Breakdowns in boilers and water heaters in rental apartments are one of the most common causes of concern, both for tenants and landlords alike. Repairs are a headache and, without the right protection in place, they can be costly to fix and leave tenants unhappy, disgruntled and looking to claim money back.
But as a landlord who manage a property in Valencia, do you know who is responsible for covering the expenses caused by a boiler repair?
Here’s what we know
Boilers are the backbone of habitable living conditions
Boilers and water heaters are considered essential elements for the habitability of the house, and for tenants who are renting a property, there is ambiguity around who pays for repairs.
According to Article 21 of the Law on Urban Leases, it is established that the owner will have to make all necessary repairs to keep the house in habitable conditions to serve the agreed use, except when the deterioration of the repair is attributable to the tenant. However, the same article also states that the tenant will take care of small repairs that are due to wear and tear.
So far, everything is clear. The problem arises, however, when we face a breakdown. We’re still unsure who pays for the repair. The first thing to do is to find out if the source of the fault is due to a misuse of the boiler or if there has been damage caused – it might just be the case that the boiler is due for repair and needs to be replaced. For this, it’s important to have a technician who, after inspecting the fault, can issue a report with the probable cause of the breakdown and who can quote the cost of repair, or that accredits the replacement of the device is necessary.
With the report in hand, and in light of the Urban Leases Act, we will know who is responsible for repair. If the boiler is due for an upgrade, or has major repairs, it is therefore the responsibility of the landlord to sort. This means advising tenants about its replacement or repairs, including times that repairmen will enter the building, and what work needs to be done, along with a timeframe for completion.
If the boiler was broken due to damage caused by the tenant, or misuse by the tenant, this is up to the tenant to resolve and pay for, whether it was intentional or not.
Who calls the technician?
In the event of a breakdown in a rental apartment, and with prior notice from the tenant, the property will be the one who calls the technician to file a report and determine the cause of the break. It may also be the case that your landlord ignores the notice. In that case, it is advisable that tenants call a technician to make this report and, with it, communicate with the property.
We must bear in mind that if any breakdown is detected and the tenant fails to promptly notify the property, the tenant will be responsible for the incident that the damage may cause. According to the Law of Urban Leases, the obligation for tenants is to urgently notify the property of all breakdowns and repairs that need to be done in the home.
It is also important to keep in mind that, if the property ignores a repair notice, the tenant will be able to repair and subsequently claim the cost of the repair from the property. To do this, however, communication of the notice, problem caused and cost of repair must be in writing and sent to the property.