Do I have to supply the boiler room key?

by Readers Question

14:24 PM, 10th September 2019
About 7 days ago

Do I have to supply the boiler room key?

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Do I have to supply the boiler room key?

Please help me. I bought a property with a tenant and I had no idea what being a landlord meant!

The tenant is really making my life miserable. She did not sign the new contract and Nottingham council is doing everything to keep her in.

They are demanding I give her the boiler room key, but l am worry she will do something to put herself in danger or to damage the boiler.

I am in a very bad position and the council is supporting her. She is not a gas engineer, and she should contact me if there are any problems.

Do l have to give the tenant the key of the boiler room?

Many thanks

Lilia



Comments

Luke P

15:13 PM, 10th September 2019
About 7 days ago

Quick question: why did you buy a property with a tenant in?

Graham Bowcock

8:53 AM, 11th September 2019
About 6 days ago

Hi Lilia

Your question raises many more questions. The first of which was posed by Luke! Without being rude, do you know what you are doing?

It sounds like you could use a good local agent to steer you through the minefield of lettings.

Do not confuse the different issues here as that is a recipe for disaster, for example not agreeing to things because the tenant hasn't done what you wanted.

I assume this is a straightforward residential property (flat or house) and not a HMO.

Contract - if you bought the property with a tenant, you cannot compel the tenant to sign a new agreement with yourself. You will have taken to the terms that existed previously. Yes, it would be good practice to get a new agreement, but you cannot unilaterally insist on it. I hope that your predecessor got the compliance bits right, otherwise you will have a problem in securing possession.

Unless there are some extenuating circumstances that you have not revealed, the Council is unlikely to help you.

As for the boiler room, if this is a standard domestic boiler it would be logical for the tenant to have a key. Oddly, I had to tend to my own boiler at 4am this morning; it had to be reset as it was running a water pump. I'm not a gas engineer - this is a householder operation. Boilers often need repressurising (again done by the tenant) or adjusting for season - jobs not done by gas fitters.

What do you think she is going to do to it? You need to be careful not to deprive the tenant of hot water and heating (fundamental provisions of a tenancy). What would happen, for example, if you were on holiday? There may be reasons why you cannot give the tenant a key, perhaps the boiler is more commercial or shared with others, or perhaps located away from the property, but you do need to think carefully about this.

Have you got a gas safety certificate? If not, get one urgently. This is a serious issue.

Dylan Morris

8:56 AM, 11th September 2019
About 6 days ago

I’ve never heard of a “boiler room” what is it ?

Annie Landlord

9:14 AM, 11th September 2019
About 6 days ago

I would assume this is a domestic property and the OP is simply referring to the room where the boiler is sited - maybe a bedroom? This is not going to end well

Michael Barnes

10:43 AM, 11th September 2019
About 6 days ago

From your other thread (https://www.property118.com/do-the-council-have-the-right-to-check-all-of-my-property/), it appears that this is 3 flats served by a single boiler.

The situation may be different here to a boiler derving a single flat.

Mike

10:57 AM, 11th September 2019
About 6 days ago

I think she mentioned she owns a block with several flats or units, that may share one common hot water and heating boiler for all the flats, and it is housed in its own dedicated room, hence it has been called the boiler room, indeed she (tenants) should not be given a key to this room if this room does not form part of her tenancy, and is a room that has a piece of specialised equipment that is best kept out of reach of tenants as they may start using it for storage of rubbish and other unwanted goods, and and could cause dangerous situation, the door should be kept locked secure and tenants told to contact the landlord or a certain nominated person who would then be responsible for allowing gas safe engineer in, landlord would nominate such a person or two such persons. When you are sailing a cruise ship, you rent cabins, you don't automatically acquire right to walk into the ships engine room or boiler room do you? Why should houses be any different to ships? Instead of floating on water and mobile, houses are floating on ground and permanently anchored.

If Nottingham Council insists on tenants being given a boiler room key, then anything that may go wrong, i.e. explosion or a fire or CO poisoning, they will be responsible for that and will face criminal charges and face manslaughter charges if should there be any fatalities. . Show them this post to them. They don't seem to care about the safety and welfare of your tenants.

Graham Bowcock

11:11 AM, 11th September 2019
About 6 days ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 11/09/2019 - 10:57
Hi Mike

I quite agree with you. I think the posted has used two different threads. The one I replied to gave the impression that the property was a standalone. As I said, this posted really needs some good local advice!

Luke P

11:12 AM, 11th September 2019
About 6 days ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 11/09/2019 - 10:57I don’t disagree with the theory, but BTL houses are governed by their own special legislation and ‘normal’ rules applied elsewhere (e.g. ship’s cabins) do not apply…not least of all because a cabin is not your main residence.

I spend a great deal of time informing new LL clients that things in this industry do not operate how they would expect or with common sense or in the same way one would apply logic to most other situations.

reader

11:24 AM, 11th September 2019
About 6 days ago

Dear Lilia,

If the solicitor for your purchase appropriately checked out the ASTs all you need to do to 'transfer' them is serve a notice under the Housing Act. If you want to increase rents you can use S13 notice, amongst other ways, but watch for the traps. If you want to change other terms once again there are appropriate notices. Take quality advice from a professional. There are many things to check on buying a property with existing ASTs incl: arrears rent, if LHA or UC rent claims are made, all the prerequisites to establish AST, confirmation of terms from tenant, confirmation of rent arrears, authority from tenant to discuss claims with the local authority etc etc

One of my blocks the tenants are locked out of the boiler room on others the on site manager has a key. All such rooms are fully safe and secure and meet HHSRS considerations.

Luke P

11:39 AM, 11th September 2019
About 6 days ago

Reply to the comment left by at 11/09/2019 - 11:24
You can’t use s.13 if they’re contractually periodic…

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