Wednesday, August 13, 2014

WTF files: We'll be wiping their bums next

So, just to be clear: Yes, you do have to supply a form of heating in any house you want to charge rent for. And a three-pin power socket doesn't count, smarty bum. To clarify, it means a fireplace, heat pump or gas heater and a full gas bottle every week.

Now don't panic, you don't have to run over and light the fire every day for them and to be fair you don't even have to supply the firewood. But make no mistake, you do have responsibilities.

WTF?  Since when did providing heating fuel become the responsibility of a landlord?

Call me what you will, but I suppose next we'll be wiping their bums.  And providing the toilet paper.  Would you like me to provide electric blankets for all and daily turn down the duvet?  Sex and travel comes to mind!

Find and pay for your own heater.  If the house comes with alternatives like a fireplace or a fitted heat pump, in my book that's a bonus for the tenant, not something that I as a cruel cold-hearted capitalist landlord should be fuelling out of my pocket.  If you really want me to provide the fuel, just like me arranging your lawnmowing and gardening, you'll pay handsomely for it in extra rent.

The Residential Tenancies Act does not include heating, only means to collect and store water, as well complying with appropriate building, health and safety regs as highlighted below.
45 Landlord's responsibilities
(1) The landlord shall—
  • (a) provide the premises in a reasonable state of cleanliness; and
  • (b) provide and maintain the premises in a reasonable state of repair having regard to the age and character of the premises and the period during which the premises are likely to remain habitable and available for residential purposes; and
  • (c) comply with all requirements in respect of buildings, health, and safety under any enactment so far as they apply to the premises; and
  • (ca) if the premises do not have a reticulated water supply, provide adequate means for the collection and storage of water; and
  • (d) compensate the tenant for any reasonable expenses incurred by the tenant in repairing the premises where—
    • (i) the state of disrepair has arisen otherwise than as a result of a breach of the tenancy agreement by the tenant and is likely to cause injury to persons or property or is otherwise serious and urgent; and
    • (ii) the tenant has given the landlord notice of the state of disrepair or made a reasonable attempt to do so; and
  • (e) take all reasonable steps to ensure that none of the landlord's other tenants causes or permits any interference with the reasonable peace, comfort, or privacy of the tenant in the use of the premises.
(1A) Failure by the landlord to comply with any of paragraphs (a) to (ca) of subsection (1) is declared to be an unlawful act.
(2) The landlord shall not interfere with the supply of gas, electricity, water, telephone services, or other services to the premises, except where the interference is necessary to avoid danger to any person or to enable maintenance or repairs to be carried out.
(2A) A contravention by the landlord of subsection (2) is declared to be an unlawful act.
(3) The provisions of subsection (1) shall apply notwithstanding that the tenant has notice of the state of the premises at the time at which the tenancy agreement is entered into.
(4) Nothing in subsection (1) shall impose upon the landlord any obligation to repair any damage, or compensate the tenant for any want of repair, arising out of any breach by the tenant of any obligation imposed on tenants by section 40.
(5) In this section premises includes facilities.

 A powered 10 amp three pin plug socket will suffice in my book, the tenant can plug in any rated safe electric heater of their choice.  And pay to fuel it.  I might supply such a device, but this is purely optional on my part.

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