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Boiler in my property no hot water/ heat - were do we stand with regards to tenants???


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My tenant has been waiting for us to fix the boiler for 3/4 weeks as a part needed from the manufacturer was out of stock. It has now got worse and there is no heat/hot water. Can someone tell me what my rights are as a landlord as to what the tenant expects from me. I am really frustrated as i appreciate that it must be dreadful for my tenant in such conditions until friday, when the next available engineer can come out.

Is there anything I can do for them? Am I obliged to do anything for them and is there anything they can demand from me? I can't afford to put them up in a hotel until the problem is resolved and the insurance has said it can cover things such as this but the house would need to be deemed unliveable. I don't think they'd class no heat and hot water as this and they wouldn't shed any light on the problem unless i filled in all the forms and went down the claim route. I don't want to put the tenants up elsewhere and then be told i can't get the money back.

Also the part that was leaking on the boiler caused water to spray up onto the electrics of the boiler and damage them so we need a diagnostic test by the manufacturer to see if the problem can be resolved. Can I claim this via insurance? Does anyone know if my landlord cover would class the damage to the electrics as accidental damage as this problem was caused by the leak damaging the rest.

If you can offer any advice we would be really grateful


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HI Lisa

Okay......calm down !

This is not an uncommon problem .......Get your self down to Tesco's and purchase enough fan heaters (2Kw min) about £10 each so that you have one on each bedroom and the lounge and a couple for them to move around as required..

Work with the Tenant and communicate with them all the way on this ....if its not too late ...3/4 weeks is a xxxxxxx long time ....

As long as they have a kettle then they have hot water ...not ideal i know but none the less Hot water is available ....

How serious is the fault on the boiler ? as i have never had to wait this long to get one fixed ....

Have you contacted manufacturer direct or are you relying on local plumbers word on situation ?

You best course of action maybe to replace the boiler immediately (£400-£700) plus around (£200-£500 to fit )

This may work out cheaper than replacement parts and labour, not to mention your tenant "possibly" wanting some compensation for their inconvenience like " a month's rent " etc

How is the Tenant reacting to situation so far .....some will understand and be fine ....others will hit the roof ....

I had one tenant who stayed in occupation whilst i practically renovated the whole house....and paid full rent as he was chuffed at the amount of work we were prepared to do to improve his "home" and he would benifit from the improvements .....

I also have tenants who go away for the weekend because i come to paint the shed !!!

Personally i wouldn't claim on the insurance just yet .....

The Rodent

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LOL at lots of 2KW fan heaters. That is going to cost them a bomb in electricity isn't it!

What are regulations on heat, as I have always provided 450Watt panel heaters in such cases........ As I am paying the bills!......had no complaints thus far, but does this generate enough heat to meet standards?


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Hi Matt

Yes they are a better bet ...but cost a fortune to buy !

I have 2 oil filled panel heaters which i use in these sits but these were "inherited" and certainly more efficient ...

I said 2KW because the 1Kw will not kick out enough heat .....

Also if T starts creating over the lecky bill ...remember to offset the fact that NO GAS is being used at the moment !!!

Also b4 i get attacked ...i do understand that you cant have a bath in a Kettle !!!

As a matter of course i may sure that all of my props have at least ONE electric shower in them so that in sits like this they will have hot water !! (I say at least one as a lot of my props have combi run showers as well ..hmo's etc) nd if redoing a prop will remove a mixer shower and install electric...).....we learn as we earn !!!!!LOL

The Rodent

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Keep your tenant clearly in the picture. I would be hassling your contractor to speed things up as this seems to be excessive. This would be classed as an emergency repair, especially given current weather conditions and made worse if your tenant is elderly. I had someone scream down the phone at me because 24 hours was too long for them to wait. Your insurer will do what they can to avoid classing the property as unliveable, especially if alternate arrangements are possible such as heaters. Your tenant would be entitled to claim compensation from you if they went down that route relative to the rent paid, inconvenience & loss of facility they're paying towards. For major boiler problems I now go straight to the manufacturer as they are usually quicker because they know the boiler type and carry spares; you'll often get a year's cover as well.

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Well,as the MD of a Heating & Plumbing Company (retired!) I get my heating fixed in about an hour if it's broken down.

Seriously though it never ceases to amaze me how many Landlords think their boiler is going to go on until eternity.

A yearly servicing does not mean you are not going to get a break down!

Even a tight-wad like me had to install a new boiler last year mainly to ensure that I wouldn't get any problems from an aging 15 year old boiler. Peace of mind and a happy Tenant and tax deductable of course.

This is a busy time of the year for heating engineers with breakdowns and we are normally inundated with phone calls but customers expect you to be there within the hour....it just 'aint possible in the normal run of things and any heating company that can be there in hour stand by for a large bill and a feature spot on Watchdog 'cos most companies are so busy in the Winter they can at best offer only a 24hr service.

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