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  • Buy-to-Let

    How useful is landlord boiler cover?

    Hi all

    Is it worth paying a monthly fee for boiler and heating cover?

    I'm considering it but there are quite a few companies to choose from (British Gas, Homeserve, EDF, etc)

    Mainly interested to hear from landlords who have actually had to call in this service and if it works out cheaper than if you just pay one-off costs when things go wrong.

    I like the idea of peace of mind, giving the tenant a number they can call directly, and going with a plan that includes annual boiler servicing and gas certificate. My only issue is how good the service actually is and whether they try and get out of honouring their promises when the time comes.

    Would be good to hear recommendations of which companies to use and which to avoid.

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    Personally I would not touch British Gas with a bargepole. They are expensive and the fee does not cover the annual gas safety check. If you call them out because the gas safety check has been failed by another gas man they will insist on doing another one and charge you again, even if you've told the switchboard exactly what the problem is. If they don't find the fault you will have to show them what the problem is. Then they will say the fault is not covered by your expensive cover anyway, and on top of that they are no quicker to come out over Christmas or Easter than any regular gas man. The switchboard are also very rude and have clearly not been trained in complaints management.

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    It sounds like you have a policy for a domestic property and not BG's landlord cover. This costs more money. When I phoned them to ask if I could buy a domestic policy and have my brother provide the GSC they said no, and if I did it then their T&Cs allow them to not repair the boiler. I got the same answer from all the companies I tried.

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    No it was Landlord cover. I called them when the boiler failed the annual gas safety test and my own gas man was too booked up to repair it. I wanted their one-off repair service and they did a hard sell on me that if I took out landlord cover it would work out more cost effective. That very rapidly turned out not to be the case, when nothing seemed to actually be covered and they unecessarirly re-did the gas safety test without doing the repair first, and then they tried to pass it when I knew it was still downright dangerous. It was ludicrous. Luckily I was still within the change-your-mind period. Nowadays if my usual gas-man can't fix the problem I contact the manufacturer. That seems to work.

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    So you didn't have cover and were expecting to get onto the scheme with a broken boiler so that it can be fixed? On all the schemes I have been on, you have to have a working boiler before you can join. If your boiler is broken then you need to pay for it to be fixed before you join. If you fail the initial inspection and don't get the boiler fixed and join the scheme then you pay for the initial inspection.

    If you are on the scheme then BG's cover provides a GSC certificate - see the link in my previous post.

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    Nope. I rang on the suggestion of my gas-man as they do provide an emergency ad-hoc call-out service; albeit expensive. But as the boiler was so dangerous that my gas-man had switched off the gas I was prepared to pay the extra fee to get the tenant reconnected to a safe boiler as soon as possible. This was all explained to them very clearly. It was their salesman who persuaded me that the landlord scheme would be more appropriate, and I took his word for it and gave it a try.  I had no expectations other than what their salesman had told me.

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    Thanks for sharing your experience Alison. To be honest, I already wasn't keen on BG, this discussion and your experience confirms it!

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    In my experience, the cover is generally useful if you have an older boiler out of warranty. However, I only have one boiler (difficult to replace as in a kitchen cupboard) on a scheme now as when the warranty expires on a boiler I just get a new one fitted but I only pay for parts as my brother is gas safe certified.

    Points you should note:

    1) a normal household policy won't cover a tenanted property. If the company finds out you have tenants and you have a household policy they won't fix your boiler. You need to pay for landlord cover.

    2) quite often the interval between inspections is over a year meaning you need to get a separate gas safety certificate done

    3) the service done by most of the big companies is not to the standard required by the manufacturer. The service done by SSE on my boiler last month was of a much lower standard (15 minutes) than the one done by my brother at the start of May (when my GSC was due) (approx 1 hour)

    4) the competence of the engineers varies greatly. One SSE engineer measured the voltage drop between live and earth multiple times. Each time the RCD tripped out. It also damaged the boiler circuit boards (which actually worked out for me as the old boards were a non-warranty item but the new ones were covered)

    5) where a manufacturer has issued a new part to fix a problem, the old part may not be covered under the warranty

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    Very good advise. The gas certificate interval is a bit shocking. Surely they would know this needs to be done once a year, defeats the purpose if you have to pay elsewhere.

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    Keep clear of British gas. Expensive and overly cautious.

    I have emergency boiler cover through my buildings insurance.

    Really good to have and they our efficient. Excess is £100. But they get to your tenant quickly, diagnose and fix the problem asap.

    Tenants are your customer so got to look after them. I find boilers especially in winter time can be your biggest problem with faults etc. Unless their relatively new ones. Get covered.

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    Yeh I think insurance companies may be the way to go. I looked into going direct with Potterton and their cover plans and realised they link me to Domestic & General, a popular insurer. So may look into this.

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