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Advice - compensation for no heating/hot water
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# 1
kitkat240
Old 14-02-2008, 9:23 AM
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Default Advice - compensation for no heating/hot water

Just wondering how much compensation (i.e. return of rent money) I should expect when my rented house was without heating and hot water for 3 weeks during January. It was practically unliveable - well certainly very unpleasant and not what you want from your home which you pay good money for. All of us who had the option to, actually moved home for most of the time as it was horrible.

The rent is 200 a month each and the landlady so far has offered us 50 each and then 75. I'm thinking 100 would be much more fair due to the fact that we found it too difficult to live there and incurred loads of extra expense through things like travel costs from our parents houses to work etc.

If it had been a family renting the house with a young child they certainly would not have been able to take 3 weeks to sort it out.

Do we have good grounds for negotiation on this? How much is acceptable to request?

Thanks!
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# 2
Doozergirl
Old 14-02-2008, 9:36 AM
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You don't have good grounds for negotiation. She only needs to fix it in a timely manner, doesn't need to pay you compensation at all - I hate to say it, but plumbers aren't always the easiest people to get hold of She's offered you half price rent for that time which seems pretty fair. Personally, I'd take it.
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# 3
subjecttocontract
Old 14-02-2008, 9:49 AM
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Agreed.

Its important to remember that tenants are not entitled to any better service than an owner occupier would be in the same situation.

I would have provided you with some freestanding portable heaters but there was nothing to stop you from buying/ hiring or aking your landlord for something temporary.

I think the offer of half rent is appropriate.
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# 4
clutton
Old 14-02-2008, 9:51 AM
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i think Dozer is absolutely right -

in an ideal world things get fixed very quickly - but then in the real world - the plumber lets you down, the wrong part arrives, the tenant wont let them in, or goes out, the problem was not only due to one parts failure and another one has to be ordered - and so on and so on.

i know it must have been difficult, but, you have been give 50% off - sounds reasonable to me.
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# 5
Generali
Old 14-02-2008, 9:58 AM
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It's better than I got a few years back - I got nothing and evicted when I complained!
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# 6
dad-of-4
Old 14-02-2008, 7:37 PM
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I would speak to a solicitor about your rights on this, not take advice from people who seem to be on the landlords side.
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# 7
clutton
Old 14-02-2008, 7:52 PM
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the responses so far have come from both tenant and landlord MSEers - and i think the responses have been full of common sense. You cannot expect a full rent rebate when only one part (and i know heating is an important part) of the property which is rented has a problem.

Had negotiation gone on contemporaneously am sure the landlord would have provided some fires at the time.
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# 8
chappers
Old 14-02-2008, 10:31 PM
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I think she has offered you a fair price, but three weeks is a bit excessive in anyones books.
I have had a heating problem in my rental house this week and it has taken 4 days to find the intermittant fault , provided my tennats with some heaters and the use of my own shower at home, they were over the moon with a nice bottle of wine each.
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# 9
kitkat240
Old 15-02-2008, 10:38 AM
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Thanks everyone for the feedback - I really had no idea where we stood on this. I guessed since the landlady had offered up to 75 she knew she was in the wrong - she is actually very nice. We recieved small fan heaters after about a week and a half for each bedroom (they made little difference) but at that point I was living at home as it was far too cold to even sit about the house. I just wanted to make sure we weren't getting ripped off.

I now have other issues with the house which i'm going to post in a new thread!
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# 10
subjecttocontract
Old 15-02-2008, 7:52 PM
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I guessed since the landlady had offered up to 75 she knew she was in the wrong - she is actually very nice.

Wether the landlord was in the wrong or not would depend on the effort she put in to get the heating fixed. As someone has already said:
1. Plumbers can be difficult to arrange and so I for one would give her the benenefit of the doubt.
2. She was not required to pay you anything.

So, far from assuming she was in the wrong you should gracefully accept her offer which I should think was made out of generousity & kindness.
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# 11
Gorgeous George
Old 15-02-2008, 8:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad-of-4 View Post
I would speak to a solicitor about your rights on this, not take advice from people who seem to be on the landlords side.
But the OP should take your advice :confused:

And spend more money on a solicitor than they are likely to win if it went to court.

Sometimes, adults need to negotiate what they think is fair.

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# 12
clutton
Old 15-02-2008, 10:46 PM
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"" Sometimes, adults need to negotiate what they think is fair.""

oh that people would just TALK to each other first - before coming onto forums wiht "how much money can i get out of this person because ....... - its all become sooooo wearisome
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# 13
Generali
Old 15-02-2008, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clutton View Post
"" Sometimes, adults need to negotiate what they think is fair.""

oh that people would just TALK to each other first - before coming onto forums wiht "how much money can i get out of this person because ....... - its all become sooooo wearisome
It's the way it is with these things. The OP feels (rightly IMO) aggreived and wants compensating. The LL has offered compensation. I think it's not worth fighting for more given the costs and aggro involved.

If a contract is broken by one of the parties then there should be a penalty or why should either side stick to the contract?
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# 14
clutton
Old 15-02-2008, 11:24 PM
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of course OP feels aggrieved - and has every right to - but surely - the initial question should be "how can i get warm water and heating" - lets sort out the financial issues later on ....... or are folks happy to be cold/upset/abused/cross - whatever - as long as they get "compo" later on ?

i agree this LL is taking the mickey and warmth should bed provided - but lets get our priorities right !!!
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# 15
LilMissEmmylou
Old 15-02-2008, 11:25 PM
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i did a post like this back in august september last yr. My heating and hot water didnt work for 2 1/2 weeks and then we had a gas leek as the gas pipe in the kitchen had never been closed off! I managed to get £100 "compensation" from my rent of £430. They didnt really want to give any as apparently it made no difference to me because it wasnt that cold at the time.... i beg to differ when u have a child to look after (under 1) and bath etc. Good luck
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# 16
Generali
Old 15-02-2008, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clutton View Post
lets get our priorities right !!!
I agree with you there wholeheartedly! However, the OP has heating and hot water back on and so now the issue is how (s)he should be compensated for the breach of contract.

If the OP doesn't seek compensation then why should the LL bother to fix the heating system in future?

The flip side of that coin is why would the OP pay rent if she thought that the LL couldn't go to court to extract it from her?
Cauliflower is nuthin' but a cabbage with a college education. Mark Twain

Last edited by Generali; 15-02-2008 at 11:38 PM.
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# 17
Gorgeous George
Old 15-02-2008, 11:38 PM
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I agree. However, generous compensation has been offered and the OP needs to be reassured that the compensation is appropriate.

GG
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# 18
clutton
Old 16-02-2008, 10:05 AM
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just take the money and move on !!!!!
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# 19
MissMoneypenny
Old 19-02-2008, 11:13 AM
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I am sure LLs wouldn't leave their own families without heating in winter for weeks. Strange how we see advice being given by LLs, to other LLs, to take out insurance if rent isn't being paid and not advice being given to LLs to take out a boiler/heating contract for speedy boiler repairs! I have been a LL and I would never have left my tenants without heating for 3 weeks in winter. No reasonable human being would think 3 weeks was acceptable.

I have had a reply from Shelter about the increasing threads we are seeing on LLs not fixing boilers quick enough.Shelters email was full of good advice. The following is one of the links they provided.


"Can I claim back some of my rent?

If you haven't been able to use your home, or part of it, because of the disrepair, you may be entitled to an abatement (a reduction or refund) of rent. How much of you can claim will depend on how much of your home is uninhabitable. If no part of the house can be used, 100% of the rent may be abated. If only part of the house is unusable then the rent will be reduced proportionally.
Abatement of rent is sometimes claimed under the heading of 'inconvenience', but you may be able to claim both, if the inconvenience is something other than the fact that you haven't been able to use part of the property."
http://england.shelter.org.uk/advice/advice-4086.cfm


Also on that link is:-
Can I claim for damage to my belongings?


Can I claim for damage to health?


Can I claim for inconvenience?

Last edited by MissMoneypenny; 19-02-2008 at 11:15 AM.
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# 20
Doozergirl
Old 19-02-2008, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissMoneypenny View Post
"Can I claim back some of my rent?

If you haven't been able to use your home, or part of it, because of the disrepair, you may be entitled to an abatement (a reduction or refund) of rent. How much of you can claim will depend on how much of your home is uninhabitable. If no part of the house can be used, 100% of the rent may be abated. If only part of the house is unusable then the rent will be reduced proportionally.
Abatement of rent is sometimes claimed under the heading of 'inconvenience', but you may be able to claim both, if the inconvenience is something other than the fact that you haven't been able to use part of the property."
http://england.shelter.org.uk/advice/advice-4086.cfm
Amazing that the advice given by posters here matches that above. :rolleyes: 50% reduction for the time the OP was without heating seems acceptable.

The landlord has lost £225 for each tenant in the property. Perhaps they will consider insurance in the future but the cost of these policies is often prohibitive. As a householder, if you just put the money away each month instead of paying British Gas or whoever, you'd probably save money. As a landlord, if you have to pay back a load of rent perhaps it might be a half decent idea. I'm waiting for the landlord who comes and asks whether to take out insurance on their boiler

My MIL's boiler broke the other week. We looked into insurance and it was nearly £30 a month! The repair cost £130 :confused: I guess if you are a tenant and you don't want to be cold, then you have the option of taking out your own insurance. Or half price rent from a sensible landlord.

I am certain that most of the advice given on this board by the regulars tries to be unbiased most of the time. I am happy to help a buyer, a vendor, a landlord or a tenant because I've been all of those things myself. clutton is the first in to advise tenants with deposit problems. It doesn't make a blind bit of difference to me whether the landlord takes out insurance or not. I just want the people asking to get their problems sorted in the easiest way possible. It mostly includes being reasonable.

Oh, I'm in my own house now and if my boiler breaks down, the kids and I will have to wait for the plumber. My tenants will have individual yet energy efficient electric water filled radiators. So if one breaks, they won't freeze.
Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.

Last edited by Doozergirl; 19-02-2008 at 11:43 AM.
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