The Damaging Effect Of Faulty Heating In Rented Accommodation

or call Legal HD on 0161 974 7350

The damaging effect of faulty heating.

The Damaging Effect Of Faulty Heating In Rented Accommodation

or call Legal HD on 0161 974 7350

Tenants with underlying health problems can be severely affected by uncomfortable living conditions, and this has been highlighted by recent reports of a woman’s health suffering after two days of having no heating and hot water, in January 

A landlord is responsible for providing safe and operational gas, electric and plumbing supplies at the beginning of a rental tenancy and throughout the tenancy period. Boilers come under this category and have a significant effect on the safety and comfort of a tenant, indeed, providing heating and hot water is a tenant’s basic right and comes under the banner of providing accommodation that is in a habitable condition.  

In January, 51-year-old Jacquie Walsh heard noises coming from her boiler at 5.00am and had no heating and hot water. She reported this to her landlord – the housing association Wheatley Homes – and was told an emergency appointment had been arranged to address the issue. The woman worked 12-hour shifts so had to arrange this appointment for after work, and then stayed up all night in freezing conditions to eventually find the engineer never turned up. Upon chasing this the following morning it was found that the original repair report was never properly logged.  

Underlying health conditions affected by a housing disrepair 

Jacquie was without heating and hot water for 48 hours, even though an engineer came to attend to the problem but didn’t solve it. Shortly after this first repair, Jacquie discovered fluid leaking from the boiler and was without heating and hot water again. 24 hours later the boiler was finally fixed and she later received an apology from Wheatley Homes. 

While being without heating and hot water for two days in January is bad enough, Jacquie also suffered from chest and lung problems and experienced difficulty breathing during this period. She has since called for a shake up of the call centre system at Wheatley Homes and its housing officer protocols. Jacquie felt she was passed around between departments when attempting to chase-up her original repair complaint and had no central point of contact. This story highlights a number of issues with disrepair problems in rented accommodation which are important to stress: 

  • A tenant must report a repair issue direct to the landlord, and it is advisable to always have a direct point of contact to hand, in case of such an eventuality. You should ask for this information at the start of a tenancy. 
  • A landlord must provide safe and operational gas supplies at the start of the tenancy and throughout the tenancy period. 
  • Heating and hot water is a basic right for any tenant and a landlord is failing in their duty if they can’t provide this at any point during the tenancy.  
  • Faulty gas supplies can lead to cold and discomfort, and problems with underlying health conditions, as in Jacquie’s case here, but can also lead to other health and safety issues such as gas leaks, gas poisoning and fire risks.  

Do you qualify to make a claim for housing disrepair? 

As a result of Wheatley Homes being slow to respond to Jacquie’s report, not logging it properly and then not suitably repairing the issue, the tenant experienced significant discomfort and a decline in health which could have had serious consequences. Because Jacquie is a housing association tenant, reported the problem directly to her landlord and gave them sufficient time to resolve the issue, she is entitled to make a housing disrepair claim. This would compensate her for her health suffering and for the discomfort, stress and inconvenience of having no heating and hot water for two days at the height of winter. 

If you have experienced any similar problems and feel like you could also start a claim for housing disrepair, contact Legal HD today. Even if you just want information on where you stand and what your landlord’s responsibilities are, get in touch with our team for advice from the housing disrepair specialists.   

Andrew Dow - Legal HD Co-Founder
Peter Hartley - Legal HD Co-Founder

Contact Legal HD

Do you believe you have a case to make a housing disrepair claim? If so, contact Legal HD today via the form below or call us on 0161 974 7350 today.

Make an enquiry

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Specialist housing disrepair call handlers

Speak to a housing disrepair specialist

We offer No Win No Fee and have a high success rate with a wide range of housing disrepair claims.