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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I am in rented accom. in a rural location. The central heating

Resolved Question:

I am in rented accom. in a rural location. The central heating and hot water is controlled by oil. I can see nothing relating to responsibilities for oil fired systems. The boiler is so very old,fumy and temperamental. He refuses to allow me to have it serviced as it may be condemned. He did have an "odd job man" visit who detected a leak and sealed it with some form of putty/cement. there has never been a test on the system or any form of certificate. It is an assured short term tenancy for a term, initially of 1 year. We are in our fourth year of occupancy. Does he have any legal responsibility in relation to the boiler or are we stuck?
Non of the integrated electrical appliances; stove top, oven, fridge freezer and dish washer have never been tested and there were no smoke alarms. What are his responsibilities in relation to these?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

may I ask if the tenancy has been renewed or whether you are presently occupying the property as a periodic tenant month to month please?

Customer:

The tenancy has not been renewed. I was informed that in the absence of a new agreement the old tenancy agreement rolls over.. Verbally it has been agreed with the landlord that the tenancy is terminated upon 3 months notice on either side. The initial agreement was dated 01.04.10

Joshua :

thank you. The position is that if the tenancy is not renewed, then the tenancy converts at the end of the original fixed period to a statutory periodic tenancy which runs month to month and in the absence of express agreement to the contrary, you can end the tenancy subject to one clear months notice and the landlord subject to to clear months notice to you providing that in either event, the notice can only end the day before rent is payable

Joshua :

you have an extensive set of rights as a tenant which I will with your permission expand upon in a few moments however, because you are a statutory periodic tenant you will need to consider that you do not have any security of tenure beyond the minimum notice period that the landlord must provide to you and therefore the landlord could decide to evict you subject to the minimum notice above. Accordingly, if you wish to remain in the property, you may before exercising the right to propose to expand upon below, consider asking for a new fixed term tenancy agreement in order that the landlord cannot simply decide to evict you

Joshua :

I note you have gone off-line. Would you like to continue?

Customer:

Sorry, not good at this! I would like to continue. We have heard that the landlord intends to sell the property after the roof has been retiled. He has just commissioned this piece of work to start. There is no chance of him renewing the tenancy. I am considering refusing to pay the rent for the foreseeable future on the basis that he has not discharged his legal duties as a landlord. He is a bit of a bully in the village, he has given us no notice of his intentions to market the property hence the questions about the oil fired system and integrated electrical appliances.

Joshua :

Don't worry. I;m just reading your latest post...

Joshua :

Understood. As above you have considerable rights as a tenant. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 places an implied term in every tenancy that the landlord must keep in repair the structure, sanitary installations and exterior of the property which means he must maintain and repair the boiler. Landlords can also be held liable if they have failed to provide a safe and healthy environment for their tenants. you could consider using or threatening to use the HHSRS inspection system and ask the environmental department at the local council to carry out a health and safety assessment of the property. They have the power to serve improvement notices on the landlord to remedy any areas which do not come up to standard.

Joshua :

There is a raft of legislation and regulations to protect tenants in respect of landlords repair obligations. The landlord provides for duties under statutory legislation. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 provides that the Landlord has a duty of care to provide adequate and safe conditions in their properties and the Housing Act 2004 introduced the Housing Health and Safety Rating System which shifted assessment towards health and safety impact. Each council is responsible for developing its own policy but most have a substantive list of requirements that address mould, damp structure and so on. There is a useful guide to the same here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/9425/150940.pdf.

Joshua :

if the boiler is so unreliable as that it keeps going wrong then the landlord would be forced to consider a replacement. Based on what you say, if you can demonstrate that you have had success of problems with the boiler over a relatively short period of time, it is likely that the boiler would be deemed to be unsatisfactory and fail to satisfy the requirements of the Housing health and safety rating system inspection should you ask want to be carried out. If you feel the landlord is prevaricating in an attempt to save costs, which would not be unusual, consider contacting the local authority's environmental health department and ask them to carry out an HHSRS inspection. They have wide powers under the Housing act to force the landlord to attend to his repairing obligations and can look at the property as a whole rather than just the boiler. you can also use report that produces evidence as a means to claim a rent reduction for the period in question during which you have suffered loss of amenity in the property and issues relating to appliances.

Joshua :

is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Joshua :

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help with any further?

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.

Customer:

Thankyou very much. You have been more than helpful.

Customer:

Kindest regards,

Customer:

Thankyou very much. You have been very helpful.. Kindest regards Alice

Joshua :

A pleasure, If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.

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