Here is a blog clinic question from Carlotta who is a tenant:
My partner and I moved into the property in March 2011.
As we entered the property we discovered that the windows in the bedroom were broken (windows cannot be closed properly leaving a gap through which cold air is entering in the room).
We ask the landlord (through the letting agency) to fix it but until now he hasn’t done it.
Since this winter has been quite cold, to have a liveable place to sleep, we needed to keep the heater on in the bedroom for several hours a day with a consequent increase of our electricity bill.
Is the landlord in breach of tenancy agreement? Could we ask for a refund for the electricity bill? Thank you very much,
Windows are classed as part of the ‘structure and exterior’ of the property, and therefore fall within your landlords statutory repairing obligations. So provided you have notified him, via his agent, of this, then he is at fault for not carrying out the repairs.
Your are entitled to bring a claim against him for the work to be done and for compensation, although if you were thinking of this, there is a special court protocol you have to comply with first.
I am pretty sure that the excess heating costs you have had to pay would fall within your claim for compensation. So I don’t see why you should not ask for a refund on your rent in respect of this.
There is a blog post on tenants repair rights here which may help you.
If YOU have a problem, why not put it to the blog clinic? However there are a lot of questions submitted, so if you need an answer quickly remember that members of my Landlord Law service can ask me questions in the members forum area, and will normally get an answer with 24 hours.