Tenants put our thermostat in the fridge

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    Tenants put our thermostat in the fridge

    Happy New Year to you all! I am seeking advice for dealing with tenants issue. I have a 4 bed HMOs, and installed an Inspire thermostat (in the communal) which maintains the temperature at 19 degrees all day long with an option for tenants to boost up to 21 degrees. Since the beginning, I had no issue with that at all, until the last couple of months when I had new tenants moving in. There was one tenant complained 21 degree was still way too cold for him and required for him to have full control of the thermostat.

    Obviously, in the HMO property, the landlord pays for gas and electricity so I could not agree to his request (no other tenants complained). But I agreed for the boosting option to go up to 22 degrees. I just got back from holiday today to find out that the thermostat in the property has been moved inside the..fridge in the last couple of weeks. The thermostat showed as 0 degrees at ALL time and the heaters are working 24/24. I suspect who put the thermostat in the fridge (i.e. the tenant who complained about the heating) but no tenants accepted their responsibility and we do not have evidence as to who did that. What would you do (as a landlord) with the tenants in this case?

    PS: We have an agency managed the property for us but so far they have been useless in many cases (the previous tenants smoked inside the house and ripped off the smoke alarms from the ceiling and regardless of our request, they have not sent anyone to fix yet). We live very far from the property, that's why we have to use full management service from the agency.

    #2
    My moms flat is not always warm enough at 21 degrees, but my house is fine at 20:
    . - 21 being bordering on the hot side. ( I have brand new boiler ).

    I would write to all tenants stating that the heating system was deliberately sabotaged, to keep the heating on 24 hours a day,and this has caused the heating for that time to quadruple in cost.
    Due to this sabotage, you have no option but to bill everyone for this incident ( via the letting agent ) as no one has admitted to this sabotage.

    Leave it at that and bill everyone 25% of your on cost for that period.


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      #3
      Although I cannot find a source at the moment, my understanding is that tenants have the right to control the heating level.

      Getting exactly zero doesn't seem likely for a fridge, which will normally be about +4C. I think you should consider a genuine fault, although a simple electronic fault would also not produce a zero reading.

      Also most fridges have metal cabinets, and there is a good chance that an RF thermostat would go out of contact if you put it in the fridge.

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        #4
        Tenants would not be able to put my thermostats in the fridge. They are wired to the wall!

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          #5
          I assume it is some sort of radio thermostat.

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            #6
            Originally posted by Daniel G View Post
            PS: We have an agency managed the property for us but so far they have been useless in many cases (the previous tenants smoked inside the house and ripped off the smoke alarms from the ceiling and regardless of our request, they have not sent anyone to fix yet). We live very far from the property, that's why we have to use full management service from the agency.
            Seems to me that it is time to change your agent.

            If they are failing to address a safety issue in the property, then it seems to me that you should be able to terminate the agreement immediately. Remember that they are YOUR agent and should act on YOUR instruction.

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              #7
              Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
              Although I cannot find a source at the moment, my understanding is that tenants have the right to control the heating level.
              Yes it is in landlords guide to hhsrs p24:

              "Centrally controlled space heating systems should operate in a way that makes sure
              occupants are not exposed to cold indoor temperatures. Occupants should be
              allowed to control temperature within their dwelling."
              https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...425/150940.pdf

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                #8
                Originally posted by KeepTheFaith View Post
                "Centrally controlled space heating systems should operate in a way that makes sure
                occupants are not exposed to cold indoor temperatures.
                21 degrees is not cold.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
                  Although I cannot find a source at the moment, my understanding is that tenants have the right to control the heating level.
                  Yes, but not deliberate sabotage by moving the thermostat, nor to have heating on 24 hours a day.

                  A tenant should act in a tenant like manner / home owner, and normality is "timed" central heating.

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                    #10
                    Bright kids - our future is safe (even though this must have been really annoying for the LL!)
                    Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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                      #11
                      Issue s21 to all Ts,against all HMO occupants

                      Proccees against aii if not revealed as culprit by expiry of s21.

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                        #12
                        You can buy a lockable, vandal proof, black box to place over your thermostat that prevents removal from this company:-
                        https://www.securitysafetyproducts.c...r-medium.phpmy

                        Thermostats that are battery powered still functions perfectly.

                        I have the Salus iT 500 in an Airbnb property and found early on it was being abused. This solved it instantly. I control the temp from my phone.



                        Freedom at the point of zero............

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by ram View Post
                          nor to have heating on 24 hours a day.

                          A tenant should act in a tenant like manner / home owner
                          Tenant having control means tenant having control. If they want the damn thing on all day and night (and possibly burn up), then that's up to them. The landlord could always offer tenancies with fair use / excess usage charges clause in it, or don't include bills.
                          I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                          I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I had a little chuckle reading this, crafty tenants, even if you fix it on to a wall, what is stopping tenants from placing a bag of ice (with insulation) or something around it, if they already have the notion of tampering with the thermostat, then it'll become an arms race. you need a degree of trust, you are not running a prison.

                            BTW Isn't collective punishment againstGeneva Conventions? But I would also ask all tenants to contribute to at least 50% of the rise in bills this one time for beyond fair use, so hopefully it creates a co-enforcement enviroment within the house.

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                              #15
                              Just do what I do: Have one tenant who has 3 lodgers. Tenant collects rent and bill money from lodgers, pays all the bills herself, and sends me the rent. She also finds new lodgers when anyone leaves.

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