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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 803
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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I rent a property through an agency. I pay £1600 per month.

Resolved Question:

I rent a property through an agency. I pay £1600 per month. Every winter since I moved in we have had a problem with our central heating boiler. This has happened last 3 years. Various "fixes" have failed. The heating has failed again and I have asked the agency to request a new boiler (two heating engineers have stated that the boiler is not so old it is unreliable) Now the landlord is again saying he wants to try and fix the boiler again, with the same "fix" that was applied last year. Could you please advise on my rights? Thanks, ***** *****
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
LondonlawyerJ :

I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to help you with this.

LondonlawyerJ :

Your landlord has a duty to keep the facilities and water heating in repair. This clause is implied into all tenancies.

Customer:

so what can I go back and "legally" say to them please?

Customer:

also, he is arguing that he is repairing the boiler, but the repairs do not work

LondonlawyerJ :

The level of compensation you can get will depend on the frequency and duration of the landlord's default. In some circumstances you might be able to obtain an injunction to foorce [reoper repairs or replacement.

Customer:

can I with hold my rent, and pay new boiler myself?

LondonlawyerJ :

However if you are an assured shorthold tenant you will have very limited security of tenure and - especially if you are outside the fixed term of the tenancy- your landlord may be able to evict you property within a couple of months.

Customer:

we have a long term tenancy. 12 months contract

LondonlawyerJ :

Possession proceedings are often issued following a tenant taking action re disrepair etc. What is your position re: security of tenure? Are you an AST? when does/did the the fixed term end. I can tell you what rights you have to enforce but you need ot be aware of the possible reaction from the landlord? If the problem only affects space heating and not water and you have other methods of heating compensation will be low and the prospects of an injunction slim.

LondonlawyerJ :

I will give you a full answer this afternon but I have to go into court now. I apologise but like most lawyers on this site I fit in just answer aroud my professional commitments. When does your 12 months tenancy expire?

Customer:

, our tenancy is a 12 month contract, and we have been there .5 years now. The tenancy ends in June. Our agreement states that the landlord has to give us 3 months notice to quit if required. I just need something to go back to the agent (who is useless!) to argue the fact that we should not be expected to pay rent house with no heating. We had to purchase fan heaters last year, which increased our electricity bill. My argument with the landlord is that this is the third winter that the heating has failed, despite numerous "fixes" that have not worked. How many more "fixes" do I have to endure (with no heating!) At what point can I demand a new boiler?

LondonlawyerJ :

You can write to the agent stating the following; The landlord is in breach of his obligations under s11 Landlord and Tenant Act which implies the requiremrnt referred to above into all tenancy agreements. (there may be a specific term in the tenancy agreement covering it as well). You can do the following as a remedy. 1 tell the landlord about the problem and of your intention to carry out the repair yourself. give him a reasonlabe time to fix it himself. get 3 separate quotes, send copies to the landlord with a final warning, get he work done by the cheapest. Afterwoulds submit the invoice to the LL. If he doesn't pay you could withold rent to the value of the invoice. If you do this you will have a defence to any claim of rent arrears.

LondonlawyerJ :

However there are risks if there are problems with the work then it may be your responsibility to fix it. Heating systems are complex and it may be that the problem is not as simple as you think.

Customer:

brilliant. thank you. I have gone back to the agency and demanded a meeting with the landlord, as I am not convinced that he is getting the whole story, and also demanded that the agency start to represent my rights as a tenant, rather than being biased to towards the landlord (all of their answers state that they have to abide by his wishes!)

Customer:

many thanks help

LondonlawyerJ :

There is no right in law to withold rent in protest at the landlord's default. To do so invites either possession proceedings or a cliam in the small claims court owed. You may well have a defence by way of set off (ie that you may owe him under the contract but he owes you defective heating) in any such proceedings but there is no guarantee of success.

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