Property Misdescribed in Original Advert

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    Property Misdescribed in Original Advert

    The flat I live in was described as having an electric combi-boiler. I was also told that the previous tenants paid about £55 a month in Electricity costs with the Storage Heating (central warm air system) on full time.

    After a miserable first winter, last winter we turned the ineffective storage heating off and used electric radiators instead which actually reduced our usage slightly. However our bills were still excessive (£160 a month for a small 2 bed flat, plus in arrears). I have just discovered that rather than a combi-boiler we have been running an immersion heater 24hours a day for nearly two years just to fill a sink for washing up once a day.

    Whose responsibility is this? The boiler/heater was hidden behind the storage heating system so I have only just been able to access it. Should the landlord pay towards the electric?

    We have quite a good relationship with our Landlord and I'm worried this will cause problems. I think the misdescription was because they honestly didn't understand their heating/hot water system, but it has cost us a huge amount of money.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    #2
    What does the Energy Performance Certificate for your flat say about the type of heating it has and the likely cost of running it?

    Your LL should have made this available for you when he advertised the property.

    Did you not think to question your very high bills for two whole years? £160 pcm for electricity for a small flat is ridiculous.

    Do you have anything in writing which says the boiler is an electric combi or the bills were much lower in previous years?
    '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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      #3
      Thank you for the very quick reply.

      We have had two years of trying to deal with our electricity supplier regarding the bills, as we believed it could be a meter fault due to being told it was a combi-boiler. Every person we spoke to told us something different. An engineer for the supplier came around today (two years to get one guy sent out, great customer service), and he was able to get to the boiler and show me that it was an immersion heater.

      The flat was advertised privately and I have contacted the advertising agency to see if they have a ercord of the advert, otherwise no luck with that. We also didn't get an Energy Performance Certificate, and before today I wasn't aware that this was a legal requirement.

      Comment


        #4
        I think your first step is to write to your landlord and ask him for a copy (paper or electronic) of the EPC for the flat, which is as you say a legal requirement now for any rental property.

        If (as I suspect) he says he knows nothing about them, you could point out that he is breaking the law and that had he provided one when he advertised the flat, it would have been obvious that the heating was run from an extremely expensive immersion heater and not a combi boiler as he originally claimed. If this is the case, you would have a good case for asking for a contribution towards the electricity.

        However...you will not have been running the immersion heater 24/7. It will have had a thermostat which turns it off when the tankful is hot.
        '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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          #5
          Re the tank and thermostat. These thermostats do sometimes go defective so worth checking that you have one in the first place, secondly that it works - simple test is to turn the boiler to hot water and hear if fire up with the tank thermo turned right up and then turn the thermo down and the boiler should cut out. These thermostats are very "course" and are normally set to around 60 degrees. If not familiar they should be found somewhere at or above halfway up the side of the tank held in place normally be some sort of strap that passes right around the tank.

          Comment


            #6
            Also...if you have been using only one bowlful of hot water per day from the immersion heater for washing pots, what has been providing the water for baths/showers and washing machine?
            '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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              #7
              Originally posted by Solent Watcher View Post
              Re the tank and thermostat. These thermostats do sometimes go defective so worth checking that you have one in the first place, secondly that it works - simple test is to turn the boiler to hot water and hear if fire up with the tank thermo turned right up and then turn the thermo down and the boiler should cut out. These thermostats are very "course" and are normally set to around 60 degrees. If not familiar they should be found somewhere at or above halfway up the side of the tank held in place normally be some sort of strap that passes right around the tank.
              If it is an immersion heater, the thermostat will be inside it. You would certainly have been aware of boiling water sounds if it was faulty.
              To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

              Comment


                #8
                It’s possible that you have both indirect hot water heating from the central heating system and an immersion heater, our house was originally that way.

                Indirect heating is easy to see, there will be two pipes entering the hot water cylinder fed from the central heating system, these use the heating water to indirectly heat the cylinder water.

                An immersion heater is also easily identified, a large object at the top of the cylinder which is electrically wired to the mains.

                It’s possible to have both running at the same time, both thermostatically controlled, and both sharing the effort to heat the water. Both systems will switch off at their individual set point, the last one to switch off at the higher set point.

                So, the timer controlled central heating will have done some work in heating the hot water, but in the main the immersion heater would have been keeping it up to temperature, especially during the night when the central heating is off, and the cylinder temperature drops below the immersion heater set point several times.

                So, the original advert could be quite correct, but the secondary immersion heating was overlooked.
                I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

                Comment


                  #9
                  It seems to me incredible that someone can move into a property (whether rented or bought) and live there for 2 years paying extortionately high electricity bills and not know how the water or space is heated...or act sooner to find out about it.
                  '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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