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  • HMO & Multi-Lets

    Tenant complaining of water quality/chlorine

    I have one tenant in an HMO who is complaining that the water quality is causing her skin problems and that chlorine smells from the water means that she has to buy bottled water to use for drinking and cooking.

    We use water direct from the mains (as does every other house in the town) without further treatment in this house and another HMO which we have in the same town but nobody else has ever complained about this.

    The houses are in a hard water area and I am aware that hard water would appear to exacerbate some skin conditions such as  eczema.

    While I sympathise with someone suffering from skin problems I am inclined to think that as we are using the same water as the whole town that it is beyond my responsibility to install water softeners and filters which will add (possibly significantly) to my running costs.

    Has anyone else had to deal with this?

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    I haven't had this issue no. Perhaps go and see for yourself and have the water tested in some way, I see there are some kits online that might help, or the Council Environmental Services perhaps?

    Seems a bit odd to claim it smells of chlorine... did you know that the more a swimming pool smells of chlorine the more piss the water contains? A swimming pool that doesn't smell that much is a cleaner one!

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    We've previously had a complaint from a tenant about chlorine in the water.  We just asked them to speak to the water company and get the water company to come out and test it which they are obliged to do.  Sometimes water companies put too much chlorine into the water.

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    Sandra Savage-Fisher

    We use a filter in one of our houses - mainly as it has old lead pipes which cant be changed as they are shared with other houses. The filter needs changing every 6 months. Like this one here https://www.uk-water-filters.co.uk/own_t...ilter.html

    My son had trouble with water in one of his student rooms & bought a Brita water filter jug which sorted the problem straight away. He's always lived in the same area but only had the problem in one rental so it can be down to a specific house/flat. Anyway, I'm sure you wouldnt need to supply the jug , its up to the tenant to do that.

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    Old lead pipes are almost never a problem. Once an oxide coating has been formed lead is in effect insoluble ( look at Roman artefacts).

    The filter jugs sound great but unless you are fastidious there is a bacterial risk from poor husbandry. They love to sell on a scare principe, it works!  


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    Old lead pipes are almost never a problem. Once an oxide coating has been formed lead is in effect insoluble ( look at Roman artefacts).

    The filter jugs sound great but unless you are fastidious there is a bacterial risk from poor husbandry. They love to sell on a scare principe, it works!  


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    It was only because tiny bits of rust started coming out of the taps. We'd used the water for years with no problem but not sure if it all got disturbed by the water board trying unsuccessfully to install meters. Anyway we count it as just another selling point to put us above the competition. We always get above rent for an insignificant 2 bed terrace as it also has a dishwasher & washer/dryer (both there when we bought the property) but it gives it a little bit extra.

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    If you have lead pipes that you think are contaminating the water, your water board should come out and test them for free. If you do have a problem with lead in the water then they may replace your pipework for free (up to your property boundary or possibly your internal stop cock).

    However, if you are getting rust in your water, this means you have steel pipes.

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    You have no responsibility to do anything. If you are supplying clean mains water then that is fine. Tenants are not generally entitled to better service than they could obtain for themselves as a homeowner.

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    David Smith
    Landlord & Tenant Solicitor
    Anthony Gold Solicitors

    Find me on LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/dsnsmith

    All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of my firm. No comment made should be taken as legal advice and you should consult a solicitor or other legal professional for advice on your specific situation.

    Thank you everyone for your comments. I think she will have to buy herself a filtered water jug and if she isn't happy showering with hard water she will need to fine somewhere else to live ...which would sort out the problem ... for me at least

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