Compensation for no heating

I just want to get some advice, please. I’ve tried to keep this as brief as I can.

I started the tenancy two weeks ago, which was a few days before actually moving in. The next day, I went to visit, and the electricity was off. It was a prepayment meter, and it was in debt. I agreed with the landlord to pay it, and it’ll be taken off the next rent. I have it in writing, and I’m fine with that. I also now have an email from E.On putting the account in my name.

The real problem was with the gas. It was a business account (this is fine as the property was empty for a while), and I needed to get it changed to a residential account. The landlord advised me to contact EDF (separate supplier) and get it changed to a residential account. They said it would take 3-5 weeks to get connected!

When I moved in, EDF set up an account in my name. They said that it’ll take 3-4 weeks to get connected! This was obviously unacceptable considering we’ve had freezing cold weather recently, but there was nothing I could do. Eventually, I got Citizens Advice involved, and they sorted it, and EDF set me up an emergency appointment. It has all been sorted.

However, I’m the one who’s had to endure freezing temperatures for a week. I’m the one who’s had to chase EDF by phone, by email and by WhatsApp. I’m the one who’s had to go to the CAB to get it sorted.

Do you think I’m entitled to compensation from the landlord for this? Believe it or not, I don’t actually want financial compensation! I’ve actually got a 12 month tenancy, but I really wanted 6 months. I’m thinking of asking that I can break the tenancy from 6 months onwards if I choose (I don’t think anyone would accept a request for me to break it immediately, despite it massively reducing my enjoyment; I know I have to be realistic.) It also doesn’t mean that I’ll move out at exactly 6 months to the day - it just gives me the flexibility to do so. I feel that it’s easier to ask for something now than to try and negotiate in the future.

I’ve read a bit on the internet about landlords pulling revenge evictions, so I thought I’d ask on here first to sound it out. I was thinking of just asking for what I want, rather than making it into a formal complaint.

I know I’ve asked specific questions, but any advice is welcome here.

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If you have a contract the landlord cant evict you without valid grounds. They are more likely to apply to periodic tenancies so you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

I dont think you are entitled to compensation. Its not landlords fault edf take a long time. Some landlords would give a goodwill payment and/or provide temporary electric heaters

You can ask the landlord if they are willing to amend the term. Best to keep it polite, at least initially. I would tend to allow early release on the basis that you are flexible in allowing viewings and that the property is in good condition for the viewings so as to avoid void periods. Its in a landlords interest to have tenants who want to live there.

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Thank you for that.

I’m not trying to claim compensation from the landlord for EDF messing me around. However, I believe that without the gas being connected straight away, the landlord was in breach of their legal duties. I’d also like to say that they did not offer any goodwill payment or use of a heater - they just left me to it.

I will of course make the request politely. However, would what I’ve said on this post give me any legal grounds?

Its not great customer service from either EDF or the landlord, but I agree with @Richard19 that it doesn’t entitle you to compensation from the landlord.

If you’ve signed a 12 month contract and the tenancy has started then the landlord can hold you to it and you can’t insert a break clause now. I would give things a chance to calm down a bit. You may find you like the property better as Spring gives way to Summer. If not, then you would have to try to negotiate an early surrender.

You say the property was empty for a while. Did the landlord give you a copy of a current Gas Safety Certificate…

I was told by the estate agent that the property had been empty for a while.

I did get a gas safety certificate. However, it was from December. (I suppose within a year is fine.)

My reason for wanting compensation comes from Shelter’s website. It states that lack of heating effectively makes a property uninhabitable, and I would be entitled to compensation.

I get that Shelter is different from a public forum, but I asked here to sound out my reasoning for asking for compensation and the form I’d like it to take.

The compensation would be due to a landlord not fixing the boiler in a timely manner. A landlord isnt responsible for utility providers failing to provide a satisfactory service.

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