Renting a flat with no central heating - what are my rights?

Posted 5th Sep 2008
Ok, I'm renting a flat, signed the contract just before I moved in, and had a look around before when it was still under construction.

There is no central heating! No radiators or anything!

Surely this can't be legal?? There must be some kind of government regulation against this?

There's nothing in the contract that mentions the house has no heating..
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Did you not think to ask first?
sure it hasnt got underfloor heating? most modern places have it now especially new builds.......dials on the wall anywhere?
I don't think they have to provide heating, but you'd think that they would have installed it as a matter of course.
My friend rents a place with no heating, in fact i know too people that do. If your stuck why don't you get a couple of oil filled heaters for the living room and bed room. I hear they are cheaper to run anyway.

Is there a fire?
Only in a HMO is there a obligation to provide heading AFAIK. Bit stupid not to provide any though as theoretically it would be hard to rent :p. I suppose you could use some electric space heaters?
just think about all that money you will be saving - plus the ozone layer - :-D

i just did some googling on the matter and found this thread in which a landlord mentions an act that requires heating to be able to perform at a certain level…948

the bit in question is

as I gather from section604 of housing act 1985 that landlord needs to … as I gather from section604 of housing act 1985 that landlord needs to provide temprature above 16degrees, when its -1degrees outside

you should be able to find that act and read it for more info
I've only turned the gas on twice in 17 months, mainly due to guests getting frostbite. My flat is nicknamed 'The Fridge'

i just did some googling on the matter and found this thread in which a … i just did some googling on the matter and found this thread in which a landlord mentions an act that requires heating to be able to perform at a certain level bit in question isyou should be able to find that act and read it for more info

Hmm, seems the Housing Act 1985 does stipulate temperature levels as a requirement, but does this simply mean insulation, etc? 18c is below normal room temp anyway isn't it?…x-a

[LIST][*][FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]have adequate provision for … [LIST][*][FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]have adequate provision for heating[/SIZE][/FONT][/LIST][LIST][*][FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]Does the dwelling have fixed heating capable of maintaining the temperature of the main living room at 18 deg C or more when the outside temperature is -1 deg C and, for the other main habitable rooms, provision for heating capable of maintaining an equivalent temperature of 16 deg C or more?[/SIZE][/FONT][*][FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]Does the construction and condition of the dwelling prevent excessive heat loss and is the provision for heating (when combined with adequate ventilation) sufficient to prevent condensation and mould growth prejudicial to health?[/SIZE][/FONT][/LIST][FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]In reaching a decision the surveyor considers:[/SIZE][/FONT][LIST][*][FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]the presence, type and age of provision for heating in the main living room;[/SIZE][/FONT][*][FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]the provision for heating elsewhere;[/SIZE][/FONT][*][FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]the capacity of the electrical installation and number and location of outlets;[/SIZE][/FONT][*][FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]the insulating properties of the building fabric; and[/SIZE][/FONT][*][FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]the extent of air leakage through the building[/SIZE][/FONT][/LIST]

i think because you have signed the contract, you hav'nt got a leg to stand on. you could however get in touch with your local council, they sometimes make landlords put things right.:thumbsup:
As you are moving into a new development I am sure there will be heating provision however even if you live in older accomodation you would definately have a leg to on with this one........

The Housing Act 1985 has been superseeded by the Housing Act 2004 which brought in a new way of evaluating houses to ensure they are safe to live in. There is a requirement for adequate heating within a property. Under the hazard of Excess Cold a landlord can be asked to install suitable heating / insulation within a property and bring it up to good standard..

Have a chat with the local council, look for either the Housing Standards team or Environmental Health who can give you further advise or help to resolve any landlord / housing matters.....
contracts cannot overrule the law. if the regs state heating is required then heating is required, give the CAB a ring they'll set you straight
what tells you there is no heating, a lack of radiators? Our flat has no radiators, as we have underfloor heating, which is fab. there are dials on the walls for each of the rooms, so you can set the temprature for each room seperatly. are you sure that this is not the case in your flat?
I have previously lived in a council house with no heating in it - it was fitted eventually, but i know some people wont have it still and just live with no heating at all.

I know a private rented property we rented previously had none, but we got oil filled radiators for the bedrooms and living room, but still didnt make much difference as in the summer/winter we could see ourselves breathing lol
alot of developers aren't putting in radiators now, due to a) the cost of them, and b) the space they take up in appartments. many of them are instead using underfloor heating.
I think the best you will get from the landlord are a few plug in electric heaters, that would appear to satisfy the legislation.
2.4.6 Local authority repair powers
Local authorities have statutory duties and powers to take enforcement action to deal
with properties containing hazards identified under the new Housing Health and
Safety Ratings System (HHSRS) [See Section 2.3 below]. Under the HHSRS which is
set out in Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004, local authorities have a duty to take
appropriate enforcement action in relation to Category 1 hazards, and discretion to act
in relation to Category 2 hazards in residential properties.

2.5 Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is the method used by local
authorities to assess housing conditions. The Housing Act 2004 Part 1 establishes the
HHSRS as the current statutory assessment criterion for housing and it is based on the
principle that:
Any residential premises should provide a safe and healthy environment for any
potential occupier or visitor.
The system applies to all dwellings including owner occupied, privately rented and
Council and Housing Association dwellings.
Local authorities are required to keep housing conditions in privately owned property
under review and also have a duty to inspect a property where they have reason to
believe that this is appropriate to determine the presence of health and safety hazards.
The HHSRS is not a standard which the property must meet, as was the case with the
previous fitness standard, but it is a system to assess the likely risk of harm that could
occur from any ‘deficiency’ associated with a dwelling.
A deficiency is a variation from the ideal standard and may be due to an inherent
design or manufacturing fault, or due to disrepair, deterioration or lack of
maintenance. Unnecessary and avoidable hazards should not be present. It
acknowledges, however, that some hazards may exist and provides a method of
deciding whether or not the degree of risk is acceptable.
The use of a formula produces a numerical score which allows comparison of all the
hazards. This score is known as the Hazard Score and irrespective of the type of
hazard, the higher the score, the greater the risk.
Local authority environmental health professionals undertake assessments and they
must decide for each hazard what is:
i. the likelihood, over the next twelve months, of an occurrence e.g. falling down
stairs, electrocution etc that could result in harm to a member of the vulnerable
group, and
ii. the range of potential outcomes from such an occurrence e.g. death, severe injury
There are 29 hazards associated with the system [see section 2.3.1 below].
When an assessment is made, the current occupiers are ignored and the assessment
is based on the likely affect of the hazard on the relevant vulnerable age group. For
some hazards there is no relevant group, but for many hazards it may be either the
young or the elderly.

2.5.1 Hazards
A hazard is any risk of harm to the health or safety of an actual or potential occupier
that arises from a deficiency.
The system is concerned with disease, infirmity, physical injury, and also includes
mental disorder and distress. There are 29 hazards, which need to be considered, and
these have been divided into 4 groupings:
Physiological, Psychological, Protection against Infection and Protection against
• damp and mould growth
• excess cold
• excess heat
• asbestos and manufactured mineral fibre
• biocides
• carbon monoxide and fuel combustion products
• lead
• radiation
• uncombusted fuel gas
• volatile organic compounds.
• crowding and space
• entry by intruders
• lighting
• noise.
Protection against infection:
• domestic hygiene, pests and refuse
• food safety
• personal hygiene, sanitation and drainage
• water supply for domestic purpose.
Protection against accidents:
• falls associated with baths
• falling on level surfaces
• falling associated with stairs and steps
• falling between levels
• electrical hazards
• fire
• flames and hot surfaces
• collision and entrapment
• explosions
• position and operability of amenities
• structural collapse and failing elements.

2.5.2 Landlord responsibilities
As the HHSRS is not a standard there is no model guidance available to follow. Each
property will have its own hazards depending upon its location, age, construction,
design, state of repair etc. but landlords must take steps to make sure that the dwelling
provides both a safe and healthy environment.
For enforcement purposes the landlord is responsible for the provision, state and
proper working order of:
• the exterior and structural elements of the dwelling
• this includes all elements essential to the dwelling including access, amenity
spaces, the common parts within the landlords control, associated outbuildings,
garden, yard walls etc.
• the installations within and associated with the dwelling for:
• the supply and use of water, gas and electricity
• personal hygiene, sanitation and drainage
• food safety
• ventilation
• space heating, and
• heating water.
It includes fixtures and fittings, but excludes moveable appliances unless provided by
the landlord.
In multi-occupied buildings the owner, or manager, is responsible for stair coverings
e.g. carpets.

2.5.3 HHSRS enforcement
If a hazard presents a severe threat to health or safety it is known as a Category 1
Hazard. If a local housing authority considers that a category 1 hazard exists on any
residential premises, it must take the appropriate enforcement action in relation to the
hazard. Less severe threats to health and safety are known as Category 2 Hazards and
a local authority may take appropriate enforcement action to reduce the hazard to an
acceptable level. The circumstances in which local authorities will take action over
Category 2 hazards will vary and will depend on the individual local authorities’
enforcement policy.
Although statutory action is mandatory for Category 1 hazards and discretionary for
Category 2 hazards, the actual choice of the appropriate course of action is also up to
the authority to decide and again will depend on the individual local authorities’
enforcement policy.
The authority must however take into account the statutory enforcement guidance and
the options available include:
• serving an improvement notice requiring remedial works
• making a prohibition order, which closes the whole or part of a dwelling or
restricts the number of permitted occupants
• suspending these types of notice for a period of time
• taking emergency action themselves
• serving a hazard awareness notice, which merely advises that a hazard exists, but
does not demand works are carried out
• demolition
• designating a clearance area.

2.5.4 More information on certain hazards
The hazards most likely to exist in all types of dwellings are:
• damp and mould growth
• excess cold
• radiation
• crowding and space
• entry by intruders
• falling on the level
• falling on stairs
• fire
• flames and hot surfaces
• collision and entrapment.
However this will vary depending on, amongst other things, the location, the type, the
state of maintenance and age of the property.
The following outline of certain hazards provides an insight into how the HHSRS
operates and what factors are taken into account when an assessment is made by the
local authority. The scoring system of the HHSRS allows all hazards to be rated
against each other for importance within any dwelling. The inclusion or exclusion of
any hazard in this section is not an indication

2.5.5 Excess cold
The most vulnerable age group is all persons aged 65 years and over. This is by far
the most likely hazard to affect a dwelling. For example, the hazard score for a pre-
1946 property will on average mean that a category 1 hazard exists and action by
local authorities is mandatory.
There are 40,000 excess winter deaths in the UK each year associated with the affects
of cold. It is not hypothermia, but respiratory and circulatory diseases in the elderly
which is responsible for most of these deaths. ‘The increase in deaths from heart
attacks occurs about two days following the onset of a cold spell; the delay is about
five days for deaths from stroke, and about 12 days for respiratory deaths.’
Lack of heating also causes increased illness, increased risk of falls, as well as distress
and discomfort.
Inadequate heating is directly linked to ill health when the internal temperatures start
falling below 19°C.
It is essential that occupiers be provided with adequate and controllable (preferably
central) heating within their accommodation.
British Standards state that a minimum standard of heating is a fixed space-heating
appliance to each occupied room. It should be capable of efficiently maintaining the
room at a minimum temperature of 18°C, in sleeping rooms, and 21°C in living
rooms, when the temperature outside is minus 1°C and it should be available at all
times. The adequacy of loft insulation and cavity wall insulation is important and
would be considered as part of any HHSRS assessment.

I have previously lived in a council house with no heating in it - it was … I have previously lived in a council house with no heating in it - it was fitted eventually, but i know some people wont have it still and just live with no heating at all.I know a private rented property we rented previously had none, but we got oil filled radiators for the bedrooms and living room, but still didnt make much difference as in the summer/winter we could see ourselves breathing lol

:thumbsup: when i moved into my house - there was no heating, had to wait 4 years before they installed any
Have you spoken to your landlord about this?
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