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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Default How to stop tenant using a portable gas heater

    As the title of this thread implies, I have a tenant who uses one of those cheap and nasty portable gas heaters in his flat, and he's not keen to stop using it. I have asked if he would like me to install a heatpump for him a few times, but he always refuses. I think he believes that using the gas heater is somehow cheaper. Or maybe he thinks I will hike the rent if I install a heatpump.

    I sent a plumber around to the property on Friday on an unrelated matter. The plumber called me as soon as he left the site saying that the air quality inside the unit was pretty appalling due to the gasses being given off by the heater and the lack of ventilation, and he was genuinely concerned for the tenant's health and welfare. I advised the plumber that I am aware of the issue and that so far the tenant has been reluctant to switch to another heating source.

    With the law as it sits today, I am pretty sure I can't demand that the tenant stop using the gas heater - or can I? I don't want to go to the expense of installing a heatpump if he's not going to bother using it. There is also the health of the building to consider - the tenant has lived there since long before I bought the unit in 2003, so if he has been using gas heaters for the entire time (which I suspect he has), I'd hate to think how much moisture could be present. Having said that, every time I have visited the property, it has seemed to be well ventilated and mold free - but I can't say I remember ever visiting unannounced in the middle of winter though. He's been a model tenant for 15 years - never missed a rent payment, never asked for anything other than urgent repairs - so I pretty much leave him alone most of the time.

    If portable gas heaters were outlawed (or even just outlawed in rentals) it would make this so much easier... Any advice from other landlords would be welcome. All my other tenants jumped at the offer of a heatpump!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    north shore


    If he won't stop using it and you want to keep him, have you thought about a ventilation system? Would solve one of your problems

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Wellington, New Zealand, New Zealand


    Quote Originally Posted by north shore View Post
    If he won't stop using it and you want to keep him, have you thought about a ventilation system? Would solve one of your problems
    You can have a Tenancy Agreement clause prohibiting these heaters

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003


    Sounds like you need to take the control back - I'd do as Cassandra says and also install the heat pump and put the rent up if it's not at market rent.


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004


    Could replace it with a flued gas heater rather than a heat pump.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011


    Quote Originally Posted by artemis View Post
    Could replace it with a flued gas heater rather than a heat pump.
    unless you sit there and watch him you wont know if he is still using the unflued heater

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Hibiscus Coast


    As much as you appear to be reluctant to upset him as he has been a good tenant, he probably feels the same about you as a landlord and won't want to move. You do what is best for you and your property.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Lower Hutt


    Hi SimonW,

    If its listed on your tenancy agreement as being prohibited then he has to stop it. If its not on the agreement then, even though, he doesn't want to stop it then try your hardest with negotiation to get him to sign an updated terms and conditions schedule. If he digs his heels in then increase his rent every six months to compensate you for any heightened chances of damage as a result of that practice.

    If there is nil sign of mould and dampness is there really any reason to stop if hes been using it for the past 15 years?
    Fraser Wilkinson
    Wellington / Lower Hutt / Upper Hutt / Porirua

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Auckland/Melbourne/ whereever the money is


    Apart from ventilation, the other thing you could supply is a dehumidifier, cheap to run & will help collect the moisture created by the heater. The room will be a lot warmer if the humidity is reduced, ie setting aside the combustion gasses it produces, the gas heater will appear to put out more heat.

    I find Indian tenants often have a gas cooker which they use for slow cooking for long periods, again the dehumidifier helps remove the water vapour produced.


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