Boiler locked in cupboard

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    Boiler locked in cupboard

    The landlord placed a lock on the boiler cupboard with a notice stating no-one is to access this cupboard as 'hazardous items are stored inside' which is completely false. She has done this after her attempt to move in her nephew to control the heating in the house failed.

    I also suspect the gas safety cut off valve is located in this cupboard as I can't see anywhere else it could be. I have asked her for it's location and a copy of the gas safety certificate but she refuses to respond.

    I am on a 12 month fixed term AST. What options do I have to get this resolved?

    #2
    I assume you're referring to a gas boiler?

    Boilers are potentially dangerous and should be left alone unless you are a qualified and registered gas-safe engineer - this could be used as justification for locking it in a cupboard.

    The gas safety value should not be next to the boiler (if the boiler were to catch fire, how would you reach the valve to shut it off?) gas safety valve are typically next to the gas meter.

    You should have been given a copy of the gas safe certificate when you signed the AST? If the landlord didn't do this then maybe she forgot other things, like protecting your deposit?

    I assume the real issue is that the thermostat is in the cupboard, you've been turning the temperature up, and the landlord is paying the bills? This always causes problems, one person thinks that 18 degrees C is perfectly adequate, another demands nothing less the 25!

    What does your AST say about temperature and bills?

    My suggestion is this, try to agree between yourselves what is a reasonable amount to spend on gas each month, the landlord should pay this if bills are included in your deal. If you then want to turn the temperature up a bit, you have to pay the extra i.e. anything above the cap you've agreed.

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you for the response GrumpyGit.

      I will check for the valve next to the gas meter.

      Bill's are included in the rent and in addition to that we have a signed utility agreement in place that if the energy bill exceeds £200pcm the tenants pay the difference.

      What I don't understand is with all this in place why the LL is insistent on having control of the boiler settings. (she does not live in the house.) The tenants (aside from her relative - the spy) are all agreed on how the boiler should be set. It's the LL having issues with the setup.

      I take it then from the above that the boiler can be locked up only if this is justified by a registered gas safety engineer. Would this still apply if the tenants do not have access to regulate the heating settings or turn the heating on or off?

      Comment


        #4
        https://www.gov.uk/government/public...-professionals

        This is the official UK government guidelines for health and safety in rental properties, which is a mandatory standard introduced by the 2004 Housing Act.
        It's a summary of what a local authority environmental unit would use to assess a property if someone complained about it.

        Start at page 23 for this particular issue.

        Excess cold - "Preventive measures that can have an effect on likelihood and harm...Appropriate heating system safely and properly installed and maintained and controllable by occupant"

        "What about flats and HMOs?
        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"
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          It wouldn't make sense to have the actual sensor for the room thermostat close to the boiler.

          The boiler will have its own thermostat, and, at least for some boilers, if the tenant can't access it, the landlord should be adjusting it according to the season.

          Comment


            #6
            Its also a legal requirement under the Gas Safety Regulations 1998 for the landlord to give tenants a copy of the gas safety certificate. Failure to do so also means that the landlord would be unable to use s21 to evict a tenant.

            She sounds like a complete amateur so you might want to think about whether this is the right place for you to live.

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you all...

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by DPT57 View Post
                Its also a legal requirement under the Gas Safety Regulations 1998 for the landlord to give tenants a copy of the gas safety certificate. Failure to do so also means that the landlord would be unable to use s21 to evict a tenant.

                She sounds like a complete amateur so you might want to think about whether this is the right place for you to live.
                There's an issue with this for HMOs which I don't think has been resolved.
                No one knows if a landlord has to give everyone a copy (which sounds onerous) but it's hard to be sure there was a copy when each new tenant moves in.
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                  There's an issue with this for HMOs which I don't think has been resolved.
                  No one knows if a landlord has to give everyone a copy (which sounds onerous) but it's hard to be sure there was a copy when each new tenant moves in.
                  Really. Because s36(5) looks pretty clear to me, particularly as the OP requested a copy and was refused:

                  (5) The record referred to in paragraph (3)(c) above, or a copy thereof, shall be made available upon request and upon reasonable notice for the inspection of any person in lawful occupation of relevant premises who may be affected by the use or operation of any appliance to which the record relates.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by DPT57 View Post
                    Really. Because s36(5) looks pretty clear to me, particularly as the OP requested a copy and was refused:
                    Which is relevant in this case because a tenant has asked for a copy.

                    But generally, there's a requirement to give a tenant a copy of the GSC when a new tenancy starts (whether they want it or not!), but that doesn't usually seem to happen in an HMO.
                    I guess, practically because the boiler (and most of any other equipment being checked) is usually in the shared part of the property.

                    It's not something I've come across, I just remembered it was raised as an issue when the Deregulation Act kicked in and providing the GSC was linked to section 21.
                    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                      But generally, there's a requirement to give a tenant a copy of the GSC when a new tenancy starts (whether they want it or not!), but that doesn't usually seem to happen in an HMO.
                      I guess, practically because the boiler (and most of any other equipment being checked) is usually in the shared part of the property.
                      Regulation 36(7) may apply to HMOs:

                      (7) Where there is no relevant gas appliance in any room occupied or to be occupied by the tenant in relevant premises, the landlord may, instead of ensuring that a copy of the record referred to in paragraph (6) above is given to the tenant, ensure that there is displayed in a prominent position in the premises (from such time as a copy would have been required to have been given to the tenant under that paragraph), a copy of the record with a statement endorsed on it that the tenant is entitled to have his own copy of the record on request to the landlord at an address specified in the statement; and on any such request being made, the landlord shall give to the tenant a copy of the record as soon as is reasonably practicable.
                      But still requires the LL to provide a copy on request.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        How the heck does a landlord show that they complied with 36(7) when a tenant disputes a s21 notice!???
                        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          It's interesting because 36(5) clarifes that in addition to the tenant, a copy can be demanded at any time by any permitted occupier, guest or child of the tenant, although as the only practical sanction, namely the loss of s21 rights doesnt then apply, it probably isnt an issue.

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