boiler insurance not covering us-told us our safety cert shouldn't have been issued

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  • boiler insurance not covering us-told us our safety cert shouldn't have been issued

    Forgive me for posting this comes under gas safety and insurance and need advice in both areas.

    We are inexperienced landlords and today are faced with the following dilemma:

    Our tenants called last night to tell us boiler packed up and they have no heating or hot water.

    We called our boiler breakdown cover who came out to the tenants today.
    They told us that the gas safety certificate we got in July should never have been issued...that the flue was too close to the window and the controller was loose and could kill the tenants, and have shut it off leaving T's with no heating or hot water. They said because of this our insurance is not valid and they cannot cover us.

    We used a corgi registered plumber we know and trust who serviced the boiler in the 2 years since we bought the property.
    I gave him the tenants number to speak with them and the tenant shouted abuse down the phone which plumber told me he will not take, and understandably will not do anything until they communicate well.
    Tenants are very stressed about situation especially as have a baby and other children suffering with colds..they are blaming recent headaches on the plumber.
    We simply don't know where to go from here..we need to get heating and hot water back to T's immediately. We did everything legally and had no reason to doubt the safety certificate being correctly issued.
    Have you any suggestions?

  • #2
    Hi Nazmy

    If you are happy to do so and can get the original plumber to rectify the problem, this would be the simplest solution to your immediate issue.

    The issue of a valid safety certificate and the reinstatement of the breakdown insurance can then follow.

    Good luck.


    • #3
      It sounds like your insurers were trying to find fault to avoid paying out. If your boiler is quite old, the flue might indeed be closer to the window than is now allowed. It doesn't preclude a safety certificate. Just when you have a new boiler, it will have to be elsewhere.

      Controller loose, and might kill the tenants? Only if they take the top off it and touch the connections!

      As Paul suggested, get the original man to rectify, and then sue your insurer for the cost. (Then change insurer if I were you.)


      • #4
        Thanks for that...feel a bit less of a panic now! Yes the boiler is pretty old and the plumber who issued the gas safe certificate told me the regulations would have changed since it was installed. Both he and an independent gas safe engineer are coming together to the property tomorrow so should get to the bottom of it then hopefully!


        • #5
          What do you mean by 'boiler breakdown cover'? Is it part of your buildings insurance (well the landlord version)?

          I would suggest you get cover from a Gas Safe engineer - either local or national - that would give both the yearly inspection / service and cover call outs.

          ETA; And you can't catch a 'cold' [or any virus or infection] from being cold.
          There is always scope for misinterpretation.

          If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

          Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.


          • #6
            Nazmy, your insurer isn't an anagram of 'Severe Ohm' is it? (We aren't allowed to name & shame anyone here.)


            • #7
              The buildings insurance is with who offered boiler and electric cover at an additional yearly fee of sixty something pounds...they subcontracted home3assistance. I will see what happens when the engineer who issued the certificate and the independent one come later today....hoping they may prove the one sent by the insurance company was wrong and that I have a valid argument to insist home3assistance cover us


              • #8
                You should replace the old boiler by a new one for better safety .


                • #9
                  Yes we intend to replace it in the next couple of years but would rather wait if it can still work safely for the time being as currently replacing all the windows and front door at great expense.

                  Engineers today proved the flue is indeed at a safe distance from the window...the insurers engineer measured it from the decorative surround not the flue itself...insurer sending someone else out to investigate.

                  However woman I spoke to this morn when I called them said we would not be covered anyway if boiler over 15 years old, which our engineer told us it it is (about 20 years old)....we were not told this when we took the cover or sent any documents, terms or conditions....if they do refuse to cover us over this issue would I have valid grounds to contest it as I was missold the cover?


                  • #10
                    Depends how much effort you want to put into getting back such a small sum. The insurer's default reply to any such claim is - you should read the small print.

                    I would highly recomend using the same Gas Safe person / company to do both the servicing and the back up repairs. A small local engineer does give huge advantages over the large national companies or your insurer.

                    From a business risk assessment point of view, however, a 20-year old boiler is going to be problematic from a spares, the current regs and reliability point of view.
                    There is always scope for misinterpretation.

                    If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

                    Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.


                    • #11
                      It will probably be in the small print somewhere about the age of the boiler.

                      However, it seems to me that in view of this, your boiler has never been covered, so you are entitled to all your premiums back.


                      • #12
                        If you continue to use an unsafe boiler, you may invalidate your buildings insurance and put your tenants lives at risk.

                        Have you checked the cost of a new gas boiler - cheap brand may cost 400-500pds and you could get a cheap loan from tesco or sainsbury bank to cover the cost of changing your windows , door and unsafe boiler and repay over 7 years.


                        • #13
                          In Jan 2013 the Green Deal government fund will give any property owner an interest free loan for boiler replacements and the cost is paid back at £20 per month on your gas bill.

                          Is doing this and then getting the T to pay for it in their gas bad, or i suppose you could pay them £20 a month to cover it.

                          I have just been quoted £2,600 for a new hot water system for my 1 bed flat and the Vailiant boiler is about £750 of that price


                          • #14
                            You wouldn't have to pay T £20 a month, or anything at all to cover the cost if done within the Green Deal.
                            The Golden Rule of the Green Deal is that fuel bills will NOT go up after the work is done. The saving in energy costs will be used to repay the cost of the work which was carried out.
                            The tenant will not have higher bills because of better insulation, more efficient boiler, or whatever. The debt attaches to the meter (gas or electric) not to the occupier nor to the owner, and repayments are taken with fuel bills.


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