T finds house draughty- can L be forced to insulate it?

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    T finds house draughty- can L be forced to insulate it?

    Hi, my partner and I moved into a privatley rented property in March 2008 we have a 4 year old and a 4month old. Now the winter has set in, it is very very drafty and cold. We have been told by the landlord that the boiler is "the best on the market" and we agreed once the winter months begin, he would put a timer on so we wake to some warmth. I had mentioned the drafts before and he looked at the front and back doors and nailed strips of something but you can still feel a big draft. I can feel big drafts everywhere and fear we will inccur MASSIVE heating bills this winter. My main concern is my children and keeping them warm.
    What rights do we have and what can we expect from a private landlord? we looked to rent privately to save on the obscene costs letting agents charge for "admin", but I wonder if we willfall flat now. .I feel the draft problem will cost alot to correct and therefore, won't be done! any advice would be greatly appreciated, from Landlords and tenants :O)

    #2
    Originally posted by mum of 2 View Post
    Hi, my partner and I moved into a privatley rented property in March 2008 we have a 4 year old and a 4month old. Now the winter has set in, it is very very drafty and cold. We have been told by the landlord that the boiler is "the best on the market" and we agreed once the winter months begin, he would put a timer on so we wake to some warmth. I had mentioned the drafts before and he looked at the front and back doors and nailed strips of something but you can still feel a big draft. I can feel big drafts everywhere and fear we will inccur MASSIVE heating bills this winter. My main concern is my children and keeping them warm.
    What rights do we have and what can we expect from a private landlord? we looked to rent privately to save on the obscene costs letting agents charge for "admin", but I wonder if we willfall flat now. .I feel the draft problem will cost alot to correct and therefore, won't be done! any advice would be greatly appreciated, from Landlords and tenants :O)
    I think the landlord is obliged to deal with this problem (I believe the LL has to keep the property wind and water tight), but why don't you try and identify where the draughts are coming from and try and eliminate them yourself if the cost is small?

    The draughts are most likely to come from gaps in the doors and windows or the frames surrounding these.

    If the solution isn't easy or cheap, I would have a specialist come in (a carpenter perhaps) and assess the problem. Get a quote and send that to the landlord stating that if he/she does not get the work done within x days, you will go ahead and get it done yourself and deduct the costs from your rent.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by mum of 2 View Post
      Hi, my partner and I moved into a privatley rented property in March 2008 we have a 4 year old and a 4month old. Now the winter has set in, it is very very drafty and cold. We have been told by the landlord that the boiler is "the best on the market" and we agreed once the winter months begin, he would put a timer on so we wake to some warmth. I had mentioned the drafts before and he looked at the front and back doors and nailed strips of something but you can still feel a big draft. I can feel big drafts everywhere and fear we will inccur MASSIVE heating bills this winter. My main concern is my children and keeping them warm.
      What rights do we have and what can we expect from a private landlord? we looked to rent privately to save on the obscene costs letting agents charge for "admin", but I wonder if we willfall flat now. .I feel the draft problem will cost alot to correct and therefore, won't be done! any advice would be greatly appreciated, from Landlords and tenants :O)
      If the boiler is 'the best on the market' it should already have a timer built in which you can set yourself.

      Are the radiators getting reasonably hot? Is it just the fact that there are draughts coming in at front and back doors which is making it cold?
      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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        #4
        wow - thanks for quick response. The drafts are around the windows and especially the front and back doors, also a draft from the basement door into the kitchen (I can even feel a draft in the cuboards under the sink!). The radiators do heat up around the house but it never feels really warm and cosy (my parents new build house is amazinly warm - I think my touble is I compare to that!). I do feel that an emelement of our rent everymonth should be used by the landlord to do these types of repairs etc. The house is "rain proof" it's just drafty - we wack up the heating but you just know the majority is going out the window (literally!). I am all for these energy efficiency certs for rented homes, we'd never had chosen this place had we seen the report, which I am confident will have descrobed it as a "money pit"! I am going to ask for repairs and work to be done, but if we don't get a satisfactory response, I want to know my rights to break contract early and get our deposit back and move on!

        Comment


          #5
          Forgive me for being slightly negative here but...

          I think if you deduct the costs of the works from your rent after having the works quoted for, it would be a difficult stance to argue, that the landlord was obliged to carry out the works and failed to do so.

          I am not sure quite how a draught could be measured, and therefore is not quantifiable. Unless the landlord would release you from your contract I don't see what grounds there would be for early termination of it.

          Why don't you buy a couple of those things that go at the bottom of doors to stop draughts? If your boiler doesn't have a timer unit on it, then you could ask your landlord to fit one.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by mum of 2 View Post
            Hi, my partner and I moved into a privatley rented property in March 2008 we have a 4 year old and a 4month old. Now the winter has set in, it is very very drafty and cold. We have been told by the landlord that the boiler is "the best on the market" and we agreed once the winter months begin, he would put a timer on so we wake to some warmth. I had mentioned the drafts before and he looked at the front and back doors and nailed strips of something but you can still feel a big draft. I can feel big drafts everywhere and fear we will inccur MASSIVE heating bills this winter. My main concern is my children and keeping them warm.
            What rights do we have and what can we expect from a private landlord? we looked to rent privately to save on the obscene costs letting agents charge for "admin", but I wonder if we willfall flat now. .I feel the draft problem will cost alot to correct and therefore, won't be done! any advice would be greatly appreciated, from Landlords and tenants :O)
            The draughts are not something new, I think. They arise from the condition of the property- and that has not changed.
            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).

            Comment


              #7
              I don't think the LL can be legally obliged to improve the energy efficiency of his property although if he had any sense, he would do. My advice to you would be as follows :

              Advise Ll in writing that his house is extremely cold and draughty and that you are worried that your energy bills will be astronomically high because of this. Ask him whether he intends to carry out any improvements. Tell him that unless he draught proofs the house more effectively, you will have no option but to move out as soon as legally possible, and ask him if he would be prepared to release you early from your AST. (When does it end, by the way?)

              You may also choose to point out (as he clearly hasn't worked it out for himself) that these improvements will need to be done eventually, since an EPC on the property as it now stands may well firighten off any potential tenants. If you have been a good tenant he may consider doing them for you, rather than lose you.

              In the meantime, buy a large roll of masking or paint tape and tape up the windows which are the draughtiest. You will need to be prepared to remove this and touch up the paintwork if need be, when you move out. It means you will not be able easily to open those windows, so don't do it to any window which is a fire escape. Put up a curtain pole with rings above the outside doors and put up a very thick curtain - wool or velvet, lined, is best. You can usually get these cheaply from charity shops. A thick blanket will do, if nothing else. Combined with draught excluders along the bottom of the doors these measures should make some difference.


              Good luck.
              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

              Comment


                #8
                How long have you left on your tenancy agreement?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                  I don't think the LL can be legally obliged to improve the energy efficiency of his property .
                  IIRC, "excessive cold" or something similar is one of the hazards listed in the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (Housing Act 2004).

                  Mumof2 - either approach your landlord with your improvement suggestions, or ask the local authority to send an Env Health Officer round to do an assessment with a view to making the LL do the works.
                  Health Warning


                  I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

                  All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by agent46 View Post
                    IIRC, "excessive cold" or something similar is one of the hazards listed in the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (Housing Act 2004).

                    Mumof2 - either approach your landlord with your improvement suggestions, or ask the local authority to send an Env Health Officer round to do an assessment with a view to making the LL do the works.
                    agent, do you know by any chance how they measure 'excessive cold' - what is deemed to be unacceptable?
                    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                      agent, do you know by any chance how they measure 'excessive cold' - what is deemed to be unacceptable?
                      I'm sorry, but I've no idea.

                      I do know, however, that the test for whether a room had enough natural light to be habitable used to be whether one could read The Times in the farthest corner of the room at midday. Or so I read/heard/was told/dreamed up when suffering from malaria.
                      Health Warning


                      I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

                      All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by agent46 View Post
                        I'm sorry, but I've no idea.

                        I do know, however, that the test for whether a room had enough natural light to be habitable used to be whether one could read The Times in the fathest corner of the room at midday. Or so I read/heard/was told/dreamed up when suffering from malaria.
                        Well, the equivalent for temperature must surely be whether people outside, looking in through the window, think you are smoking, when in fact it's your breath condensing.
                        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                          agent, do you know by any chance how they measure 'excessive cold' - what is deemed to be unacceptable?
                          "Exposure to low temperature" is the [undefined] wording used in the SI. See http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2005/20053208.htm, or simply search (ask.com, google, etc.) for Housing Health and Safety Rating System- use full name- which produces several useful websites and resources.
                          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).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                            "Exposure to low temperature" is the [undefined] wording used in the SI. See http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2005/20053208.htm, or simply search (ask.com, google, etc.) for Housing Health and Safety Rating System- use full name- which produces several useful websites and resources.
                            That's much more precise, I agree. I like a nice formula.
                            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                              That's much more precise, I agree. I like a nice formula.
                              Babies like Formula too.
                              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).

                              Comment

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