Shelter’s Income and expenditure figures highlighted13:57 PM, 4th February 2019
About 2 weeks ago 35
My tenant has asked for her chimney to be swept as soot has blown down onto her new carpet during a very windy spell. The property has full gas central heating, but also has a gas fire which the tenant had installed at her own expense before I acquired the property. My tenant has told me on several occasions she owns the fire, despite this I still get the gas engineer to check it when he does the annual inspection.
On the advice of my Gas Engineer I no longer install gas fires in rental properties where they have central heating. Instead I install an electric fire which obviously reduces risk and saves money in areas such as servicing, maintenance, repairs, chimney sweeps etc.
• My initial thoughts are to have the fire removed, block the opening and install an electric fire….. under the circumstances can I do this?
• My tenant won’t be happy if I suggest an electric fire and will probably argue it won’t be warm enough. What if she offers to pay for sweeping herself …… can I agree to this ?
• My concern if she agrees to pay for it she might not actually get it swept…… if she does agree to pay for it can I ask to see proof such as a receipt so that I know it has been swept and the chimney is safe?
• How often does a chimney need to be swept in rental properties?
I am trying to keep rents low and affordable, but if I incur additional running costs on top of the effects of Section 24 I will have no alternative but to pass it on and put the rent up significantly. My tenant has lived in the property for 16 years and pays £150-£200pcm less than her neighbours for the same property.
Your comments would be greatly appreciate.
Thanks in advance.
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