Private Landlord says I must wait for grant to get hot water!

Private Landlord says I must wait for grant to get hot water!

7:54 AM, 3rd March 2017, About 5 years ago 45

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I am looking for advice regarding an issue I am having with Private Landlord. I am a lone Parent in a Private Rented Property. I have a Short Assured Tenancy which has been a rolling contract as I have stayed many years at the property.hot tap

My Boiler stopped working properly a fortnight ago, and although I still have heating, I’ve no hot water. My Landlord instructed me to get a Heating Engineer out which I did and paid for myself. I was told the problem cannot be fixed and I need a new boiler. Having told my Landlord the outcome, he said I must wait till he applies for a Grant through the Energy Savings Trust.

I find this completely unacceptable as it is going to leave me without hot water for weeks on end, and even then there is no guarantee he will get the grant. I have been in touch with my Local Council who are looking into it, but they stressed they cannot enforce measures right away.

Meanwhile my Landlord wants access to allow his own Heating Engineer to write up a Green Energy Report, which I am presuming is part of the process to obtain this grant. I feel by allowing him access I’ m somewhat being forced into agreeing that I will be without hot water for a considerable time.

Can you please advise on what I should do? Do I have to give him access for this? Can he legally force me to wait several weeks under the guise that he is ‘fixing’ the issue? Thank you.

Janet



Comments

by Mandy Thomson

7:19 AM, 8th March 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mike " at "07/03/2017 - 14:50":

Hi Mike

For all ASTs dated on or after 1 October 2015, (in addition to the deposit prescribed information), the tenant must be served (see page 2 of form n215 for legally recognised methods) the following:
-The government How to Rent Guide (can be downloaded here (if the tenancy pre-dates February 2016, I have the 2 earlier editions)
-The gas safety certificate (if the tenant has attended the most recent inspection and signed the CP12, this is sufficient)
- The energy performance certificate (not needed for HMOs where landlord pays the bill)

Unlike the deposit PI, these can be served at any point but must be served before s.21 is served. They must be served in hard copy format unless the tenant has given written permission for electronic service.

Tenant's signature is the most ideal proof of service, second best method is service in person with a witness.

Post is acceptable but be careful; I recently had a case where the landlord had served 2 copies of s.21, one by recorded post as the AST mandated that; the other by 1st class with certificate of postage. He got his possession order, but then the tenant consulted a solicitor and had the order overturned on appeal on the basis that notice wasn't validly served. The tenant hadn't accepted delivery of the copy sent recorded post, and he argued that he never got the 1st class copy as he lives in a block of flats with a communal letterbox!

I was advised to send 2 copies 1st class post with certificate from separate post offices in different areas (preferably on different days too) - that way the probability of both going missing is low; however, ensure that service follows the AST, or better still, ensure the AST provides for different types of service in the first place.

by Rob Crawford

8:17 AM, 8th March 2017, About 5 years ago

Hi Janet, do you have a Gas Safe Certificate for the boiler that is less than 12 months old?

by Mike

12:30 PM, 8th March 2017, About 5 years ago

Rob, I think what you are asking is if a newly installed boiler (under 12months old) requires issuing of a landlords safety record or as you call it gas safe certificate, though I can be wrong, but when an installer completes a new installation, or replaces an old boiler with a new boiler, he has to fill in a Benchmark report usually the last few pages of the Boiler's instruction manual, that tells an owner/occupier all the work carried out in accordance with manufacturer's recommendation, and as per gas safety rules, and all checks on final commissioning are ticked, readings filled in, and if all goes OK, he then has to notify the Gas Safe Council who in turn will notify the local council, so as far as I think, that is all is required, but there is no reason if you ask for a landlord's safety record, he should issue you with one as a matter of course, since they don't issue these to owners properties, but they should as a matter of course issue one for rented properties to landlords. It would only be sensible to have one and it should be issued within the price of that installation and not charged for extra.
kind regards

by Mike

12:43 PM, 8th March 2017, About 5 years ago

Thank You Mandy, for troubling you with my questions, regarding the new rules that came into force on 1st October 2015, very useful indeed, I remember hearing about them but did not know what they were. very hard to keep up with all these changes!

kind regards
mike

by Janet Carter

19:22 PM, 8th March 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rob Crawford" at "08/03/2017 - 08:17":

Hi Rob,

No I don't have a gas safety certificate less than 12 months old. It's 2 years + since one was done.

Regards Janet

by Rob Crawford

19:51 PM, 8th March 2017, About 5 years ago

Then I would suggest you demand one from you landlord. This means he will have to fix the problem. If you don't receive one within 7 days I will contact the Private Rented Sector Housing team on the Council.have

by Janet Carter

20:11 PM, 8th March 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mike " at "08/03/2017 - 02:20":

Hi Mike,

I am open to anything being done at this stage. The trouble is, despite asking my Landlord to get his guy to have a look at it ( a second opinion so to speak) it is not even on the cards anymore. This is because he will have to pay him more money on top of the £150 he told me he is paying him to do the EPC report.
I received a text this morning at 5.30 AM from this Heating Engineer, asking me how many rooms my flat has, what floor I'm on and also to send pictures of the building from outside!!! This I was unable to do because I don't have a picture messaging phone, and my daughter who could have done it was staying over at her pals. I phoned him earlier to explain this and he said he had done it himself as he was in the area. So I guess that's that. He hasn't even seen my boiler or been inside my flat!
I tried to be proactive today by phoning yet another Heating Engineer (Trusted Trader apparently) for advice, and he just echoed the first guy's recommendations, so it looks like nobody wants to touch it with a barge pole! I even phoned my Bank, to ask if I could make a claim, as I have some Home Emergency Cover on my card, but it only covers £250 of repairs. But in the small print it mentions that if their tradesperson does not carry the needed parts they would just quote the price of a new boiler minus the £250. Waiting on another call back with that one...
All that aside, I wondered if I am within my rights to deduct the cost of an Immersion heater and the £70 call out for HE off this months rent?

by Graham Bowcock

21:42 PM, 8th March 2017, About 5 years ago

Dear Janet

This matter does seem to be dragging on for you which is clearly very unfortunate.

It is clearly in your own interests to be reasonable, in terms of providing access and information, but I do wonder if your landlord is absolving himself of responsibility and passing the buck to you. The fact that your safety certificate is out of date is very worrying and makes it seem like your landlord is unprofessional.

I think it is time to lay down the law to your landlord and explain your entitlement. He cannot let the matter drag on indefinitely. You deserve, at very least, a timescale for resolution.

Your landlord should pay the £70 fee for the heating engineer (on the basis that he asked you to arrange this).

You have just mentioned that you have an immersion heater; is it right that you have a conventional system (i.e. you have a hot water tank) and therefore do have an electric immersion heater. If this is the case, and you are not actually without hot water (and you said before that you have working heating) then your position is perhaps not as bad as I feared. In which case bear with your landlord to get the boiler replaced.

If you want a contribution to additional costs (electric v gas) then you can ask but you are not guaranteed anything. I think it is more important to spend your time persuading the landlord to get the boiler sorted and make sure it is safe.

Good luck

Graham

by Janet Carter

22:24 PM, 8th March 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Graham Bowcock" at "08/03/2017 - 21:42":

Hello Graham,

Just to clarify, no I don't have an immersion heater, and I am totally without hot water. I think I am getting confused with the name. I thought you could buy 'electrical water heaters' that can store a few litres of water at a time? I think my Gran had one a few years back. I am clutching at straws now and feeling rather upset. My Landlord informed me yesterday that he is working away (he has another business) so putting any ultimatums on him is futile. Anyway, I do appreciate all the advice given here. I am however, going to give everyone a break from this. I know how much it is doing my head in. It seems I have no option but to wait things out.

Janet

by Darlington Landlord

23:06 PM, 8th March 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Janet Carter" at "08/03/2017 - 22:24":

By law your landlord needs to provide an annual Gas safety certificate, in a worst case scenario if someone died due to a faulty appliance he could be jailed for manslaughter. As he does not seem to be taking his responsibilities seriously I would suggest explaining you have been told this and that if he does not immediately take action to get one done and attempt to fix your boiler your next step will be contacting the council.
I really dont see why him getting an EPC stops him fixing your boiler, timely repairs are part of his responsibility as a landlord and as Mandy said if he doesn't have the cash its time to borrow whats needed. Also £150 for an EPC is rather pricey I got one done last month for £50.
In my experience EPC surveys require an internal inspection and photographs of details such as meters, lighting , glazing etc so I am rather sche[ptical of a driveby survey.

See https://www.gov.uk/private-renting/your-landlords-safety-responsibilities
Gas safety

Your landlord must:

make sure gas equipment they supply is safely installed and maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer
have a registered engineer do an annual gas safety on each appliance and flue
give you a copy of the gas safety check record before you move in, or within 28 days of the check


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