Tips-for first-time landlords: What to do when a boiler breaks down

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Rental property requires a reliable source of heat and hot water. The provision of the aforementioned items falls into the responsibility of the landlord. Landlords have a legal responsibility under the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, which states that they must provide tenants with heat and hot water between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. (during the day) if the temperature drops below 55 degrees, and between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. (there’s no outdoor temperature minimum) Anyone who fails or simply refuses to comply with the law risks being sanctioned.

Blue and white designed bedroom
Used with permission of Kara Miller Interiors and Brantley Photography

If the boiler has broken down, the landlord has to organize the necessary repairs and hire the services of a heating engineer. To be more precise, they must repair or replace the broken system equipment and restore access to heat and hot water in a timely manner.

The question now is: What’s a reasonable time for a landlord to make repairs? Well, if the boiler is damaged or malfunctions, it’s necessary to solve the problem as soon as possible. To avoid legal difficulties, you can keep the tenant updated on the situation. Let them know if you’ve hired a professional to come work on the property.

When is a boiler most likely to break down?

Tenant complaints are unavoidable. As a matter of fact, they’re a normal part of being a landlord. Tenants complain for various reasons, including but not limited to pest invasion, maintenance problems, and noisy neighbors. While some tenants complain about the most insignificant thing, others only express dissatisfaction in serious cases.

Not surprisingly, faulty boilers represent the main source of complaints from tenants. It’s highly likely that tenants will suffer from the lack of heat and hot water at some point or another while occupying a rental property. Even with regular annual service and maintenance, boilers can break down.

A boiler can break down for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Age
  • Improper maintenance
  • Frozen external pipes
  • Faulty diverter valve
  • Damaged pump
  • Low water pressure
  • Thermostat malfunctions
View of the bedroom from bathroom
Used with permission of Kara Miller Interiors and Brantley Photography

The cost of repairing or replacing a faulty boiler can be considerable. The good news is that it’s possible to include boiler cover in the landlord home emergency insurance policy. Anyway, the cost depends on factors such as the age of the system, location, and the power flush. Ideally, the issue should be solved in maximum 24 hours.

If that’s not possible, the landlord should take into account the possibility of boiler rental. This is the only viable solution until the boiler is repaired or replaced. Rental boilers are mobile and, thus, they can be on the rental property within hours.

Is a boiler rental a good idea? Why, yes

If the problem isn’t addressed in a timely manner, the tenant may decide to withhold rent or pay for the boiler repairs out of their pockets. Withholding rent is illegal, but attention needs to be paid to the fact that it’s equally illegal for tenants to support the cost of the repairs.

During an emergency situation, it’s essential to rent a temporary boiler until the equipment is repaired or replaced altogether. If you refuse to address the situation, the tenant might reach out to the police. Until the situation is taken care of, it shouldn’t be freezing in the rental home.

Bedroom with big windows and balcony beside the bed
Used with permission of Kara Miller Interiors and Brantley Photography

Reach out to a specialized company and arrange for a replacement. Even if they’re busy, boiler rental companies tend to be prompt. Therefore, you won’t find yourself in an unpleasant situation. A mobile boiler doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Most importantly, it will help you meet your output needs, provided that the conventional boiler takes more time than expected to remediate. If you decide to rent a boiler, wait for it to arrive and have it installed to get things up and running. Convenience and hassle-free service are just some of the advantages of renting a mobile boiler.

Most importantly, you won’t get criticized in the event that the tenant’s boiler breaks down all of a sudden. The rental company will be able to accommodate your needs, which translates into the fact that you can choose from various options. You’ll find a model that works with any type of industry.

No matter if you’re a first-time landlord or you have experience in this area, it’s of paramount importance to respect your responsibilities. Have the issue resolved and spare yourself headaches. If you rent residential property, you must ensure a habitable environment by making sure that heat and hot water are available at all times.   

Should you repair or replace the boiler?

If the current boiler can’t be salvaged, it will be necessary to get a new one. Replacing the boiler could result in significant savings by bringing about a little bit more efficiency. Regardless of what you decide to do, it’s essential to make sure that the boiler is fit for the purpose and you won’t receive any more complaints for tenants.

White and blue designed bathroom
Used with permission of Kara Miller Interiors and Brantley Photography

This isn’t a time to relax, even if you’d need some peace and quiet. To prolong the life of the system, don’t take maintenance for granted. Service the boiler in the rental property, install a magnetic filter, add an inhibitor, and insulate the pipes. If you make the tiniest mistake, the boiler will break down and you’ll find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

Whether or not the boiler is worth repairing depends on how serious the problem is and if you can afford to invest money in the repair process. If you arrive at the conclusion that it’s necessary to have the boiler replaced, consider what would be the right option for the tenant. In case you didn’t already know, a tenant wants a high-efficiency boiler that costs almost nothing to run.

They’re not concerned about how easy or complex the repair process is. As you’ve been able to see, a boiler isn’t indestructible. Nevertheless, it can last for as long as 15 years. That’s what you should aim for. Thanks to boilerrental.com for consulting.

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