Landlord in hot water!

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    Landlord in hot water!

    Pls advise; our tenant moved in on 2nd Feb, we knew the boiler was temperamental as we had already had some work done on it but heating was fine and hot water was available (we were living there ourselves only 3 weeks ago). As we knew of the problem we bought a new boiler but were unable to get anyone to fit it until monday 12th Feb, however due to the bad weather the plumber is 2 days behind and the tenant says there is virtually no hot water (heating is ok) plumber is now due on Wednesday and we have offered the tenant a rebate of half of the rent she has paid so far. Is there anything else I am legally bound to do? I feel really bad for her-this is our first rental, could she just move out?

    #2
    I wouldn't worry unnecessarily lisa. It is unfortunate that this has happened but you are doing all you can do to rectify the situation and the rebate of half the rent I consider to be very generous! I guess she could move out but she would be in breach of contract as a result of doing so.

    Is the tenant understanding the predicament or is she making lots of noise?

    A lesson for future lets might be to ensure a tenancy doesn't start until such jobs are completed satisfactorily.

    Wishing you well in the world of landlording!

    Kind Regards

    J

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      #3
      i wish you my ex landlady had your conciense. i had to go without hot water/heating on and off for months on end at a time during my previous tenancy. i was offered nothing but empty promises and hard luck tales, even being told i was being cheeky as she 'didn't make much profit' out of me! a gesture like yours could have ensured goodwill, and helped towards the huge electricity bills i used to run up from constantly boiling kettles.

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        #4
        I agree with Joanne. We've all had to use the kettle to boil up hot water at some point or other in our lives. Things do break down occasionally even in houses which have been rented out. So long as you keep your tenants informed, I'm sure they will understand.

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          #5
          I'm going to disagree here.

          Living with out hot water for a short time due to a boiler failure is just one of those things that we all have to bear from time to time. But a boiler failure and no hot water when the tenant is trying to move in is a different matter. How can the tenant do the cleaning that's invariably necessary at the start? When this happened to me I refused to move in and the tenancy was delayed by a week till the boiler was fixed. This was winter and with no hot water and heating at all and a very grubby house all I could do was check the inventory with coat, scarf and gloves on. There is no way I could have cleaned that kitchen and bathroom from scratch with just kettle fulls. Yuk!

          One of the reasons I dislike these modern mains pressure boilers. There's no hot water tank so no immersion heater to use when the boiler breaks.
          ~~~~~

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            #6
            I think, Lisa, had you been blessed with hindsight you would have done things differently in the first place. However, your tenants have moved in, your boiler has broken and I think you are doing everything possible to make the situation better.

            Hope your plumber turns up on time and sorts the problem out.

            Comment


              #7
              RuthLess - I never envisaged you taking on a property in such a state...

              All my properties are immaculately cleaned after each tenancy (even when the outgoing tenant has done a reasonable job of it themselves)! I do the cleaning myself and so that I know that the job is done to a very high standard!

              Lisa has been very generous refunding half the rent and if the tenant had real issue with the lack of hot water she could always go to a bed & breakfast til the plumber has been to resolve the problem!

              J

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                #8
                Originally posted by lisadawnnicholls View Post
                Pls advise; our tenant moved in on 2nd Feb, we knew the boiler was temperamental as we had already had some work done on it but heating was fine and hot water was available (we were living there ourselves only 3 weeks ago). As we knew of the problem we bought a new boiler but were unable to get anyone to fit it until monday 12th Feb, however due to the bad weather the plumber is 2 days behind and the tenant says there is virtually no hot water (heating is ok) plumber is now due on Wednesday and we have offered the tenant a rebate of half of the rent she has paid so far. Is there anything else I am legally bound to do? I feel really bad for her-this is our first rental, could she just move out?
                You might find this link informative about loss of hot water by a tenant:

                http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ght=frustrated

                It may be that the tenant is within their rights to leave the tenancy as loss of hot water from the outset (if this is the case) is a serious breach. It would have been better that you replaced the boiler before the tenancy comenced as you knew it was unreliable.

                Quote from Paul_F

                “Please would posters consider if landlords have committed serious breaches in order to "frustrate" a tenant before giving opinions. The tenant has considerable rights to end a tenancy as a result without all the requirements of staying to the end of a fixed term when landlords get it completely wrong! The tenant's has a common law right to go at anytime if the landlord cannot get it right in the first instance!”
                All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

                * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

                You can search the forums here:

                Comment


                  #9
                  speaking as a tenant who has had more misery with water over the years than noah, i would relax. you said the hot water was working when she moved in, so that's ok. you knew it was dodgy and had plan b in hand, bad luck it went wrong so quickly, but you are dealing with it just as quckly.
                  what more can you do? chances are even the new system will go wrong at some future point, and as long as you do right by your tenant when this happens, as you have done already, i would relax. as long as you keep all offers and acceptances in writing you should be ok. if the tenant finds this no good, i think she will pick holes in everything anyway.
                  the boiler man should be there tomorrow, so it will all be fixed very soon.
                  my old landlords offered me nothing except earfulls when i complained about no hot water and heating, at one point i had none for over a year,(they too said they couldn't get a bloke to fit a new boiler they were supposed to have and then tried guilt trip me when it went out of date on the standards requirements!) eventually they ended up with a health notice. you aren't going down this road of eternal excuses, you've been fair and offered compo. you haven't said the tenant objects to you compromise ,so wait and see. i would be happy with your offer, as most reasonable tenants should be.
                  as a tenant all i really ask for are yearly gas safety checks, (has she got her certificate? i found out on here that a tenant should have one upon moving in which i didn't know), and prompt attention when my basics like water and heat go walkies. you are doing what's required of you on this one, and i reckon you'd be fair on lesser problems that might arise too. good luck!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Fingers crossed for the plumber to turn up!

                    Thanks everyone for the advice, the tenant seems to be okay but we are relying on the plumber turning up tomorrow so as not to let her down again. Just so you know the house was immaculate before she moved in-I scrubbed it myself!
                    I'm not taking any chances with future renovation projects, if the boiler is not 100% it is out straight away, lesson learned!
                    (although the boiler did have a safety certificate issued in Dec 06)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I think - and others are welcome to correct me - that from my reading of other posts on the subject, you ought not confuse the issue of a Corgi safety certificate on a boiler with having it serviced.

                      The safety certificate will certify it as safe but is different from a service that involves an overhaul and inspection of the system that better detects and prevents maintenance problems.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Joannepowell View Post
                        RuthLess - I never envisaged you taking on a property in such a state...
                        Thank you, I do like to keep a clean house. But in this case it was just normal living dirt (of the previous tenants the lady of the couple had already gone leaving the man on his own who hasn't done any cleaning) that the agent already noticed and assured me that they would be sending cleaners in. Now to me it looked like they didn't as it wasn't really any cleaner, so I don't know what went wrong. Perhaps the cleaners couldn't clean very well in a freezing house with no hot water! I didn't much mind doing the cleaning myself, I just wanted the boiler fixed before moving in and that's what happened, with no rent charged for the wasted week of course. Fortunately my previous landlord was happy for me to stay on there an extra week. He'd only given me notice in the first place as he wanted to sell and so wasn't on a deadline.
                        ~~~~~

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                          #13
                          Hope it was a full two months notice RuthLess?

                          J

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Joannepowell View Post
                            Hope it was a full two months notice RuthLess?
                            Yes it was. It was a decent landlord and agent, definitely not a SoD! The agent was very sorry to let us go, I'd become quite friendly with the owner of the agency. Only reason we didn't use them again is that we moved outside their area. It was rather a lovely property too, still not sold (Way overpriced). Shame we'd never buy it but having rented there we knew all the issues it has.
                            ~~~~~

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