Problems with central heating in social housing

Having broken central heating can be a real inconvenience, but it could also be dangerous for your health. A home without working heating can get very cold, leading to other disrepair issues arising such as damp and mould which can make you ill.

Your social housing association/ local council has a responsibility to maintain your central heating and repair it if it breaks, as you have the right to central heating that is maintained and kept in proper working order. When you notify the landlord that repair works need to be carried out, they must respond and offer repairs to your central heating in a reasonable time.

If your landlord has not provided you with the needed repairs and you continue to live without central heating in your social housing property, we can help. On a no win, no fee basis, we will claim for the repairs to be carried out as well as for any compensation you may be entitled to.

Get in touch today to find out more about our no win,  no fee housing disrepair help.   

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Please note: at this stage we can only help people who live in social housing in England and Wales. We cannot assist you if you are in a private rental. 

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Your rights in regards to central heating

What the law says

Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, your landlord is responsible for the keeping in working order of:

  • Installations for the supply of water, gas and electricity
  • Installations for space heating and heating water

This means that any gas fires, water boilers, central heating systems, radiators, electrical heaters and gas supply installed in your home must be maintained and repaired if necessary.

By law your landlord must ensure that all heating provisions are maintained in proper working order. This rule applies even if you, your family and/or visitos may have caused the damage, in which case you are likely to be responsible to repay the costs of the repairs. The landlord is likely to seek to recharge the cost of the repairs to the system. A lack of heating is actually considered to be a health hazard to humans. Living in extremely cold conditions can cause illness and other problems too, such as damp and mould. Damp and mould could affect one or many rooms in your home, and may cause damage to your personal possessions. It can also lead to respiratory problems such as asthma developing. We can help you claim compensation if your landlord has left you living in a property with significant central heating problems and it has damaged you or your family’s health and possessions.

Landlord responsibilities

If the heating is not working in your home, your social landlord is responsible for fixing the problem. Of course, central heating can stop working without it being anyone’s fault, however your landlord shouldn’t leave you without it for more than a few days without doing any work towards remedying the issue.

All landlords must ensure that sleeping and living rooms reach a minimum of 18 and 21 degrees respectively. These are the minimum legal temperatures, so any temperature below this is considered unsafe. Your landlord should fix any central heating problems urgently. They should aim to resolve the issue in one day if you have young children living with you.

You landlord should also be mindful of the temperature outside. They should not leave you without heat for more than 24 hours if your central heating breaks down in the middle of winter. It is a dangerous hazard to your health if you are without central heating for more than two days during the cold months.

Your landlord is responsible for providing you with temporary heating equipment if they cannot repair your central heating in a reasonable amount of time. They should provide you with short-term accommodation if they are unable to give you temporary heating.

We may be able to help you claim compensation if your social landlord has failed to maintain  working central heating and you are suffering as a result.

Please note that we cannot not take on private renting disrepair cases at present.

Tenant responsibilities

As a tenant you also have a responsibility to maintain your central heating. You must use it properly and not cause any damage to it. If you do damage your central heating and it results in a problem occurring, you may need to pay for it to be fixed or replaced.

You are also responsible for reporting any central heating problems to your landlord as soon as you are able to. You should watch out for the following as signs of a problem:

  • Leaking radiators or radiators which don’t work
  • Water which doesn’t heat properly or at all
  • Intermittent heat and hot water

It is best to report these signs in writing to your landlord if they persist over the course of one day, so that they are aware of the issue and will hopefully resolve it quickly.

The above problems can also cause further issues to develop, like damp and mould. Damp and mould should be resolved as soon as possible as they can both be very dangerous for your health.

Get started with your housing disrepair claim

Expert advice and guidance

Our housing disrepair solicitors can offer you specialist advice if your local authority or housing association has failed to address the central heating problems in your home.

Here at AWH our team has years of experience helping people claim when their landlord is neglecting their duties to maintain/keep any central heating installation in working order. When you claim with us, we will send one of our experts to assess your situation first of all. If we’re able to proceed with your claim, we’ll be there from the get-go, offering you expert advice and support throughout the process.

We believe that no one should ever be forced to live in cold and dangerous conditions. A lack of central heating can be particularly harmful for families with children and the elderly. We believe that neglectful landlords should be held responsible for their actions so that you and your family can live in the safety and comfort you need and deserve.

Has your social landlord left you living with broken central heating or other problems caused by a lack of heat? We may be able to help you make a claim and get the repair work you need done.

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