Rent Act tenancy; inadequate heating in premises

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    Rent Act tenancy; inadequate heating in premises

    hi can anyone advise me on this issue---i have a flat with a regulated tennent in place, the only form of heating is a gas fire in her lounge-which has now developed a fault and wont light--so the engineer has ordered parts to fix but due to age of fire we are having to wait as they are out of stock.--so my question is: WITH THE TENNENT GIVING ME GRIEF big time with it being 2weeks now without a fire am i within my rights to have the fire completely removed and replaced with an electric one or not replaced at all hoping she might go.-----sitting/regulated tennent 25yrs occupency i have original lease agrement -very basic with no standing nowadays.

    #2
    Are you really asking how far can I push the tenant so that they will leave, because it seems a very petty to me otherwise that you are not simply replacing an antique gas fire with something up to date and functional?
    I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

    Comment


      #3
      the fire is 12yrs old---i inherited the flat from my parents ----i am thinking electric as it would save me 70quid a year for safety check ---- regulated tennent paying minimal rent on benifits and never paid a penny in the pot! yes i would like to sell the flat at somepoint without her in residence

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by cygedd View Post
        the fire is 12yrs old---i inherited the flat from my parents ----i am thinking electric as it would save me 70quid a year for safety check ---- regulated tennent paying minimal rent on benifits and never paid a penny in the pot! yes i would like to sell the flat at somepoint without her in residence
        So why not buy her out?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by cygedd View Post
          hi can anyone advise me on this issue---i have a flat with a regulated tenAnt in place...sitting/regulated tenAnt 25yrs occupAncy i have original lease agrEement -very basic with no standing nowadays.
          Not so. T is protected by the Rent Act 1977, but the Letting Agreement granted in 1985 is perfectly capable of still being valid today.
          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


            #6
            Originally posted by cygedd View Post
            am i within my rights to have the fire completely removed and replaced with an electric one or not replaced at all hoping she might go.
            I think you are obliged to replace like for like.

            I also think that failing to replace the fire, with the intention of causing T to give up occupation, would comprise illegal harassment/eviction, which is a criminal offence (fines/civil damages would be considerably in excess of the cost of a new gas fire).

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by westminster View Post
              I think you are obliged to replace like for like.
              Unless regulated tenants have extra rights in regards to repairs, I disagree.
              Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                Unless regulated tenants have extra rights in regards to repairs, I disagree.
                I think that s.11 of LTA 1985 applies alike, both to 1977 Act cases and to 1988 Act cases.
                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


                  #9
                  Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                  I think that s.11 of LTA 1985 applies alike, both to 1977 Act cases and to 1988 Act cases.
                  Which says a landlord has to replace like for like?
                  Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                    Which says a landlord has to replace like for like?
                    No. It says:

                    11. Repairing obligations in short leases.

                    (1) In a lease to which this section applies (as to which, see sections 13 and 14) there is implied a covenant by the lessor:
                    (a) to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes),
                    (b) to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity), and
                    (c) to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water.

                    (1A) If a lease to which this section applies is a lease of a dwelling-house which forms part only of a building, then, subject to subsection (1B), the covenant implied by subsection (1) shall have effect as if:
                    (a) the reference in paragraph (a) of that subsection to the dwelling-house included a reference to any part of the building in which the lessor has an estate or interest; and
                    (b) any reference in paragraphs (b) and (c) of that subsection to an installation in the dwelling-house included a reference to an installation which, directly or indirectly, serves the dwelling-house and which either:
                    (i) forms part of any part of a building in which the lessor has an estate or interest; or
                    (ii) is owned by the lessor or under his control.

                    (1B) Nothing in subsection (1A) shall be construed as requiring the lessor to carry out any works or repairs unless the disrepair (or failure to maintain in working order) is such as to affect the lessee’s enjoyment of the dwelling-house or of any common parts, as defined in section 60(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987, which the lessee, as such, is entitled to use.

                    (2) The covenant implied by subsection (1) (“the lessor’s repairing covenant”) shall not be construed as requiring the lessor:
                    (a) to carry out works or repairs for which the lessee is liable by virtue of his duty to use the premises in a tenant-like manner, or would be so liable but for an express covenant on his part,
                    (b) to rebuild or reinstate the premises in the case of destruction or damage by fire, or by tempest, flood or other inevitable accident, or
                    (c) to keep in repair or maintain anything which the lessee is entitled to remove from the dwelling-house.

                    (3) In determining the standard of repair required by the lessor’s repairing covenant, regard shall be had to the age, character and prospective life of the dwelling-house and the locality in which it is situated.

                    (3A) In any case where:
                    (a) the lessor’s repairing covenant has effect as mentioned in subsection (1A), and
                    (b) in order to comply with the covenant the lessor needs to carry out works or repairs otherwise than in, or to an installation in, the dwelling-house, and
                    (c) the lessor does not have a sufficient right in the part of the building or the installation concerned to enable him to carry out the required works or repairs,
                    then, in any proceedings relating to a failure to comply with the lessor’s repairing covenant, so far as it requires the lessor to carry out the works or repairs in question, it shall be a defence for the lessor to prove that he used all reasonable endeavours to obtain, but was unable to obtain, such rights as would be adequate to enable him to carry out the works or repairs.

                    (4) A covenant by the lessee for the repair of the premises is of no effect so far as it relates to the matters mentioned in subsection (1)(a) to (c), except so far as it imposes on the lessee any of the requirements mentioned in subsection (2)(a) or (c).

                    (5) The reference in subsection (4) to a covenant by the lessee for the repair of the premises includes a covenant:
                    (a) to put in repair or deliver up in repair,
                    (b) to paint, point or render,
                    (c) to pay money in lieu of repairs by the lessee, or
                    (d)to pay money on account of repairs by the lessor.

                    (6) In a lease in which the lessor’s repairing covenant is implied there is also implied a covenant by the lessee that the lessor, or any person authorised by him in writing, may at reasonable times of the day and on giving 24 hours’ notice in writing to the occupier, enter the premises comprised in the lease for the purpose of viewing their condition and state of repair.
                    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
                      sitting tenant - heating

                      If you take out the gas fire and replace with an inferior or more-expensive-to-run form of heating the tenant would be entitled to call in the Council who would REQUIRE you not merely to repair the property but to upgrade it under either the so called DECENT HOMES or WARM FRONT initiatives.

                      If there is not much or insulation nor heating in the flat there may be grants that are available. However you need to keep your tenant sweet because the grants are only available if the tenant signs the form, but the grant is not repayable by you or the tenant under any circumstances. The council are likely to want double glazing and central heating put in together with any adaptations that the tenant might be recommended to have by any occupational therapist..

                      be kind to your sitting tenant. she now very much has the law on her side as regards your obligation to maintain the structure of the property and space and water heating

                      Regulated rents are not nearly so low as they used to be. They will increase for this dwelling if there are no disrepairs for which you are responsible.

                      Not so long ago we a regulated tenancy revert that was originally let in 1934; I don't know if this is a record, but shortly before she died I took the old dear a bottle of cherry brandy on the occasion of her 100th Birthday, she drank me under the table! She had lived in the flat for over 70 years and had interesting stories to tell.

                      Ultimately you will find having a good relationship with your tenant can be very rewarding. And you may as well be civil helpful and generous as the law is on their side. The sitting tenant is not going to go because the flat is cold, but you could be sued, probably with legal aid, for damages!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Well the tenant could call in the Council who will require to provide adequate heating, but they couldnt require him to use the Warmfront scheme.
                        Warmfront dont give grants for fires unless it is a open fire, nor will they grant him the money to upgrade it or repair it.
                        The tenant may also not qualify for a Warmfront grant either and it will be done to the LL. The tenant may also refuse to use the Warmfront scheme (I know I would, its a risk using them!)
                        Council grants under the Decent Homes Standard have also only been extended to 'vulnerable household', elderly, disabled, etc and we dont know if the tenant is any of them.
                        The WF and DHS are there to help people upgrade, WF is not an intiative to make them upgrade.

                        All Councils have some grants around housing disrepair, improving heating, etc, but for example in Manchester the Home Improvement Assistance grant is only for homeowners. If the tenant doesnt qualify for WF or DHS, Manchester council expects the LL to foot the repairs, as he should!
                        The only thing for the LL to do is to contact his local Council, but hopefully there will not be much available and he will be forced to pay out his own pocket!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by cygedd View Post
                          WITH THE TENNENT GIVING ME GRIEF big time with it being 2weeks now without a fire
                          Your tenant sounds entirely reasonable: Sometimes we make money as Landlords, sometimes we lose.. but you knew that..

                          Why not...
                          a) Do the right thing & replace the fire (I presume Gas) with a new gas one: By all means ask if they'd be happy with electric.
                          b) Deliver on your legal committents... You surely wouldn't want tenant not adhering to their legal requirements would you???

                          Cheers!


                          Artful
                          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...

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