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Heating and hot water problems in your home

Every home should have an adequate means of heating and an adequate supply of hot water.

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is required whenever a property is built, sold or rented. An EPC contains information about a property’s energy use, typical energy costs and recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money.


There should be fixed heating in all areas of the property including the bathroom and kitchen to ensure a healthy temperature. The heating should be efficient and controllable.

There should be adequate insulation to the property, including loft and cavity wall insulation. Insulation helps to keep heat inside the property making it warm and reducing condensation. Dampness and draughts can make heating less effective and reduces the temperature.

The heating system should be serviced regular and have annual safety checks. For more about gas safety checks, visit: Gas safety - tenants.

Sometimes radiators can become cooler at the top and this can indicate that there is air in the system. To remove the air bleed the radiator, using a special key available from your local DIY/hardware shop.

The use of portable LPG gas heaters is not recommended as they are a safety hazard and also produce a significant amount of moisture which can lead to condensation.

Hot water supply problems

Every home should have an adequate supply of hot water to the kitchen sink for cleaning and washing up. Also, to the bathroom wash basin, bath/shower for personal washing. This should be available using a gas central heating boiler or a hot water tank with an immersion heater which is efficient and controllable.

If your heating and/or hot water has broken down there may be a problem with the gas or electricity supply. Many appliances will not work during a power failure, even if they run off gas.

What you can do:

  • check the boiler is turned on and all the controls are at an appropriate setting
  • if you have a pre-payment meter, check there is credit available
  • check the bill has been paid, if the landlord is responsible for paying the bill check with them
  • know how to bleed the radiators
  • use a temporary means of heating such as plug-in electric heaters
  • If the problem is as a result of a failure with the heating or hot water system;
    • and you are a tenant then your landlord is responsible for resolving the problem. You should contact your landlord to inform them of the problem and agree when the work can be carried out. You should always give them the opportunity to resolve the problem before contacting us
    • If you are an owner-occupier it is your responsibility to fix the problem and you should contact a registered contractor. Anyone who carries out work on gas appliances must be registered with Gas Safe.

What we can do

  • If your landlord refuses to undertake any essential repair works we may be able to assist and you can contact Environmental Health.

Report a repair problem with a private landlord