Boiler in a communal house - what are my rights as a landlord

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    Boiler in a communal house - what are my rights as a landlord

    I have a flat in a communal house along with other residents. All of these flats have central heating, so the management company is responsible for all the maintenance. A couple of months ago the boiler broke, so the management company is alternating between heating and hot water (when there is heating, there's no hot water, and vice versa) while they wait for the new boiler to come in and install it. Can my tenant demand rent reduction? I believe that I can decline this because I am not responsible for the maintenance of the whole building, and this is not my fault that it is taking time to fix the boiler. I understand that if it was my boiler, then it would've been my responsibility,

    Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks!

    #2
    Take him a couple of oil filled radiators IIWY. That's what I do with my rentals when central heating packs up.

    Comment


      #3
      That temporarily solves half of the problem. There's still no hot water during some parts of the day.

      Right now I'm trying to understand my obligation/rights - if I'm obliged to give rent reduction as I cannot do anything to resolve this problem, only the management company can.

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        #4
        You're not obliged to do anything at all, even the solution I suggested.

        Seems to me that heating is more of a problem than hot water, as a shower only takes 5 mins.

        Comment


          #5
          As a landlord you have a legal obligation to your tenant under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling house. Before 15th January 1989 you had a get-out as the defective installation is outside the dwelling but not now. You also have an obligation under the Environmental Protection Act to protect the tenants from the risk of cold (from lack of heating). The tenants are not automatically entitled to a rent reduction but you may want to consider this as a gesture. If the tenants did bring a case against you, they would very likely be granted compensation IMHO

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            #6
            JK0,

            Both are a problem, as it's not great showering under cold water fro more than a month. Anyway, that's what I thought - I'm not obliged to do anything as there are no problems with my apartment.

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              #7
              cymro123,

              Correct, I'm obliged to keep the keep "in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling house". However, I cannot do anything with regard to the boiler that is managed by the management company, it's their responsibility, not mine. Therefore, this paragraph doesn't apply to me as I cannot repair the boiler.

              Comment


                #8
                Arguing with us doesn't help you buddy. Just get the heaters I suggested, and tell tenant to take his shower when the hot water is on.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Al123 View Post

                  Any thoughts on this?
                  My thoughts are
                  1. 2 months sounds like a long time to get a replacement boiler.
                  2. I would be telling the management company to get their finger out.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by JK0 View Post
                    Arguing with us doesn't help you buddy. Just get the heaters I suggested, and tell tenant to take his shower when the hot water is on.
                    I'm not arguing. All I'm trying to see is who's responsible for what, and what are the rights. In this case I want to hear what others think on the situation as this (broken boiler) is clearly not my fault.

                    Yes, I can provide the tenant with the heaters but knowing him, he will still complain about the cold water and demand rent reduction. Therefore, I want to know if I'm obliged to reduce rent (nothing is stated in the contract nor the lease).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by MdeB View Post

                      My thoughts are
                      1. 2 months sounds like a long time to get a replacement boiler.
                      2. I would be telling the management company to get their finger out.
                      I agree, it is indeed a very long time. I've been in touch with the management company, and they're saying that they can't do much as the companies who do the repairs are taking so long + they need all the permissions due to the health and safety. Even in this scenario I can't do much, the only thing I can do is not to pay the service charge.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        The fact that part of the installation is outside the unit or that part of the installation is maintained by XYZ does not release you from your statutory obligations to the tenant. The problems of XYZ are not the tenants problems they are paying you rent and it is you who has the obligation to address your breach of the law - who, how and when you address this breach is your problem.

                        i am sensing the OP has made their mind up that it is not their problem that their tenant has been without heating but is happy to receive rent.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I agree with cymro123.

                          The landlord is responsible for the heating and hot water, how they deliver that obligation is their problem.

                          If the tenant is demanding a rent reduction, that's good of them, they could be calling the council.

                          I'd mention to the management company that you will expect them to make good any loss you incur as a result of their negligence in getting the repairs done in a timely manner.
                          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


                            #14
                            Ultimately it was the landlords decision to rent a property where they have no direct control over maintenance of the boiler but where the tenancy legislation nevertheless places certain obligations on them in that regard. One conclusion could have been that as a result of the above, this is not a suitable property for rental. However, the fact that they went ahead anyway means that its clearly their responsibility.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              jpkeates,

                              Interesting. Now the question is where does it state that I'm responsible for the heating and hot water when the communal boiler breaks? Yes, I know it states that I'm responsible in repairing broken things in my apartment as I need to make the apartment "fit for habitation". However, 1. The hot water and heating are being alternated throughout the day and night (so the tenant has something) - therefore, "fit for habitation"?, 2. heating can be supplied by portable radiators but hot water can't, so the problem is still there.

                              Additionally, shouldn't the tenant be aware that things like this can happen in communal houses where apartments rely on central heating?

                              Yes, I expect the management company to compensate me for any losses as this is not being done in a reasonable timeframe. - Then there is another question - are they obliged to compensate me in this scenario? If so, where does that say this as the lease document doesn't say anything.

                              Comment

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