Landlord’s repair responsibilities : The boiler

Landlord-tenant laws were created so as to serve as proof for the interactions, rights, and obligations of both parties. Even if each state’s laws are different, there are some general duties and services that every house/apartment/condominium owner must provide. For instance, a landlord is obligated to maintain the property, which implies adhering to building codes, carrying out the necessary repairs, and keeping vital services (plumbing, electricity, and heat) in good working order. The fact of the matter is that owning and maintaining a rental property is a considerable investment, whether we’re talking about time or money. so, you should do your due diligence. 

Tenants aren’t responsible for fixing boiler problems or arranging the annual service 

If the boiler is in need of repair and the tenants haven’t caused damage on purpose, the landlord is required to replace or repair the broken system and ensure tenants have access to heating and hot water. In the event that the necessary repairs aren’t carried out, the rental becomes inhospitable or there’s a safety hazard. To put it simply, there can be consequences. What happens is that you break your obligation, so the tenant can’t be constrained to pay the full amount of rent until the repairs are made. Of course, the renter can hire a third party to undertake the boiler repairs and have the cost deducted from the bills from rent. 

The only exception to the landlord’s responsibility is when the damage is caused by the tenant. If they’re responsible for the damage done to the installation, repair is entirely their responsibility. If necessary, you can arrange for the repairs or replace the boiler. But don’t cover for the repair costs. Ideally, you should find an agreeable solution and avoid turning to legal intervention. Several conditions can result in sudden, unexpected failure of a boiler. Take severe fire-side corrosion as an example. It’s paramount to make sure that the controls are properly set so as to prevent condensing conditions in the boiler. 

Now, let’s say a few words about the annual service. It provides the engineer the chance to spot safety issues, such as carbon monoxide leak. As the system ages, it becomes less efficient, so it’s important to have the boiler serviced to make sure it’s in a good condition and delivers a higher level of efficiency. Last but certainly not least, if there’s something wrong with the appliance, it will be repaired free of charge provided the warranty is still valid. 

How long does a landlord have to fix a boiler? 

It’s necessary to take action immediately to repair the boiler. Repairs need to be carried out in a timely fashion, while emergency situations must be dealt with in maximum 24 hours. After the tenant has informed you of the problem, source an engineer and book repairs. If there’s small children in the house, and the issue can’t be solved right away, it’s recommended to provide temporary accommodation or rent a boiler. A temporary boiler can be used to meet the heating demand of the building while the permanent boiler is under reparation. Having no hot water or heating is a hazard under the law. 

Things every landlord should know about boiler maintenance

It’s necessary to show the tenants the ropes

There are some things that the tenant/ tenants can do to make sure that everything runs smoothly. If you have a few minutes to spare, explain the key concepts. For example, people might not know that, when they do housework, it’s essential to give the boiler a clean because the dust can clog up the pipes and tubes. Equally, they might not be aware of the fact that it’s necessary to keep an eye on the pressure to make sure that no damage occurs to the system in the case of overheating. Most importantly, install a carbon monoxide alarm. Every second counts, so the alarm provides an invaluable warning to escape. 

You need to bleed the radiators once a year

If they have air trapped inside them, radiators require bleeding. The reason for this is that the trapped air stops the warm water from circulating around the radiator. At times, a flowing or cloaking sound can be heard from the radiator, which is a good indicator that something needs to be done. Without further ado, follow these steps:

  • Turn off the heating
  • Use the radiator key to turn the valve
  • Let the trapped air escape
  • Retighten the valve when the hissing stops
  • Turn the heating system back on
  • Check the pressure by looking at the gauge on the boiler 

It’s a good idea to bleed the radiators before the beginning of the heating season so that you’re ready for winter. Needless to say, you can end up with air inside the pipes any season. The tenants will let you know if there’s a problem. 

Think about purchasing breakdown coverage

Why don’t you get equipment breakdown insurance? It provides coverage for physical damage and financial loss from boiler breakdown. You have peace of mind knowing that the central heating is protected. Attention should be paid to the fact that there might be a limit to how long the engineer can spend on the repairs and you can’t make countless claims a year.  Boiler coverage is sometimes included in home insurance. Go over your insurance policy and determine whether you have coverage in place. There’s no point in taking out another policy. 

To sum up, landlord responsibilities come in many shapes and sizes. Just as you have certain expectations from your tenants (paying the rent on time and not destroying the rental), they expect certain things from you. You can’t change any of the responsibilities by making a verbal or written agreement. Keep in mind that what we’ve highlighted in this article is just the beginning. There’s much more that goes into being a landlord, so you should better look into your rental property responsibilities. If you fail to meet any of your duties, the tenant has various remedies available.