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Broken boilers: What to do if you rent

2 October 2013 Caspar Read time: 2 min
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Broken boilers... what to do if you're renting!

Do you rent your home and rely on a gas, LPG or oil boiler to heat your home? If so, then read on because we have some important information for you that you need to know.

Boilers can often break down when they’re first turned on after the summer. It’s not fun when it gets cold when you don’t have any hot water or heating! When your in rented property, fixing your boiler isn't always under your control. You want to make sure the owner of the property will pay all costs associated with fixing the boiler.

Check and Take Notes

If your boiler’s definitely not coming back to life, do not try and fix it yourself. As well as it being potentially dangerous (as a gas appliance), you could end up invalidating your household insurance or the boiler guarantee. Call your landlord or letting agent as soon as possible and note down anything that could be useful (how has the boiler been working up until now). Check the date of your last boiler inspection (this should be done every seven years, minimum).

Don't call out an expert right away. You need to speak to your landlord, letting agent or management company first. If you call out an engineer before you do this, you could end up liable for the cost of the call out or even the fees to fix the boiler.

Things you can safely check before you make the call:

1. Is There Any Electricity?

If you’re experiencing a power cut then your boiler should turn on again once your electricity returns.

2. Is There Any Gas?

Check you have gas, and that it’s reaching the boiler. To do this, make sure the stopcock is switched on. This can be located in a cupboard either inside or outside your house. If it is on then call the boiler engineer. If you can smell gas, there could be a leak; open as many windows and doors in your house as possible and leave the property. If you know how, turn off your gas supply at the mains.

  • If you’re in the UK, call the National Grid on 0800 111 999.
  • Under no circumstances light the oven, stove, matches or a lighter as you could cause an explosion.

3. Thermostat

Thermostats can be darn complicated and it’s easy to mess up the settings. Check the timer is set correctly (clocks may have recently gone forwards or backwards). Make sure the batteries in the thermostat are working. Turn up the thermostat to double check settings haven’t been changed – the heating will come on if this is the case.

4. Pilot Light

Check that your pilot light is igniting because if it isn’t, your boiler won’t work.

If you’ve made all these checks and the boiler still isn’t working then it's time to call your landlord.

Boilers can be expensive to fix. As a renter, this responsibility should fall to the owner of the property.

Image credit: Metano


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