Landlord refuses to co-operate

Hey again everyone. I think you guys can see from my previous posts that my landlord is 'unique' to say the least. Now we have been having trouble with getting our room heater fixed for some time.

We have this 2 bedroom flat 900 Euros on a 1 year lease. The room heater in one of the bedrooms had a very old knob to turn the heat on and off. The rest of the house has normal, functioning knobs on heaters. Around 6 weeks ago we had guests who stayed in our second bedroom so my husband tried to rotate the old style knob, in doing so it broke.

He is a good handyman but despite his efforts and experience, he couldn't  fix it. We informed our landlord about the same. Unfortunately the knob was not fully turned off when it broke so the heat was on the whole time (how costly!).

The landlord who wants to sell this house came around 4 weeks after we informed her, actually to take pictures of this house because she wants to sell it. She brought in a handyman to look at this problem. He inspected it and said that this problem gets fixed by closing the central heating of the building and then working on the heater. This response annoys our landlord who declares it is too much work and she leaves.

We try to contact our building upkeep guys (a company called Sodeximo is handling this) to fix it since the landlord refused to. Sodeximo guys told us that they had a conversation with our landlord and that this has to be fixed between us and the landlord and that they cant help it.

What can we do now?  Our landlord simply refuses to fix the knob of this heater which is constantly 'on' costing us a lot in heating charges (now 6 weeks plus). She refuses to let Sodeximo fix it for us.

In 3 months our contract will end. If the heater is still broken then, the landlord can charge us to fix it along with other costs. We don't mind paying for it (after all my husband did break it) but we would like to do it well within our contract also because the heating bill will be enormous if this doesn't get fixed.

What is our legal or otherwise recourse here? What should our next step be? Can a landlord refuse to get something like this fixed? She isn't even talking costs or anything with us, she just refuses to have it fixed.

Please help me everyone. I want to do the right thing, it can involve us paying for what's broken, no issues but I'd like to return this apartment in the same condition as it was given to us. Thank you.


In reality, the answer is not really please you. For you are just in the usual dispute of what is to be borne by the tenant and what must be borne by the landlord. Since the heating system is working and that it is an accessory (radiator valve) was broken, the repair is entirely your responsibility. If the heater was off, the situation would have been different. So were you, I will arrange it with SODEXIMO to cut heating for one hour to allow a plumber to repair.

Radiator valves and faucets are a classic in discussions between owners and tenants. For if their age is demonstrated, it is the owner to replace them. But often the fault of the tenant is rejected because it is said that the valve is stuck or broken because it did not operate regularly made. Which resulted in seizing up ...

Here is an excerpt of the Belgian Law:

The obligations of the owner

The Civil Code stipulates that the owner must support:

Major repairs: roof, façade, building structure, replacing the chassis, repair the elevator and common areas, but all the parts outside the rented house: balcony, terrace ...

The major maintenance: adaptation of improper electrical installation, replacement of broken tiles, repair gutters, ...

Repairs to remedy the obsolescence, normal wear and force majeure: repairing leaks due to obsolescence, maintenance of gas pipelines, maintenance of the tank rainwater, cleaning septic tanks, boiler, heating unit, replacement a used faucet, ...

Obligations of the tenant

For its part, the tenant must manage the property in a good family man, that is to say, it must clean, maintain and perform minor repairs related to the daily use of the property but also repair the damage caused by his fault or negligence.

Some examples: a burst in the enamel of the bath, a clogged sink, children's scribbles on the walls, a broken window, the seal leaky faucet, cleaning and disposal of dead leaves in the gutters, descaling the water heater, the chimney cleaning, replacement of fuses and switches, washing walls and ceilings, cleaning, end of lease cellars, extermination of cockroaches or other vermin (except in this case, if the pests have been reported in the inventory before the keys or during the first months of occupation, and this writing) ...

Furthermore, the tenant is obliged to notify the owner in case of problems. For example when a threat of falling cornice or moisture problems occur. If he does not, he can be held responsible for the damage afterwards.

Load distribution

From a purely financial point of view, the tenant will pay through the monthly retainer and possibly waiting for an annual calculation on the basis of actual expenses, of all current expenditure related to housing, namely:
- Heating costs
- Water consumption
- Electricity consumption
- Subscriptions to cable, phone and internet
- The maintenance of the elevator
- Common expenses of the building (heating, water, electricity)
- Her home insurance

For its part, the owner will naturally supported:
- Major repairs
- The fundraising for the reserve fund (condominium)
- Calls for funds for working capital (ownership)
- The building insurance

In any case, the property tax related to the leased property or the commission or the intervention of an estate agent fees can not be charged to the tenant. It is forbidden by law.

Management fees (trustee), however, are to be borne by the owner or to the tenant under the provisions of the lease and renting contract dispositions.

Go to the woondienst who will advise you of your rijghts:  rule of thumb for next time if its inside its up to you if its outside its usually the landlords responsbilty