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Tenant Rights Re No Heating or Hot Water

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winkyridg | 14:58 Fri 13th Nov 2009 | Law
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Not sure if this is the right forum but i rent a property ,the heating system including hot water has not been working for nearly 3 weeks now the landlady (Mrs Scrooge) i will call her has been dithering now for 3 weeks because she doesn't want to part with money unless it is as cheap as she can possibly get it , i have 3 children the youngest of whom is 10 we have had to purchase electric heaters out of our pockets just to keep warm which will also hit the electric bill quite hard , we have to visit our eldest daughters house on a daily basis to shower which is at the opposite end of town which is also hitting her electric bill too , does anybody know what sort of rights we have regarding this situation , we are sick of contacting the landlady and getting either no sense or joy out of her , we are now at the end of our tethers .

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Iam very sorry indeed to read of your bad situation , I do not know anything about the law and therefore cannot give you an answer. there are many people on here who will be able to help.However I would start off by going to the Citizens A dvice Bureau , they will be up to speed on what you can do.If I was in your position I would withold my rent , not refusing to pay , but will pay when the prob is sorted.I would put this in writing to Mrs Scrooge.I cannot see a court evicting a family with 3 children because the rent is not being paid , just put by till the prob is solved.I wish you well and so sorry that I cannot help further.Please let us know what happens if you can.
Write her a letter stating that you are witholding your rent until this problem is fixed; make sure you state that this is NOT a refusal to pay your rent. Tell her that unless the problem is resolved forthwith, YOU will be contacting a plumber to recify the problem and pay him out of your witheld rent money. You will provide her with the plumber's bill and pay her the balance oustanding of any rent you owe at that point.

I've done the same in the past.............it usually concentrates their mind quite well.
I agree with brenda,get an appointment with the CAB as soon as possible and ask them what your rights are.
I am thankful that my landlord used to be a heating engineer,whenever our boiler has broken he fixes it himself.
It must have worked when you first entered the flat, if so, its 'wear & tear' and you could be responsible to maintain premises to original rental standard. With-holding rent could get you and family evicted.
No, no, no, Tamborine. Not on something like the heating system.
Where do you get these ideas from.
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Had another thought on this , could your local council help . get on the council list , emergency position , no heat no hot water and a family of 3 youngsters.Don't know what your council is like but another avenue to try .Brenda.
My last tenant's children pulled the copper piping out. I asked how to fix it on here at the time. However, if it's proved (by plumber) that its a defunct system then tenant could be 'turned out' for repairs. All depends on contract.
buildersmate....your response please to my explanation for 'my ideas'?
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Don't withhold rent, this is illegal.

What you must do is put in writing to the landlord that unless the problem is fixed within a reasonable time that you will get 2 or 3 estimates to repair the problem and get the plumbing fixed yourself. State that you will deduct the cost from the rent. If she as already had 3 weeks and done nothing then I would give perhaps 3 or 4 days to rectify the problem in your letter. Obviously you could have done this sooner if you had known. This is the legal way of approaching the problem.

You can get evicted for not paying the rent, so dont go down that route. It would take several months and cant happen within the fixed term of a tenancy but could still end with eviction. Use the proper legal process.

Also, you wont be 'turned out' while it's repaired. In extreme circumstances, if the property becomes uninhabitable, then the landlord is obliged to offer you alternative accommodation. Also, tenants are not responsible for fair wear and tear, only damage. I do wonder sometimes about some of the 'advice' that's given on here.

As this landlord sounds a bit irresponsible, are you certain that your deposit is held in one of the 3 Schemes and that you have the legally required Gas Safety Certificate?
Apologies for digging up an old post. Twenty20, can you advise of the law/right that your reply refers to. am in a similar situation and would like to refer to the exact statute in my correspondence.

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