No heating- L's duty under s.11; effect on rent?

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    #46
    well currently its been 9 weeks and we pay £250 a week for the flat. we think that 20% of our rent seems a reasonable cost to ask for and thats £450 at the moment. Surely we shouldn't be paying full rent for a house with out any heating!

    Thanks Again

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      #47
      Rent reduction - no heating

      Have some tenants who have had problems with heating for 19 days now.
      Unfortunately we thought the problem had been solved a while ago but hadn't - one problem was fixed but appears caused another problem.
      We have provided electric heaters but obviously it is still cold first thing in the morning.There are 2 showers so one has been out of order.
      The boiler had one part fixed last Thursday but then found it needed another part still which should be here tomorrow.They were without hot water for a couple of days but thats working now.
      Anyway tenants are asking for a reduction in their rent - how much would anyone recommend allowing then to have?
      Many thanks for any replies.
      Alidee

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        #48
        Originally posted by alidee View Post
        Have some tenants who have had problems with heating for 19 days now.
        Unfortunately we thought the problem had been solved a while ago but hadn't - one problem was fixed but appears caused another problem.
        We have provided electric heaters but obviously it is still cold first thing in the morning.There are 2 showers so one has been out of order.
        The boiler had one part fixed last Thursday but then found it needed another part still which should be here tomorrow.They were without hot water for a couple of days but thats working now.
        Anyway tenants are asking for a reduction in their rent - how much would anyone recommend allowing then to have?
        Many thanks for any replies.
        Alidee
        Sounds pretty miserable for them. I'd go for a full rebate for days when they had no hot water at all and a 30% rebate if they are unable to keep as warm with the heaters as they are with central heating. (Another time, I'd buy them a convector heater for each habitable room and pay for the extra electricity myself).
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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          #49
          Thanks for your reply mind the gap.They have had a heater in each of their bedrooms since middle of last week when I went and bought them myself - I'm an agent.By the way their rent includes all bills.
          Does anyone know if there are any set amounts for rebates? I doubt very much - would be handy though
          Ta
          Alidee

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            #50
            Originally posted by alidee View Post
            Thanks for your reply mind the gap.They have had a heater in each of their bedrooms since middle of last week when I went and bought them myself - I'm an agent.By the way their rent includes all bills.
            Does anyone know if there are any set amounts for rebates? I doubt very much - would be handy though
            Ta
            Alidee
            Not sure if there are any guidelines - other letting agents might be able to help here?

            I suppose it depends on (i) whether there is anything in the TA about it (unlikley), and failing that, (ii)how much goodwill you want to show them!

            I'd go for a generous helping - they may be less inclined to move out!
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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              #51
              Call me harsh but my understanding is that a tenant should expect no better service than a homeowner. If, and only if, you have been prompt and done everything in your power to get the heating working with a decent engineer then you have done all you can.

              If a homeowner calls a plumber, they can wait up to day for a callout, then have to wait for parts. The boiler parts fairies don't just come along just because a landlord or agent shouts "tenant". You gave them heaters and they still had a working shower which is more than some people have when their boiler packs up.

              Only you know whether you have done all you can. I do actually offer gestures to decent tenants but it should not be expected if every avenue is and has been explored in my opinion. It's part and parcel of living in a house, things do break down and it can take time to repair. It needs to be a "reasonable" period of time.

              I know all too well about problems and am currently dealing with two very serious issues, both out of the control of the LL and the tenant and I am managing the tenants without them demanding "compensation". The tenants will receive their thanks for patience and gratitude in due course from me personally.

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                #52
                I completely agree with you Bunny. Although I am a LL I am also a tenant and have been now for nearly twenty years. Sometimes things break down. All you can do is get if fixed asap. Oddly enough I don't really expect my LL to provide me with a perfect world in which nothing ever needs repair.

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                  #53
                  I think Bunny and Kathryn have hit the nail on the head, you've done all that could be reasonably expected of a landlord or agent. Things do break down sometimes, and equally it can sometimes take a bit longer than we'd like to put it right through no fault of our own. You've made sure they have alternative heating and its not costing them anything extra.

                  If you give in to a demand for a rebate over this you can expect it for any and every other fault that may appear until the end of the tenancy.

                  I'm not aware of any set amounts or guidelines for rebates in scenarios like this and would be suprised if there were.
                  My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

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                    #54
                    Correct me if I have misunderstood alidee. The landlord swallows any increased bill - not the tenant. Therefore the tenant has lost nothing monetarily.

                    I would not give them any money at all.

                    Hope the fix works.

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                      #55
                      Thanks everyone for your replies.
                      I can see what everyone is saying and it is a difficult one.
                      One particular stroppy young tenant reckons she should only pay half rent and the landlady is saying she will give 10 maybe £20 reduction to each tenant -
                      Ha ha this could be fun- watch this space
                      Alidee

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                        #56
                        I think you are a good LL for looking at ways to reduce the rent. Ive been a tenant for many years, lived in good and bad. 19 days is quite a long time for the tenant to go without proper heat & water, tenancy agreements do state that the LL has a responsibility to provide a safe & habitable environment?

                        whilst by no means you dont 'have' to give a reduction in their rent, it would be good to do so, or as the other reply says, send round a couple of bottles of wine to keep the tenant happy, otherwise they will get annoyed and simply move out. If they have been a good tenant then do all you can to keep them surely? I disagree with the other comments stating to do nothing, you will only incur more costs by having an empty property.

                        anyway, this post is a bit old now so is there any update at all>?

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                          #57
                          Hi again everyone
                          I would just like to make it clear that tenants were without hot water for only 2 days yet still had one workinbg shower during this time.
                          Boiler has now been fixed thank goodness after much messing about being let down by tradesmen.
                          The eventual fault was the new timer had been wired incorrectly- a simple fault that it took a gasman to notice - hence LL and myself not happy with the electrician.
                          Anyway landlady decided to give £20 refund to each tenant and only one tenant wasn't happy but she has now accepted the fact that she won't get anymore reduction.They had heaters during this time albeit electric convector ones. Anyway problem solved
                          Alidee

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                            #58
                            No heating or hot water

                            I wondered if I could ask this forum's advice again. You all seem very well-informed!

                            My sister (I'll call her Tenant) is currently renting a flat. She is the sole tenant. It is high rent (about £800 per month). I believe it's an AST six months minimum, for a year. She moved in August 2008. She has had no heating or hot water for a week or so now.

                            She is renting through an LA but the LA does not manage the property. The landlady does. The landlady is currently abroad in a nice hot country on holiday. Initially, the landlady answered calls and told Tenant that she would pay for Tenant to spend one night in a hotel. There is no electric shower so there's no hot water at all (except that boiled in a kettle). LL claimed the boiler was insured, and Tenant was forced to call the insurance company on LL's behalf to check. Insurance company told Tenant there was no policy for that address.

                            LA did then supply a plumber (after a gap of about 5 days) who then said that he didn't have the necessary part for the boiler (a printed circuit-board I believe), and hasn't been in contact since.

                            LA then sent round their usual plumber, who said he believed the gas supply in the flat is unsafe and is worried the whole kitchen ceiling will have to come down, because there is some sort of stain around the flue. Still no heating or hot water.

                            Landlady is now avoiding all attempts at contact and is still abroad. Tenant has been without hot water and heating since last Monday. Tenant has spent more than 1 night away in a hotel (the cheapest available, £70 a night - expensive round London way) and is worried the landlady will not let her have that as a deduction from her rent.

                            What rights does Tenant have in this situation? I feel the landlady must be breaking the law.

                            Sorry if that was a bit lengthy.

                            Comment


                              #59
                              Originally posted by Moomin View Post
                              I wondered if I could ask this forum's advice again. You all seem very well-informed!

                              My sister (I'll call her Tenant) is currently renting a flat. She is the sole tenant. It is high rent (about £800 per month). I believe it's an AST six months minimum, for a year. She moved in August 2008. She has had no heating or hot water for a week or so now.

                              She is renting through an LA but the LA does not manage the property. The landlady does. The landlady is currently abroad in a nice hot country on holiday. Initially, the landlady answered calls and told Tenant that she would pay for Tenant to spend one night in a hotel. There is no electric shower so there's no hot water at all (except that boiled in a kettle). LL claimed the boiler was insured, and Tenant was forced to call the insurance company on LL's behalf to check. Insurance company told Tenant there was no policy for that address.

                              LA did then supply a plumber (after a gap of about 5 days) who then said that he didn't have the necessary part for the boiler (a printed circuit-board I believe), and hasn't been in contact since.

                              LA then sent round their usual plumber, who said he believed the gas supply in the flat is unsafe and is worried the whole kitchen ceiling will have to come down, because there is some sort of stain around the flue. Still no heating or hot water.

                              Landlady is now avoiding all attempts at contact and is still abroad. Tenant has been without hot water and heating since last Monday. Tenant has spent more than 1 night away in a hotel (the cheapest available, £70 a night - expensive round London way) and is worried the landlady will not let her have that as a deduction from her rent.

                              What rights does Tenant have in this situation? I feel the landlady must be breaking the law.

                              Sorry if that was a bit lengthy.
                              It does sound, from what you have told us, that the landlady may be breaking the law. Landlords have a statutory duty to provide and maintain the means to heat hot water and the rooms in their tenanted properties.; not only has this LL failed to do that, if the gas engineer has expressed concern about the state of the gas installations, she may not have a current CP12 (gas safety certificate).

                              If LL has never provided T with this CP12 (dated after 11.08), my advice would be to get a Corgi engineer (not the LL's own plumber) to come and inspect and certify the gas equipment in the property. If he fails it because he considers it unsafe, she should move out at once, pay no more rent at present and use the rent towards alternative accommodation, for which she should keep receipts. If it passes, or fails because it is not working (but not unsafe as such -can't quite remember what the criteria are for failing, apart from 'unsafe'), she does not have grounds yet for moving out, (most householders might expect to wait a week for a boiler repair, although it is very cold now. Does she have any children living with her?). She should inform LL in writing/by phone/email, whatever's most likely to reach her, that LL is in breach of contract, the heating still does not work, she's really cold, T is going to buy herself enough electric convector heaters to keep warm and deduct the cost of these and the extra electricity from her rent until the boiler is fixed.

                              Other than that, she should nag the original plumber, who presumably is supposed to be getting the spare part? Ringing three times a day can help!

                              She should keep a written record of all calls made/letters sent, receipts, etc.

                              Good luck - what a miserable situtation to be in.
                              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                              Comment


                                #60
                                OUTRAGEOUS!!

                                As a landlord, this same situation happened to me. I got the new boiler installed within a week and I also paid for the tenants to stay in a local hotel until the problem was fixed. I would be embarrassed if my tenants had to chase me for this work to be carried out. The landlord has a legal obligation to provide heat & warmth. I would be in breach of contract had I not had the work carried out quickly and I would also be running the risk of losing my tenant.

                                I also sent my tenant a crate of wine as an apology for the inconvenience. It's a competitive market at the moment and your landlord is crazy to ignore this problem.

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