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Anne_Uumellmahaye

No Gas Safety Certificate

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Hi All,

We currently rent an old cottage style property.

The heating system is estimated to be at least 30 years old.

Today we turned the tap on to find the pipes had frozen and had no hot water (I have a toddler with croup so need to be able to sit in the bathroom with the shower on full tilt to ease his cough- doctors advice)

I know this must be a problem in households all over the country but we have had a plumber out who was surprised at the state of the system. We have no lagging or insulation in the loft and his opinion is that the system needs sorting or it will happen again in the next day or 2. He said it was the first time he had ever seen a thick layer of ice in the header tank.

The landlady has told us to put the heating on 24/7 to try to combat this- her only advice (allthough she was quick to get a plumber out to us). However, the plumber has said this would make no difference.

We have ice on most of the windows most mornings.

Crucially, our gas safety certificate expired at the end of summer and this was arranged with the previous letting agent which she subsequently got rid of so now we have no certificate,

We flagged this today and she brushed it aside and mentioned she would look into it in the new year.

Last year the gas bill was £1800 with normal usage and this year the heating has been on far more. The plumber who visited today actually asked if the heating was on and was surprised when we told him it had been on constantly and this was as good as it gets!!

So, we are now desparate to move- we are on a rolling contract so only need to give 1 months notice but are we entitled to anything in lieu of the fact we have had no safety certificate? We feel like this house has been a disastrous money pit and are really worried about permanently heating the house as we don't have this safety check. It is highly likely that in the light of the plumbers comments, the checks would not be passed.

Any advice would be very much appreciated!

Edit: I've had a quick look though the rental forum and can't find any similar topics but please flag them if you know of any and I'll have a read.....

Edited by Anne_Uumellmahaye

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Hi All,

We currently rent an old cottage style property.

The heating system is estimated to be at least 30 years old.

Today we turned the tap on to find the pipes had frozen and had no hot water (I have a toddler with croup so need to be able to sit in the bathroom with the shower on full tilt to ease his cough- doctors advice)

I know this must be a problem in households all over the country but we have had a plumber out who was surprised at the state of the system. We have no lagging or insulation in the loft and his opinion is that the system needs sorting or it will happen again in the next day or 2. He said it was the first time he had ever seen a thick layer of ice in the header tank.

The landlady has told us to put the heating on 24/7 to try to combat this- her only advice (allthough she was quick to get a plumber out to us). However, the plumber has said this would make no difference.

We have ice on most of the windows most mornings.

ICrucially, our gas safety certificate expired at the end of summer and this was arranged with the previous letting agent which she subsequently got rid of so now we have no certificate,

We flagged this today and she brushed it aside and mentioned she would look into it in the new year.

Last year the gas bill was £1800 with normal usage and this year the heating has been on far more. The plumber who visited today actually asked if the heating was on and was surprised when we told him it had been on constantly and this was as good as it gets!!

So, we are now desparate to move- we are on a rolling contract so only need to give 1 months notice but are we entitled to anything in lieu of the fact we have had no safety certificate? We feel like this house has been a disastrous money pit and are really worried about permanently heating the house as we don't have this safety check. It is highly likely that in the light of the plumbers comments, the checks would not be passed.

Any advice would be very much appreciated!

Edit: I've had a quick look though the rental forum and can't find any similar topics but please flag them if you know of any and I'll have a read.....

think your landlady is breaking the law, unless anyone else knows better?

But what do you want out of it? A certificate or a new heating system? or both?

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think your landlady is breaking the law, unless anyone else knows better?

But what do you want out of it? A certificate or a new heating system? or both?

Yep i'm pretty sure she's breaking the law.

We really just want to get out of here now but that is going to cost us. I suppose I would like to "break even" on moving so a reduction in rent since the previous cert expired or some such would be ideal.

I think we've got the measure of her now and due to the age of the property, we have and will continue to have issues which are bodged or ignored so just want out!

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Yep i'm pretty sure she's breaking the law.

We really just want to get out of here now but that is going to cost us. I suppose I would like to "break even" on moving so a reduction in rent since the previous cert expired or some such would be ideal.

I think we've got the measure of her now and due to the age of the property, we have and will continue to have issues which are bodged or ignored so just want out!

I doubt you will get any rent reduction, where are you?

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Hi All,

We currently rent an old cottage style property.

The heating system is estimated to be at least 30 years old.

Today we turned the tap on to find the pipes had frozen and had no hot water (I have a toddler with croup so need to be able to sit in the bathroom with the shower on full tilt to ease his cough- doctors advice)

I know this must be a problem in households all over the country but we have had a plumber out who was surprised at the state of the system. We have no lagging or insulation in the loft and his opinion is that the system needs sorting or it will happen again in the next day or 2. He said it was the first time he had ever seen a thick layer of ice in the header tank.

The landlady has told us to put the heating on 24/7 to try to combat this- her only advice (allthough she was quick to get a plumber out to us). However, the plumber has said this would make no difference.

We have ice on most of the windows most mornings.

Crucially, our gas safety certificate expired at the end of summer and this was arranged with the previous letting agent which she subsequently got rid of so now we have no certificate,

We flagged this today and she brushed it aside and mentioned she would look into it in the new year.

Last year the gas bill was £1800 with normal usage and this year the heating has been on far more. The plumber who visited today actually asked if the heating was on and was surprised when we told him it had been on constantly and this was as good as it gets!!

So, we are now desparate to move- we are on a rolling contract so only need to give 1 months notice but are we entitled to anything in lieu of the fact we have had no safety certificate? We feel like this house has been a disastrous money pit and are really worried about permanently heating the house as we don't have this safety check. It is highly likely that in the light of the plumbers comments, the checks would not be passed.

Any advice would be very much appreciated!

Edit: I've had a quick look though the rental forum and can't find any similar topics but please flag them if you know of any and I'll have a read.....

I know most people on here ridicule the EPC but this would have highlighted the heating costs and state of the heating system. When did you move in? Was the EPC available?

Contact Gas Safe asap to discuss your gas cert situation, don't think they have much sympathy towards non conforming landlords.

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The lack of insulation in the loft is beyond belief . Normally have 6inch (or more) of fibreglass or similar insulation ,

in the loft and in particular the tank has a wrap around it and on the top . There is no insulation between the tank and

the ceiling. This allows the heat from the house to warm the tank and stop freezing . This is standard technique .

This alone may be enough to sort it out .

The ice on the windows is probably down to single glazing rather than double , and can buy film to stick over the inside

of the window to help. Certainly many of the houses of my younger days had this problem.

wrt the gas cert , I am sure it is required , but am not sure who enforces it .

rockhopper (a single property landlord).

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I know most people on here ridicule the EPC but this would have highlighted the heating costs and state of the heating system. When did you move in? Was the EPC available?

Contact Gas Safe asap to discuss your gas cert situation, don't think they have much sympathy towards non conforming landlords.

We don't have an EPC either.

Not sure when this became a legal requirement? We moved in in Sep 09.

I am assuming this would have been the original lettings agents responsibility? Should they have one on file?

(Thanks for all the info to all!)

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The lack of insulation in the loft is beyond belief . Normally have 6inch (or more) of fibreglass or similar insulation ,

in the loft and in particular the tank has a wrap around it and on the top . There is no insulation between the tank and

the ceiling. This allows the heat from the house to warm the tank and stop freezing . This is standard technique .

This alone may be enough to sort it out .

The ice on the windows is probably down to single glazing rather than double , and can buy film to stick over the inside

of the window to help. Certainly many of the houses of my younger days had this problem.

wrt the gas cert , I am sure it is required , but am not sure who enforces it .

rockhopper (a single property landlord).

Thanks rockhopper.

There is absolutely no insulation anywhere in the loft and no lagging whatsever! Crazy!

I am starting to like the sound of EPC's- if I had seen one at least I would have been aware of what I was letting myself and family in for.........

But it seems that there are a lot of legal requirements when letting properties but if you don't adhere to them, no-one gives a flying fig!

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Thanks rockhopper.

There is absolutely no insulation anywhere in the loft and no lagging whatsever! Crazy!

I am starting to like the sound of EPC's- if I had seen one at least I would have been aware of what I was letting myself and family in for.........

But it seems that there are a lot of legal requirements when letting properties but if you don't adhere to them, no-one gives a flying fig!

The epc came in from 1/10/2008 for new tenants. BTW loft insulation will make the loft colder, so pipes become more vulnerable to freezing.

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Thanks rockhopper.

There is absolutely no insulation anywhere in the loft and no lagging whatsever! Crazy!

I am starting to like the sound of EPC's- if I had seen one at least I would have been aware of what I was letting myself and family in for.........

But it seems that there are a lot of legal requirements when letting properties but if you don't adhere to them, no-one gives a flying fig!

I am pretty sure the EPC was required in Sept 2009, however this is a minor issue. On the other hand not having a gas cert is a serious offense:

Penalties for Breach of Gas Safety Regulations
Breach of the regulations is a criminal offence with the Health & Safety Executive empowered to bring proceedings.
Landlords and/or managing agents can be convicted for non-compliance.
The standard penalty is a £6,000 fine for each item and/or 6 months imprisonment.
In the most serious cases charges of manslaughter could be brought.
Insurance cover could be invalidated for non-compliance to the regulations.

Point this out and you are in a very strong position to get a deal deal - no rent until you leave and the she picks up you gas bill sounds fair to me..

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I believe that you are supposed to be given a copy of the epc when you sign the contract or

shortly after .

Normally when a loft is insulated , the pipes are run under the insulation ... however there may be

existing pipes running thru the air which could cause a problem (in terms of them freezing) -there is

pipe insulation but not sure how effective it is .

I wonder what the plumber said when he reported back ?

If he told her what he told you then I would expect she would be open to some negotiation.

I would not be happy about the pipes freezing up as the common problem is the splitting of the pipes

(if they are metal) when they thaw which could be very messy and expensive .

Most people (esp managers) like it when presented with solutions rather than problems ....

so if you have the name of the plumber , maybe you could call him and see if he was actually complaining

about the insulation and what he thinks should be done . If it was insulation, then maybe he knows someone

who would do the loft insulation (maybe himself) or find some *local* insulation company (or two) and

ask for a rough estimate for the size of the loft area .

just some thoughts.

rockhopper

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All the replies so far seem very relaxed about this. I'd recommend taking it much more seriously. People die from carbon monoxide poisoning and you and your toddler are at risk. The house is ucurrently ninhabitable as its unsafe without the gas safety certificate. I'd say you could move into a hotel and send your landlord the bill if you want. Certainly dont pay her another penny. I'd get advise from the CAB but my view is that you have the upper hand because if your landlord took any action against you they'd be laughed out of court. Buy a Carbon Monoxide detector tomorrow and send your landlord the bill for that too.

--

John

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All the replies so far seem very relaxed about this. I'd recommend taking it much more seriously. People die from carbon monoxide poisoning and you and your toddler are at risk. The house is ucurrently ninhabitable as its unsafe without the gas safety certificate. I'd say you could move into a hotel and send your landlord the bill if you want. Certainly dont pay her another penny. I'd get advise from the CAB but my view is that you have the upper hand because if your landlord took any action against you they'd be laughed out of court. Buy a Carbon Monoxide detector tomorrow and send your landlord the bill for that too.

--

John

The landlord obviously believes rules and regs only apply to other people. What would happen if you decided to go away for the weekend and left the property without heating? Would the tenant be blamed when the pipes froze and split?

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Get a Carbon Monoxide Detector pretty soon. Without a safety check you don't know what state the boiler is in. They are only £14 or so from somewhere like Wickes or Maplin. It's also important that if you do have one it's replaced every 5 to 7 years as the CO detector inside only lasts this long before it no longer becomes effective in detecting CO gas. Even if you do have a safety certificate get one anyway.

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The specific legislation you need to refer to is "The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985"

Section 11 (1) © to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water.

although this is slightly restricted by Section 11 (1b) (3) In determining the standard of repair required by the lessor’s repairing covenant, regard shall be had to the age, character and prospective life of the dwelling-house and the locality in which it is situated.

The Court has power to order specific performance: Section 17 (1) In proceedings in which a tenant of a dwelling alleges a breach on the part of his landlord of a repairing covenant relating to any part of the premises in which the dwelling is comprised, the court may order specific performance of the covenant whether or not the breach relates to a part of the premises let to the tenant and notwithstanding any equitable rule restricting the scope of the remedy, whether on the basis of a lack of mutuality or otherwise.

So in answer to your question, yes the landlord is responsible for having the required work done to bring the heating system into proper working order. As regards to the insulation I saw in last weekends newspapers that B&Q are selling 10 meter rolls of loft insulation for £3 each. The price is subsided by one of the energy companies as a method to comply with their requirement to conserve energy. There used to be local authority grants available for insulating a loft. I don't know whether they are still available. Its worth asking your local authority.

A more serious matter is the lack of a gas safety certificate. Failure to ensure any gas system is in a safe condition is a criminal offense. Enforcement is the responsibility of the Health and Safety Executive. Up to you to decide whether to report the landlord or use it as a negotiating point.

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The landlord obviously believes rules and regs only apply to other people. What would happen if you decided to go away for the weekend and left the property without heating? Would the tenant be blamed when the pipes froze and split?

I wonder if any one can shed any light on this?

We intended to stay for Christmas with in-laws but as there is a strong possibility that this may happen all over again (and we currently have no idea if the plumbers suggested work will be carried out in time), we have talked it through and decided it could be an absolute disaster- so we are going to in-laws

We would keep the heating on for a couple of hours at night/ in evening while we are away but no more.

As the weather isn't going to let up, are we leaving ourselves liable by being away? (this seems crazy but you never know....)

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Why don't you suggest politely that you organise for the loft and pipes to be insulated. Get some quotes or even offer to do it yourself if the landlord pays for the materials.? You would most likely get a grant for insulation ask the council.

If the landlord hasnt got a certificate now, they wont be able to get one quickly over the holiday period. Your heating system is most unlikely to develop a fault which is likely to cause carbon monoxide poising if it was ok last year. Just make sure it is checked in January.

The house hasn't changed from when you first started renting, the weather has. You can thank Chris Huhne for the fact that you will be paying much more for your heating in the future.

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[quote name=Oh Well :(' timestamp='1292973702' post='2830588]

Why don't you suggest politely that you organise for the loft and pipes to be insulated. Get some quotes or even offer to do it yourself if the landlord pays for the materials.? You would most likely get a grant for insulation ask the council.

If the landlord hasnt got a certificate now, they wont be able to get one quickly over the holiday period. Your heating system is most unlikely to develop a fault which is likely to cause carbon monoxide poising if it was ok last year. Just make sure it is checked in January.

The house hasn't changed from when you first started renting, the weather has. You can thank Chris Huhne for the fact that you will be paying much more for your heating in the future.

You the owner of the property?!!! What about the landlord getting involved. All the onus is on the tenant. Getting a gas cert quickly is perfectly feasible but probably more expensive at the moment. They take less than 20 mins to do. Problem is, if itthe fails gas cert and the boiler is condemned - could be a while before its repaired.

The landlord can off set against tax the insulation costs - theres a government scheme. Maybe they don't make a tax return......

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Thanks for all the responses.

I think we are looking to get out asap.

In the light of no gas safety cert (we have also flagged there is no EPC) does anyone think we will face penalty if we leave asap (am thinking 2 weeks max). Our landlady is unwilling to do anything- certificates, insulation, nothing.

We are on a rolling contract so the usual notice would be 1 month.....

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I wonder if any one can shed any light on this?

We intended to stay for Christmas with in-laws but as there is a strong possibility that this may happen all over again (and we currently have no idea if the plumbers suggested work will be carried out in time), we have talked it through and decided it could be an absolute disaster- so we are going to in-laws

We would keep the heating on for a couple of hours at night/ in evening while we are away but no more.

As the weather isn't going to let up, are we leaving ourselves liable by being away? (this seems crazy but you never know....)

I am not a lawyer but I think that if you can document that you have brought the matter to the landlords attention and they then do nothing then any repurcussions are on them and I'd dare say your losses as well but you'd need to see them in court.

As for the cert, gas safe are supposed to take these issues seriously but when we moved into our gaff the agents-martin and co, york branch or landlord, got thier handyman to install the gas cooker. The pratt left the supply connected without using ptfe tape. after 3 days when we actually moved in the house was full of gas, we called gas safe and the agents, the agents had a gas engineer out before gas safe and so they claimed no evidence and did nothing. So get photo's. The cert should be ok unless they can get a gas safe registered engineer to forge the date.

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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