Landlord dictating minimum temperature for property

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    Landlord dictating minimum temperature for property

    Our landlord wants to insert a clause in our tenancy agreement to require us to maintain a temperature of 20 degrees in the house in order to mitigate a damp problem, is this legal? It's a very old place with a kitchen with thick stone walls which is poorly ventilated. The previous owner had the damp treated years ago but decided to install under floor heating to try and remedy the issue (we were never told about this until 3 years into our tenancy and the present agreement makes no mention of it!).

    #2
    Is your landlord suggesting how he will check that you are doing this?

    Seems well OTT IMHO

    AND if its damp you need ventilation too.......

    Comment


      #3
      You don't have to agree to any new terms in your tenancy agreement.
      The landlord can threaten eviction or a rent increase if you don't, but they can't force you to sign something.

      On the other hand that term is likely to be unfair and therefore unenforceable.
      If you do agree it and don't do it, what's the landlord going to do?
      They can try and take you to court for breach of contract (but that's unlikely to work).

      More to the point, they need to consider the laws of physics.
      Keeping a property at 20 degrees isn't going to stop mould from forming, it's going to keep more moisture in the air, which will cause more not less condensation onto the colder walls.
      If they require you to keep the property that hot, you're probably immune from claims for damage done by mould - because they're forcing you to cause the mould.
      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
        The LL sounds a tad odd, i would have a sit down chat with him and (after you have fully read up on damp and its causes), and find out why he thinks this will keep mold etc away.

        Comment


          #5
          Write to Landlord formally reporting damp problem and asking for his action plan to fix. He clearly knows there's s problem.
          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

          Comment


            #6
            How has this come about?

            You state youve been there for at least 3 years - so has damp occurred during that time?

            If not then I would imagine what you're currently doing to be perfectly fine - point this out to the LL

            However, if you have reported damp issues to the LL, then I'm guessing he's trying to find a solution - it probably isnt the correct solution but he's trying lol
            My views are my own - you may not agree with them. I tend say things as I see them and I don't do "political correctness". Just because we may not agree you can still buy me a pint lol

            Comment


              #7
              Some clarification from the comments made so far; the landlord has said that we must sign a new agreement with the heating clause added or we will be served notice. The landlord is proposing to install a smart meter which he will check remotely via his phone to ensure we are complying with the heating clause. The property had been recently painted when we moved in 3 years ago and so appeared fine but gradually patches of damp appeared in the kitchen which have just gotten bigger and more numerous over time, the sink unit is very badly affected by mould though and is beginning to warp. The present owner has only just bought the property, the previous owner told him that he had installed underfloor heating in the kitchen to try to mitigate the damp problem. As tenants we haven't used the underfloor heating as it's electric and obviously quite expensive (we were never told about the damp issue or that we should use the underfloor heating), it's going to be very expensive over a cold winter if we have to maintain a temperature of 20 degrees! The downstairs area is poorly covered by radiators so using central heating won't raise the temperature in the kitchen to the required level.

              Comment


                #8
                Your LL is a complete muppet. How does he think he can equate consumption of power to temperature ?

                best you find a new home

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                  Keeping a property at 20 degrees isn't going to stop mould from forming, it's going to keep more moisture in the air, which will cause more not less condensation onto the colder walls.
                  In addition to helping to keep humidity high, it's also keeping the temperature within the optimum range for mould growth.
                  If the humidity is high enough regardless of the temperature, mould will grow at most temperatures above freezing - but it will grow at the fastest rate if the temperature is between 20 & 35 degrees Centigrade.
                  Your landlord really is a muppet!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Neelix View Post
                    Your LL is a complete muppet. How does he think he can equate consumption of power to temperature ?

                    best you find a new home
                    The smart meter is linked to the heating thermostat (such as Hive) - its not an electric consumption smart meter
                    My views are my own - you may not agree with them. I tend say things as I see them and I don't do "political correctness". Just because we may not agree you can still buy me a pint lol

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The present owner has only just bought the property, the previous owner told him that he had installed underfloor heating in the kitchen to try to mitigate the damp problem.

                      RESULT

                      You're never going to eliminate the damp issue - and the temp clause will make it worse.

                      Time to move on to another (more modern?) property - and use the above statement to ensure the LL doesn't try to deduct from your deposit re the damp.
                      My views are my own - you may not agree with them. I tend say things as I see them and I don't do "political correctness". Just because we may not agree you can still buy me a pint lol

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by haystack1979 View Post
                        Some clarification from the comments made so far; the landlord has said that we must sign a new agreement with the heating clause added or we will be served notice.
                        The chances of a landlord who has purchased a property with an existing tenant being able to serve valid notice are fairly remote. They need to be able to prove that the original owner did a number of things that are quite difficult to confirm.

                        For a smart meter to allow remote monitoring it would need to connect to your wifi and broadband, which you can block.

                        The landlord sounds like an idiot, and that's not a workable position to be in as a tenant.

                        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
                          Originally posted by landlord-man View Post

                          The smart meter is linked to the heating thermostat (such as Hive) - its not an electric consumption smart meter
                          really? How does this happen then?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Neelix View Post

                            really? How does this happen then?
                            sorry, I didnt word it as best I could

                            jpk has answered it though - "...to allow remote monitoring (the Hive type device) would need to connect to your wifi and broadband,"

                            Personally, I can be on a beach in the Caribbean and instantly see what temperature my house is and/or set the minimum temp etc. When at home its perfect to set it to lowest temp when you go out for the day and turn it on an hour before I get home, all via the app.
                            My views are my own - you may not agree with them. I tend say things as I see them and I don't do "political correctness". Just because we may not agree you can still buy me a pint lol

                            Comment


                              #15
                              A landlord demanding that a tenant connect a device to their broadband for their own use is probably illegal, because it effectively requires the tenant to have wifi and broadband (which is pretty likely to happen anyway, I accept).

                              Nest thermostats have capabilities way beyond just being thermostats, and are not appropriate for tenanted properties (unless the landlord doesn't have any access to the device.
                              Having your home remotely monitored by someone else is an invasion of privacy
                              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

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