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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
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Experience:  Experienced solicitor
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23/11/2015 08:30 Landlord-tenant question. The tenants (two

Customer Question

23/11/2015 08:30 Landlord-tenant question. The tenants (two of female students) pay a monthly rent (£ 1000 pcm) for their 2 bed flat. The hot water boiler (was very old) and suddenly stopped working (on a Friday evening). The tenants reported the problem
to the landlord (a large estate company) and between the time his workers assessed the problem the following Monday, a replacement boiler was ordered and all (rather extensive) works were completed two weeks later the flat remaind without hot water (for two
weeks). The old (vertical) boiler was for decades safely mounted on the bathroom (strong) wall and hidden above a false ceiling which had to be partially destroyed for the old boiler to be removed and the new one to be placed. The new (horizontal) boiler (which
when full of water will weigh about 200 kg was placed on two horizontal beams by an ordinary carpenter. The construction was not assessed by a qualified structural engineer or chartered surveyer which raises questions of safety as it stands directly above
the bath tub. The person in charge working for the landlord was asked in writing this question but two weeks later there is no reply: (1) What guarantee can the landlord provide on the static strength of the suspended/false ceiling in its capacity to sustain
the weight of the new horizontal boiler (especially when it is full of water) (given the vibrations of the building due to the heavy traffic on the main road) ? For safety I would have thought that a static assessment by a structural engineer or someone appropriately
qualified is needed. MY QUESTIONS TO YOU: 1) Is there an authority to which to address this matter that can hopefully oblige the landlord to carry out a structural safety survey? 2) Is the tenant entitled to rent compensation for loss of amenity (can it be
called so?) for two weeks with no hot water and disturbance during the extensive works? Is it reasonable to ask the landlord to accept no rent for the duration of the works? Looking forward to your reply, Kind regards, ***** ***** 22 44 33 0
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
REPEAT QUESTION:23/11/2015 09:06
23/11/2015 08:30 Landlord-tenant...
23/11/2015 08:30 Landlord-tenant question. The tenants (two of female students) pay a monthly rent (£ 1000 pcm) for their 2 bed flat. The hot water boiler (was very old) and suddenly stopped working (on a Friday evening). The tenants reported the problem to the landlord (a large estate company) and between the time his workers assessed the problem the following Monday, a replacement boiler was ordered and all (rather extensive) works were completed two weeks later the flat remaind without hot water (for two weeks). The old (vertical) boiler was for decades safely mounted on the bathroom (strong) wall and hidden above a false ceiling which had to be partially destroyed for the old boiler to be removed and the new one to be placed. The new (horizontal) boiler (which when full of water will weigh about 200 kg was placed on two horizontal beams by an ordinary carpenter. The construction was not assessed by a qualified structural engineer or chartered surveyer which raises questions of safety as it stands directly above the bath tub. The person in charge working for the landlord was asked in writing this question but two weeks later there is no reply: (1) What guarantee can the landlord provide on the static strength of the suspended/false ceiling in its capacity to sustain the weight of the new horizontal boiler (especially when it is full of water) (given the vibrations of the building due to the heavy traffic on the main road) ? For safety I would have thought that a static assessment by a structural engineer or someone appropriately qualified is needed. MY QUESTIONS TO YOU: 1) Is there an authority to which to address this matter that can hopefully oblige the landlord to carry out a structural safety survey? 2) Is the tenant entitled to rent compensation for loss of amenity (can it be called so?) for two weeks with no hot water and disturbance during the extensive works? Is it reasonable to ask the landlord to accept no rent for the duration of the works? Looking forward to your reply, Kind regards, ***** ***** 22 44 33 0
23/11/2015 09:06
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Goodmorning Nicola,Please do continue with your search. I appreciate your efforts to find a suitable solicitor for an answer. I can wait for a few more days. Thank you.
Regards.Leo
(Prof LS XANTHIS) ***********
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this for you.
There are detailed regulations regarding gas safety and and water supply but you are not saying that this is really the problem.
One approach you could take is to contact the local authority's environmental health department and tell them about this. You should tell them that you think it forms a statutory nuisance under S82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1982 in that it fits this statutory definition "premises in such a state as to be prejudicial to health".
If you are lucky they may come round inspect and serve enforcement notices on your landlord.
However, local authorities are under such pressure at the moment that they may be slow to come round. In which case if you are worried you will need to instruct your own surveyor/engineer to come and have a look at your own cost. Then, if the structure is dangerous you may be able to take action
You need to be aware of your position in terms of your tenancy. If you are an assured shorthold tenant and take action against your landlord then it may be very easy for him to get possession if you are near the end of your tenancy period or are a periodic tenant.
It is not clear to me if building regs would apply to this structure and it may be worth you calling your local authority building regs department to ask them.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear solicitor.Thank you for addessing the first part of my question. The second part is 2) Is the tenant entitled to rent compensation for loss of amenity (can it be called so?) for two weeks with no hot water and disturbance during the extensive works? Is it reasonable to ask the landlord to accept no rent for the duration of the works?Looking forward to your advice on this second question.Kind regards,Leo
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 1 year ago.
Probably not. Your landlord has a duty to remedy defects once they are notified about them and it seems that they did the work pretty quickly. So unfortunately you are probably not entitled to compensation.

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