Renting and repairs: My landlord won’t fix the heating, what can I do?

Home Repairs

If you are renting your home, it is your landlord’s responsibility to provide heating and hot water. When the heating or boiler fails through no fault of your own, your landlord must repair or replace the boiler or other equipment. Of course, how long this might take or whether the landlord is forthcoming in doing so is a different story. This article looks at the landlord’s obligations to provide heating and hot water and the steps tenants may take where their landlord fails in their obligations.

Does my landlord have to fix the heating?

Under the law, your landlord must provide you with water, gas, electricity and adequate sanitation facilities (toilets). You are also entitled to equipment for heating each occupied room, or central heating and a boiler for hot water.

There are minimum heating standards for each room, which is at least 18°C in bedrooms, and 21°C in living rooms where the outside temperature is -1°C. It is not acceptable to leave tenants without heating for more than a few days without the landlord taking steps to resolve the problem.

Under the Landlord and Tenant Act (1985), your landlord is responsible for any heating repairs, and replacements set out in the act. This cannot be set aside by any other document – including a tenancy agreement.

What should I do if the heating in my rented property is broken?

In the first instance, you should contact your landlord to let them know about the problem via your usual method of communication with them.

You should also keep evidence of your communications and the repair problem – including photos or videos.

My landlord has not responded/taken action. What should I do?

If your landlord has not replied to you after a few days or taken any action to resolve the repair problem, you should chase them up. We would recommend following up with an email or letter so you can set out the issue in full and so that you have a clear record of what has been said.  In the letter or email, you should:

  • Remind them that they have a responsibility to make repairs
  • Set out times when you are available for the repairs to be carried out
  • Tell them what action you would like them to take and the standard of repair that would be acceptable to you
  • Provide them with a reasonable deadline to respond

Contact the council

If your landlord refuses to make repairs or does not respond to you after several attempts at contact, you should report them to your local council. Each local council has a private renting team, and you should provide them with evidence such as emails, letters or photos. The environmental health team may then arrange an inspection of your home and have the power to order your landlord to carry out repairs.

To discuss this, or any other property dispute related matter, please contact Lucy directly on 01483 357009, email info@hartbrown.co.uk or start a live chat today.

*This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

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Lucy Penfold

Senior Solicitor, Dispute Resolution

Lucy is a Senior Solicitor in the Dispute Resolution team here at Hart Brown and specialises in property litigation and contentious trusts and probate. Lucy...

Lucy-Senior Solicitor in the Dispute Resolution

Senior Solicitor, Dispute Resolution

Lucy Penfold

Lucy is a Senior Solicitor in the Dispute Resolution team here at Hart Brown and specialises in property litigation and contentious trusts and probate.

Lucy completed her law degree at Kingston University before completing the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in Guildford (now the University of Law). Lucy qualified in 2012 and brings with her general commercial litigation experience from Central London and Surrey law firms.

A member of the Property Litigation Association, Lucy deals with all areas of property litigation including varied landlord and tenant disputes, evictions, neighbour disputes, boundary disputes, commercial property disputes, property disrepairs and dilapidations.

Lucy also deals with various contentious probate matters, including interpreting the terms of wills, brining or defending claims to contest wills or trusts, and executor removal disputes.

Lucy’s general commercial litigation experience allows her to have a pragmatic and commercial approach to any legal issue faced.

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