No hot water for almost a month £1500 pm rent

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    No hot water for almost a month £1500 pm rent

    We live in a 2 bed flat that costs £1500 a month, the boiler stopped working several weeks ago and the letting agent has been slow to respond. They eventually sent a plumber after 2 weeks who could not resolve the issue. He quoted for a replacement part but the agency said it was too expensive and sent around another plumber who cannot get the parts for another week. It’s cold, we*re in pandemic and now London is in tier 2 so legally we are not supposed to visit another household which means we cannot shower. This is extremely stressful as we both go out to work.
    What can we do? If he cannot repair it on Friday it’s going to be over a month we’ve been without hot water. We’ve never missed a rent payment in 5 years. Surely they should have boiler insurance or something to protect tenants from such misery?

    #2
    Just quit the property and find somewhere else. Plenty of property out there and you can negotiate way cheaper than advertised rent. I'd say a good 15-20% off.

    May be a good time to look elsewhere. You current landlord/agency penny pinching will cost him a lengthy void and probably longer ongoing rent. Imagine the look on their faces when they lose a tenant who has been perfect for £90,000 for the price difference between a couple of boiler parts 🤣

    You DO NOT have to accept what appears to be a coming onto a month without hot water.

    I personally would be withholding what I think is a fair amount of rent as well.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by JoshyT View Post
      I personally would be withholding what I think is a fair amount of rent as well.
      Don't do this, it's not legal and will simply result in the withheld amount being deducted from your deposit in future.

      First of all, let's hope that it gets fixed on Friday.

      I have some properties with boiler insurance, but that's no guarantee ot a faster repair.
      What seems to happen is that the initial response is fast, but the speed of the actual repair isn't any different.
      And the pandemic doesn't help either.

      The landlord/agent should have supplied some alternative form of heating (I keep a pile of heaters for exactly this situation).
      There's not much you can do about hot water.

      I would be asking the agent why they haven't supplied any alternative heating and suggest that the rent be reduced by a figure you feel appropriate, back dated to two weeks after you reported it - which would have been a reasonable time to have made the repair.
      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


        #4
        Originally posted by JoshyT View Post
        Just quit the property and find somewhere else. Plenty of property out there and you can negotiate way cheaper than advertised rent. I'd say a good 15-20% off.
        Dream on. Existing tenants pay less than new tenants.

        And if you can negotiate 15-20% off, then you may have found the landlord you deserve.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Hashtag View Post
          Surely they should have boiler insurance
          Boiler insurance works out no quicker. Competent plumbers aren’t sat around waiting for boiler breakdowns.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
            back dated to two weeks after you reported it - which would have been a reasonable time to have made the repair.
            I’d agree
            -if the plumber had unfettered access to an accurately reported fault on a standard mainstream boiler.

            No doubt in the future, tenants will be automatically entitled to Compo if they have to suffer the outrageous fortunes of everyday life.

            Until then, they have to put up with it like any homeowner does.

            Comment


              #7
              I'm sorry , I clearly have a different moral compass. I treat my tenants how I would expect to be treated and I wouldn't expect my wife and kids to live without hot water or heating for 3 weeks.
              One of the benefits of renting is you don't have to "put up with it" , that's landlord's responsibility.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Section20z View Post
                I'm sorry , I clearly have a different moral compass. I treat my tenants how I would expect to be treated and I wouldn't expect my wife and kids to live without hot water or heating for 3 weeks.
                I've been without heating for four weeks, waiting for a spare part in October.
                I had an immersion heater for hot water.
                That was a couple of years ago.

                October (or the first cold snap) causes central heating engineers lead times to go through the roof.
                Everyone turns on their central heating for the first time and lots of their boilers don't work;
                often because the valves have seized.
                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
                  jpkeates,

                  Surely the contract has been broken when hot water and heating ceased.Any obligation to pay rent has been lessened.The deduction from the deposit is not unilaterally determined,

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The "contract" hasn't been broken.
                    It's possible that one or more terms of the contract have (see below), but that doesn't allow the affected party to break other terms.
                    The rest of the contract stays in place.

                    And a tenant is either obligated to pay rent or they're not - that obligation can't increase or lessen.

                    It's possible for a breach to be so fundamental as to frustrate the entire contract.
                    But, unless both parties agree that, a court would be needed to determine that.

                    The landlord has an implicit obligation to keep these facilities in "repair and proper working order" but that allows them to effect repairs in a reasonable time when they are told that something isn't working.
                    I'm not sure that's what the legislation says, but it's how it's been interpreted.

                    If they don't do that, they're in breach of a contract term and the tenant can either take action to compel the landlord to honour their agreement (unlikely and costly) or compensate them for any loss arising from the breach.

                    So the problem here is determining when the reasonable time frame ends/ended and what the tenant has lost as a consequence, which is probably inconvenience and loss a facility.
                    And that loss needs to be translated into a money value.

                    But there's no right of offset in English law, so the tenant can't simply decide that they will recover their loss by reducing the rent.
                    So any rent not paid is simply money owed by the tenant as arrears.
                    Even if the compensation amount was agreed or set by a court, it can only be settled by unpaid rent with the landlord's agreement (or a direction of the court).
                    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
                      Thanks for the lesson but you have ignored/avoided the deduction from deposit issue,where perhaps there isnot a robotic response available.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Section20z View Post
                        I clearly have a different moral compass. I treat my tenants how I would expect to be treated
                        I treat my tenants better than I do myself and a lot better than the law requires but don’t feel the need to pontificate like a morally superior braggart.

                        I was merely explaining the legal position.

                        Originally posted by Section20z View Post
                        I’m sorry
                        Apology accepted.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The tenant is obligated to pay rent per the contract. If they have withheld an amount along the way, and still owe that come the end of the tenancy, the landlord will want to deduct that from the deposit. The landlord would not release that money. If the tenant take it to deposit protection arbitration to try and force it, the tenant will lose at arbitration as there would be no clause within the tenancy agreement that allows the tenant to make that withholding. Any damages for disrepair would have to be taken to court.

                          Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                          The landlord has an implicit obligation to keep these facilities in "repair and proper working order" but that allows them to effect repairs in a reasonable time when they are told that something isn't working.
                          I'm not sure that's what the legislation says, but it's how it's been interpreted.
                          Doesn't even mention timeframe. Everything is based on precedents from past cases.
                          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
                            Originally posted by gnvqsos View Post

                            Surely the contract has been broken when hot water and heating ceased.
                            Of course it hasn’t, the tenant still owes the rent.

                            The landlord just has to act reasonably in fixing it. Until that can be done, the tenant just has to “put up with it” like everyone else.


                            Edit: agree with the far better KTC explanation given directly above.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by boletus View Post

                              Dream on. Existing tenants pay less than new tenants.

                              And if you can negotiate 15-20% off, then you may have found the landlord you deserve.

                              Well consider me in dreamland buddy! Done this and got the T-shirt....

                              Comment

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