Landlord won't turn heating on.

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Gwalchgwyn
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Hi, i live in an 11 person house in Plymouth. As you all know its starting to get cold now, especially in the mornings. We've asked our landlord to turn the heating on in the mornings and in the evenings and he has for 2 or 3 days at a time. Today there has been absolutely no heating at all and its absolutely freezing. To top it off, my bedroom window is broken and jammed open slightly.

All bills were inclusive in rent and our tenancy agreement doesn't say anything about having heating on/off at specific hours - the boiler is in a locked cupboard downstairs and we're not allowed electric heaters in our rooms.

Is there anything we can do? :s
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kkboyk
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(Original post by Gwalchgwyn)
Hi, i live in an 11 person house in Plymouth. As you all know its starting to get cold now, especially in the mornings. We've asked our landlord to turn the heating on in the mornings and in the evenings and he has for 2 or 3 days at a time. Today there has been absolutely no heating at all and its absolutely freezing. To top it off, my bedroom window is broken and jammed open slightly.

All bills were inclusive in rent and our tenancy agreement doesn't say anything about having heating on/off at specific hours - the boiler is in a locked cupboard downstairs and we're not allowed electric heaters in our rooms.

Is there anything we can do? :s
You could always report the landlord if they still refuse to fulfill those request

http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...vate_landlords
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SophieSmall
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(Original post by Gwalchgwyn)
Hi, i live in an 11 person house in Plymouth. As you all know its starting to get cold now, especially in the mornings. We've asked our landlord to turn the heating on in the mornings and in the evenings and he has for 2 or 3 days at a time. Today there has been absolutely no heating at all and its absolutely freezing. To top it off, my bedroom window is broken and jammed open slightly.

All bills were inclusive in rent and our tenancy agreement doesn't say anything about having heating on/off at specific hours - the boiler is in a locked cupboard downstairs and we're not allowed electric heaters in our rooms.

Is there anything we can do? :s
Get a locksmith to come round an unlock the cupboard, you have every right to enter that cupboard and turn the heating on and off as you wish. Your landlord is in breach of the tenancy agreement I would believe.

Speak to him first of course, but tell him if he doesn't allow you access to the cupboard you'll get it opened yourself. Re-read the tenancy agreement first thought to double check, but this really is not on.
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Manitude
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Just out of interest, how does he plan to enforce 'no electric heaters in rooms'? Is it part of the tenancy agreement? If he allowed to go snooping in your rooms looking for electric heaters when you're not there?

Personally I'd get an electric heater as a short term measure while putting pressure on the landlord to get the boiler on more often. You cannot be reasonably expected to live in an unheated house in winter. If you can't get anywhere with that, then threatening to kick up a fuss with the media can be enough to persuade people they're being unreasonable.
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Forum User
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The landlord is required by s 11(1)(c) Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to keep in proper repair and working order the heating installations. I am fairly sure that heating which is turned off, and which the tenants have no access to to turn on, is not in 'working order' even if it would actually work if turned on, otherwise the landlord would be able to avoid his statutory obligations by having a working boiler that is never switched on... The section applies regardless of whether the tenancy agreement states that it applies, and even if the tenancy agreement says the complete opposite - it cannot be contracted out of. However, I do not know if it applies to HMOs.

You should probably try to persuade him that he is being unreasonable, and if that doesn't work contact Shelter, CAB or similar. I'm not a qualified lawyer so don't take what I wrote as gospel.
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gustavus
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Write to landlord setting out your expectations... Eg expecting heating to be switched on for a reasonable time each day to ensure the house is kept in a reasonable liveable level. Copy in the uni student housing /su people. Say that you need them to contact you within however many days of receipt of the mail and in the meantime for your quiet enjoyment? /comfort you will be using electric heaters as otherwise it will be too cold to live in. The landlord will no doubt contact you sharpish!
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Tall Man Green
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Under the Housing Act 2004 is the HHSRS, a tool that EHOs use to identify and address hazards in a property, including HMOs. One of the hazards under HHSRS is excess cold and you can argue that having no access to the heating system and the fact it is not being turned on is increasing the scale of the hazard. Under HHSRS guidance to enforcement officers, it states ‘heating should be controllable by the occupiers and
safely and properly installed and maintained.' If it is in a locked cupboard, it is not controllable by the occupiers and therefore in breach of the legislation.

It can even be tackled in another way in the eyes of the council. I did a 6-month housing placement at a local council, and we often found that landlords were locking boilers up etc so the tenants could not control the heating. It is increasing the risk of fire, because locking up an unused boiler in the winter months encourages tenants to use portable heaters in their rooms, which massively increases the risk of fire.


Source: http://www.cieh.org/assets/0/72/1126...23b735bc10.pdf
Also a 3rd year student of Environmental Health

Either way, I would suggest you simply contact the housing department of your local council where an EHO will visit the property and speak to the landlord on your behalf.
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indigobluesss
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Talk to your local council
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thunder_chunky
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Surely he can't refuse to turn it on if you're paying for it in the bills. Anyway, eleven people in the house, I bet that's a barrel of laughs.
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Howbeit
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If it's all inclusive then you have a right to have the heating on. You have the right to have it on all the time unless your contract says otherwise and somehow limits it, which I doubt, I would advice talking to the council about this issue so they can help deal with it. You could of course make your rights known to the landlord but you wouldn't want to aggravate your relationship with him. I don't see how your landlord would know you have electric heaters, is this even in the contract you signed? He has no right to make unannounced entry into your living space so I can't see how he would ever know if you're careful. If you're from a university then they may also be able to help you deal with this.
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Sam_26_Guy
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My landlord is pretty frugal with heating and electricity. I have the coldest room in the house it seems. It's still cold even with the heating on. So anyway, I purchased a portable heater today, it's nice and toasty now. His electric bill will be nice and toasty I reckon too.
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Buginight
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Can anybody answer me, but by some regulation, between and wich time heating should run on, surley not over night?
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inthedark1
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11 people in the house, can you not rely on body heat? I bet you are always catching colds off each other. The number one reason I wouldnt want to live with a lot of people
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doodle_333
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(Original post by Buginight)
Can anybody answer me, but by some regulation, between and wich time heating should run on, surley not over night?
Depends on your needs. No point having heating on when you're out at uni or keeping it above a low minimum when you sleep. Also depends how good the heaters are. I've had places we put a timer on for 1-2 hours in the morning and 2-3 hours in the afternoon/eve. I've flicked it on for an hour when I've just felt cold. Right now we've got one with a temp guage so it's set to 16 during the day and turns off when we sleep.
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