Question about drafty window

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    Question about drafty window

    Hello all,

    Ever since we moved to our new flat we are suffering from a drafty window in our 2 year old daughter's bedroom window, this makes the room very cold and nearly impossible to heat.

    We have alerted the landlord regarding this issue and his reply was:

    "I hope you understand that if I was to act on all my tenants requests in all my properties I would be forever paying for things. I appreciate you would not know the window was drafty when you arrived but nor did I. I do however know that this is a 120 year old building and as such not up to modern standards in terms of windows."

    As it's an issue with just one window and other windows are perfectly fine I refuse to accept that this is the standard of windows.

    I was hoping someone could point me towards a binding law / regulation I could direct my landlord to during our next correspondence

    Thanks in advance,


    There are three routes available to you.

    Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 means the landlord has to keep " in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house".
    That includes the windows.
    If the window is "drafty" there's some wiggle room, as it's not broken, just not working as it should.

    The landlord should have known the window was drafty, and, if you had known that you might have not rented the property, there's a potential breach of the The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, as it is probably a misleading ommission.

    The third option is to either call the council environmental health or tenancy relations "teams", or tell the landlord you're going to.

    While it's not fair, raising any of the three things suggested above (particularly #3) will undoubtedly hack off your landlord, and, based on what they've said, they don't sound minded to help.
    Here's some advice from shelter if the landlord won't carry out repairs

    And, polyfilla....
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


      Thanks for the advice and the quick response!


        What type of windows are these? Are they older type sash windows or more modern replacements?

        Where is the draught coming from?
        Around the openers, around the frames, the middle joint on sash windows, somewhere else?

        I find duct tape is a good draught excluder for ill fitting windows, but it's not very pretty.


          It's a sash window, I haven't been able to detect exactly where the draft is coming from though


            If the frame & glass are undamaged, not LLs problem IMO.
            A roll of self-adhesive window draft excluder from DIY shop could sort the draught problem and stop any rattles.
            Duct tape is likely to strip the paint when removed.


              Originally posted by Jesse_s View Post
              It's a sash window, I haven't been able to detect exactly where the draft is coming from though
              There can be a lot of gaps with sash windows, because of the way that they are made.

              The bigest culprits are at the sides where they slide up and down, (if they have not been painted shut), but mostly at the horizontal crosspiece where the sliding frame meets the fixed frame (sometimes both frames slide).

              The wet finger test is a pretty easy one,
              When its draughty wet your finger and hold it near/around the joints, it will feel colder when you reach where the draught is coming from.
              (With large draughts you can do similar with a candle flame - don't set the curtains on fire).

              If as I suspect the draught is coming from the crosspiece joint then you can tape it over or fill it in with some dense foam or similar.
              Maybe some draught excluder strip like you would use around a door?
              It all depends on just what the problem turns out to be.
              I wouldn't do anything permanent like pollyfilla, your landlord might not like it.

              I had a similar problem when I moved in and found out that the sash windows in my flat had been 'bodged' by the LL from 2 different sets of old windows and he didn't have a clue how they should fit.
              There was a 10mm gap at the crosspiece join, I could actually put my fingers in the gap.
              Being a handy kind of person I took off the staff beads, took out the lower panes, and screwed/glued some packing strips in to close the gap back to what it should be, about 0.5mm at most but preferably 0 because its a taper fit.
              Again I wouldn't advise this unless you know what you are doing.
              Tape is much easier.

              Just for info here is a cross section through the pillar of a typical old wooden sash window, I bet you thought those sides were all one piece of wood?


                In my experience the biggest gap tends to be above the lower pane between the upper and lower. Try that wet finger test there


                  I've just looked again at that image I linked to;

                  See the big gap between the sashes where the 'Parting Bead' is? That is exactly what the windows in my flat were like when I moved in.
                  (The LL had fitted 2 upper sashes instead of an upper and lower - I fixed a filler strip to th ebottom of the fixed sash to fill the gap when closed).

                  In reality one, usually the fixed sash, (or sometimes both of the sashes if they both slide) should be rebated to fit around the Parting Bead at the crossjoint so that the gap gets closed when the windows are shut.


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