Tenant News

Landlord installs ‘cage’ around thermostat to control heating in London property

Em Morley - November 7, 2019

The temperature has certainly dropped for the year, meaning that the heating is coming on in many homes throughout the UK, but one landlord has gone to extreme levels to prevent their tenants from adjusting the temperature.

This landlord in west London has installed a box around the thermostat in her rental property, which was soon spotted by the tenants.

Last Saturday, Alex Milsom noticed the box covering the thermostat control in the Ealing house he rents with roommates.

 Milson pays £700 a month in rent and bills for his room but told the press that the heating is controlled externally by his landlord. This means that they can only access hot water at certain times of the day, resulting in them having to wash dishes and take showers using cold water.

Milson claims that he and his housemates had no notice from the landlord. He posted the following Tweet:

After the Tweet went viral, there were queries over the legality of the landlord’s decision to install the Nest thermostat.

David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), has informed the press that there are no rules around boxing off thermostats.

He commented: “It is a matter of good tenancy management and we encourage landlords to speak first with tenants before taking such action.

“In shared homes, there can often be disputes between tenants who want the thermostat set at different temperatures.”

Citizens’ Advice has advised the tenant to negotiate amicably with the landlord if at all possible, “due to the limited security of tenure which private tenants tend to have”. 

The spokesperson added: “The tenants might consider trying to take control of the heating themselves by using electric heaters. 

“There is a risk however that the landlord may respond negatively to a huge electricity bill, and perhaps seek to serve a Section 21 notice (no fault eviction notice) to terminate the tenancy at the end of the fixed term, or seek to alter the rent or other tenancy terms as a condition of any renewal.”