In Despair

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    In Despair

    My partner and I have recently been flooded out of our rental - flash flood. We are in temp accommodation but still required to pay council tax on the property. We have been contacted today by the landlord to say that the heating oil had run out and damaged the boiler which they now want us to pay £390 to fix. The heating was left on to dry the property out. Surely it’s the landlords responsibility to check the property while we are unable to live there?

    Council tax you would still have to pay as you are still living at the property regardless of the situation, it would be like you went on holiday for 2 weeks and you don't think you need to pay for it while your not at the property.

    Concerning the heating oil running dry, was it in the contract that you needed to maintain and top this up? The liability would be yours unless it was the LL who turned it on to dry the place out, as at that point would have been his/her responsibility until given back to you. The LL does not have a right to enter the property even when your not there, until you physically move out of the property and end the contract.


      The landlord has been in and out f the property constantly dealing with repairmen etc. We are living elsewhere and paying rent on another property until the house is habitable for us to move back in.

      The only time we have been back is at the LL request to move our ground floor furniture out so repair work could start.


        TBH you should still be paying your rent to your landlord, and he or his insurance should be paying the rent for where you are now.

        Main question - Exactly how does heating oil running out "damage" a boiler?

        If the fuel runs out the boiler should shut off and just need a reset when oil is available again.

        If it is 'damaged' then I suspect it's much more likely that flood water has go into the oil and eventually made it's way into the boiler so all the pipes/jets just need flushing out now, not you fault and again down to the LL / his insurance to pay for.
        (Or the LL may just be trying it on to get you to pay for a new boiler while he is having the rest repaired?).


          Agree with the above..... if my gas supply suddenly stopped then the boiler would go into stand-by and that would be it...... i think the same that water has made its way into the oil.


            I have a kerosene boiler and, from time to time, the oil has run out.
            The boiler isn't damaged, it simply goes into a lock out mode automatically.

            No oil boiler should be damaged by running out of oil, it's something that happens from time to time.

            And I don't understand the situation - conventionally, you would carry on paying rent to the landlord for your home while he (or his insurance) pay for the alternative accommodation.
            If you are not paying rent on the flooded property, I don't see why any charges would be due to you at all, because there's no tenancy.
            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).


              Are you saying that you are paying council tax on both properties?


                Originally posted by Alesar View Post
                We have been contacted today by the landlord to say that the heating oil had run out and damaged the boiler which they now want us to pay £390 to fix.
                I'd ask your landlord exactly what damage has been caused.

                When the level of the heating oil in my tank gets down to the level of the outlet, the boiler continues to run until the oil in the feed pipe from the tank and the boiler is used up. And then the boiler just cuts out.

                As the oil in the pipe is used up, air is drawn in from the tank end. When the tank is refilled, there is now an airlock, with the pipe full of air. The boiler won't run because it is receiving no oil.

                To clear the airlock, it is necessary to undo a bleed screw on the boiler. The oil in the tank pushes the air through. When oil appears, close the bleed screw.

                If that is the problem, it certainly doesn't cost £390 to fix!


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