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I moved into a privately rented studio apartment in July 2012 (let’s call this property A).
Prior to this i was residing in a different studio that was situated within the same private property developement (let’s call this property B). I moved into property B in 2008 but had to move out in 2012 because my then landlord decided to sell. When i moved into property B, a wall heater was in the kitchen, and a plug-in convector heated was provided to me by my then landlord. The convector heater was rubbish so i purchased my own.
Property A is very dated but my main concern is that i can afford the rent despite living on my own so the dated issue is not that much of a big deal. However, in property A there are no heating facilities what so ever. The only heating supply i have is by using my own convector heater. The whole property is run on electric, the water is heated by emersion tank/boiler. Property A as no gas supply.
I didn’t realise this at the time of signing my tenancy, but what with the cold winter last year it cost me a fortune when using my plug-in convector heater.
I would like to if my landlord is obliged to provide some sort of heating facilites for the property?
Many thanks in advance for your help and advice.
The answer to your question is “No” if you took the property and there was no heating installed your landlord is not obliged to give you it because you ask. A heating system being installed is not a statutory regulation for landlords to comply with, if there is a heating source installed when you moved in then it is the landlords obligation to maintain and certificate it to the legislative standard. IE: gas central heating would need a gas safe certificate and the electric heaters will need to be pat tested.. Did you have an EPC given to you by the landlord when you moved in to the new property?
All that aside, I do not think any property in the 21st century in the UK should be offered to let without a heat source installed and I certainly would tell tenants not to take up a tenancy in one.
Councils would not offer accreditation to a property without a heating system and landlordreferencing.co.uk would not look at a landlord as being fit and proper if they offered one to let without heating being offered.
Look for a landlord that will offer you a better home with heating in and always make sure all the things you need in your new property are there before you move in..
My local council (Shepway in Kent) say that the Landlord should provide a fixed heating system but in your case this will likely be a fixed version of the portable appliance you have at present. It will not make a scrap of difference to your heating bill. You must also consider whether the wall space taken by the fixed heater is more valuable than the fixed heating system.
In my studio flats I provide a portable heater, properly safeguarded so that misuse automatically shuts of the heat, as this is preferred by the tenants. Only when the Environmental health demand do I fix the same heater to the wall. It is invariably unfixed by the tenant.
Surely as a tenant you should carry out full DD on a property BEFORE you sign an AST for the property.
Ever heard of caveat emptor!?
If tenants carried out full DD then it is highly unlikely the property will let out.
Therefore the LL will have to provide the amenities that tenants desire or not rent the property out and suffer the voids.
Tenants CANNOT take on a property as seen and then start demanding all sorts of things.
The tenant should just go elsewhere; nobody forces a tenant to sign an AST!!
Like most things in life you get what you pay for!
So perhaps you look elsewhere and find a property in a a condition more commensurate with your affordability.
Under the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS), introduced as part of the Housing Act 2004, the lack of heating represents a Category 1 hazard and is actionable by the local housing authority. The environmental health department of the relevant council will be able to advise.
I agree lack of heat can be seen as a grade 1 hazard and especially for those over 65, however I think many councils are very reluctant to use enforcement powers to get a landlord to provide heating and especially if it was not there in the first place.
Our local authority would certainly give the landlord a recommendation to carry out these works on a very official piece of paper to try and scare us, but they would never go as far as getting an enforcement order, carrying out the works (If the landlord failed to) then getting payment or seizure of the landlords property for the cost of the works.
I wonder wether any landlord that does not provide heating will ever worry about a notice from the council.. most would just say they don’t read English lol
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I disagree Paul.
Lack of heating provided from the offset can quickly enter the territory of a category 1 hazard under HHSRS. Excess cold, and do we not endure winter for a good portion of the year, every year? Winter is not something that may not happen, it will happen so a property needs to be equipped to deal with this. Sleeping room temperatures in the rented property have to be a minimum of 18 degrees celcius and 21 degreed celsius for living rooms, I’m assuming that’s a year round standard? During the cold season, without heating, damp and mould growth WILL happen regardless of whether we ventilate our property. As a tenant, in temperatures well below 0 degrees celcius, am I expected to open windows and doors to allow proper ventilation with no source of heating? I think not. Age is irrelevent.
Lack of heating is covered under HHSRS as a hazard and that would have to be enforced by section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant act 1987 by means of ‘repair’.
I thought I was being good when we were offered free gas installation into the building, so I put in gas central heating. But the tenants don’t use it and have gas arrears of over £100 because they don’t pay for the standing charges. They now have 2 standing charges rather than one. So you have to ask yourself if putting gas heating was a good idea after all. With 2 standing orders, certificate and maintenance plus the price of the boiler, it is probably dearer than electric heating.
I found that if you are in all day that storage heating works out cheaper when taking into the extra maintenance needed.
The govt doesn’t have a clue how tenants think….they want us all to have gas heating but it causes tenant debt.
It can be costing a lot of money on the landlords part (installing the latest boilers etc )
My ex Tenant worked away so was only at the flat now and again. She never used the gas or electric. Ran up a debt of £85 in tariff charges . This was not really her fault , the debt would not be there if there were no meter tariff charges. If the tenants are saving money and are not using the utilities you could end up with candle soot everywhere (could burn the flat down) and mold because they are not heating the place.
You can take a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. (especially in light of the humongous cost of using the utilities. )
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