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Old 13 October 2010, 14:42   #1
Country: UK - England
Town: Weymouth
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letting agent problems

Just looking for some advice

I live in a rental property, aprox 3 weeks ago the hot water system stopped working.
This happened on a saturday afternoon when the letting agent's offices were not open.
I duly phoned them on the monday morning and informed them and also told them that the immersion heater had been replaced within the last 3-4 months so it may be a warranty job on that. A plumber was eventually arranged to call a week later.
The plumber advised us after about 5 -10 minutes in the property that the cylinder was knackered and needed replacing. He duly disapeared
the following week I called the plumber who said he had sent a quote to the letting agent.
I called the letting agent and they hadnt recieved the the quote.
Another week has passed so i called the letting agent again. I was informed the person dealing with it is not in and they would call me back.
It is now 3weeks 3days without hot water. we have 2 Children living with us
Is this a reasonable time to wait for this type of repair?
Is there anything I can do to hurry things along?
thanks in advance


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Old 13 October 2010, 15:42   #2
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Not at all a reasonable time to wait - I would start making a mega fuss. I don't know the exact ins and outs of the law but I would think a property for rent has to be "fit for purpose" in the same way as anything else offered commercially, and given that we don't live in the dark ages a house with no hot water is not fit for purpose.

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Old 13 October 2010, 16:20   #3
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Its not acceptable - but I'd suggest you are being too nice / polite - if you owned the house and the plumber was taking this long you'd be on the phone strongly expressing your views everyday and possibly more than once a day. If there was a "boss" to call you'd have called his boss. If there was a manufacturer to complain to you'd have been on the phone to them. The landlord and agent aren't going to lose sleep over you not having hot water - you need to get it up their agenda. 2 obvious ways to do that, (a) nag them several times a day (b) threaten [or actually] withhold rent until it is resolved.

If I were you I'd be on the phone at 9am tomorrow (to both the agent and the landlord). I'd demand that they confirm when it is going to be fixed. if they haven't given you an exact date by 4pm then get a recorded delivery letter in the post informing them they have 7 days to get it fixed or you'll withhold rent from the date the problem was reported. I'm not sure of the technical legality of that but it should get their attention and gives you a week to go and see Citizens Advice on your actual rights.
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Old 13 October 2010, 23:22   #4
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help with tenants rights.

Also i would add to polwarts advice and say that you should ask at the CAB for the address and phone number of your nearest Shelter office.They are a charity who work with tenants to resolve housing problems.It's all they do so they are experts.Also try your local Housing department at the council.They should have an enforcement officer who can help tenants with problems.You should get help from either,especially as you have children.
I have used Shelter and the local council tenancy office when i had a landlord problem which resulted in my being illegaly evicted from my flat and unable to recover my possessions from inside as the lock had been changed by the landlord in my absence.
I think shelters web address is
Good luck,chris.
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Old 14 October 2010, 02:13   #5
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A personal visit to the agents office and a lot of stamping of feet is in order - if they don't help threaten them with Trading Standards - that will get them the message! - Outrageous!
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Old 14 October 2010, 03:02   #6
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On the basis that your tenancy agreement qualifies, you might also like to quote to them section 11(1)(c) Landlord and Tenant Act 1985:
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Old 15 October 2010, 11:29   #7
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well good news today, sort of, after threatening to with hold the rent and quoting the landlord act a decision was made and the landlord has agreed to carry out the repairs needed. Now it is in the hands of the plumber. so nothing will happen till next week i am guessing.

Thanks for the help guys


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