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  • FIRST POST
    • missphilippa2890
    • By missphilippa2890 16th Apr 18, 10:20 PM
    • 6Posts
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    missphilippa2890
    No heating for 6 weeks Housing Association Orbit.
    • #1
    • 16th Apr 18, 10:20 PM
    No heating for 6 weeks Housing Association Orbit. 16th Apr 18 at 10:20 PM
    I will apologies in advance I suffer with Dyslexia and PTSD ( affecting memory ) so some things may not convey well but will proof read as best I can.
    I have requested a subject request also to help better timeline but will also add a couple years ago the house also failed the BTU.

    On 12th March I reported a problem with both my heating and hot water a gentleman came on an emergency late that evening and said he would back by Friday latest and left me with one fan heater. I called every day or so for an update and managed to get an appointment ( I cant remember the date ).
    I waited in all day, I popped to the village shop for milk but they had my number for when they were outside. When I returned home I had note hand written stating that they turned up after calling me 3 times. The number was my Dads. After calling my Dad who lives 25 miles away to add explained a man had called and asked him if they needed a part and my Dad demanded they showed up. They A. Never called my number B. never had the part. C. Asked my Dad for advice. My Dad only has access to my rent account, so put that down to them using it.

    I then rearranged for them to come the next day as it had been over a week at this point and the mistakes were not my own. They stated that the part wasn't ordered and would be the following week my birthday ( this date I remember ) 28th March. After filing a formal complaint with both Orbit my Housing Association and Swale heating and requesting Swale heating to remove my Dads number. Swale agreed on 80 Argos vouchers as compensation to which I said this is not good enough but agreed on both date and Vouchers.

    28th March I called my housing association every hour to make sure they were coming for the morning appointment, they said they were 100% they were both coming that day and had that part. At 1.00pm I called my Housing Association and they then said Swale heating had no record of appointment even after not only waiting in on my birthday but after calling every hour. I was more than livid by this point with both Swale Heating and my Housing Association. This was now costing me a fortune in electric heaters ( 3 donated 1 including there's ) during this cold March it had hit below freezing more than once and my daughters were sleeping in with me.

    Swale stated they were going to order a part to which again I stated why would you book an appointment without it and went around the houses as they refused they ever heard of 80 vouchers and eventually hung up promising a call back. I filed another complaint with both Swale Heating and Housing Association and no appointment was arranged and was told I would get a call back but this Easter and Bank Holiday. This would lead then into a 3rd week.

    During this week I had ran out of energy mentall , so therefore waited for a call, whilst I contacted Shelter, Housing Ombudsman etc trying to find some legal advice.

    I finally received a call from another company stating that Swale Heating ended there contract on the 29th of March!! So the vouchers and the next appointment were never going to happen I cannot begin to tell you how irate I was.

    I agreed to an appointment with the new company on the week of the 9th. They came without a part but found it was just a tripped switch. They un tripped it but stated more service was required. By this point I was practically destitute trying to heat the house, alongside coping with mental health problems and 2 children. I filed another complaint and asked for a subject request which I need 10 for the irony but they have now said it was declined due to the housing association not changing my name. My deed poll is at the passport office as I needed my passport for a job.

    I am so depressed with this whole situation and struggling financially and mentally to cope with it all. The house failed the BTU 2 years ago before new parliament came in my local MP was involved, the heating is flawed it is a 2 up 2 down ex army council house the ground heating they have here is inadaquete for a house this size to also add. I am just tired, I moved into this home after an abusive relationship this home is a safe house so I have to tolerate it.

    I just don't know where to turn to sue them and on what grounds , I will be looking to sue for around 7k as it is a complete failing on every part. And the mental strain plus the legal right of enjoyment can even be added into the fold.

    I just dont know where to begin with starting this process....
Page 1
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 16th Apr 18, 10:59 PM
    • 991 Posts
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    HampshireH
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 18, 10:59 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 18, 10:59 PM
    A judge would expect you to follow the full complaints process. ORBIT complaints procedure is published online so if they haven't followed it your next step is the Housing ombudsmen. They also advertise your right to involve an MP. Have you done any of this yet?

    You can pitch up at court and ask for 7k but how do you quantify this claim?

    Your heating won't have cost 7k nor will any loss in wages for time off.

    You need to be realistic or you will end up losing and paying the Associations costs too - they will be represented and it won't be cheap.

    I suggest putting your complaint in writing and following the required processes which will eventually form your court case if they fall short.

    At the moment you appear to have very little in the way of evidence to present and you will need to evidence it.

    All the best
    • missphilippa2890
    • By missphilippa2890 16th Apr 18, 11:29 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    missphilippa2890
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 18, 11:29 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 18, 11:29 PM
    My evidence will come from the subject request for but again as stated they have messed this up to.

    As also stated I contacted the housing ombudsman but he couldn't take it on due to Orbit failing to send a written complaint form.

    But I can't write the complaint without the subject request as I can't timeline without it.

    7k isn't for the heating this is for everything from the subject of enjoyment to arranging appointments when the contract had ended, from breaching confidentiality calling my dad , having 2 children in the home the temperatures being below freezing, inadequate work with it being just a tripped switch , the btu failing , etc etc
    • tom9980
    • By tom9980 17th Apr 18, 12:15 AM
    • 1,314 Posts
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    tom9980
    • #4
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:15 AM
    • #4
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:15 AM
    My evidence will come from the subject request for but again as stated they have messed this up to.

    As also stated I contacted the housing ombudsman but he couldn't take it on due to Orbit failing to send a written complaint form.

    But I can't write the complaint without the subject request as I can't timeline without it.

    7k isn't for the heating this is for everything from the subject of enjoyment to arranging appointments when the contract had ended, from breaching confidentiality calling my dad , having 2 children in the home the temperatures being below freezing, inadequate work with it being just a tripped switch , the btu failing , etc etc
    Originally posted by missphilippa2890
    You will be very unlikely to win this claim, it is pure fantasy. You will be very lucky to walk away with more than 200 and that will only be a goodwill gesture from orbit/swale. Your loss is the extra cost in heating bills.

    I doubt any judge will entertain your 7k nonsense and they hate people turning up to court without using complaints procedures and mediation.
    In order to change, we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.
    • Lioness Twinkletoes
    • By Lioness Twinkletoes 17th Apr 18, 7:39 AM
    • 1,371 Posts
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    Lioness Twinkletoes
    • #5
    • 17th Apr 18, 7:39 AM
    • #5
    • 17th Apr 18, 7:39 AM
    Yeah, you're not getting 7k. You need to lodge a formal, written complaint. Use a clear, bulleted timeline as far as possible. Be calm and factual. Evidence the additional costs in respect of the electric heating (electric bills should show a significant spike). Once you've exhausted their complaints procedure you can escalate to the Housing Ombudsmen if it's not been resolved.

    Seriously though, put any ideas of making a lot of money out of this. My HA seriously screwed up and I ended up with less than a grand.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 17th Apr 18, 8:19 AM
    • 13,148 Posts
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    Pixie5740
    • #6
    • 17th Apr 18, 8:19 AM
    • #6
    • 17th Apr 18, 8:19 AM
    Why do you need Orbit to send a complaint form? Can't you do it all online?

    https://www.orbit.org.uk/contact-us/complaints-and-feedback/
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 17th Apr 18, 8:24 AM
    • 13,148 Posts
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    Pixie5740
    • #7
    • 17th Apr 18, 8:24 AM
    • #7
    • 17th Apr 18, 8:24 AM
    I very much doubt the temperature in your home fell below zero degrees Celsius. I was without heating for 2 months one winter in my home which is in Aberdeen and made from grantite and it never reached zero never mind below. You need to keep your complaint factual rather than emotive if you hope to get anywhere, and I also think that you are living in Cloud-cuckoo-land if you think a judge will award you 7k.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 17th Apr 18, 9:00 AM
    • 18,738 Posts
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    AdrianC
    • #8
    • 17th Apr 18, 9:00 AM
    • #8
    • 17th Apr 18, 9:00 AM
    On 12th March I reported a problem with both my heating and hot water a gentleman came on an emergency late that evening
    Originally posted by missphilippa2890
    12th is Monday, so they attended out-of-hours that evening. Tuesday was the first normal business day.


    and said he would back by Friday latest and left me with one fan heater.
    And did he?


    I called every day or so for an update and managed to get an appointment ( I cant remember the date ).
    Roughly...? Same week, early the following week, late the following week?


    I waited in all day, I popped to the village shop for milk but they had my number for when they were outside. When I returned home I had note hand written stating that they turned up after calling me 3 times. The number was my Dads.
    Why did they even have your father's number on the account?
    Did he give them your phone number?


    I then rearranged for them to come the next day as it had been over a week at this point and the mistakes were not my own. They stated that the part wasn't ordered and would be the following week my birthday ( this date I remember ) 28th March.
    So they've turned up within a week or so of the failure, investigated, and ordered the parts.


    After filing a formal complaint ... Swale agreed on 80 Argos vouchers as compensation to which I said this is not good enough but agreed on both date and Vouchers.
    So they offered, and you did not accept.


    28th March I called my housing association every hour to make sure they were coming for the morning appointment, they said they were 100% they were both coming that day and had that part.
    Parts don't always turn up when they're promised.


    I agreed to an appointment with the new company on the week of the 9th. They came without a part but found it was just a tripped switch. They un tripped it but stated more service was required.
    Switches (circuit breakers) don't just trip. They are tripped by a fault.
    It's also a reasonable thing to expect a user to check for.


    So the heating is currently working again?



    The first engineer should have noticed the breaker had been tripped. Perhaps he reset it, and it promptly tripped again. Or did he simply turn it off to isolate the faulty heating, for safety?

    The parts delay is nobody's fault, assuming it's genuine.
    Parts do not always turn up when they're meant to - a further delay of a day or two is far from unusual.
    There have been communication breakdowns, but they seem to be between the HA and the heating contractor.



    The house failed the BTU 2 years ago
    What do you mean by this? A BTU is simply an old imperial measure of heat, like a foot is a measure of distance and a pound is a measure of weight.

    The only energy-efficiency legislation that currently affects rental properties is that any property with a newly-issued tenancy from this month must have an EPC score of at least E. What's the EPC score for your property? You can search for it if you don't have it to hand, but you must by law have been provided with it when you moved in.
    https://www.epcregister.com/reportSearchAddressTerms.html?redirect=reportSearc hAddressByPostcode



    I just don't know where to turn to sue them and on what grounds , I will be looking to sue for around 7k as it is a complete failing on every part. And the mental strain plus the legal right of enjoyment can even be added into the fold.
    So you don't know whether you have any grounds for legal redress, but you've plucked a number from thin air? Who are you even planning on taking to court? Have you exhausted all the complaints processes?


    plus the legal right of enjoyment
    You have a legal right to quiet enjoyment of the property - that means the landlord cannot just let themselves in without your permission, except in an emergency. You make no mention of that happening.


    I just dont know where to begin with starting this process...
    Your figure of 7,000 is within the small claim limit, so you do not need a lawyer. There is a cost, 185 for an online claim of that size, and you simply need to lodge your claim at https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome


    But on what you've told us so far, you'd be wasting your fee.


    Let's look at the simple facts here...


    There's a legal requirement for the landlord to provide you with heat. They did.
    A rough rule of thumb on reasonable repair timescales is whether it would have been fixed any more quickly if you'd been a homeowner, rather than a tenant. They sent somebody out-of-hours on the day of your fault. They checked and identified a fault that needed a part, which may have been delayed. The end result is that you have heating again within six working days of the day on which the part was due to arrive.


    There were some communication issues, and it may have been delayed slightly by a change of contractor. You have already been offered compensation for some of the issues.


    Given your stated issues, is it possible that some of the communication issues were not entirely their fault?


    Please take all these comments in the spirit they're intended - firm-but-fair, with the intent of helping you understand the reality of the situation and how to best move forward from where you are now.
    • caprikid1
    • By caprikid1 17th Apr 18, 9:32 AM
    • 664 Posts
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    caprikid1
    • #9
    • 17th Apr 18, 9:32 AM
    • #9
    • 17th Apr 18, 9:32 AM
    In the circumastances if you can get 500 jump for joy and be happy. Be greedy and potentially get nothing as many have said 7K for no heating is just not going to happen ever. Do you work ? Loss of earnings etc etc ?
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 17th Apr 18, 9:50 AM
    • 2,127 Posts
    • 3,252 Thanks
    shortcrust
    7,000?!

    Do let us know how you get on with that.
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 17th Apr 18, 11:30 AM
    • 760 Posts
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    BBH123
    Why is it that tenants think Landlords are miracle workers , if a fault is reported its gets acted on. It is not the landlords fault the engineers are not available due to work volumes , parts are late arriving etc etc and they cannot do a job by return.


    There is not an army of spare trades just waiting for a call.


    Sh@t happens, whether you are a tenant, home owner or landlord we've all had problems with no heating, hot water etc as some point. As long as you are not forgotten then it'll get sorted.


    Get over yourself thinking you are any different and as for 7k compo well less said
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    • knightstyle
    • By knightstyle 17th Apr 18, 4:18 PM
    • 4,856 Posts
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    knightstyle
    I wonder if the house is the same as my DD had a while ago. She is in the Army and it was a brand new married quarter.
    The underfloor heating never worked properly and cost her a fortune to keep any heat in the house, poor/non existant insulation, huge gaps around windows did not help.
    The "state of the art" heating system was designed and meant to be installed by a German company but then due to cost cutting the equipment was bought from a French company and a UK company installed it. This UK company went bust soon after and cut so many corners! So she was very glad to be posted away to an old fashioned traditional house with a conventional gas boiler and radiators.
    She did get a lump sum when she presented her utility bills though this olny covered about half the extra she reckons she paid.
    • missphilippa2890
    • By missphilippa2890 13th Jun 18, 8:42 PM
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    missphilippa2890
    This email I sent to an unknown alias will give you a breif run down of what has been happening since my last post in March. I am now 3 months without heating or hot water....

    I have had no heating nor hot water ( not running from an immersion heater ) since March 2018. I have had appointments booked and cancelled and subsequently a sub contractor ( Swale Heating ) lost there contract the day before a repair was due on my heating. This appointment was on March 28th, even after numerous calls that they would be turning up never did.


    I have asked Orbit for all records of the issues but they continue to send Freedom of Information forms which will cost me and not the ICO on myself personally.


    I am now in the month of June with no work carried out or progress, and only just to be told the company who fit the Ground Source Heating went redundant 2014. This means for months of appointments, waiting in for contractors to show, contractors showing then ordering parts that non of it was true as the company no longer produced them even before I moved in. They have now suggested that I have electric storage heaters put in but going back on renewable energy as a cheap scape goat to a long term issue isn't going to help me as a tenant. I point blank said I refuse electric storage heaters and I am disgusted how you only admitted this lie. I was told a new ground source heater would mean burying into the foundations of the house and the unit being the size of the cloakroom it is kept in. HOW ON EARTH CAN THIS BE ALLOWED.

    I was moved into this property away from DV via my police force, Orbit, and as a side issue I was given nothing in the 24 hours to move here. It has cost me dearly building this home with just a mattress and the clothes on our back alongside maintaining a home with 2 children on Employment Support Allowance due to my PTSD after having to leave work it has cost me in more ways than one. The stress alone has brought what was supposed to be a safe house after being moved here an absolute nightmare. I have not only been lied to for months, but when I first moved in brought up many more issues before I out down carpets and creating a home but they never happened.

    Mark Hoyland refuses to speak to his tenants, Orbit themselves refuse to open a full complaints procedure until the issue is resolved this then leads to the housing ombudsman to not get involved until they have opened a complaints procedure.

    My final conversation with the Head of Heating at Orbit (who has now taken on my case) was that they need to move me again if I refuse storage heaters ( I have ), after 3 years re building our lives here keeping my children safe I am disgusted that this even allowed. I have received 192 in compensation just for March to April as agreed and the rest to be discussed. After hearing this news I will be looking 1k's, in moving cost, re decorating and stress I cannot even believe that this is happening.

    Do you think it will be worth contacting a law firm to help me as I honestly do not know where to go from here?
    • G_M
    • By G_M 13th Jun 18, 9:16 PM
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    G_M
    Why the duplicate post?


    I have no idea why you have not followed the complaints procedure (see post 6).


    Why are you refusing all their offers (eg storage heaters)? They are at least attempting to provide heatting.


    Why are you having 'conversations'? Write to them. Apart from anything else you'll then have a compete record and not have to faff about with Freedom of Information requests which is just absurd!
    • missphilippa2890
    • By missphilippa2890 13th Jun 18, 9:38 PM
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    missphilippa2890
    Why the duplicate post?
    Apologies


    I have no idea why you have not followed the complaints procedure (see post 6).

    I have followed this but as stated it is still an open case


    Why are you refusing all their offers (eg storage heaters)? They are at least attempting to provide heatting.

    Storage heaters are extremely expensive and they will still have to remove the ground source heating and they will still need to do work on the home and foundations.

    Why are you having 'conversations'? Write to them. Apart from anything else you'll then have a compete record and not have to faff about with Freedom of Information requests which is just absurd!
    Originally posted by G_M
    I suffer dyslexia and find it incredibly difficult to articulate.
    • diggingdude
    • By diggingdude 13th Jun 18, 9:46 PM
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    diggingdude
    If they are offering you a different form of heating, i would guess they are meeting their duties to you. Without owning the home I wouldn't have thought you had a right to a particular heat source.Many properties in the private sector have no heating and no offer to install by the landlord.

    Whilst this has been a delayed process, I can't help suspecting that you are contributing to this delay also.

    Best of luck with it though, I hope for your sanity things get sorted one way or another
    House Deposit - Target 20000 April 2019
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    • missphilippa2890
    • By missphilippa2890 13th Jun 18, 10:07 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    missphilippa2890
    If they are offering you a different form of heating, i would guess they are meeting their duties to you. Without owning the home I wouldn't have thought you had a right to a particular heat source.Many properties in the private sector have no heating and no offer to install by the landlord.

    Whilst this has been a delayed process, I can't help suspecting that you are contributing to this delay also.

    Best of luck with it though, I hope for your sanity things get sorted one way or another
    Originally posted by diggingdude
    They have only JUST admitted to the lie that I have drafted in an email. Electric storage heaters are expensive this has been thrown at me as get out of jail for free card. My home will still need to be upheaved, the fact they are willing to move me speaks volumes.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 13th Jun 18, 10:53 PM
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    AdrianC
    Heating has not been relevant for almost all of the last three months - and you admit that you could have taken the heating offered, but rejected it. You also admit that hot water is available, from the immersion heater.


    Obviously, the delay in sorting the problem is excessive - nobody is saying otherwise. But reasonableness comes from both sides. GSHP is a niche product in the UK, and competent specialists are hard to find. Installation is, by the very way in which it works, an intrusive process.
    • BrassicWoman
    • By BrassicWoman 14th Jun 18, 6:27 AM
    • 1,808 Posts
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    BrassicWoman
    storage heaters are only extremely expensive if you don't use them properly. say thank you and let them instal!!
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    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 14th Jun 18, 7:53 AM
    • 7,491 Posts
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    Norman Castle
    the company who fit the Ground Source Heating went redundant 2014. This means for months of appointments, waiting in for contractors to show, contractors showing then ordering parts that non of it was true as the company no longer produced them even before I moved in. They have now suggested that I have electric storage heaters put in but going back on renewable energy as a cheap scape goat to a long term issue isn't going to help me as a tenant. I point blank said I refuse electric storage heaters and I am disgusted how you only admitted this lie. I was told a new ground source heater would mean burying into the foundations of the house and the unit being the size of the cloakroom it is kept in.
    Originally posted by missphilippa2890
    Putting the delays to one side, how do you expect them to resolve the heating problem? Original unit cannot be repaired, replacement unit is large, expensive and involves an amount of disruption (has one been offered?), storage heaters are not what you want.

    Realistically, what can they do?


    Personally, assuming its cheap to run, I would love ground source heating and forgo a cupboard for it and appreciate the expense to them of installing it. Once you have functioning heating most of the delays will be forgotten about.


    The delays aren't unusual when dealing with a large, non commercial organisation using contractors and sub contractors. Resolve the delays from the lack of heating separately.
    Last edited by Norman Castle; 14-06-2018 at 7:58 AM.
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