Leaving heating on in student property over Christmas, fair?

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    Leaving heating on in student property over Christmas, fair?

    Just asking as I have just left for Christmas but sent landlord an email saying that could I get a copy of tenancy agreement as mine is missing, they did email me a copy back but said to leave on heating over the entire Christmas peroid so the pipes dont burst.

    Unfortunatly they never told me this before I left today.

    I was thinking of leaving the heating on but was worried about the bills plus safety since I dont know how the timer works so it would be on permanently over christmas.

    Just wondering what your thoughts were on the situation especially as the landlord only asked me after I sent him an unrelated email.

    #2
    I have been to 2 of my properties today to put the heating back on - at the request of parents who had the good sense to call me and let me know that their nieve offspring had switched the systems off b4 leaving for xmas. I also put various windows on vent lock around the house to ventilate it and proped stategic doors ajar to allow air flow through the property for ventilation and to prevent t coming back to mouldy walls after the break.

    You had 3 choices:
    1. do as you did and switch off ch - and risk burst pipes and flooding (very much more expensive than leavinf heating on)
    2. Leave heating on "anti ffreeze" setting ie "just on" but not on full tilt.
    3. Drain the whole system down and turn off mains water - then refill and recommission system when you return.

    Which would you prefer?


    Your LL is looking out for both you and his property, clearly has some sense and should be listened to!
    A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
    W.Churchill

    Comment


      #3
      Many tenancy agreements fail to state that the tenant should maintain a minimum heat level of 10 degrees C. throughout winter months, or similar words to ensure duty to prevent freezing etc.; in the absence of any mention of this then the tenant might have a defence should it freeze up.
      The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

      Comment


        #4
        I have one tenant who has not moved into his property yet despite having paid his rent, on time for the last six months. Last month, andtcipating the weather situation that has now arisen, I wrote to him pointing out his liabilities if his property was not kept heated or drained - fingers crossed!.

        P.P.
        Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by duomaxwell View Post
          Just asking as I have just left for Christmas but sent landlord an email saying that could I get a copy of tenancy agreement as mine is missing, they did email me a copy back but said to leave on heating over the entire Christmas peroid so the pipes dont burst.

          Unfortunatly they never told me this before I left today.

          I was thinking of leaving the heating on but was worried about the bills plus safety since I dont know how the timer works so it would be on permanently over christmas.
          .
          Ok, so you have left and are miles away, so ask you LL if he is nearby, to put the heating on very low for you.

          Comment


            #6
            Yet another little item that is taken care of by containing it in a Home Information Guide document (and referencing the document in the Tenancy Agreement) in addition to having this matter covered in the Tenancy Agreement.

            However, the Tenancy Agreement may not be read fully and carefully by the Tenant before signing due to more pressing items getting more attention, rent/deposit/term/notice etc, being correct, unless the Tenancy Agreement is signed in the dead of winter when this might trigger the question in the LL's or Tenant's mind.

            Therefore, it would pay the LL to take responsibility for notifying the Tenant about this matter as the cost in forgetting could be very substantial.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Rodent1 View Post
              2. Leave heating on "anti ffreeze" setting ie "just on" but not on full tilt.
              NB if you have an 'antifreeze' setting on a boiler it just looks at the temperature in the boiler itself not the whole system. So if the boiler is in a relatively snug room in the middle of the property, it may not get close to freezing, which means that elsewhere - eg poorly insulated rooms with 3 outside walls - the pipework is not protected if they should freeze... unless you have thermostats around the house in the coldest area for frost protection, you shouldn't be relying on the boiler's antifreeze protection to prevent burst pipes!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                NB if you have an 'antifreeze' setting on a boiler it just looks at the temperature in the boiler itself not the whole system. So if the boiler is in a relatively snug room in the middle of the property, it may not get close to freezing, which means that elsewhere - eg poorly insulated rooms with 3 outside walls - the pipework is not protected if they should freeze... unless you have thermostats around the house in the coldest area for frost protection, you shouldn't be relying on the boiler's antifreeze protection to prevent burst pipes!
                Fair comment, nudge temp control up a tad.
                A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
                W.Churchill

                Comment


                  #9
                  Well, I wasnt sure about safety, I did think that if I knew I could of done something the old fashioned way like put old rags over the pipes but thought that was silly was just worried that leaving the heating on 24/7 would be expensive and dangerous.

                  As a question does anyone know how boilers work? I cant give too much info as not there right now but it has settings 0, AUTO, and 1 however when I select auto it never seems to come on no matter what the thermostat in living room says and with 1 is permanently on.

                  I could just be stupid but I see a dial next to the on/off switch on the boiler which I assume is a timer.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    There are nowadays usually two sets of controls: one on the boiler (or accompanying it e.g. on wall), and another on each radiator. Often the latter has a room thermostat, sensitive to the ambient temperature; older systems have just one such for the whole property.
                    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by duomaxwell View Post
                      Well, I wasnt sure about safety, I did think that if I knew I could of done something the old fashioned way like put old rags over the pipes but thought that was silly was just worried that leaving the heating on 24/7 would be expensive and dangerous.

                      As a question does anyone know how boilers work? I cant give too much info as not there right now but it has settings 0, AUTO, and 1 however when I select auto it never seems to come on no matter what the thermostat in living room says and with 1 is permanently on.

                      I could just be stupid but I see a dial next to the on/off switch on the boiler which I assume is a timer.
                      If you leave the thermostat on the lowest/minimum setting and also put the boiler in the ON position (1?) then you won't be using much energy.
                      The boiler will just come on for a short period until the temperature set on the thermostat is reached inside the home and then the boiler will turn off.
                      This cycle will then repeat, continuously, until the settings are changed.
                      The length of time that the boiler is actually running, will depend on the insulation levels in the home, how big the home is, as well as whether the boiler is sufficient for the size of property and also, if it is in good working condition.

                      This is quite a normal thing to do for many homes and the method I have advised all my tenants to do for many years if they go away for anything more than a couple of days, if its going to be cold.
                      The prospect of a flooded home is so much greater than a few quid that will be used in gas usage and insurance may not pay out if you have not taken care to avoid freezing water pipes.

                      If you have a loft with water pipes running inside it, I would leave the loft hatch open, whether the pipes are insulated or not.

                      Just make sure you haven't left any windows open, even just a crack, as this will allow the little heat in the home to escape and will, of course, result in much more energy being used than would otherwise be the case, by keeping the boiler running continuously.

                      Why don't you contact the manufacturer of the boiler and/or thermostat controls, or look up their user manuals online (there are various sources for manuals online now) if you don't have any to hand.
                      Just do a Google search and I'm sure you'll find what you need.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by TenantsLuvMe View Post
                        Why don't you contact the manufacturer of the boiler and/or thermostat controls, or look up their user manuals online (there are various sources for manuals online now) if you don't have any to hand.
                        Just do a Google search and I'm sure you'll find what you need.
                        Or even ask the landlord - he can't expect you to operate anything other than 'bog standard' controls without a manual.

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