was there, he wasn't. I said he was supposed to be coming to look at my boiler this afternoon but he hasn't arrived. She replied 'WE DON'T DO BOILERS', then fumbled around with the phone and said she would get hold of him. He rings, tells me he's meeting the landlord at the bottom of my road in 10 minutes,. I said NO, I mean I have had to report them to the police for harassment. He managed to talk me round. They came, looked in the boiler and they agreed on something and the landlord went to sit back in the car. I asked him for a gas safety certificate. He said ok.

So I ask the engineer whats wrong with it to which he replied he doesn't really do boilers these days, not sure what the bit is called but he'd get his mate to fit it. How long are we talking then I say? He says, between you and me they're not going to rush things. Great.

So I ask the council for a copy of the gas safety certificate, 6 months of asking the owners with no joy. The housing officer emails it to me and low and behold, it was issued on the same day as the warning was issued. Now how is that possible?

A week in now, my daughter has been self isolating for the last week. No word form anyone as to progress. I'm not happy with any of the above. Can I get someone request a 2nd opinion? Why get someone who doesn't do boilers to look at a boiler? He is gas safe though, I checked that.

Ridiculously long.....so sorry. If any gets to the end and has any advice for me i'd be very grateful.

Thanks



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Abuse Officer

« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2021, 09:51:50 AM »

Although all the background included makes it sound like The Keystone Cops... my reading of this is that the boiler has passed its GSC and you do have a valid copy (albeit not via the expected route)?

Is that correct?

If so, but you're still having troubles with the operation of the boiler... a GSC doesn't give it a kind of "free pass" for a year, where it can behave as it wants... issues still need addressing by the Landlord but - as it always the case - a Landlord must be allowed "a reasonable time" to effect repairs... deliberately vague, I'm afraid... 6 months would be too long of course. However, the presence of a valid GSC means that a Section 21 eviction would be valid... without a GSC it wouldn't. There's other tickboxes they need to check. Eventually the Landlord will get their act together and evict you... could take a long time beyond the original end of May date... but the Landlord not effecting repairs because of you 'overstaying' (as such) or even not paying rent is not allowed.

There is a process defined for you engaging someone to do your own repairs if the Landlord has failed. It is quite protracted... but it could result in you paying for the repairs and then withholding some of the rent.

Absorb this... https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/repairs/what_to_do_if_your_private_landlord_wont_do_repairs ...but it seems like the Council is already involved in your case. These are the kind of questions you need to be asking if there is a certain problem with the boiler...

  - how long does my Landlord reasonably have to effect a repair?
  - if they do not do that, when can I reasonably (with notice and everything) pay for that myself and deduct the cost from the rent?
« Last Edit: July 16, 2021, 09:59:26 AM by Hippogriff »
Hero Member
Posts: 655

I like property

« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2021, 10:15:31 AM »

Okay, if the expiry date of the s21 was 31 May, then that's a six months notice from around November last year. That makes all the following information about a copy of the GSC that was or was not given by the landlord from a test in January this year moot for the purpose of s21 validity. It's the previous year GSC that's relevant there.

Actual isse with gas safety is obviously a concern that needs sorting though.
Newbie
Posts: 3

Living the dream

« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2021, 11:42:22 PM »

Thanks for the replies. My biggest annoyance is how they managed to obtain the gas safety certificate. I don't want to prolong my stay here any longer than is necessary and there was a valid certificate when I moved in. But the boiler failed the inspection and that's where I have questions.

They really have been the most appalling landlords and I feel aggrieved that they continue to try and pull the wool over my eyes.

I am satisfied there is a certificate but how did they get this with no remedial works having taken place, bearing in mind the boiler had faults, unrelated to the reasons it failed the inspection???

I have tried to do a bit of research and I have discovered that they are in breach of section 11 of the Landlords and tenants act 1985 because they were aware the appliance was faulty back in January and they failed to rectify it.

It may seem petty but they have made my life hell. over the past 18 months. The landlady told me all the neighbours had her phone number and were reporting on my comings and goings. I have been scared to leave my own home. My anxiety is through the roof. Myself and my daughter are now heading into day 10 of no hot water....she has been in isolation for the last week too. Batman said at least a week, that was Monday, so that will be 12 days. I will chase him Tuesday if i haven't heard anything.

It's an ongoing saga.....my apologies  :D
Global Moderator
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2021, 09:49:48 AM »

If a GSC is in place that's all you need to know. You get no benefit from worrying about it. Consider the current boiler issue as a separate thing.

A GSC is not a Service. A GSC is not an improvement. A GSC tests various things about the supply, whether things ignite and extinguish as they should... whether it's safe. Sure, a GSC may indeed highlight things that need attention. On the day of the GSC there could be hot water, only for there to be none the day after... a valid GSC still exists in that case, but remedial work is required. Your boiler seems to require remedial work. Your Landlord does seem to agree (there are challenges regarding isolation and they may be playing silly buggers). Focus on that, rather than the "how" of how the GSC was obtained.

Next, redouble your efforts to find somewhere else. The Council will likely not proactively help you until you have been physically removed from the property.
Newbie
Posts: 3

Living the dream

« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2021, 06:11:37 PM »

I believe they obtained the GSC unlawfully.......that's all really. They knew the boiler was faulty a long time ago and they failed as landlords to rectify the problem. Had a call from batman today......possible getting a new boiler some time next week. Fingers crossed

Thanks
Global Moderator
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Abuse Officer

« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2021, 11:21:13 AM »

https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/help-and-advice/complaints-report-an-illegal/
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