Recently, I rented a very nice one-bedroom apartment. I really enjoyed its location and everything inside, signed the agreement, paid for one year in advance and moved in.
When there, we faced a problem. The flat is equipped with a boiler, and hot water from it is odorous. I dumped it a couple of times, but the smell doesn’t go away.
I know that I am not entitled to repair it by myself, neither I want to call for a certified maintenance on my own, because I am pretty sure it’s landlord’s responsibility.
I asked my landlord to sort out this problem, but he did nothing - just sent his caretaker who smelled water and concluded like “Yep, it definitely stinks”. But nothing happens afterwards, looks like I am ignored.
How can I persuade the landlord to assist in resolving this problem? It’s impossible to use hot water, actually.
Thank you in advance!
the cold is ok? is it an imersion heater boiler or a combi boiler?
Cold water is completely OK, I even filter it for cooking.
It’s an electric combi boiler.
It seems the boiler is faulty, not that I have come across this before now . Why not phone up a boiler cen. htg. firm and ask for their opinion ?
But what’s next? Should I ask the landlord to pay for maintenance afterwards?
it Will be his responsibility But first Just a phone call will mean you may have an answer for him
Understood, will do. Thank you for your help!
It could be dead animals or wet insulation that is causing the smell, or wood rot if the place is old.
Write to the landlord stating the caretaker confirmed the issue and please let you know when something will be done about it. Point out it could also be a gas leak, hence a safety issue. That might prompt action.
Also ask when the boiler was last serviced, and check if you have a Gas Safety Certificate and if not ask for one.
The hot water should be okay, but smell it first!
Yes, as above, if the hot water comes from a tank, then check to see if there is anything in the tank that shouldn’t be, such as dead animals. If anything is visible then send a pic to your landlord and request urgent action.
Given the seriousness of legionella and other bacterial infections, I think you should probably call in the environmental health department if you can’t get immediate action on this and stop using the hot water for the moment.
How would you describe the smell?
Is there a cylinder?
Are there flexible hoses in use?
Have you spoken with neighbours in block to see if anyone else has had issues?
Im a vet. Sounds like a rotten animal issue and this could release bacteria eg legionnaires disease into system.
DEFINITELY inform environmental health.
Plus housing department.
Landlord MUST insure house is livable.
No hot water means it qualifies and cant be rented out until fixed
Definitely landlord should have sorted asap
Moral. Dont ever pay all rent in advance. Means landlord hasnt got any financial incentive to fix… however, if you get environmental services to condemn flat , move inti a hotel and start sending him the bills, i bet he ll sort it
It’s been a long time since the last post, so I’ll answer all questions first.
We don’t have gas supply in the apartment, the boiler is electric.
I could not really open the tank, so I don’t think there is a dead animal. Anyway, in the contract the landlord warned about severity of legionella, so I used this clause in further negotiations.
It’s a sweet rotten smell, but doesn’t look like smell of rotting flesh - but definitely of organic origin.
And yes, I spoke with neighbours, and no one else indicated this issue.
I wonder how an animal could get to a boiler really… But my knowledge is limited.
And yes, I already realised my fault with paying the full contract price in advance. I really thought it would strengthen my position during rent talks, and it definitely did, but you are right, this fact did not leave me any space for actions.
And, the update.
I contacted the plumbing service and they recommended first to fully dump water. I did so, but without any success. Then, I called the housing specialist taking care of the block to make sure and confirm that the water is odorous. Since he is an employee of the landlord, he provided me with emergency contacts of the landlord and gave some advise in terms of letter wording.
Then, I wrote a long letter indicating the problem and all my proceedings insisting on maintaining the boiler ASAP. I also indicated, according to your recommendations, that it could lead to a failure and that it really deprives us of proper usage of all amenities included. It was three days ago, and the landlord answered that the maintenance specialist would come next week.
So, I think, I’ve finally resolved the issue.
I am quite new in the UK and before this did not really think such a problem would emerge and take so much time until the resolution. But - in fact, it motivated me to look for my own property:)
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