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Increased heating bill, can I be compensated?

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Author Topic: Increased heating bill, can I be compensated?  (Read 82 times)
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« on: November 10, 2020, 11:51:08 PM »

Hi,

Over the past month the heating in our rented flat has not been able to turn off, regardless of if we manually turn the boiler/immersion heater on or off, we've tried everything. After reporting it to our landlord he sent someone to fix it, however after only a week later it has started again.

We've noticed our bill increasing for heating considerably as now the heating is on constantly. After notifying our landlord again and trying to fix it, if this problem reoccurred due to him sourcing the cheapest option, are we eligible to be compensated for our increased bills?
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2020, 09:54:51 AM »

I've never seen a heating system than cannot be turned off, somewhere. Are you sure what you are claiming is true? If it's a typical boiler controlled by a programmer / thermostat, then it can be turned off at the mains. If it's electrical heating, then each individual panel can be turned off, at the mains. So what kind of heating system do you have where it cannot be turned off? Even then, surely the heating can be turned down to a point whereby it no longer heats - that being equivalent to off?

This would be a genuine question back... seeing as you know the problem exists, but don't seem to be doing (or be able to) anything about it. Yes, something may be broken... like when I realised one of my immersion heaters was on all the time, but you can still manually turn it off. I don't think an installation would be legal at all if it could not be turned off manually and finally.

Why have you made an assumption about cheapest remedy?
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2020, 09:33:01 AM »

Looking all over the house, thermostat turned down to its minimum, both hot water and heating settings turned off, immersion off. As I mentioned, we have contacted the landlord and been visited by him and his regular DIY guy and the problem was solved for approx. 1 week, after no change to heating settings by us, it has resumed.

Regarding cheapest option, the landlord will use the same person regardless of the problem and usually the fix is more of a short term deal, e.g. our bath has cracked 3 times, each time polyfiller and gauze was used to plug it. 2 of our doorknobs broke, which were repaired using the same original broken screws, the front door lock broke and instead of a new door, he deactivated all locking mechanisms except the latch attached to the handle (before there were multiple latches above along the length of the door). So, this is a reoccurring theme in which the problem is rarely actually solved, but similar to closing a cupboard with the plates already falling inside.
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2020, 09:49:08 AM »

If they're turned off... they can't be heating. What you mean is you've probably turned things off or down at a secondary switch. You need to find whatever controls it all... for me, in my boiler cupboard it's a normal white plastic switch on the wall marked "Boiler"... if that's off the boiler is off, no matter what I might do with the controls on the boiler itself, the programmer, the thermostat.

As is always the case... you can request compensation from your Landlord for anything you feel aggrieved about (request vs. demand is always a good approach)... don't be upset if your Landlord bounces it straight back, though... I think what you're asking is whether there's a legal route for compensation... no. You always have control over your heating... it isn't magically turning off and on by itself... it always does so with instruction of some kind... and power... if you want to stop it, you have to deprive it of power. As I say, I have never - never-ever, never-ever-ever - come across a heating system that can't be turned off (and I've seen lots and lots).

If you have this low opinion of your Landlord (and I'm not saying it's wrong) then I would start to look elsewhere to live... it doesn't feel like this is something you'll ever resolve to your satisfaction now you have taken the measure of him. Why persist with it?
« Last Edit: November 12, 2020, 11:15:54 AM by Hippogriff »
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2020, 09:58:53 AM »

If,by some strange reason,heating was continuing despite power turned off at the mains,surely the place would be a fire risk by now? I am wondering if you are turning off things like timer switches,or switches on the boiler,rather than those which stop the power at source.Seriously,it just defies the law of physics for this to happen.Do your lights remain on after you turn them off for instance? If you are using a hairdrier does it continue after you turn it off at the wall?
As Hippo says, given such a catalogue of bad bodged repairs,it's time to vote with your feet and find a better place.
   
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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2020, 10:58:43 AM »

To be honest, I had the same opinion as both of you, I'm only pushing it this far because someone came to look and it hasn't helped, otherwise I would completely agree with you. Either way, if you think there isn't much I can do except search for a primary power source then that's that then. I just don't want to keep paying for large heating bills when someone who is supposed to know better than me has looked at this and it still hasn't helped.
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2020, 11:18:15 AM »

When your heating is doing its thing and... er, heating... go to your consumer board and turn off the electricity to the property (temporarily)... or pull the lever marked appropriately "boiler", "heating", "rads" or something like that... if you are still heating then then you've got a bigger problem.

You'll probably have to reset some clocks... on the oven and suchlike... but it should knock everything out to demonstrate the idea... like in a power cut... your heating wouldn't work in a power cut, would it?
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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2020, 01:18:48 PM »

To be honest, I had the same opinion as both of you, I'm only pushing it this far because someone came to look and it hasn't helped,

To be fair to your landlord (although I don't know how much he deserves it) this does sound like an unusual problem. They tried something and it appeared to work. They wouldn't necessarily know at that point that what they'd done hadn't fixed it. How long has the problem been going on? If you're talking about a noticeable difference in your energy bills I presume it's been several months?

What sort of central heating system is it? You mentioned an immersion heater and a boiler so I'm guessing gas boiler and a separate hot water tank. Given what you've said about the landlord I assume it's not particularly new. When was the last annual gas safety check carried out?
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