Landlord refuses to fix hot water - says I can pay for it myself

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25 Feb 2018 11:15 PM by viciousviking Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

I have lived in my current apartment with my partner for about four months. During this time the hot water has never lasted longer than ten minutes, usually five to seven minutes but it changes and once lasted up to 13 minutes which is weird. We informed and nagged the realtor and the "lawyer" of the building. They sent a handyman who couldn't see a problem and said he would come back and decalc the tank and the shower if it didnt improve. It didn't, he came back and did the thing, and it still didn't improve. When he emptied the tank to decalc it he even made a snide remark asking me something like how long I shower for because he'd turned the tap on and the water was still running "hot". It had been about five minutes, i felt the water and it was warm at best. I did some research and found out that a 50 liter tank is really a very tiny tank for a three person apartment (we are two, but with space for three, shouldn't it have a tank that can shower three people?) and is more normal to have in the kitchen for doing dishes. I talked to the realtor about this, and suggested installing an instant electric tank in the bathroom. This would be the simplest solution as the water tank is installed horizontally inside the top of the dresser in the bedroom and to install a bigger tank there (100 liters would be the standard for three people) would be troublesome. She said that all of the neighbors have the same kind of tank and no one else has this problem so if I want something else I must pay for it myself. She also said the water should last for at least 20 minutes and thought it was strange that it only lasted 7 minutes. This happened three months in after fighting for a change for two months. So obviously I spoke to some of the neighbors because I wasn't about to take her word for it. I got to speak to two neighbors. One lives with his wife, with another family member that sometimes showers there, and says the hot water has never run out, and he does not know where his water tank is. Another lives with a wife and a kid and says he can shower for up to forty minutes and also doesn't know where his water tank is (we showed him ours and says he has no such thing anywhere in his apartment). I called a plumber and asked if it was possible for a 50 liter tank to last for twenty minutes and he said "no way, more like ten". The other problems we have are that, firstly, the tempreature is incredibly difficult to control, sometimes turning it hotter makes it colder and vice versa, sometimes a little nudge makes it REALLY hot/cold and during the 5-7 minutes of showering it maintains the temperature for about three minutes until you have to keep nudging it up every 30-50 seconds to make it bearably warm and at seven minutes it goes a chilly lukewarm and the shower is over because you are definitely getting out. Also it seems to last longer sometimes in the afternoon and less time early in the morning and late at night. SO, after finding all this information I called the lawyer and the realtor and told them all of these things. I was irritaded. I was unable to wash my hair and it was very bothersome. Eventually the realtor, seemingly very fed up with me, said they would install a 100 liter tank. The handyman came, not coming beforehand to take any measurements or anything, which is weird because how it going to install a 100 tank in the same place without changing the structure of the entire dresser to fit it in? But no, he just shows up with an 80 liter tank, tries to get it through the bedroom door and says "this isn't gonna fit. I'm gonna have to go get a different one". So he leaves, comes back a while later with ANOTHER 50 liter tank, and installs it. After already confiming there was nothing wrong with the old tank which was exactly the same. Obviously nothing improved, and now they are refusing to do anything. We can't withhold rent and I don't know if there is any way to get legal leverage to make them fix the problem. I just want to be able to wash my hair in one go before work without showering my body first and just washing my head over the bathtub afterwards. Please help. What can I do besides move? I don't want to leave because the rent is unbeatable and the location is perfectly between my work and my partners work. The only other alternative is to actually install the electric tank (i have permission), cover the costs, and make it up by the fact that im payingan average of 200 euros less a month for a two bedroom flat compared to anywhere else in the area I need to live. I just think that this should be up to the owner? Is there no laws about the size of the tank in relation to the amount of people that can live there?

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26 Feb 2018 12:46 AM by briando55 Star rating in Yorkshire. 1982 posts Send private message

I think you answered your own question really.    Move out or make the required changes to make it comfortable.  

Just make sure you get permission in writing to do it.


Best wishes, Brian


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26 Feb 2018 9:41 AM by TFiLondon Star rating in East Sussex. 29 posts Send private message

Hi I’m not a plumber but know thermostats can become faulty. Perhaps the thermostat is cutting off the heating before the water is heated to its full temperature? It may be a lower price option to initially change the thermostat?

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26 Feb 2018 10:15 AM by christineinseville Star rating in Pruna (Seville) and .... 25 posts Send private message

It seems to me they have done all they can do to fix the problem, decalced, new tank, by my vestimate you have had at least five visits from the handyman/caretaker/plumber, several meetings with the manager, and you, everyone else, must be frustrated

We have a fifty litre tank and it is sufficient for two long  showers. The temperature control is a separate issue to the tank.

in reality when you have a bargain rent you cannot expect to get anymore than you have received. So either leave or put in your own electric shower in bathroom.

I dont mean to sound harsh, but this how it was in the uk thirty ir more years ago, when rents were low.

No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

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26 Feb 2018 6:41 PM by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9401 posts Send private message

mariadecastro´s avatar

Is it a seasonal renting or housing one?


Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA



El blog de Maria

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26 Feb 2018 7:47 PM by viciousviking Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

mariadecastro It is a housing rental, 11 months.

christineinseville The plumber came over exaxtly three times. All communications with the realtor and the lawyer has been by phone. The handyman looked at all the switches I guess but I don't think he is a plumber.

TFiLondon Thank you, I might mention that, or if that is the problem, just hire an actual plumber to fix it and send the owner the bill. Of course I will inform them beforehand of what I'm doing and probably get the diagnosis from a plumber first.

Thank you all for you contributions <3 

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26 Feb 2018 9:09 PM by Kavanagh Star rating in Oil Drum Lane Newcas.... 1315 posts Send private message

Kavanagh´s avatar

Hello vicious and welcome to EOS forum.

Vicious you seem to have a good handle on your situation. What actually is it that you want from the forum members?. Are you looking for an experienced heating engineer to give you an unseen diagnoses?.

Or are you seeking specialist legal advice on hot water heaters?.

Please let us know Vicious.

There is enough in the world for everyone, but not enough for the greedy!

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26 Feb 2018 9:46 PM by briando55 Star rating in Yorkshire. 1982 posts Send private message

Vicious.   You can’t organise repairs and send the owner a bill.  That’s not a solution in any way.  Your basic expectation is clean water and hot water, with secure shelter.   The rent was accepted by you as a fair remuneration.  

Either make the best of it or terminate the lease 


Best wishes, Brian


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