Supplying a heating source

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    Supplying a heating source

    It was not until after we had signed our tenancy agreement and moved in that we found out that the lounge fire was "for decorative purposes only". This was a little annoying since the Agent had heard me state "oh it's an electric fire" when I viewed the house, and he said nothing.

    Now that we are creeping into the winter months, we are feeling the cold and would like to supply our own fire, is there any legislation regarding this? The "decorative" fire is wired up to a plug socket through the plaster (there is a plug switch to the side of the fire) but the electrical cord has simply been cut off just before it disappears into the wall - hope this makes sense.

    We do have gas central heating by the way, and it is our choice not to run it all the time, for a couple of reasons.

    #2
    You will need the LL's permission if you want to install a wall-mounted electric fire to replace the existing one. There is legislation which requires the LL to ensure that all electrics in the property are safe, (which may be why the fire has been disconnected, if it wasn't safe), and if I were your LL I'd want to arrange to install the replacement fire myself to ensure its safety. It can't hurt to ask the LL first whether he might be willing to install a new fire, before asking whether you can do it.

    Of course, there is nothing to stop you buying a free-standing electric heater.

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      #3
      Thanks for the reply Westminster, you are right we could get a free standing heater, but there is a severe lack of electric sockets , we already have 6 items running from a double socket and did not want to add a further item. I will ask the landlord though, you never know!

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        #4
        Just a safety point, that if you are running several things from one socket, do use a separate extension lead like this, http://tinyurl.com/cr9j78b, and not an old-fashioned 'cube' thing.

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          #5
          Originally posted by westminster View Post
          There is legislation which requires the LL to ensure that all electrics in the property are safe, (which may be why the fire has been disconnected, if it wasn't safe)
          ...and as reported in post #1, the electric fire was installed by burying its flex in the plaster, so it self-evidently wasn't! (or at least, was a non-regs-compliant bodge).

          If electrical testing has been done on the property in the past (not that it needed to have been) then this would certainly have been flagged; possibly the landlord just decided to circumvent the issue by disabling it?

          Originally posted by librarylady View Post
          we already have 6 items running from a double socket and did not want to add a further item.
          Definitely a wise move, particularly when the extra item is an electric heater - ie an item drawing high current.

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            #6
            Update
            3 weeks and no response from landlord, hey ho, just what I expected!
            Will go out and buy a halogen heater for £20, anyone have any experience with these heaters?

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              #7
              Finally had a reply!
              The Landlord is not willing to pay for a free fire to be fitted - all rather late now. Got the halogen heater which has been ok as a top up. However, we now have another issue, we noticed the central heating playing up over Christmas in that it sometimes did not regulate to the thermostat temperature. We would have to turn it off completely (at the control) reset it and it would be ok. Towards the end of Febuary the thermostat stopped working completely, at which time I contacted the agents. After several polite emails and a couple of phone calls chasing this up, the Agents said they would "look at it" when the inspection is due in about 6 weeks time. Meanwhile we are not able to leave the heating on to get an ambient temperature, it just gets hotter and hotter until the boiler cuts out. We did say that 6 weeks was not acceptable, as we will be in May by then, so the Agent came out this week, looked at it, said it wasn't working (!) and that he would report it to the Landlord.

              I seem to be asking this question a lot on here, but.......... how long is reasonable to wait for this to be fixed. I suppose we could get it fixed ourselves, but would there be any health and safety comeback from the landlord for doing so, or should we replace the old one when we leave?

              Comment


                #8
                WRITE to the landlord. Not call, or e-mail.
                If after a week passes and you have had no response, WRITE again giving him 7 days to respond to your request to fix the boiler.
                Has it got a gas safety certificate in place?
                Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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                  #9
                  Thanks thesaint, all correspondence is to go through the Agents, who confirm that the Landlord is a nightmare and will not spend any money on the house. The Agents have not been good with passing on the negative response from the Landlord, so I feel like I have been nagging for replies. Gas Safety Certificate is all ok, and we are sure its just the thermostat that's the problem and not the boiler. New thermostat is about £25, which is why I am thinking we just do it ourselves. Not sure if we have to get Landlords permission to do this though.

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                    #10
                    Do you not have an adress for the landlord on the tenancy agreement?
                    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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                      #11
                      Yes, it the the Agents address. Bit of a sticky subject, I asked them for the landlords address and they said I could not have it. Following advice from this site, I asked for it in writing, twice, and the agents ignored it. So I paid £4 and did my own search, but I have not used it yet. I honestly do not think it would make a difference, the agents and previous tenants have told me that the landlord is not interested and will not do anything, we can hardly see out of some of the windows because the double glazing has broken down so badly and the furniture that was left (its unfurnished) is broken and we have been told that if we do not want to use it, its up to us to store it.

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                        #12
                        So, you requested the landlords address, and they ignored you. Did you then report the agency for not doing so?

                        Did you write to your landlord at the agency address, or write a letter to the agency?

                        How long is left on the fixed term of your tenancy?
                        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Have a word with the tenancy relations officer in the housing department of your local council - they may be the 'private rentals officer' or some other similar title.

                          He should be able to 'encourage' agent to reveal landlords contact details (they are the prosecuting authority). TRO should also be able to look at your safety/heating issues to help you get an appropriate solution.

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