Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Retireby40
    • By Retireby40 15th Jan 20, 11:26 PM
    • 98Posts
    • 71Thanks
    Retireby40
    Drafty Windows.
    • #1
    • 15th Jan 20, 11:26 PM
    Drafty Windows. 15th Jan 20 at 11:26 PM
    So a tenant has refused to pay rent this month on the grounds that the windows are drafty and her and the kids have the cold.

    It is of course the middle of winter so to judge they got the cold from this is abit farfetched.

    I have arranged to have someone look at it but unless theres clear deterioration how would someone prove it was a problem. Any workman could go out and say x y and z needs done when really it doesnt just for a few quid.

    Has anyone had this problem before and how much did it cost to rectify?

    The house is about 30 years old with PVC double glazing.
Page 1
    • Retireby40
    • By Retireby40 15th Jan 20, 11:27 PM
    • 98 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Retireby40
    • #2
    • 15th Jan 20, 11:27 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Jan 20, 11:27 PM
    The tenant has been in the property 3 years and never seemed to notice anything before. Just this week it's now a problem. Last month the agency was speaking to them and no issues and all of a sudden everyone has the cold and she wont pay because of the windows.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 16th Jan 20, 12:40 AM
    • 51,150 Posts
    • 64,154 Thanks
    G_M
    • #3
    • 16th Jan 20, 12:40 AM
    • #3
    • 16th Jan 20, 12:40 AM
    Is he tenant saying she is cold, or she has a cold?

    Irrespective - she's short of money and is looking for a reason not to pay.

    There are 2 issues, unrelated:

    1) rent arrears. You write briefly reminding her of the date rent was due and "look forward to receiving payment without delay".

    If it's not paid, you'll need to consider your position. Ultimately a S8 G8 Notice is an option as soon as the 2nd payment is late.


    2) The windows. Are you local? Can you go and look? Who have you asked to go in? Your agent? A contractor? What kind of contractor? Do you know/trust them?

    If double glazed upvc windows are draughty, then either
    * they are not shutting properly
    * there's a seal worn out (buy some window seal from B&Q for 3)
    * the glass is broken (tenant damage?)
    * they are loose from the frame or the frame is loose - very unlikely

    Anyway, until you know if there is a genuine problem, you can't answer the tenant and you can't fix it. But none of that affects 1) above!


    * Repairing Obligations: the law, common misconceptions, reporting/enforcing, retaliatory eviction & the new tenant protection (2015)

    Note that although a S21 can be set aside or invalidated if it follows a complaint (retaliatory eviction), that does not apply to a S8.



    * Ending/renewing an AST: what happens when a fixed term ends? How can a LL or tenant end a tenancy? What is a periodic tenancy?
    ** If I include a blue link in my post, click and read it before posting a follow-up question. The answer may be in the link! **
    • FreeBear
    • By FreeBear 16th Jan 20, 12:59 AM
    • 3,528 Posts
    • 4,567 Thanks
    FreeBear
    • #4
    • 16th Jan 20, 12:59 AM
    • #4
    • 16th Jan 20, 12:59 AM
    If double glazed upvc windows are draughty, then either
    *
    Originally posted by G_M
    Another option..

    * The air close to the window looses quite a bit of heat through the glass and will always feel colder. Cold air falls, so a "draught" is felt even when no air is actually coming in from outside.
    The answer is to use decent quality thermal lined curtains and close them in the evening.
    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
    • dimbo61
    • By dimbo61 16th Jan 20, 9:26 AM
    • 10,481 Posts
    • 5,675 Thanks
    dimbo61
    • #5
    • 16th Jan 20, 9:26 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Jan 20, 9:26 AM
    January is always a poor month ( long time between getting Xmas pay and end of Jan pay, Overspending at Xmas etc )
    Does the tenant work ?
    Are the windows in poor condition ?
    When did you or your letting agent inspect the property?
    • princeofpounds
    • By princeofpounds 16th Jan 20, 10:03 AM
    • 7,837 Posts
    • 10,383 Thanks
    princeofpounds
    • #6
    • 16th Jan 20, 10:03 AM
    • #6
    • 16th Jan 20, 10:03 AM
    Probably related to Christmas money issues.

    But it's also possible this is a prelude towards aiming for an eviction with the hope of receiving council housing. If the problem seems made-up, it may be worth enquiring whether they actually want to be given notice, and pointing out that non-payment of rent may be counted by the council as making themselves intentionally homeless (which changes the responsibilities the coucil has to re-home them).

    If there is a problem with the windows, you do need to fix it regardless of rent payment delays (and it's good building maintenance anyway). Similarly the tenant is supposed to pay the rent regardless of whether you fix the windows promptly, although we'll see if that's the case in practice. Hopefully solving a problem, if one exists, will put things back on track on both sides.

    It's unlikely, if not impossible, that the workman will scam you for unnecessary work. They may know that you haven't seen the windows recently, but if they suggest there is a problem when there isn't, they run the risk that you go to check it out yourself subsequently (and that's probably wise if practical)
    • phoenix1837
    • By phoenix1837 16th Jan 20, 10:05 AM
    • 69 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    phoenix1837
    • #7
    • 16th Jan 20, 10:05 AM
    • #7
    • 16th Jan 20, 10:05 AM

    It is of course the middle of winter so to judge they got the cold from this is abit farfetched.
    .
    Originally posted by Retireby40
    A bit far fetched is an understatement, you can't catch a cold from drafty windows, it's a virus!
    I have a drafty door in the property i rent but wouldn't dream of withholding rent, I just stuff a rolled up towel to cover the crack. I am sure there are ways she can block the drafts.
    • Retireby40
    • By Retireby40 16th Jan 20, 10:10 AM
    • 98 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Retireby40
    • #8
    • 16th Jan 20, 10:10 AM
    • #8
    • 16th Jan 20, 10:10 AM
    Hello thanks for the replies.

    I haven't seen the property in about 3 years when I lived in it. I had no problem with cold however things may have changed in 3 years. I'm unsure they have.

    The tenant is claiming that her and her children all have the cold because of the windows. She is claiming that even with the gas heating on she is experiencing it cold and it is affecting them so badly she doesnt want to pay rent until it is looked at.

    She stated if she pays the rent nobody will come however there have been 3 other necessary repairs needing done in the last 12-18 months which were all done the minute she said something.

    The company I get to manage the property arranged for one of their contractors to go out and have a look at the property. I am awaiting their response.

    My concern is that a worker who is looking a job will always find something to do even if it isnt a problem. That I cannot help it comes part and parcel with being a landlord.

    The tenants and her husband work from what I have been told and to be honest they have never not paid rent before. It could be that this is the first time they have fallen on hard times and this is the way to avoid paying. Maybe their circumstances have changed.

    The management company did a full review in the house about 6 weeks ago in which the tenant had no complaints and expressed an interest in redecorating the house (mainly living room) to which I gave the ok to. November is freezing as well and no complaints. Which makes me think shes chancing her arm however I cant be sure.
    • Retireby40
    • By Retireby40 16th Jan 20, 10:17 AM
    • 98 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Retireby40
    • #9
    • 16th Jan 20, 10:17 AM
    • #9
    • 16th Jan 20, 10:17 AM
    Just to add the tenant didnt make contact with the agency to complain. She just didn't pay rent and when the agency phoned to say rent was a week late she then stated this problem.
    • Lover of Lycra
    • By Lover of Lycra 16th Jan 20, 10:22 AM
    • 824 Posts
    • 1,773 Thanks
    Lover of Lycra
    Interesting, so the tenant hasn't even put these repair issues in writing yet and they weren't even serious enough to warrant a phone call to the letting agency, instead she waited to be chased for the rent. She sounds like a chancer.
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 16th Jan 20, 11:34 AM
    • 6,585 Posts
    • 9,362 Thanks
    deannatrois
    The private rental i lived in was always cold. Due to a useless boiler (as your tenant has said, even with it on, the house rarely warmed up), lack of insulation in roof (which I put in and did help with too cold to sleep in bedrooms) and a badly done kitchen extension (single brick). The PVC double glazing was draughty but I used silicon to reseal the windows, this did help with the draughts. But the house was still cold due to the other problems. Having lived in a place since where the boiler was replaced after many repair issues, I know the whole house heated quicker and more economically afterwards.

    The remainder of the problems were out of my hands and I was very glad to move out of the private rental.

    I think you are going to have to visit the property to have an idea where the problems could lie. Particularly given what you have said in your post. Its the only way really.

    I feel sure, with the private rental I lived in, all of the issues would have been sorted within weeks if the LL had lived in the property, although of course, he always said there were no issues because he didn't have to live with them.
    • hb2
    • By hb2 16th Jan 20, 11:44 AM
    • 609 Posts
    • 2,472 Thanks
    hb2
    OP, how far away from the property are you? It does sound as if you need to visit and check this out in person if possible.

    Incidentally, where in the UK are you? Cos we haven't seen anything approaching 'freezing cold' here this winter yet, temps are still in double figures most days!
    • Retireby40
    • By Retireby40 16th Jan 20, 12:19 PM
    • 98 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Retireby40
    Again thanks for the responses.

    Unfortunately I work abroad a lot so I wont be back until June.

    The house is in Northern Ireland so while it is cold it isnt freezing. Somewhere between 7-10oC.

    I will have a chat with the management company and see what is what.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 16th Jan 20, 3:25 PM
    • 6,972 Posts
    • 11,233 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    I would say that the chance that she has spent the rent money on Christmas is very high. Some people are just totally unable to get their priorities correct. Some people seem to think that their children get more benefit from having lots of Christmas presents than from having somewhere to live.


    She needs to know that you cannot not pay the rent especially for a problem that she didn't report. No one can read her mind.
    • Skiddaw1
    • By Skiddaw1 16th Jan 20, 3:33 PM
    • 590 Posts
    • 914 Thanks
    Skiddaw1
    Again thanks for the responses.

    Unfortunately I work abroad a lot so I wont be back until June.

    The house is in Northern Ireland so while it is cold it isnt freezing. Somewhere between 7-10oC.

    I will have a chat with the management company and see what is what.
    Originally posted by Retireby40

    I think that's the right approach. As it sounds as if there's not been any particular issues with the tenant previously, it's possible there's more of a backstory (not necessarily just that tenant overspent at Christmas). If so, tenant obviously needs to come clean (so that you/the agent can see if anything can be done to work with the problem if there is one). Hope it pans out...
    • Slinky
    • By Slinky 16th Jan 20, 3:41 PM
    • 6,445 Posts
    • 30,565 Thanks
    Slinky
    Ask the management agency to make sure their contractor takes photos of anything that they deem to be an issue and needs replacing, rather than just taking their word for it.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 16th Jan 20, 4:07 PM
    • 51,150 Posts
    • 64,154 Thanks
    G_M
    N. Ireland.
    You need to find out what the law in N Ireland is with regard to

    a) renat arrears and

    b) repairs


    My advice earlier is irrelevant as it applies only to England & Wales.
    ** If I include a blue link in my post, click and read it before posting a follow-up question. The answer may be in the link! **
    • Retireby40
    • By Retireby40 16th Jan 20, 4:12 PM
    • 98 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Retireby40
    So the contractor went on and advised the management company that some of the hinges on the windows are rusty and therefore the windows arent closing completely.

    It could be possible so I have advised the agency to get a quote and let me know the situation.

    However I wont be acting until the tenant has paid as I would be held to ransom in the way. I have always promptly repaired anything when told.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 16th Jan 20, 5:04 PM
    • 5,148 Posts
    • 8,616 Thanks
    Smodlet
    Rusty hinges? On uPVC double glazing? If they are still under guarantee (less than 10 years old, usually) I suggest contacting whoever fitted them.

    I love that all the LLs (and whoever else) on here just assume the tenant has overspent at Xmas and that can be the only reason for non-payment of rent! How do you know she even does Xmas?

    If she has never withheld rent before, my first assumption would be that there really is a serious problem and she is getting nowhere with the letting agent. Yeah, @$$-u-me, right?

    You have not seen the property for 3 years by your own admission, OP, yet your first thought is the tenant must be at fault when she has never failed to pay the rent before now. Maybe she is just sick of being ignored when she reports problems... Again with the @$$-u-me.

    Unless you actually go and see for yourself or kick your agent into touch and tell them to visit and send you pictures, you will not know the state of the place so are in no position to make these assumptions, imho.

    ... And it's spelt draughty in English, not "drafty".
    Last edited by Smodlet; 16-01-2020 at 5:08 PM.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • Retireby40
    • By Retireby40 16th Jan 20, 5:09 PM
    • 98 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Retireby40
    The reason I was unsure as the tenants had a visit from the agency 6 weeks ago and didnt bring the issue up.

    She did not make contact with the agency regarding the problem.

    She just decided she wasnt going to pay rent and it wasnt until the agency called her to ask her where the rent was that she complained.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,283Posts Today

7,089Users online

Martin's Twitter