How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask tdlawyer Your Own Question
tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
73598664
Type Your Law Question Here...
tdlawyer is online now

Im living in a rented property. Approximately 6 weeks ago

Resolved Question:

I'm living in a rented property.
Approximately 6 weeks ago the landlord (through the letting agent) had the built-in oven replaced.
The oven differed in design and build to the previous unit meaning that it was prevented from being fully fitted (sticks out and not properly secured) due to snagging the hob gas supply pipe.
A request has been made to the landlord (through the letting agent) to either have the gas pipe re-routed or the hob replaced by an electric unit. Either solution would then mean the oven can be fitted and secured properly.
The oven, as it is now, is not fully secured, can be moved by brushing against it, vibrates during use (due to not being fitted and secured properly) and can potentially damage the kitchen units either side of it.
I have sent pictures to the letting agent who assures me they have been forwarded to the landlord.
In addition, we have a 6 year old child in the house.
The current installation of the oven unit, in my opinion, is not safe.
I have voiced this to the letting agent and made it clear I will not be held responsible for any damage to the adjoining units caused by the incorrect fitment of the oven unit.
What options are available to me in terms of getting the installation made safe?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I can assist you with this.

tdlawyer :

Has a registered gas installer certified the installation as being safe?

tdlawyer :

And do you have any reason, if they have, to doubt that certification?

Customer:

There is nothing wrong with the gas installation.

tdlawyer :

OKay, I thought I would check that, because that's often one of the most serious risks.

Customer:

The issue is that the electric oven unit which should be built in has not being fitted correctly due to the position of the gas pipe. The issue is that the electric oven unit is not securely and properly fitted

tdlawyer :

OKay. What part of this do you feel is unsafe though?

Customer:

As stated in my original request the oven unit is able to move by brushing against it. It is held in (not very securely by 1 screw. In essence, if my child pulled at it it would come out of it's housing quite easily

tdlawyer :

Yes, okay, I understand.

tdlawyer :

Landlord is under an obligation to ensure that the premises are safe, and fits the human habitation. If there is a danger presented, as it seems to be the case, and the landlord has an obligation to take reasonable steps remove that danger.

Customer:

I guess the real problem is that the landlord is not responding to emails from the letting agent

Customer:

/I get that. But what can I do when he is not responding to the letting agent

tdlawyer :

If he fails to do this, then you should be entitled to instruct a third party to take such steps as reasonably necessary to remove or abate that danger yourself and to charge the costs associated with that back to the landlord.

Customer:

OK. That's what I thought. Thank you.

tdlawyer :

Obviously, if he's going to ignore e-mails and correspondence concerning the issue, you may take the view you have no choice but to act yourself to ensure that there is a safe environment, without a danger to your child.

tdlawyer :

Naturally, you have to protect your children, and that is of paramount importance to anything else.

Customer:

Exactly. Thank you

tdlawyer :

Therefore, it might be worth you putting this in writing to the landlord directly, stating that you would instruct third parties and seeking to pass the cost of any rectification works to make the oven safe, back onto the landlord.

tdlawyer :

You do need to give him prior warning first.

Customer:

Of course, I understand that.

tdlawyer :

If the rectification costs are relatively minor, say up to a couple of hundred pound, then it might be that you seek to recover the money yourself via the small claim court system.

tdlawyer :

You can do that online at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

tdlawyer :

The process is relatively informal, and the costs fairly minimal.

Customer:

I will bear that in mind. Thank you.

tdlawyer :

You're welcome.

Customer:

Thank you. I have a plan of action now.

tdlawyer :

It is also possible, if this presents a real and immediate danger, to contact the local authority, which has powers to prosecute landlords in respect of unsafe dwelling houses.

tdlawyer :

This might be another angle that you could consider.

tdlawyer :

The benefit of this approach, is that it will not cost anything, and the landlord risks facing criminal proceedings unless he rectifies the position.

tdlawyer :

So in some ways, it is preferable to court proceedings, although in reality it can be difficult to persuade the local authority to take effective action against delinquent landlords.

tdlawyer :

Nonetheless, it is certainly worth trying.

Customer:

OK. I will try the "softer" approach initially but will bear all you have said in mind

tdlawyer :

Great. Is there anything else I can assist with?

tdlawyer :

Can I check that you are happy with the standard of service received this evening please?

Customer:

No. That gives me a way forward so I'm happy with that. Yes, I will apply the appropriate positive rating. Thank you.

tdlawyer :

Thank you! :)

tdlawyer and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you