What is the legal timescale for my Letting Agent to fix my heating? UK answers.?

I have an electric boiler and every winter it breaks down. The electrican has previously told me that it breaks down so frequently because the part it needs is expensive (about £200) and the Letting Agent can't get the Landlord to spend that much on it, so we end up with a cheaper part (£20) which basically is a temporary fix.

Our Letting Agent isn't very good to say the least - I have been left with no heating for a full week before in -12 degree conditions. On this occasion, it has been more than 48 hours so far without it being fixed and I'm getting sick of it given that my partner has a medical condition that is worsened by cold conditions. When I phoned the Letting Agent this morning, not only were they very rude but informed me that they weren't legally obliged to provide us with heating within the current timescale, but weren't more specific about the legal requirements.

They never get back to us when we ring them and say they've never had our messages (although I can prove we are constantly phoning via my phone bill) and even try to blame outside contractors for failing to make contact with us. They also say it's hard to get authorisation to do the work on our bolier because they can't get hold of the Landlord and he never gets back to them, so they just wait for him to return their calls.

We are excellent tenants having lived in the apartment for nearly 4 years and have paid the rent in full and on time every month, so they can't ask for more from us. I find their treatment of us unacceptable (even got told this morning, "we do have 200 properties you know, it's not just yours!") and if I didn't love my apartment so much I'd move out such is the poor service we get from the Letting Agent.

Any advice on my legal rights as a tenant would be much appreciated! Thanks.

2 Answers

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  • MYRTEL
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Best answer

    Your rights are as follows >

    Because you have already made several complaints over a period of time it is clear that the agent and landlord are aware. Therefore you have the legal right to get the boiler repaired to the proper requirements as per a Corgi Registered fitter, you must get three quotes, you then get the boiler repaired and you can deduct the cost from your due rent and there is nothing the landlord can do about it.

    The landlord/agent is obliged by law to keep all fixed items in proper working order because if and when you move out he will still keep said items - boiler - cooker - gas fire etc....

    You should HAND the agent a letter saying the following -

    I have tried reasonably to ensure the boiler is repaired to the proper safe functional capacity as entitled by law but you have not provided me with the level of care as due to me under the law as a paying tenant. The fact you have, as you say, "200 properties" and have indicated as such that your workload is the problem factor is nothing to do with me as a reasonable, paying tenant.

    I therefore have sought legal advice and now inform you with immediate effect I will be engaging a fitter from acceptance of 3 quotes and will have this work done and deduct the cost from due rent.

    This is my right under the law. I regret having to do this in this way but you have ignored my constant communications on this matter.///end///

    Put at the top of the letter > "Copy to Legal Adviser".

    You are not obliged to tell them who your legal adviser is. This is a matter of sticking to your entitlements. They are not - so why shouldn't you - you pay for a service being the rent for proper working fixtures such as boilers. The tenancy agreement can not be worded so as to put the onus upon you because the law states boilers must be cared for by the landlord/agent. Proper heating is a matter of health and safety during winter months so you have the moral as well as legal right to repair the boiler asap and cost it to the landlord via deduction from rent due.

    DO NOT LISTEN TO ANY CRAP FROM THE AGENT - MY ADVICE IS 100% CORRECT.

    If you dont want this to carry on then get it done now, you will also gain respect for future problems

    You can not be evicted from the house - as only a court order can remove a tenant.

    @@ MUSTARD ... has given very good advice .. I did not see his/her answer before I published mine.

  • 8 years ago

    My housing association left me without heating for two weeks in December 2010. That was the coldest December on record. They tried to blame it on the contractors. I feel you are dealing with the wrong people though. Landlords, not letting agencies are responsible. If you do not have a direct contact number for your landlord, write to your letting agency informing them that you will be witholding rent until such time as your heating is fixed. Write, recorded delivery of course, and inform them that you will keep any rent and deduct costs fron January's rent. The letting agency have no legal obligation to you. They are employees of your landlord and it his/her responsibility to fulfil the terms of your rent contract. Should you have no response within a reasosnable period of time then you are perfectly entitled to call a heating engineer yourself. Do not accept telephone calls. Explain the position to them of course. You will explain that you cannot lay out the cash yourself but will pay them from January's rent. I am a single parent and on benefit. It was surprising how quickly the heating got fixed last year (2010 actually) once I asked the the benefit agency to pay the money to me rather than directly to my landlord. Suddenly they were faced with a large bill and my costs. Surprise, surprise. Allof a sudden the correct part was in stock. You are also entitled to make deductions in your rent for any days in which you have no heating. I forwent any charges for distress caused but if your partner needs the heating then you are perfectly entitled to claim.They cannot evict you or take any action until the landlord fulfils the terms of his contract.

    Source(s): 10 years of Aragon Housing Association (and their brainless gas contractors). Pleased to amend my letters and provide them if requred.
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