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Article | 20 Jan 2022

Landlords Boiler & Central Heating System Maintenance Guide 


As a landlord you have a legal responsibility under the 1985 Landlord & Tenant Act to “to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water.”

According to Morgan Clark Insurance the most common reason for a claim on a home insurance policy is “Escape of water” – with a whopping 29% percent of all home insurance claims so regardless of the legal aspect it makes sense to maintain the water pipes and central heating system in your rental properties. 

What Are Your Legal Obligations as a Landlord? 

  1. Your number one legal responsibility with regard to the Boiler is that it is serviced by a Gas Safe Engineer and you have a current gas Safe Certificate.

A Gas Safe Certificate will show:

  • Appliances that have been tested
  • The results of the tests
  • Any issues or repairs that are required
  • The engineers name and contact details
  • Address of the property
  • Your details as the Landlord
  1. Minimum acceptable standards for heating your rental property

According to UK law your rental property must be able to maintain temperatures of at least 18°C in sleeping rooms and 21°C in living rooms when the temperature outside is minus 1°C.

What Are The Benefits of Boiler & Heating Cover As a Landlord? 

As a landlord you are always juggling the financial returns of your investment property, maintenance costs and your legal obligations. There are many potential things that can go wrong with your boiler, central heating system and water pipes in your rental property – that’s why Boiler & Heating cover is usually a wise decision.

Boiler and heating cover will generally cover the cost of your annual inspection, gas safety check, boiler servicing, and emergency cover for water leaks – with some policies including cover for external water mains leaks. 

Depending on which company you choose for your policy benefits can include:

  • Unlimited callouts
  • Parts and labour costs covered
  • 24 Hour emergency helpline
  • Unlimited cost limits on boiler claims
  • Cover for drains, water mains and even electrics

Overall a worthwhile investment for any landlord and a great help in helping you to ensure your rental property always meets the minimum legal requirements where your boiler, heating and water are concerned – without the sudden out of pocket expense for you! 

What Are The 4 Most Common Issues That Your Tenants Are Likely To Face & How To Resolve Them 

The Thermostat Controls Are Not Working 

There are a number of different reasons why your thermostat controls may stop working, and many of them can be solved with relative ease and minimal expense.

The first thing to check is if the batteries need to be replaced. Depending on the make and model of your thermostat, when the battery is low, it may no longer have sufficient energy left to power the display, so this is often a sign that the batteries need to be replaced. It is normally a very quick and easy job to replace the batteries; just remove the front cover and switch them out.

The Radiators Are Only Warm at the Bottom. 

Another problem that you might face is a complaint that the radiators in the property are only warm at the bottom. This is simple to resolve; by bleeding the radiators.

Bleeding radiators is actually classed as day to day maintenance and is therefore the tenants responsibility. It is a quick and easy process that only requires a radiator bleeding key, an empty bowl to catch any water that may spill and a cloth.

Essentially the issue is that air has become trapped in your radiators, and this air is preventing the circulation of the hot water around your system. Not only does this mean that your radiators are not as hot as they should be, but it also will mean that your central heating system is not working at its maximum efficiency.

How to bleed your radiators:

Before starting the process, ensure that your heating is turned off and has cooled down, so you do not get burnt by water escaping from the radiator bleed valve.

The process should be carried out on each radiator in your heating system, starting downstairs with the radiator furthest from your boiler. Systematically work your way towards the boiler bleeding the radiators before repeating the process upstairs.

  1. Locate the bleed valve on the side of the radiator (at the top) – it will have a square head on it that the bleed key sits over.
  2. Place your container on the floor below the valve
  3. Turn the valve anti-clockwise slowly, using the cloth can help to get get enough grip to turn the key. You will hear a hissing noise as air escapes from the radiator.
  4. Once the hissing stops water will escape, at this point turn the key clockwise to close the valve. The radiator valve needs to be tight but be careful not to overtighten it.
  5. Use the cloth to wipe down any spillages from the radiator.

Once you have bled all the radiators in the property turn the healing back on. At this point it is worth checking the boiler pressure which should be set to approx 1.5 bar.

There is a Strange Noise Coming From the Heating System 

Your central heating system should heat the property quietly and efficiently. If your heating system is making loud noises, one reason could be that there is a build-up of limescale within the system. The solution to this issue is a powerflush of your system. A special cleaner and machine is used for flushing out the pipes and eradicating any excess scale build-up.

Limescale issues are much more prevalent in the areas of the country where hard water is the norm, such as High Wycombe into London and across the Home Counties.

Some local plumbers provide Powerflushing services or you may decide to choose a national power flushing company who specialise in powerflushing. 

A Drastic Drop in Heating System Pressure 

Your central heating system requires a specific pressure to push the hot water around the system (usually around 1.5 bar). Virtually all modern boilers have a built-in pressure gauge, generally located on the front of your boiler. The gauge will typically have a red zone and a green zone, and obviously, you want the gauge to be in the green zone.

If your boiler pressure dropped dramatically over a short period of time, and there is no obvious sign of a leak, there is a high likelihood that you have a hidden water leak somewhere in the system.

The best option, in this case, is to call a specialist leak detection company such as ADI Leak Detection – based in High Wycombe.

This blog post is written by Adrian Morgan MCIPHE RP RHP, Managing Director of ADI Pro Leak Ltd for Bonners & Babbingtons Estate Agents.


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