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  • FIRST POST
    • samanthaanne89
    • By samanthaanne89 3rd Jan 18, 10:19 AM
    • 9Posts
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    samanthaanne89
    Ending tenancy early - how to agree winter heating arrangements
    • #1
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:19 AM
    Ending tenancy early - how to agree winter heating arrangements 3rd Jan 18 at 10:19 AM
    Hi there,

    We are leaving our tenancy 3 months earlier than expected due to finding a house to buy. We've notified the letting agent and the landlord agreed that we could pay for the property to be re-marketed for rent if we paid for it, and the inventory. Nobody has been interested in the property yet therefore I think we will be paying for the three months rent. I know we're liable for the council tax but can apply for exemption as it will be unoccupied and unfurnished.

    I think we will also be liable for the electricity bill. This is tricky as it's a pay as you go meter, and the boiler is pretty inefficient. It constantly heats up the water and is warm 24-7. The hot water then fills the radiators (wet electric system). Therefore the boiler requires to be on all of the time if the timed heating is to come on. It's pretty expensive (~£5 a day).

    If this is what we have to do, how do we agree on a heating arrangement that will keep the property in good shape? I.e. how many times a day at what temperature. It's a pretty damp flat as it goes so it could be difficult to keep well!

    Also - pay as you go energy - am I right in saying if you top up too much you can't get your money back? We won't be very close so it's a pain to have to go and keep topping it up so it doesn't run out while we aren't there.

    Any advice appreciated.

    EDIT - we are in Aberdeen so it's likely that pipes could freeze.
    Last edited by samanthaanne89; 03-01-2018 at 10:20 AM. Reason: more info
Page 1
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 3rd Jan 18, 10:24 AM
    • 2,970 Posts
    • 2,939 Thanks
    Comms69
    • #2
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:24 AM
    • #2
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:24 AM
    Can you pop up at the weekends? run it for 40 mins-1hr?
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 3rd Jan 18, 10:37 AM
    • 11,578 Posts
    • 13,479 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    • #3
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:37 AM
    • #3
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:37 AM
    What exactly is your arrangement with the landlord as regards leaving your tenancy early? Have they agreed to surrender the tenancy as long as you pay a certain amount or what? Have they said that you are responsible for the heating of the property until the end of the tenancy/until a new tenant is found?

    You need to get these arrangements in writing then there can be no come backs.

    If you are responsible until the end of the tenancy then you also need to get arrangements about the heating, again, in writing.
    • samanthaanne89
    • By samanthaanne89 3rd Jan 18, 10:37 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    samanthaanne89
    • #4
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:37 AM
    • #4
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:37 AM
    We could do.

    Would once a week be enough? We could set the timer to do that. Just means the boiler would be on the whole time. If we let it go cold the expansion tank could freeze, and also, it would take an age to heat up again.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 3rd Jan 18, 10:42 AM
    • 7,844 Posts
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    davidmcn
    • #5
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:42 AM
    • #5
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:42 AM
    Other option (if pipes are the main concern) would be to turn off the water and drain the system?
    • samanthaanne89
    • By samanthaanne89 3rd Jan 18, 10:52 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    samanthaanne89
    • #6
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:52 AM
    • #6
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:52 AM
    That is certainly an option.

    One concern is that the property is pretty damp and we get a tonne of condensation and a bit of mould despite using heating and having all the window vents open. Would this get worse with no heating?

    I suspect there's a bit of rising damp also - agency aware and asking landlord what they want to do about it.
    • samanthaanne89
    • By samanthaanne89 3rd Jan 18, 10:54 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    samanthaanne89
    • #7
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:54 AM
    • #7
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:54 AM
    We have only had the agency say that we are allowed to leave early if new tenants are found. Therefore I think we will then be responsible for the heating.

    I do think we should get the heating arrangements written down so we can cover our back. Just wonder what everyone would suggest as something to put forward to the agency.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 3rd Jan 18, 11:01 AM
    • 7,844 Posts
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    davidmcn
    • #8
    • 3rd Jan 18, 11:01 AM
    • #8
    • 3rd Jan 18, 11:01 AM
    One concern is that the property is pretty damp and we get a tonne of condensation
    Originally posted by samanthaanne89
    Shouldn't be much condensation being created if there's nobody there breathing/cooking/showering/drying clothes etc.
    • martindow
    • By martindow 4th Jan 18, 12:15 PM
    • 7,590 Posts
    • 4,318 Thanks
    martindow
    • #9
    • 4th Jan 18, 12:15 PM
    • #9
    • 4th Jan 18, 12:15 PM
    Can you not reduce the cost considerably if you leave the boiler on but with the thermostat on a frost setting - 8 degrees maybe? You don't need to heat an empty house to as high a temperature as when you are living in it.
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 4th Jan 18, 12:45 PM
    • 899 Posts
    • 1,001 Thanks
    ProDave
    Most of the condensation is from water vapour you produce living in the property. With you gone, it will dry up pretty quickly.

    So your only concern is frozen pipes. So depending where you are, it may not need much heating to guard against that.

    Turn the thermostat down and set it for 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the evening. The fact that the boiler heats the tank 24/7 is a red herring. It only heats it when the tank thermostat calls for heat, so take less heat out and the boiler will run for less time putting the heat back again.
    • samanthaanne89
    • By samanthaanne89 12th Jan 18, 8:54 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    samanthaanne89
    Our problem is that the boiler that is warm constantly costs around £5 a day to run - that's without putting any heating on. We would like to try and avoid having the boiler run if that is possible. But it sounds like not.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 12th Jan 18, 9:06 AM
    • 7,844 Posts
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    davidmcn
    Our problem is that the boiler that is warm constantly costs around £5 a day to run - that's without putting any heating on.
    Originally posted by samanthaanne89
    And without using any hot water? Sounds like there's something wrong with it. But probably too late to try getting it fixed now!
    • samanthaanne89
    • By samanthaanne89 12th Jan 18, 9:14 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    samanthaanne89
    And without using any hot water? Sounds like there's something wrong with it. But probably too late to try getting it fixed now!
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    Yes! It's ridiculous! I already tried to ask the agency about it but they are pretty useless.

    Do you know if a tenant is legally obligated to heat a property? We only use the heating for a couple of hours in the morning and a couple of hours at night, and a bit more at the weekend when we are in. I got a temperature sensor for the bedroom and the it went down to 11.8 degrees with 86% humidity! It said it was a wet environment on the sensory. With heating, it went to 14 degrees but the humidity didn't change much. I suspect if we were to manage to lift the temperature to be pretty warm then the humidity might be helped but we really can't sleep in anything warmer than about 15 degrees ha - us Scots too used to cold temps.
    • martindow
    • By martindow 12th Jan 18, 12:16 PM
    • 7,590 Posts
    • 4,318 Thanks
    martindow
    I know we're liable for the council tax but can apply for exemption as it will be unoccupied and unfurnished.

    EDIT - we are in Aberdeen
    Originally posted by samanthaanne89
    In England this is unlikely as councils have different policies and most would not exempt you from CT just because the house was empty.

    Scotland no doubt has different rules, but are you sure you would be exempt?
    • G_M
    • By G_M 12th Jan 18, 12:29 PM
    • 44,452 Posts
    • 52,789 Thanks
    G_M
    Y

    Do you know if a tenant is legally obligated to heat a property?
    Originally posted by samanthaanne89
    Yes. A tenant is legally obliged to act 'in a tenant-like manner'. That includes ensuring that pipes don't freeze and crack in winter, by keeping a minimum temperature in the property in winter.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 12th Jan 18, 3:42 PM
    • 37,308 Posts
    • 157,166 Thanks
    silvercar
    Given the heating situation I would try and agree a surrender of the tenancy. Even if you have to pay all the rent to what would be the end of the tenancy, at least then you would not have the heating costs or the worry of an empty property with damp and cold issues.
    • Keto Plastics
    • By Keto Plastics 12th Jan 18, 6:44 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Keto Plastics
    Hi there,

    We are leaving our tenancy 3 months earlier than expected due to finding a house to buy. We've notified the letting agent and the landlord agreed that we could pay for the property to be re-marketed for rent if we paid for it, and the inventory. Nobody has been interested in the property yet therefore I think we will be paying for the three months rent. I know we're liable for the council tax but can apply for exemption as it will be unoccupied and unfurnished.

    I think we will also be liable for the electricity bill. This is tricky as it's a pay as you go meter, and the boiler is pretty inefficient. It constantly heats up the water and is warm 24-7. The hot water then fills the radiators (wet electric system). Therefore the boiler requires to be on all of the time if the timed heating is to come on. It's pretty expensive (~£5 a day).

    If this is what we have to do, how do we agree on a heating arrangement that will keep the property in good shape? I.e. how many times a day at what temperature. It's a pretty damp flat as it goes so it could be difficult to keep well!

    Also - pay as you go energy - am I right in saying if you top up too much you can't get your money back? We won't be very close so it's a pain to have to go and keep topping it up so it doesn't run out while we aren't there.

    Any advice appreciated.

    EDIT - we are in Aberdeen so it's likely that pipes could freeze.
    Originally posted by samanthaanne89
    I would give them the keys back and if needed pay for the remainder of the contract period
    It could probably be a lot cheaper in the long run doing that
    Anything could happen to the property while Your not there, burst pipes, vandalism, squatters or a combination of those, and You would be held accountable afaik

    Would be worrying over the empty property when You could be moving on with Your Life and Your new House
    I would pay the rest of the rent owed give them the keys and walk away

    http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Government/local-government/17999/counciltax/Secondhomes

    Council Tax info for Second Homes in Scotland
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure - MSE ForumTeam
    • Socajam
    • By Socajam 14th Jan 18, 8:07 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Socajam
    I agree with the comments about leaving the premises empty and no heat.
    Try and see if you could work out a deal, if you offered to pay say 75% of the existing rent, would they let you out of the contract.
    If you are responsible and there is a leak, the cost will be on you. Do you really want that?
    My tenant just left, so I have an unoccupied property which I will be renovating. In order to obtain insurance I had to guarantee that the heating will be on all the time no lower than 58. Otherwise the insurance company will not not pay out if I have a leak.
    I had my niece set the timer to be on continuous @58 and take a picture of the time/date for safekeeping.
    Also both the gas and electric have to be topped. Just waiting to see how much it cost. Here's hoping that the weather continues to be favourable and my renovations do not take more than 3-4 months,
    • Slithery
    • By Slithery 14th Jan 18, 8:13 PM
    • 725 Posts
    • 1,132 Thanks
    Slithery
    I would pay the rest of the rent owed give them the keys and walk away
    Originally posted by Keto Plastics
    But handing the keys back doesn't end the tenancy, the tenant would still be liable for any damage occurring before the end of the fixed term.
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