How Quickly Should A Landlord Fix A Boiler
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- How Long Does A Landlord Have To Fix A Boiler, How Quickly Should A Landlord Fix A Boiler, Tenants Rights Over No Hot Water, Who should do the Boiler repairs
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How Long Does A Landlord Have To Fix A Boiler?
When living in a rental property, there are certain legal obligations you and your landlord must face. The landlord and tenant act 1985 and your signed tenancy agreement outline various rules. Under those rules, it states that it is the landlord's responsibility to fix a broken boiler and keep gas appliances in check at the property, such as space heating, boilers, ovens, hobs and more.
If you are without heating and hot water, you may be thinking, "is my landlord responsible for fixing this?" and they absolutely are. Along with organising an annual gas safety check, landlords must make emergency repairs for their tenants at the rented property in no longer than 24 hours. If it isn't an emergency, and you have access to other heating equipment, you can be left for longer, but if your landlord refuses to help, you can seek legal advice for this. They are not caring for you as their tenant, and therefore a serious breach has been made in the contract.
If your landlord is making you feel legally obligated to make boiler repairs yourself, you should consult all signed tenancy agreements and alert them to their legal requirements as a landlord. Your local council can also support you when in a rented house, and the landlord won't provide boiler maintenance.
Tenants Rights Over No Hot Water
When the boiler breaks and you have no heating water, is this the tenant's responsibility to repair it? Well, if the boiler was in proper working order and seemingly broke out of nowhere, this falls to the landlord to give a good repair. However, if the tenant is the reason why the hot water has stopped, and the heating system is malfunctioning, this responsibility falls back to them.
Rental properties have a minimum heat requirement, meaning the boiler must be working properly to meet them. This temperature is 18 degrees in bedrooms and 21 degrees in living rooms. If your heating or hot water does not reach these requirements and your landlord leaves you stranded, you can raise an official complaint with the environmental health team.
Your landlord must ensure running water and proper sanitation systems are available at the property, but they cannot know when a problem arises without appropriate alerts from the tenant.
What to do when there's no hot water in the rental property
Although your landlord has a legal obligation to conduct major repairs to your boiler and central heating, they cannot be held responsible until you have alerted them to the problem. If you generally have an efficient boiler and provide daily maintenance of the basic systems, but it does not supply water as desired suddenly, you must alert your landlord so that they can fix the problem. They will not be maintaining regular inspections of your boiler without you updating them.
This means if you experience no hot water in your taps, in the shower or inefficient radiators, you need to let your landlord know within a reasonable timeframe if you want the problem solved. Whether through your letting agent or direct communication with the landlord, you are treated as a reliable source looking after the property and will update the authorities when a gas or heating problem arises.
If your radiators are cold, you can attempt bleeding them before contacting your landlord. This is one of the more simple fixes available to you and can lower your energy bills, improving the efficiency of your boiler.
Who should do the Boiler repairs?
If you notice your boiler malfunctioning, making unusual noises or performing inefficiently, whose job is it to make those repairs? Whether or not you live in a rented property, you should not attempt to fix a boiler if you do not know what you're doing. Doing so can make the boiler cover or manufacturer's warranty void, so you should use a registered engineer from the gas safe register. In the case of rentals, your landlord may prefer to complete repairs themselves, or authorise repairs from a trained third party, so leave this decision up to them.
If your landlord chooses to fix the boiler breakdown themselves, they cannot invite themselves into the property without warning. Landlords are legally obliged to provide a minimum of 24 hours' notice when they plan to visit the property.
If the Boiler is not fixed
It is worth noting that if the boiler is not fixed within a reasonable timeframe (in the case of emergencies, you cannot be without hot water and heating for longer than 24 hours), you have legal ground to stand on. Your landlord is responsible for providing a few key things at the rented property during your contract. They must ensure all gas, electricity and water inputs are working and the house is not missing these elements, nor should the appliances using them malfunction at the start of the agreed tenancy date.
In this first instance, write your landlord a letter to remind them of the problem. If they choose to ignore this, write them a second letter. You can offer, at this point, to pay for the boiler repairs yourself and the money be taken from a rent deduction at a later stage. Before you go ahead with this, you need written permission from your landlord. You cannot withhold rent or carry out repairs yourself as boilers are protected and require precision, especially when dealing with gas leaks.
Your local environmental health department can potentially help you after writing this second letter, pushing your landlord to complete repairs. You are covered - by law - as stated by the terms in your tenancy agreement, which you and your landlord both signed. However, you cannot contact the health department without reaching out to your landlord first, and in the same way, your landlord must provide notice to arriving at the property; you do have to give them some time. Don't wait too long and put yourself, your family and the property at risk by a broken boiler for an extended period.
Is Boiler repair covered?
In most rental examples, you are not responsible for boiler repairs. You are responsible for taking care of the heating system during your stay, though. However, when agreed in the contract, you can be made accountable for all of it - at which point you should consider boiler cover. In many cases, you can add this to your building insurance policy, essentially giving you protection when you need to arrange for an engineer to fix a boiler problem.
As a landlord, you will typically have a form of landlord boiler cover. This is designed to protect you in the instance of boiler breakdown or repairs in buy-to-let properties.
Due to this boiler cover, any work carried out must be done by a licensed and trained professional. Not only will they do the job right, but they will note in a written report the last time a service was done, which is helpful evidence for the future when another problem arises.
Our top tips for UK boiler breakdown in rental properties are:
- Don't attempt to fix the problem yourself. Contact your landlord and wait for a gas safe engineer.
- Offer to pay the cost yourself when dealing with unresponsive landlords.
- You are unlikely to get compensation when left without heating for long periods, but contact the solicitors regulation authority if you believe you are within your rights.
For more information, don't hesitate to get in touch with our team.
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