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What can I do if my owner refuses to change the boiler?

Despite your insistence and the advice of approved heating engineers, your owner is refusing to replace a non-conforming or defective gas boiler? Here is some clarification on the avenues open to you!

What does the law say?

The lessor is obliged, through the nature of the contract, and with no need for any particular stipulation, to maintain the thing in a state fit for the purpose for which it has been rented” (Article 1719(2) of the Civil Code).

In addition: “The lessor must carry out, throughout the lease period, any repairs that may become necessary, other than the leaseholds” (Article 1720 of the Civil Code).

Is a repair or replacement necessary? You may have a different opinion from your owner on this point! The first step is therefore to prove that the problem exists and the need to act.

Proving that a problem exists with your boiler

Different steps are necessary depending on the problems encountered with your boiler.

  • Your boiler is defective: call in a professional to obtain an informed opinion. You suspect a gas leak? Phone Sibelga without delay!
  • Your boiler is non-compliant: a copy of a negative test or diagnostics report from an approved gas technician or a technical compliance control company can constitute proof. This report states, in writing and after inspection, that the installation is non-compliant and potentially dangerous. In Brussels, it can be drawn up after the mandatory three-year check or during the mandatory diagnostics after 15 years.
  • Your boiler is leaking: if water is leaking from the boiler, take photos of the leaks and any consequences. If the leak causes damage, the owner must act as the tenant has the right to enjoy the asset for which he is paying.
  • Your boiler is consuming too much: even if the defect wastes energy and creates additional expenditure for you, this is not a lack of compliance and your owner is under no legal obligation to replace the boiler.

What can you do if your owner still refuses to replace or repair the boiler?

In all circumstances, it is obviously preferable to keep talking to your owner and attempt to reach a compromise.

Nothing happens? You have various options:

  • Call the owner to mediation in front of the justice of the peace: note that nothing forces the owner to attend the meeting. His non-attendance can nevertheless be to his disadvantage.
  • Summon the owner to appear in front of the justice of the peace: call on a bailiff or lawyer to do this. If your owner still refuses to attend, he may be convicted by default.
  • Threaten to break the lease and potentially seek new accommodation.
Under all circumstances, do not above all stop paying the rent as you would place yourself directly in the wrong.

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