Here is a question to the blog clinic from Brian who is a landlord
Last weekend my tenants checked themselves into a hotel because their boiler broke down and parts had to be ordered.
Boiler is now working but tenants want to be reimbursed for hotel bills and food.
Is this normal, do I have to compensate the tenants?
It depends I suppose on the circumstances but my view is that although they will be entitled to some compensation, they are not entitled to move out and claim hotel costs.
The property is liveable in after all – its not as if it was made uninhabitable for example by fire or flood.
It might be different if the water supply was cut off. Or if the hot water was off for a long time and they had given notice to the landlord first. Or if there were special circumstances, perhaps if they had a medical condition where hot baths were part of the treatment.
However, special circumstances aside, I think most people can live without running hot water for a couple of days. You can always boil water in a kettle or saucepan after all.
There is also the point that these tenants do not appear to have notified or warned the landlord first.
For example the landlord might have been able to rehouse them himself, or investigate his insurance policy to see if they could be covered. However they do not appear to have given him any opportunity.
What do you think? Do you think moving to a hotel if the boiler breaks down is justified?