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Is the landlord liable for extra heating costs?

Here is a blog clinic question from Pamela who is a landlord.

I have a tenant in a top floor converted flat. There were some problems with the roof which resulted in damp patches appearing at various points on all the outside walls. The roof has been mended but the damp patches will clearly take a while to disappear. I suggested that my tenant leave a window open during the day when they are at work to help dry out the patches.

My tenant has now asked me to reduce the rent by £50 per month to cover extra heating because the flat is colder when they come in and takes longer to heat up. I have refused. Am I right? The rent is £450 per month.

Hi Pamela, my view is that if the tenant has incurred extra heating costs due to this matter, which is not presumably down to their fault, they are entitled to be refunded.

The question is therefore, what are the extra heating costs that they have incurred?  £50  may be an exaggeration.  I would suggest you ask them to confirm this amount by reference to their utlity bills before paying.

By the way, I assume that there are no  security issues with the windows being left open?


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4 Responses to Is the landlord liable for extra heating costs?

  1. …although they may ask for contribution towards the running costs!

    Assuming you’re running a 250W domestic dehumidifier 24 hours a day it’s going to cost no more than 90p a day (assuming average electricty unit cost of 15p/kWh).

  2. Good question, I would have also thought that the Landlord would be liable for the extra costs of heating caused by the damp and the open window. I agree with you though Tessa, £50 seems to be a huge extra cost. Perhaps the landlord should ask to see a bill to provide a more accurate cost?
    Sophie Hobson, deputy editor, LondonlovesBusiness



About the post author:

Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is a lawyer and specialises in creating products and services which help landlords and letting agents learn and understand landlord & tenant law. For example, she runs the Landlord Law website (now in its 14th year) and is a director of Easy Law Training Ltd and Your Law Store. Tessa also sits on the Property Redress Scheme Council. When not working she enjoys reading, cooking and messing around on the computer. You can also find her on Google

The Landlord Law Blog from Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is an English lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law.

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The purpose of this blog is to provide information, comment and discussion. Although Tessa, or guest bloggers, may from time to time, give helpful comments to readers' questions, these can only be based on the information given by the reader in his or her comment, which may not contain all material facts. Any comments or suggestions provided by Tessa or any guest bloggers should not therefore be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified lawyer regarding any actual legal issue or dispute.

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