New Landlord - Question re fixing problems in a timely manner


I’m a new landord and had a question please. I’ve had some tenants move in and since they’ve moved in, they’ve had a few problems, some of which were out of my control but they’ve been resolved within a few days of finding them.

Recently the tenants told me that the heating on the boiler stopped working but the hot water still runs so I called out a plumber who has advised that there is a problem and I’ve asked him to get the relevant parts ordered to fix it asap, he was able to carry out a temporary fix meaning the heating can be enabled for short periods of time but then the boiler cuts out again. Meanwhile, the tenant is not happy because it’s starting to get colder and the boiler hasn’t been fixed immediately. My question is, what is a reasonable amount of time to get issues like these fixed and would my tenant be able to claim any compensation in this scenario when I am actively already getting a plumber to look at it but cannot control how quickly he gets the necessary parts and comes back to fix it?

As I said, I’m a new landlord so this is causing me quite a bit of worry as I just want to ensure the property is fit for purpose as it should. Any advice would be appreciated, thank you.

supply a couple of portable electric heaters?


To me, it sounds like you have acted very promptly and done all you can.

I don’t know which part of the country you are in, but it’s not that cold that the heating needs to be on all the time in September surely.

Sounds like they could be trying their luck.


Iv got no heating in my flat and believe me its very cold at night

Thanks all, I’ll give the plumber another day and if he can’t get the parts by then I’ll just get some electric heaters to tide the tenant over for now. It’s a difficult situation and it is colder around the east midlands but I think it’s the best solution until the professional can complete their work.


I am having the exact same issue with my gas central heating boiler, a Vaillant.
The boiler engineer called this morning carry out a gas service with certificate.
I Tel vaillant and their engineers are due to attend Monday. It is something to do with gauge doing its own thing into the red zone. Having bled the radiators numerous time due to pressure gauge not functioning I have now put boiler in ON position ie 24/7 and will monitor. If it stops I will add water into the system to buoy the heating up
I have now taken out a call plan, valid for 6 months costing £47.16 x 6 with the option to extend and money back if they can’t fix it. Glow worm is their other cheaper product. If this is your boiler, Would you like their number?

I forgot to say depending on the make of your boiler, the engineer told me their engineers carry the spares parts on board - so no waiting.
I would supply fan heaters which spread heat around the room.

Hi Mina, I had a similar problem a few yeas ago - low pressure, due to a problem with the PRV [pressure release valve]. The Heating Engineer advised me to do a “long term” fix by having an Expansion vessel fixed below and connected to the boiler. Although it takes up a bit of space, it was cheaper than a new boiler and definitely does the job - the dial has remained at c. 1.5 psi [pounds per sq. inch] since.

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pressure release valves and diverter valves seem to cause the most problems. Apart from tenants messing with the system

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Hi Sue,
Thank you for that. Now the Vaillant engineer is due to visit the property in Monday at £57.26 pcm x 6 months.

In the meanwhile, because I like to understand a problem I went on to which else: yes, a You Tube site and watched a gas boiler engineer as he went to a customer’s house with a boiler exhibiting the very same problem as mine: model ecoplus s831.

In the video the customer reported that the previous engineer was advising he pay for spare parts or a boiler replacement.

This engineer however emptied the expansion tank in the boiler of water, refills, and recharges the internal combustion pressure up to ensure radiators heat up.
No spare parts needed! Now I question why my engineer was not able or willing to investigate further. When I suggested he drain the internal tank he was not keen.
I hate being ripped off because of laziness.

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When I last had a boiler go wrong, I made the decision to get a new one with a 10 year warranty.

Think it cost me about £1,700. So I looked at that as £170 a year over the life of the warranty, which was less then the cost of a British Gas service plan. So it seemed a bit of a no brainer to just get the new boiler and only have gas certs to pay for for the next 10 years, rather than throwing good money after bad (and keep annoying the tenant) keep fixing an ageing boiler, or paying for an expensive service plan.

Obviously you have to have it serviced every year, but you have to have a gas cert anyway and my gas man charges the same for a gas cert and service as he would for just a gas cert because he says he has to do the same work for both so no extra cost there either.


Waste of money but necessary for warranty. Luckily your engineer charges the same, this is rare.


My gasman says the only extra work for the certificate is filling it in.


Agree, get couple heaters in short term and if you’ve organised a plumber /heating specialist then that’s fine. DOCUMENT everything in writing with dates and photos. Do not use messages or WhatsApp , emsil
Some people feel the cold more than others so don’t get into discussions whether someone needs the heater on/off. Irrelevant.
Presumably the property has a gas safety check.
Get everything done professionally with the right trades.
Good luck

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I think you are wise to get an electric space heater or two that can be used should the need arise. The tenants will be happy and feel that they’ve been listened to.

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This is an excellent question for a new landlord to ask.

As every homeowner knows sometimes you just can’t always get the the tradesman or the replacement part for something that is not working as fast a you would want .

It can also be hard to diagnose the cause of some issues - damp especially and the experts can get it wrong . Maybe its water ingress from the elements outside, maybe its condensation lack of ventilation, maybe a risen water table , maybe its a leek in the plumbing .Sometimes You fix one only to find out it is a completely different cause
( in one case I know of it turned out to be the tenant throwing buckets of water against the wall in a corner in an attempt to have a case against the landlord to fraudulently gain compensation and to appeal to environmental health and avoid an eviction on the grounds it would be a revenge eviction! - he boasted about it to a friend - rare that one though!)

Just make sure it is not your fault and you have done everything you can .
Make sure the tenant is aware of what you are doing and keep communication open.

If you can provide a short term solution like electric heaters or camping cooker etc.

If the tenant has reduced amenity it is usually worth offering a rent reduction until the repair is completed.

Being a landlord isn’t a doddle and can be hard work - and often these crisis arise at the most inconvenient of times. But remember you its what we signed up for!

You are not superman and can’t solve everything instantly - but do make sure you are giving it you best shot as I am sure you are. And if you have a problem getting a suitable contractor then explain to the tenant why and what you are doing to try and speed things up. If you can do so face to face - it usually helps if they can see you are genuine.,


I looked at response times issue sometime ago. Oxford Council categories as emergency repairs, urgent and routine. Routine according to them can be done in upto 28 days. Worth Google it and see their examples.

I make it clear to new tenants that I will always respond quickly, but that sometimes problems take a while to resolve. The suggestion of temporary fan heaters is sensible, but don’t forget they’ll need PAT testing if they remain there for any length of time.

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Best practice but not mandatory

True. But not worth the risk if they were to cause a problem.