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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I reported to my landlords agents that the central heating/hot

Resolved Question:

I reported to my landlords agents that the central heating/hot water system was not working properly on 25/04/12.
Since that time we have had periods of no heating and no hot water despite the agents having sent out a repair team on numerous occasions.
At the same time we were without a gas fire for over twelve months as this had been disconnected during a safety inspection.
Since early 2014 to get hot water we have had to keep the central heating running constantly even in the summer which has obviously resulted in significantly higher than normal gas bills.
Is there anything I can do to claim compensation even if just for the extra gas used (if this could be determined)
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
How long were you without heating at all and for which months please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

During the ongoing problems we have been left with no hot water over different periods of time, but certainly in excess of six weeks and the heating has either not worked or been insufficient to keep the property warm all over the last winter. So far this winter it hasn't been too bad because the weather hasn't been particularly cold.

On several occasions the agents contractors have made a recommendation to the landlord to replace the hot water cylinder which he still hasn't done.

The boiler will not heat the water unless the central heating is on constantly.

I contacted the agents several months ago notifying them that I intended to arrange a repair myself and deduct the cost from the rent and they emailed me threatening breach of contract.

I have over 10 emails between myself, the agents and the landlord about this.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok.
So how long and during which months?
Was it summer or winter?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am going through my emails to the agents, there are actually around 30 of them.

The heating has not worked properly since first reported in April 2012.

It is a large house and the system has two boilers, one boiler has not worked correctly and for several months at all since it was first reported. As a result we have not had sufficient heating over the winter period of 2012, and 2013.

The issue with the hot water was first reported to the agents in January 2013, again on 16/02/13 and they then got us some hot water.

The problem returned early 2014 and again it was several months before we got hot water.

I need to go through all of my emails to get firm periods and dates.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I don't need exact dates.
Is it fair to say that you have had intermittent heating and hot water?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes it has been intermittent since it was first reported.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok.
You do have a claim. It is not for the increased gas. I am not quite clear how that is consistent with having no heating anyway?
In any event though, if you did not have heating for a prolonged period of time that was sufficient to heat the house to 18 degrees and no secondary heating was provided to compensate then you do have a claim for a reduction in rent.
Similarly with hot water. You are entitled to hot water. If there was no means of heating water at all in the house then there is a claim for a reduction in rent.
You do need to ascertain the time period though because that covers your claim. Reductions are only available for the times the faults existed.
For no hot water and no heating, the reductions depend on which months. If it is over the winter then reductions of 20% are common. If it is cover the summer then often it drops to 10%.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The question about the increased gas use was because in order for us to get hot water we have to leave the central heating on constantly as the boiler will not heat the hot water only. As an example if we want to ensure we have hot water when we get up in the morning the central heating has to be left on all night. This has been the case for over 12 months

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Then surely the central heating is working?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

One boiler is working but it doesn't provide enough power to comfortably heat the house.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
That reduces the claim then as it is not the whole house that is affected.
There would still be a claim possibly but not such a high one.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69783
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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