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RJM Law
RJM Law, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 4294
Experience:  LL.B (Hons)
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From February to May, our water boiler was partially broken

Customer Question

From February to May, our water boiler was partially broken and did not heat on a regular cycle during off-peak times. The only time it would heat was manually turning on the boost which led to significantly increased electricity costs for that period. I am sharing the e-mail we sent to our property manager, who contacted the landlord and the landlord said they would pay for only 150gbp of the increased utilities. Do we have any further recourse here or are we out of luck?------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We have now verified that the British Gas reading from 10 June was not in error and was instead a direct result of using the boost to heat our water during the period that we waited for a working boiler. The bill for the most recent 110 days is £1,398.34 compared to the bill of £396.11 for the previous 104 day period -- over 3x increase.Please see the table below for detailed readings that show that our consumption increased significantly during the time you instructed us to use the boost. And if we're bein particular, our regular usage should have been even less than prior periods as both _______ and I were away for much of the spring (happy to provide airline tickets as proof) and when we were in London, often got ready for the day elsewhere to ensure we could have a hot shower.
We are therefore requesting that the landlord reduce our July rent by £430 (in addition to the £370 reduction from before) for a total energy consumption adjustment of £800. This means we are willing to cover 50% more than the previous period, which would be £600. This is a very generous offer as we are taking the higher end of the average energy cost increase across the UK during this period. We are happy to spli this reduction across July and August (£215 less each month), and pay our rent immediately once you confirm.
We really are not trying to be difficult here, we just feel we are reall being treated unfairly as this cost increase was not attributable to our activities. We contacted you as soon as we realized there was an issue with the boiler, made ourselves available (working from home, etc.) for many visits from the contractor even after he identified on his first visit that the boiler would need to be replaced, and have now completed extensive analysis to ensure we're asking for fair compensation. The higher energy costs around the UK are already a huge financial burden. This additional cost, which we did not cause and did not have any ability to fix, is overwhelming to our current financial situations.
Below, I have included both a reminder of the timeline of events as well as details on the readings and bills.Timeline of Events:
A summary of our 109 days relying on the manual boost for hot water -Feb 6 - we emailed you to report that the hot water was not workingFeb 6 - March 7 - the contractor visited our place 3 times. Each time, the water heater stopped working within 48 hours of his visitMarch 7 - You told us that the contractor had confirmed that 'both cylinder elements need replacing'April 6 - Another contractor was sent to see if the landlord could avoid replacing the boilerMay 26 - Hot water heater replaced and regular hot water availableEnergy Meter Readings + Bill Detailshttps://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1U43GjpLEA1FD3m5oEZyEx4paXCr-9Xqf/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=*****************4105&rtpof=true&sd=true
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: only communicated with landlord and property agent
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this?
Customer: no
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no
Submitted: 12 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  RJM Law replied 12 days ago.

Hello, and thank you for choosing our service today. I am the expert who shall assist you with this opportunity

Please note, our service is conducted through emails and from time to time there may be a delay between answers and responses, this is due to the expert availability at the time.

If you do not receive a response immediately, please be advised I may be working through other matters however you shall receive a response as soon as I am finished with any live. However please be assured I will get back to you.

I will be able to provide you with guidance in relation to your question which should assist in clarifying matters and navigating the legal system. However, please note this does not form a professional client relationship.

I look forward speaking with you and providing help.


Expert:  RJM Law replied 10 days ago.

Thank you I am just looking at this for you now.

Expert:  RJM Law replied 10 days ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** be possible to claim for this.  Provided you can prove the increase costs were a direct result of your landlords negligence, you could claim.  In the first instance you will want to see if the landlord is willing to settle this matter in terms of settlement or rent reduction etc.  If that is not the case you could have the evidence assessed in if valid intimate a small claims action against them.  

Prior to intimating small claim proceedings, you will require to send a letter to the respondent. It is a simple letter stating that if they do remedy the matter as you have outlined (in the same letter), you will take legal action against them. This is referred to as a. pre-action protocol letter. You can complete the forms for a claims action easily online. You will have to highlight what the issues are and tell them how much you are claiming for, to be honest the first are straight forward and self-explanatory. If you feel you can do this yourself then you don’t really need to hire a solicitor, but I will provide details for you in case you feel you want to. You will then receive a response to the claim and a court date. On the day (unless they offer a settlement) you will appear at the local court and basically provide your evidence and give you claim to the judge, and they will response. The judge will assess the merits of the claim and defence and make a judgement this should be relatively easy for you to prove so the respondent may well offer a settlement in the meantime.

I shall provide you with a helpful link that will assist you in finding a solicitor/representative near your local area. This will provide you with someone nearby your area who can assist you if required.

I hope this information proved helpful. You will find a local solicitor who deals with these matters on the law society webpage which is as follows;

https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/ (England)

https://www.lawscot.org.uk/find-a-solicitor/ (Scotland)

https://www.lawsociety.ie/Find-a-Solicitor/Solicitor-Firm-Search/ (Ireland)

https://www.lawsoc-ni.org/solicitors (N. Ireland)

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Should you require any further assistance on this matter, please do not hesitate to post a further question for additional assistance.

Kindest Regards.