Boiler fault – can tenant charge Hotel bills?

by Readers Question

3 years ago

Boiler fault – can tenant charge Hotel bills?

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Boiler fault – can tenant charge Hotel bills?

I have a tenant of 9 years (3 years in the current property). The property is up for sale via auction as a tenanted property (which probably doesn’t help the situation). Boiler fault - can tenant charge Hotel bills

Anyway, 5 days prior to the auction the boiler had an ignition fault. I received a text at 07:30 from my tenant saying no hot water.

I went around 08:30 to check, couldn’t resolve so called out heating engineer who visited the same day. He advised me that the boiler is knackered and my options are:-

1) new boiler

2) he could try to replace the parts to get it working but he advises bills could build up

3) go to the manufacturer who have an all inclusive fix it rate of £275 (incl labour, parts, 30 day warranty).

I have gone for option 3 and booked then in for Monday 15th June.

So here is the advise question.

The friendly loyal tenant has suddenly turned and shown her true colours not saying she cannot be lawfully expected to stay in a house without hot water and I should pay for her to stay in a hotel. Furthermore I should provide a brand new boiler as the engineer said the current one is broken.

I have advised her that I have acted swiftly and the heating engineer on Monday is from the manufacturer and have asked her to be reasonable.

She has spurted out she is not happy, a friend of hers who is a plumber says the boiler needs replacing, she is disabled so I cannot leave her without hot water, its unlawful and unfair and she’ll book a hotel and send me the bill.

From my knowledge law states reasonable efforts to repair by the landlord?

My current view is that I have acted promptly and will look to fix the boiler on Monday and before sale.

If the auction sale on 17th June is not successful then the following day I will serve notice after seeing her suddenly change in co-operation after 9 years. I went down the auction route to try an honour her as a good tenant. Now I feel I should have just evicted and got more for my sale.

Thoughts please

Regards

Wayne



Comments

Mark Alexander

3 years ago

Hi Wayne

I think your tenant has been badly advised and mislead and that you are completely in the right and that she is being unreasonable. Any compensation you may decide to offer is entirely discretionary and a pure gesture of goodwill.

Good luck with the sale.
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Nick Pope

3 years ago

I wonder if she is upset that you are selling after so long and is concerned about being evicted by new landlord?

I concur with Mark on the compensation question. You are doing everything possible to sort out the situation and it's up to you if you decide to repair rather than put in a new boiler.

Frankly it's summer and whilst she might get a bit whiffy, 4 days it not such a long time as to be unreasonable. Does she have no friends she can cadge a bath from? Maybe you should gently mention that any new landlord will ask you about the existing tenant and obviously you would have to reveal all that's happened and if she did wish to remain it might cause problems.

Jonathan Clarke

3 years ago

She is cornered and her life balance is being upset. So she strikes out . She has been ticking along for 9 years and thinks it is you who have turned on her by selling up. Its unreasonable for her to think that way but understandable because its the stark reality that some tenants simply just do not get to grips with their temporary status and get far too comfortable.

Its a shame but thats life and she is taking out her hurt and frustration on you. She is busting for a fight but dont get into one just absorb her pain.

Talk to her, explain your side but let her vent off . Offer her a takeaway maybe as a peace offering but stick to your plan as you cannot be criticised for the reasonable action you propose
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Wayne Maguire

3 years ago

Thanks for the re-assurance I do agree it's the unsettling that's talking. I could have evicted her and so private for a lot more. But ease of sale and loyalty I choose selling tenanted. I'll look to sort the boiler fix and then keep at arms length until the sale completes.
If the sale does happen at Thursday's auction I will be giving notice on Friday after this episode.
Hopefully some time in the future she'll appreciate what a good landlord she had but then it will be too little too late.

Luke P

3 years ago

Carry on as you are. Let her book a hotel if she wants. Either she won't bother/know what to do with the hotel invoice and if she does, won't win.

Joe Bloggs

3 years ago

when this has happens to me i tell tenants that i never guaranteed that things never go wrong!

in law you are allowed a reasonable time to get things fixed (running from when it was reported) and a few days is not unreasonable.

i would offer to deliver some portable electric heaters, but short of boiling kettles theres not much to be done about hw if its a combi.

there are showers in swimming pools and gyms and thats what a reasonable tenant would use in the interim.

Hi, this is Kev. I have been on vulnerability courses and I am on your side, but you Must buy a heater for bedroom and lounge so she is warm in the evening. This is what Brit Gas etc do when boiler breaks down. Make sure she signs for them. Also please don't issue notice as you may be caught out as revenge eviction. Do it all with paperwork that stacks up. Once she has accepted the heaters you have done your job. Also give her a 20 quid voucher for her elec bill. I've just done the same thing last week and I continue to give my tenant 20 until her new boiler is fitted. It's about being fair. You've had the rent for years, give something back. I've been there got the t shirt. Good luck at auction, but did you know that Mark sells property with tenants in on this site,?

Wayne Maguire

3 years ago

Thanks for all the feedback boiler fixed by manufacturers today so hissing fit over. Noted Kev above the revenge eviction hoping the auction will be a success to day the hassle. I did try gumtree and the property 118 options but no success.

Mark Alexander

3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Wayne Maguire" at "15/06/2015 - 20:33":

Was it a Baxi boiler by any chance? If so, I hope they can fix mine. I've got exactly the same problem, my tenant also asked for compensation! Baxi coming out tomorrow.
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Wayne Maguire

3 years ago

Yes it was an ideal mini 24 I called the manufacturer and they did an all inclusive repair for £275 incl labour parts and 30 day warranty

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