Your landlord has legal obligations to provide you with a reliable source of heating or hot water at all times. This means that as a tenant you are entitled to a central heating system or equipment for space heating in every room of the property that is occupied. Your rented property should also have a working boiler for heating water.
Your landlord is responsible for maintaining the hot water and heating systems as well as appliances such as electric heaters that they have supplied and must ensure that they are kept in proper working order. If you have any problems with your heating or hot water systems your landlord must make the repairs and they must pay for repairs and maintenance themselves.
There is a minimum heating standard when it comes to your landlord’s heating obligations. When the temperature is below -1°C all sleeping rooms in the rented property should have the facilities to be heated to at least 18°C and you should be able to heat any living rooms to at least 21°C.
Your landlord is also responsible for carrying out safety checks of your heating and hot water systems. Gas appliances and flues should undergo annual gas safety checks and your landlord should supply you with a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate. Electrical installations should also undergo checks every 5 years.
How long your landlord has to fix your heating or hot water issue depends on how severe the issue is. For minor repairs, your landlord should fix the issue within a reasonable time. For urgent or emergency repairs your landlord should act quickly. Emergency repairs include a total loss of water or heating when the weather is cold and urgent repairs include faults with the central heating as well as plumbing problems.
How quickly your landlord should make repairs can also depend on the temperature. When the weather is cold you should not be left without heating for more than 24 hours and your landlord should make attempts to fix the issue within this time once you have notified them. If you have no hot water this is always classed as an emergency irrelevant to the temperature.
If your landlord cannot repair an urgent issue quickly then they should provide you with equipment for heating your home. Depending on what your tenancy agreement says your landlord may be required to provide you with temporary accommodation whilst repairs are taking place.
It’s important to note that your landlord can not include a clause in your tenancy agreement that means that you are held responsible for any major repairs. If you have heating or hot water problems your landlord must be the one to make the repairs and they cannot pass the cost of the repairs to you.
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Are you a Council or Housing association Tenant with housing disrepair issues? If so we can help you claim compensation on a NO Win, NO Fee basis.
If your rented council home or housing association property has issues that have not been repaired find out if you are eligible to make a housing disrepair claim for property repair and compensation.
The first thing that you should do when you have problems with your heating or hot water is to inform your landlord. Your landlord should make repairs within a reasonable time, what classes as a reasonable time depends on the issue, for example, a broken boiler or no central heating is usually an urgent repair issue whereas a radiator that won’t turn on can be seen as a less urgent issue.
If your landlord refuses to make the repairs then you could make a complaint to your local council, or to the housing ombudsman if the council is your landlord.
If the issue still isn’t resolved after speaking with your landlord and complaining to the council then you may wish to consider taking legal action against your landlord by making a housing disrepair claim against them. You have a legal right to feel safe and comfortable in your home, if you make a housing disrepair claim against your landlord the court could order them to make repairs and you could also be entitled to compensation.
As well as reporting your landlord to the local council you can also make a complaint to environmental health regarding heating and hot water issues.
Environmental health is a department of your local council that looks into serious issues, loss of heating or hot water can be seen as a serious hazard to a tenant’s health, particularly during cold months.
You should only contact environmental health if your landlord or letting agent does not make repairs in a reasonable time or if they have not responded to you. Environmental health may carry out an inspection of your rented home and they could serve your landlord with an improvement notice and order them to make repairs.
You can contact environmental health directly and can usually find their contact details on your local council’s website. Alternatively, your local council may refer your case to environmental health if you make a complaint about your landlord to them.
If you make a housing disrepair claim because your landlord has failed to make repairs to your heating or hot water systems then you could be entitled to compensation.
You can claim compensation for financial loss, personal injury, damage to belongings and inconvenience as a result of your landlord’s failure to make repairs. How much compensation you could be entitled to depends on how severe the issue is and how long it has persisted for. Generally, a successful claim could see you awarded compensation in the value of between 20-50% of your rent.
Heating and hot water disrepair cases are very serious and there is usually a good chance that you could be entitled to compensation. Our housing law lawyers can help to determine how much compensation that you could be entitled to.