boiler - who is responsible for upkeep?

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  • boiler - who is responsible for upkeep?

    I have been renting a business for nearly 5 years and when I took the business and lease on I receiveed a contract from the owner which I can't find anywhere. I have a combi boiler that is over 5 years old and was put in by the owner of the premises when I moved in. I know some of thet pipes and the tank for the boiler is upstairs in the flat above which is rented out on a residential basis and recently I had a leak coming into my room (I do beauty therapy) which was coming from the tank from above in the flat. My landlord paid the plumber who sorted out the small leak but apparantly this leak was coming from a tank which had not been emptied when the boiler was put in 5 years ago by the owner. She is now telling me that she paid the plumber as a goodwill gesture for the recent leak and since then I now have another problem - the boiler is leaking and she said that the problem is my responsibility and if I get a plumber I will have to pay the costs. I have had a plumber come to fix it and have paid for it but the plumber said that legally it is the owners responsibility and that she should have had the boiler checked and serviced and given me certificates for safety reasons. Can anyone advise me or do I have to get a copy of my contract.
    Help appreciated please!

  • #2
    Plumbers/Electricians think they understand the way in which commercial property works - as a general rule they dont. Most commercial leases are on full repairing and insuring terms ie you have to pay for any repairs and insurance. Without sight of the document we cannot really comment. You say it has pipes to the first floor. Does it also serve as their hot water boiler/central heating system?
    [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

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    • #3
      I don't know if they have a separate boiler, think they must do as I have to pay the bills for the utilities for my small business. The thing is the landlady used to live in the flat above until she sold the business to me but she now rents out the upstairs flat and it is the bottom part of the building which is where I run my business from that the boiler is in for me. The leak a few weeks ago was coming from the flat upstairs from the water tank. The meter for the electric upstairs has a meter in my part of the building and we have separate meters in my part of the building (downstairs)
      The plumber who came to me said she regularly has to check contracts and ususally the landlord/lady is responsible because in the worst case scenario if the boiler leaked carbon monoxide because I didn't have the landlords safety check certificate then the landlord wouod be liable?
      I did think the landlady was responsible as she had the boiler put in when I moved in and had a plumber put it in for her. I didn't realise this. I have kept the upkeep decorating etc and flooring and that kind of thing but not done anything about the boiler.

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      • #4
        In residential premises the landlord has to have the boiler checked annually, and keep certain parts of the premises heated. Commercially this protection does not exist. It's all in the agreement.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by claw View Post
          The plumber who came to me said she regularly has to check contracts and ususally the landlord/lady is responsible because in the worst case scenario if the boiler leaked carbon monoxide because I didn't have the landlords safety check certificate then the landlord wouod be liable?
          I did think the landlady was responsible as she had the boiler put in when I moved in and had a plumber put it in for her. I didn't realise this. I have kept the upkeep decorating etc and flooring and that kind of thing but not done anything about the boiler.
          Your plumber sounds like they're confusing residential and commercial property. I would say 99% of the commercial properties I deal with are on Full repairing and insuring basis - ie you are liable. Without sight of the lease its difficult to say. Commercial leases are nasty things, you should have instructed a solicitor/ Surveyor to explain to you what you were signing up to.

          In any event we cannot say for definate whos responsible. But I would imagine as it solely services you, you are responsible.
          [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

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          • #6
            Q: Does L demand/collect a service charge? If so, that points towards L being responsible for upkeep; if not, not.
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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            • #7
              Perhaps this tenant should follow the following principal Commercial Property - The tenant pays for maintenance and upkeep, unless proven otherwise. Domestic Premises - The Landlord pays for maintenance and upkeep, unless proven otherwise.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                Q: Does L demand/collect a service charge? If so, that points towards L being responsible for upkeep; if not, not.
                If service charge is payable, in any event T will have to reimburse LL for all costs associated with service charge items thus end up having to pay LL for the service, although without the option of T shopping around for lowest price.
                [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

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