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NON COMPLIANT COMBI BOILER - RIDDOR ISSUE? £3K BILL! :(

Seeking Advice: I am reaching out to the community to seek advice on the following:

My flat was built in 2010, I bought in 2014. The freeholder is the developer and rented the property between 2010 and 2014. 

A combi boiler was installed incorrectly, not on a fall, so water is condensing, eroding the flue, escaping and there is water damage on the ceiling.

A gas engineer told me it was not compliant at time of building in 2010 and that it should be notified as an incident of 'dangerous occurrence' as the leak poses a potential risk of carbon monoxide leakage. He could also see that the flue had been fixed with silicone, bodged, which must have been between 2010 and the time of my purchase. 

I need the ceiling cut down, new flue installed on a fall, boxed, plastered and the ceiling made good. Plus a new boiler as the leak has damaged the boiler itself. £3k bill

I wrote to the freeholder/develop via the management agency. He simply said 'it was compliant and signed off when built'. He's a nasty piece of work and has been in trouble with the police etc so I am scared of him. 

  1. Has anyone experienced a similar situation with a non-compliant boiler installation?
  2. What legal recourse do I have against the developer for the cost of repairs and potential harm caused?
  3. Are there any specific steps or precautions I should take in handling such a situation?
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Comments

  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,239
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    edited 25 January at 11:25AM
    Did you have a survey done at the time that you bought, and what does that say about the boiler? 
    What paperwork came with your purchase? 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,269
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    Caveat emptor. You should have checked all this before you bought, and in any event I'm not sure what you can prove ten years down the line.
  • anselld
    anselld Posts: 8,241
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    edited 25 January at 12:12PM
    I would agree with others it is your problem.  However I do not understand the issue (except for the silicone)… a condensing boiler is designed for and condensate in the flue to drain back into the boiler and be collected and drained to the condense outlet.  So the flue is designed to be in contact with condensate.   Also, a condensate leak inside the boiler is unlikely to do anything except cosmetic damage before it becomes obvious to the occupant as a leak.
    So I would get a second opinion from an independent gas safe engineer before writing off the whole boiler.   (Was it BG who wrote it off btw?  They tend to be over zealous)

    Ps.. how has it survived your inspections since 2014?
  • FreeBear
    FreeBear Posts: 14,232
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    HBF1 said: I need the ceiling cut down, new flue installed on a fall, boxed, plastered and the ceiling made good. Plus a new boiler as the leak has damaged the boiler itself. £3k bill
    With the boiler being installed some 13 years ago, it is unlikely you would get anywhere raising a complaint now regardless of how shoddy the install was. Sucking it up is probably your only real option here I'm afraid...
    One thing I will say - When the flue is boxed in, make sure that there are inspection hatches installed at every joint in the flue. This will enable inspections to be made without having to rip down the ceiling every time. Without the hatches, an At Risk notice could be slapped on the boiler when it gets serviced, and might even be disconnected should you need a Gas Safe certificate.

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  • pinkshoes
    pinkshoes Posts: 20,001
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    An average life span of a boiler is 10 to 15 years.

    This one is around 14 years old so it's very much done his time. Did your survey not pick up the age of the boiler?

    I'm afraid you'll have to pay this one yourself. Welcome to home ownership!
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  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,446
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    pinkshoes said:
    An average life span of a boiler is 10 to 15 years.

    This one is around 14 years old so it's very much done his time. Did your survey not pick up the age of the boiler?

    I'm afraid you'll have to pay this one yourself. Welcome to home ownership!
    Exactly this, the boiler is rapidly approaching the end of its useful life and would have needed to be replaced anyway.
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  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 20,775
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    Hopefully allowing for the age of the boiler itself you do at least already have at least some of the expected cost of a new one saved, and so only have the additional costs relating to the works to the flue? 

    On the positive side, at least when you get the new one installed it should be more energy efficient, and so will with luck save you a bit on your bills?! 
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  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,458
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    Simply consider this as a new boiler install, and not a fix. Therefore get at least three quotes for a 'new boiler', both  from local recommended outfits and the likes of BOXT.
    A new boiler will require a new flue in any event, so hopefully a complete resolution.
  • NameUnavailable
    NameUnavailable Posts: 2,778
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    Simply consider this as a new boiler install, and not a fix. Therefore get at least three quotes for a 'new boiler', both  from local recommended outfits and the likes of BOXT.
    A new boiler will require a new flue in any event, so hopefully a complete resolution.

    Surely it should be a heat pump now?
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