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  • FIRST POST
    kat1982
    is there a minimum temperature required for rented accomodation?
    • #1
    • 4th Jan 09, 5:02 PM
    is there a minimum temperature required for rented accomodation? 4th Jan 09 at 5:02 PM
    hi, just wondered if anyone had any advice on this,...... im 8 months pregnant and have been renting a house for the last couple of months which is impossible to heat! ive used £170 in gas in two months and because the house has no cavity wall or loft insulation it doesnt keep the heat very well- im concerned that when the baby comes we will both freeze! I work part time and am not in receipt of benefits, and so will not qualify for warm front (im waiting to hear if I can get the £300 rebate from them) but in the meantime no matter what I do to this house it struggles to keep a temperature of above 15 degrees. Is there any legal obligation for a landlord to provide anything to maintain a minimum temperature? Or any other advice towards the chill would be great
Page 1
    • lindsaygalaxy
    • By lindsaygalaxy 4th Jan 09, 5:08 PM
    • 1,950 Posts
    • 2,938 Thanks
    lindsaygalaxy
    • #2
    • 4th Jan 09, 5:08 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Jan 09, 5:08 PM
    I used to live in a house like this! If you contact warmfront you can get all your insulation and wall cavity stuff done for free, as long you your LL agrees. You will be on benfits then if you get WTC, though I think many electric companies also do it for free now.


    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 4th Jan 09, 7:37 PM
    • 25,384 Posts
    • 12,108 Thanks
    Cardew
    • #3
    • 4th Jan 09, 7:37 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Jan 09, 7:37 PM
    Welcome to the forum.

    I would contact Citizens advice to be sure, but I am pretty certain there is no requirement at all to provide heating of any kind.

    Plenty of people rent completely unfurnished, unheated properties and heat with plug-in electric fires.

    Whilst £85 a month for gas is a lot, many people pay a lot more than that each month at this time of the year.

    As said you may be able to get help with insulation and/or paying bills.
  • kat1982
    • #4
    • 4th Jan 09, 8:08 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Jan 09, 8:08 PM
    it just seems a lot compared to previous houses i have lived in of the same size, and thats only two to three hours heating a day so im terrified of when i will need to keep the house warm 24/7- i work for a uk elec and gas supplier (dont hiss at me!) and have come across gas bill sizes generally at the minute... i have looked into insulation and its a bit of a vicious circle at the minute- because i am not in receipt of benefits yet i cannot claim free insulation, and so will have to wait until junior has arrived to apply, and then wait a further 6-8 weeks for installation, i think summer may beat me to it!
    • richardc1983
    • By richardc1983 4th Jan 09, 9:50 PM
    • 1,824 Posts
    • 992 Thanks
    richardc1983
    • #5
    • 4th Jan 09, 9:50 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Jan 09, 9:50 PM
    First things first work with what you have got, when the heatings on are your radiators hot all over? The system could be faulty and not outputting heat as it should.

    Get your landlord to service the system.

    There is no legal limit for temperature in living accomodation, only work places where the lower limit is 16C but there is no upper limit.
  • kat1982
    • #6
    • 5th Jan 09, 7:49 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Jan 09, 7:49 PM
    upstairs ive managed to get it to 18 degrees if i put the heating on full and close the doors downstairs is open plan with one radiator at one end of the room, and french windows at the other... and then the kitchen is a newer extension with one radiator- if i cook its the only way to warm up the kitchen! ive insulated the kitchen with a blackout blond and curtain over the back door, and the french windows have thermal curtains on, but even with the heating on full, downstairs will only reach 15 degrees tops.... im a little perplexed because i was under the impression the boiler is a combi, but on my combi at the old house (same size) there was a temp 1-10 gauge for the water, and a seperate one for the heating. this property has a thermostat (which seems to be there only for decoration) and a dial for the radiators... its generally a nightmare house! the bathroom has no radiator, just a heated towel rail for heat, and this is where the cold is at its worst- theres a stand alone bath, slate tiles and the loft opening so the bathroom is never over 10 degrees! im concerned that even with the insulation carried out, the house is incapable of reaching an optimum temperature anyway!
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 5th Jan 09, 8:04 PM
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    Fire Fox
    • #7
    • 5th Jan 09, 8:04 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Jan 09, 8:04 PM
    There are lots of possible issues - you may have a really inefficient house, a really old boiler, you may not have enough radiators for the space ... one radiator in an open plan house will try to heat all the way up the stairs unless you have a door onto them?

    I would write to your landlord specifying the problems and give him/ her the chance to rectify it. Insulting the loft is very cheap, servicing the central heating should have already been done. There is no reason any house can't be sorted, it's just a case of how much it will cost and how willing your landlord is.

    If you do this in writing, recorded delivery your landlord will have to respond. If they do not then you have a case for getting out of your contract early. A 10C bathroom is no good for a baby, and a 15C sitting room with heating on full blast is just silly. You should not have to provide extra heating sources as you rented a property with heating installed.
    What a difference a day makes, twenty four little hours.
    • richardc1983
    • By richardc1983 5th Jan 09, 8:11 PM
    • 1,824 Posts
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    richardc1983
    • #8
    • 5th Jan 09, 8:11 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Jan 09, 8:11 PM
    What settings are your boiler on for the heating side of things? Do the radiators get hot all over? Or just at the bottom?

    Another thing to make sure you havent got radiators covered over tuck curtains down the back of radiators on a night to make sure the heat is directed into the room and not into the window area.
  • KimYeovil
    • #9
    • 5th Jan 09, 8:44 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Jan 09, 8:44 PM
    DO NOT tuck curtains behind radiators. Sit them on the window sill.

    [Edit: Ah. This is being discussed elsewhere.

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=1393859
    http://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=22426 ]
    Last edited by KimYeovil; 05-01-2009 at 8:50 PM.
    • skint-student-nurse
    • By skint-student-nurse 5th Jan 09, 8:49 PM
    • 1,289 Posts
    • 2,487 Thanks
    skint-student-nurse
    i had this problem in my last house and had a gas heater in most rooms and it didnt work. environmental health came round to assess the situation as i was suffering from re-occuring chest infections fro the cold house! they offered to put in central heating with my landlords permission...they said yes but they would have to put my rent up!
    • richardc1983
    • By richardc1983 5th Jan 09, 8:50 PM
    • 1,824 Posts
    • 992 Thanks
    richardc1983
    Your wrong Kim. My parents have a mixture of double radiators where the warm air travels between the two panels front and back. The tuck them behind the radiators on the double ones and the warm air flow comes up the front of the curtains and into the room and not into the window area. The room is 3C warmer than the other way with them over the front.

    The dining room curtains are not long enough to tuck behind so they are up on the window sill, its just as warm. But if you have long curtains dont hide the radiator behind them as this is stopping 2 things.

    1. The warm air flow getting into the room even if they are in the front of radiator as the warm air currents are not fan forced so the air will just gather in the window bay.

    2. If they are in front, the radiated heat from the front of the radiator is blocked by the material
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 5th Jan 09, 11:11 PM
    • 23,851 Posts
    • 27,065 Thanks
    Fire Fox
    i had this problem in my last house and had a gas heater in most rooms and it didnt work. environmental health came round to assess the situation as i was suffering from re-occuring chest infections fro the cold house! they offered to put in central heating with my landlords permission...they said yes but they would have to put my rent up!
    Originally posted by skint-student-nurse
    You don't get chest infections from a cold house. You might if you had a damp problem and there were fungus spores in the air? Calor gas heaters produce a lot of water. I know a proper chest infection is a bacteria not a fungus BTW!
    What a difference a day makes, twenty four little hours.
  • helencitauk
    Landlord's obligations
    Hi - I have a similar problem: small child and inadequate heating (mine takes hours to get up to any kind of temperature comfortable enough to live in).

    Anyway, I phoned Leeds City Council at one point when I was fuming about my landlord and asked about his legal obligations and it turns out that landlords/ladies do have an obligation to provide a liveable standard of heating. The council said they would have come round to my property to decide if this was the case with where I lived and if they did deem it unsuitable they would be legally obliged to sue the landlord.

    Perhaps it would be worth a call to your local council housing department to find out what they've got to say on the subject - you don't need to be a council tenant to speak to someone about your accommodation issues.

    Hope that helps!
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 6th Jan 09, 3:48 PM
    • 54,178 Posts
    • 308,309 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    You can do the maths to work out if the radiator sizes you have are deemed a suitable installation for the size of your room.

    If the whole of the ground floor is open plan, the maths might show that a 3rd radiator is required.

    http://www.muswell-hill.com/foxandco/pages/calculating_radiator_sizes.htm
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 6th Jan 09, 5:47 PM
    • 25,384 Posts
    • 12,108 Thanks
    Cardew
    Hi - I have a similar problem: small child and inadequate heating (mine takes hours to get up to any kind of temperature comfortable enough to live in).

    Anyway, I phoned Leeds City Council at one point when I was fuming about my landlord and asked about his legal obligations and it turns out that landlords/ladies do have an obligation to provide a liveable standard of heating. The council said they would have come round to my property to decide if this was the case with where I lived and if they did deem it unsuitable they would be legally obliged to sue the landlord.

    Perhaps it would be worth a call to your local council housing department to find out what they've got to say on the subject - you don't need to be a council tenant to speak to someone about your accommodation issues.

    Hope that helps!
    Originally posted by helencitauk
    I think something has got misinterpreted in the phone conversation.

    You can legally rent out unfurnished, unheated properties.

    In any case a landlord could supply several electric fires that you can get on ebay for a couple of pounds each. You can get new fan heaters for £10 from Argos.

    It is very easy to get any property up to 26C in all rooms - less easy to pay for the electricity!!
    • Nicky321
    • By Nicky321 6th Jan 09, 6:48 PM
    • 1,360 Posts
    • 607 Thanks
    Nicky321
    My daughter is in the same boat, she has a 1yr old and now shes on benefits. she lives in a 2 up 2 down end terrace, there is no insulation, no cavity wall (therefore cannot have cavity wall insulation), ill fitting front door and door to living room, no door to the stairway (she put a thick curtain up and it seems to keep heat from escaping upstairs and through the roof. She put in for a warm front grant in Sept and had the survey done in Dec, she in now waiting on them installing loft insulation and draft proofing measures around windows and doors. Its looking like she may end up moving before she has the works done.

    Her bathroom is downstairs and classed as having 3 outside walls as it has a flat roof, she has been told this room will always be cold no matter what she does.

    Warm front cannot legally touch the central heating system as this is the Landlords property and he is responsible.
    Last edited by Nicky321; 06-01-2009 at 6:53 PM.
  • kat1982
    I am unable to find anything that states a legal obligation that a landlord has to maintain a set temperature, only that the heating must be working... I will contact the council though for general clarification on this, it seems crazy that a house with adequate heating would be this chilly, theres only so many pairs of curtains a girl can buy!
    • olly300
    • By olly300 6th Jan 09, 8:35 PM
    • 14,315 Posts
    • 13,628 Thanks
    olly300
    I am unable to find anything that states a legal obligation that a landlord has to maintain a set temperature, only that the heating must be working... I will contact the council though for general clarification on this, it seems crazy that a house with adequate heating would be this chilly, theres only so many pairs of curtains a girl can buy!
    Originally posted by kat1982
    That's because there is actually no law.

    With a furnished property if you check different councils and housing charities guidelines you should get:
    1. A heating source in all liveable rooms this excludes kitchens and bathroom as you don't live in them.
    2. A source for cooking i.e. a connected cooker

    With an unfurnished property you should get:
    1. A source by which you can heat the property so an electric socket will do.
    2. A source by which you can cook by, so a gas supply or an electric socket will do.

    BTW heated towel rails if connected properly and are the right size should heat your bathroom up. My own is actually a radiator but other peoples are actually electric.
  • LittleTinker
    What settings are your boiler on for the heating side of things? Do the radiators get hot all over? Or just at the bottom?

    Another thing to make sure you havent got radiators covered over tuck curtains down the back of radiators on a night to make sure the heat is directed into the room and not into the window area.
    Originally posted by richardc1983
    Ignore this! Do NOT tuck curtains in.

    Also....you have a cold house. You can move or put up with it but dont worry about the baby, it will be fine......as thousands of babies in the past have been who live in houses with no heating.
    Last edited by LittleTinker; 07-01-2009 at 8:14 AM.
  • kat1982
    its not so much 'i have a baby, its not warm enough' - i get the concept of layers and am in the habit of putting a cardi and socks on to go to bed! its more disheartening that i have used 200 in gas in two months, and have not felt warm at any point, and neither has the house! to put the central ehating on full and only reach 15 degrees seems pathetic to me...but the ch was serviced just before moving in. i went to b and q and bought some diy loft insulation yesterday to sort out the draughty bathroom, and warmfront will be contacting me in the next four weeks to arrange a survey... im just planning on many more blanket and curtain purchases until then!
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