Resolution case study – call out charges for boiler repair

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We offer an independent and impartial resolution service for landlords, agents and tenants who are unable to agree on how to distribute the deposit when the tenancy ends.

Here, our Lead Adjudicator, Emma Louka, helps you to understand our approach by looking at a recent case and breaking it down. This case highlights the importance of tenants reporting any issues at the time they occur, no matter how small the problem may seem to be.

Deposit details

Deposit                                £2,000.00

Disputed amount             £1,140.00

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What happened?

The tenant said:

  • I did use an extension lead for the boiler, which was occasionally used to power other appliances as well, but this should not have caused any issues. There must have already been a fault
  • the boiler function was temperamental throughout the tenancy


The agent responded, saying:

  • the tenant did not report any boiler issues during the tenancy, until it stopped working after using the extension lead
  • the landlord immediately sent out an engineer to investigate the cause. They said it was burnt out due to an overload of electricity after using an extension lead and the tenant should be responsible for the repair costs


What evidence was provided?

Tenancy agreement, check-in report, check-out report, quote, contractor’s statement.

What was decided and why?

  1. The tenant did not provide any evidence to show that they experienced boiler issues during the tenancy or that any problems were reported to the landlord or agent and that, on balance, the boiler was in good working order from the start of the tenancy
  2. The problem was only reported by the tenant seven months into the tenancy. The landlord acted promptly, arranging for an engineer to attend the following day
  3. The engineer’s report said that the wires and controls had been burnt out due to the tenant using an extension lead
  4. The report also included a quote of £950.00+VAT for repairs
  5. Having considered the engineer’s report, and all the other evidence provided, the tenant was found to have caused the damage and to be in breach of the tenancy agreement
  6. The full costs for repair were awarded to the landlord

How can you avoid this happening in future?

  • Boilers can cause problems, especially in the winter months when they are being used to their fullest
  • They should be well maintained and regularly serviced (not just checked annually for the gas safety certificate) so there is less reason for a problem to occur and when mis-use does occur, an expert can report on the most likely reason for why the problem has happened
  • It is very important for a tenant to report any issues at the time they occur, no matter how small the problem may seem to be
  • Landlords, or their agent, should act promptly to avoid any increased repair costs
  • Adjudicators are not experts in specialist fields and therefore, it’s critical to a case to supply an expert opinion where the nature of the issue is not clear cut


For more information on how to avoid problems with your boiler, read Total Landlord’s ultimate guide to preparing your boiler and heating system for winter.