How long should it take a landlord to fix a broken boiler?

If you are living in a rented home, both you and your landlord with have certain responsibilities with regard to upkeep of the property. Whilst you are responsible for ensuring that the property stays sanitary, clean and in good repair, your landlord is responsible for maintaining and repairing the property. This will include ensuring that you have adequate access to hot water and heating; so, if you find that your boiler is broken, it’s important to know what you can do about it.

If the boiler in your rented home is broken, it can not only be highly inconvenient, but it can also have health implications if you and your family are left without heating and warm water – particularly if you live with any young children, elderly people or more vulnerable adults.

What can I do about a broken boiler in my rented home?

The most important thing to remember is that you should never try to sort out issues with the boiler in your rented home yourself. Not only can this be dangerous, but it can also compromise any warranty the boiler might have. So, unless the problem is a very basic one; like your electricity has gone off and you simply need to switch it back on, let the professionals handle it rather than trying to fix it yourself.

The first thing you need to do, if you discover that your boiler is broken, is report the issue to your landlord – as it is their responsibility to fix it. They may want to come to the property to take a look at the problem themselves, or they may simply send an engineer out to get it fixed. However your landlord decides to deal with the issue, they should not enter the property without your permission – though it’s important to remember that refusing access will affect the timescale your landlord can work to in getting any issues fixed.

What if my landlord hasn’t fixed my boiler?

Unfortunately, there’s no law in place that clearly states how quickly a landlord or agent should deal with relatively minor repairs. Legally, your landlord has a ‘reasonable’ amount of time to make repairs to your home after the problem has been reported, which can often mean different things to different people. However, legislation introduced in 2015 does set a time-scale, although only in specific circumstances.

It says landlords should fix major problems within two weeks if they ‘pose a threat to a tenant’s health and security’ – which may include a broken boiler in the depths of winter.

If you don’t feel that your landlord has taken your broken boiler seriously, or you don’t believe that they have attempted to make the repair within a reasonable amount of time, you may be eligible to make a claim against them. A successful claim would mean that the landlord is ordered by a court to carry out the necessary repairs and works, and you may also receive compensation if you, or another member of the household have suffered or become ill because of the issue.

For more information about making a claim against your landlord for not fixing a broken boiler in your rented home, or any other disrepair issue, contact CEL Solicitors for a free claim assessment, on 0809 281 2660.