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Question

Landlord Responsibility for Repairs and Maintenance (England)

Can i be forced to replace windows?

20 Jan 2017 | 5 comments

I have a 3 bed mid-terrace 1970s built property. There is cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and it’s majority double glazed with the exception of two plastic single glazed windows in one bedroom and the kitchen. The tenants are putting a lot of pressure on me (as are the agents who have cited the council who have previously inspected the property) to replace these, but I have refused. I have already spent considerable sums replacing the roof in the extension (fully insulation), used insulated boards on the walls and installed a new kitchen at their request. I do not believe changing two windows will have the impact for the required outlay. Where do I stand on this?

Answer

5 Comments

  1. JungleProperty

    May be worth checking the EPC for clues on the likely savings or asking a domestic energy assessor to estimate the savings this would make and armed with the evidence decide what to say/do next?

  2. VB_Landlord

    It’s not really clear to me how they are ‘putting pressure’ on you. Why do they feel they need these windows? What is the actual problem it’s supposed to solve? Unless you’re in breach of some law or of your duty of care as a landlord, I presume they agreed to rent the house from you the way they saw it, and would think that the only ‘pressure’ could be threatening to leave. Perhaps a little more context would help.

  3. guildy

    The way to enforce this for the local authority would be via the HHSRS. From what you describe though I think an appeal would be worth considering (if you have been served a formal improvement notice or similar).

  4. sjcollett

    Thanks for comments.

    They are claiming the property is so cold they are having to wear jackets inside. The property is managed by agents who also appear to be on the tenants side. When I say pressure, I mean that this has been brought up several times now within the 6 months tenancy and today the agent has even sent me the inspection letter the council did at the property one year ago where the two windows were highlighted as single glazed and recommended for replacement. I said “No” then, as I have done again now.

    I have also dug out the EPC which makes NO mention of the windows being changed and this having ANY impact.

    I ask this question here, because I am being made to feel like I am acting “unreasonably” and I do not feel I am. The EPC supports my view that there will be little impact.

    I just wanted to make sure in case I had missed something.

  5. guildy

    I just don’t see how this can be forced. If they are cold, they should turn the heating up!

    Under general repairing obligations, as a general rule, a landlord doesn’t have to improve the property from what was granted initially. I see no reason why this wouldn’t fall under that general rule.

    If the council wanted to serve a formal notice they would likely have done so by now.

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