How long does a landlord have to fix a boiler? 24 hours. Under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, you have the right to expect your landlord to carry out repairs in a ‘reasonable time’. If it’s an emergency repair as you’ve got no heating or hot water, your landlord should fix this in 24 hours.
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Is your landlord refusing to fix the broken boiler in your property?
It is a legal requirement that your landlord must fix your broken boiler. Not only is this a legal requirement, your landlord is legally obligated to fix your broken boiler within a specific time frame. The Landlord and Tenant Act in 1985 was adopted in order to prevent landlords from, amongst other things, avoiding this responsibility, it is set out out in Article 11 of The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 that your landlord carry out repairs in a ‘reasonable time’. If it’s an emergency repair as you’ve got no heating or hot water, your landlord should fix this in 24 hours.
Is your landlord responsible for the boiler?
Yes! Every landlord must adhere to the Landlords and Tenants Act 1985, therefore they are legally obliged to repair a broken boiler within a property, provided that the tenant has not caused the damage to the boiler, this would shift liability from the landlord.
What else is the landlord responsible for?
The boiler is not the only appliance that must be taken care of by a landlord. The Landlord and Tenants Act 1985 also requires landlords to maintain the installation systems within the home. This would include systems such as:
- space heating
- water heating
Not only does the government consider it hazardous, it is a part of the responsibility as a landlord to ensure that these systems are kept in good repair and are regularly working, in order for you, the tenant, to go about your daily life without any complications.
What can you do if your landlord won’t fix your heating?
If your landlord refuses to fix the heating problem within your home, then the landlord must provide you with heating equipment that has the capacity to heat your house to around 65 degrees. However, there are instances in which a landlord would refuse to carry this out, in that case, you would be well within your rights to contact the police as they will visit your home, check the temperature and call your landlord with strict orders to carry out his responsibility as a landlord by mending the heating problem. Some may understandably wish to avoid a step such as this in fear of creating a poor relationship with your landlord, therefore it is possible to pay to fix the problem yourself and deduct the cost from future rent fees, provided that the landlord is notified beforehand and proof can be provided. We would recommend obtaining the landlord’s written consent before doing this
Can you withhold rent if the landlord does not carry out repairs?
Technically, no. Tenants do not have a right -in law- to simply not pay their landlord for not carrying out repairs, as frustrating as that may sound. This would only harm your chances of remaining in the property, which in the grand scheme of things is more important. Therefore, the best way to avoid a situation in which there could be a relationship breakdown, is by simply following a procedure whereby you notify your landlord of the problem in writing and keep a record of any, or all, attempts of chasing the landlord you have made. If you have the money available an option is to pay for the damage out of your own personal expenses, in exchange for a decrease in future rental fees. Finally, evidence that you have paid for the damage would also have to be provided to ensure that the landlord is able to reimburse you entirely.
What is uninhabitable living conditions?
In accordance with the Homes Act 2018, there is quite a broad scope for what renders a property uninhabitable, for example, mould would be an example because this is a sign that your house has poor ventilation, or even that water pipes in your house are leaking, leading to an even bigger potential problem. In addition, if there is damage to your property’s exterior or interior structure you may be able to make a claim that your house is unfit for living in as there is an obvious high risk of danger in this situation. An unsafe structure or layout, lack of natural light, damp, carbon monoxide (this odourless gas is extremely harmful and prevents oxygen from being carried around the body, impeding your breathing), asbestos (which can aggravate lung tissue if inhaled), excess cold or heat all amount to uninhabitable living conditions per the Homes Act 2018. It is worth noting that things like unattractive paint colour or carpet that is worn out does not constitute uninhabitable.
Can I make a claim against my landlord?
Yes. You can ask your landlord for compensation if they did not carry out repairs within a reasonable time once you had reported the issue(s).
You may also be entitled to compensation if your home is unfit to live in because of poor conditions.
You can take legal action to claim compensation during your tenancy or even after it ends. You have up to 6 years to claim (or 3 years for a personal injury claim). The time runs from when your landlord should have carried out the work.
Further information on how a claim works can be located here.
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