house-share help

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  • This is probably going to sound really petty, but it is driving me insane and I don't know what to do anymore.
    I live with three other people. We were friends before we got this house, and always got on really well, hence why we chose to live together.
    Mostly things have been fine. Occasionally there are rants/arguments about mess (2 of the people have high clean standards and one guy has none whatsoever) but these are normal I expect.
    The problem I have is the heating.
    The house is a bit old, and the radiators don't turn off properly - I have mine on 'off' but it is still a bit on. Some of them don't turn off at all :S
    And the boiler is in one of the guy's rooms (call him X). Which means he has total control over it. And he 'gets cold' really easily so he turns it on a LOT (I say 'gets cold' because he has his window open a lot). And he doesn't really leave the house, so whenever he is in, it is on. It is half past 2 in the morning now, and the heating is on. Which is why I am making this thread, as it is the only alternative to smashing his door down and screaming.
    Is this unreasonable for me to be annoyed? I don't know anymore. I am growing so tired of knocking on his door asking him to turn it off (I tried 'down' but he said there is no thermostat). I feel like such a nag/bitch always doing it, but when I have friends come to the house and say it feels like a sauna, when I have to sleep with the window open because I am too hot, there is clearly a problem.
    The other two are trying to keep out of it; I know other girl sometimes has problems sleeping because her bed is right by radiator. And the other guy (Y) is out so much I guess it doesn't bother him.
    I keep telling X to wear a jumper/pjs (he sleeps naked), slippers and so on and sometimes he'll put a hoody on but often I come home from uni in the middle of the day, say 3pm and he is sitting in his t-shirt with the heating on! And the house gets so hot I am uncomfortable. I walk round with next to nothing on.
    I am concerned about the heating bill, for sure, I am not made of money, but we don't get that until the end of December, so perhaps that is something he will not understand until we are presented with a massive bill.

    Please can people tell me if I am being unreasonable, because I don't know anymore and I am getting so upset about this, and I really am tired of knocking on the door and having to ask. If the boiler was in a communal space it might be easier. He will turn it off generally when I ask, but doesn't learn - do I have to keep doing this forever? And what at night, I don't know if he's asleep now and just left it on, or if he's up.
    My dad told me I should not argue about it as it will only make the house horrible, and I know he's right. We used to be good friends but I can't deal with this.

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • No bills are separate and our responsibility. (We already have had one gas bill for July/Aug/Sept., they are quarterly - we weren't in the house for most of that as it was being decorated tho)
    What do you mean by 'tap'? The little twisty knob on the end of it? That is what I have tried, but even when twisted as far off as possible it doesn't go off. Only one radiator in the house properly goes off.

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • There should be two valves on a standard radiator - one at each end, with one adjustable and the other fixed. Can you get a spanner and turn the other one off?

    If the boiler is in his room, does this mean the fuse to it is there too?

    Is there a thermostat in the hallway or main room?

    What about the main fusebox? is the boiler running off its own circuit?

    What about the gas meter lever - I think that flipping that off should cut out the boiler until it gets manually reset. If it happens on my boiler it won't just come back on its own - I need to press a button on the top.

    Another option might be to get your meter exchanged for prepayment system ... and let the gas cut off occasionally so he gets a sense of the cost.

    ultimately I think you're gonna need to confront him.

  • I don't want to swap for 2 reasons - 1. I took photos of my room before I moved in so I can prove what damage was already here in case of arguments about bonds after and he hasn't done that. And 2. He smokes in his room so it smells.
    It sounds like I'm being really unhelpful :( But I have tried to be reasonable and talk politely and explain why I am so hot/uncomfortable, and that it is easier to warm yourself up than cool yourself down. He listens and will turn it off then but it doesn't sink in and he'll put it on without thinking about it. He has gone out before and forgotten he left it on :S I don't think he's being nasty on purpose, he just doesn't seem to think. Although today we had a row (about something else - I was watching a film and he came in and changed it over to the football, so I went for a walk to calm down, when I came back, the house was boiling hot. I asked him three times to turn it off and he didn't. That felt like he was punishing me for getting cross with him.)

    The radiator in my room only has a valve on one end - it is quite old and wobbly. It needs draining I think (it is warmer at the bottom than the top), but I don't want to do that as I assume that'll make it more efficient which I don't want :S I'm not sure about the other radiators but other boy housemate went round and tried to turn them all off and said they wouldn't, apart from the one in the living room.

    The boiler(?) is in his room, I don't know what is what - it plugs into the wall, when I once unplugged it angrilly, the heating went off. There are knobs and dials on it so it can be put onto a timer etc. but I haven't looked properly at it. There's no other heat control anywhere in the house. The gas meter is in girl housemate's room (which is fine, I can go in there whenever) so I will go and look at that tomorrow. I don't know about a fusebox.
    I don't know about changing to a different system. I will look into it, I don't know if we have a contract with npower or how it works :S One of those old coin pay as you go type things would be amazing :p

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • and he has a open window in his room and say he is cold (peeps like him make me mad!) - FFS the prick should close the damn window as he is the main cause of hogging the boiler heating controls. I would be looking to get everyone together and say right he can pay for 80% of the gas bill since you have your window open all of the time.

    As its totally unfair for you and everyone else to be expected to pay for increase in costs cus of his short sightness.

  • one reason for the window thing, is apparently the landlord told him he needs to keep the window open because of damp problems. But if it's wet outside, how does it help?? :S It's irritating, because even if it's true that must be the only thing the landlord has said to him that he listened to (how about 'no smoking', 'put the bins out', why can't he be fastidious about them lol)

    And no fear, if/when the heating bill is huge, I am not going to pay 25% of it!

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • I sooo feel your pain...I used to live with 2 girls who wandered round in hot pants and bra's with the heating up full was so hot my body butter used to melt (I didn't even keep it anywhere near the radiator!) it was a complete nightmare, I didn't know the girls before I moved in and they were completely uncooperative about turning the heating off (at least the boiler was in the kitchen so we could turn it off, but they'd only turn it on again!) In the end the landlord bought them an electric heater for their room, which they used constantly and ran up a big leccy bill, but maybe a small eco friendly low energy type heater in his room might be helpful for him...have you told your landlord that the radiator's don't turn off...maybe he'd fix them for you?

  • How about suggesting a switch off time so that it's not on when people are in bed. It would drive me mad, that's the problem with sharing accommadation - we're all differant an it's very easy to get very p'd off with flatmates.

  • i used to have a room where the radiator didnt turn off and it was a nightmare so i feel for you! can you ask the landlord to look at the radiator situation? and if you can set the boiler on a timer (which you should be able to do) then maybe agree as a house the times of day you want it on. make it very clear that you will not pay a quarter of the bill if the heating gets left on at ridiculous times of day or when people arent in.

  • I would sod the damp issue and get the window closed - I suppose enough people coming and going will change the air alot during the day to keep damp at bay. In fact its the cold air that causes the damp.

  • Haha yes. thanks guys, feeling a bit calmer now. nice to know im not going mad. i think ur right, we shd sit down and say right, we'll have the heating on at these times, and that's it.
    what is a reasonable amount to have the heating on? i think in my last house we agreed on a couple of hrs first thing in the morning and a couple in the evening. but he has a very nocturnal sleeping pattern so i dont think tht would work here :S
    i dont have much hope, because he turns it on whenever he's cold and he prob still would with it on timer. or he denies it - e.g. i came back from uni and it was on, i asked why, he said he'd only put it on for an hr. girl housemate said he'd had it on since he was up. (which wasn't early, to be fair, but thts not the point i dont think :S)
    i have genuinely considered going into his room and cutting the plug off the boiler lol.
    thing is, there is a space heater that came in his room but he doesn't use it. both he and other boy claim that theyre really expensive. i know electricity is more costly than gas, but can it really be more to heat one room than the entire house :S
    ive also suggested he buys things like a hot water bottle or even an electric blanket if hes having problems but theyre 'not his thing'. he has a really thin duvet too, a summer one not a winter one.

    it may be worth speaking to landlord about radiators tho i dont see what he would do. he's not going to replace them and i guess as the bills are nothing to do with him he isn't going to give a crap.

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • Is it a combi boiler or a tank fed system?

    I don't think it's necessarily sensible to restrict people to certain times, but it's pretty rude to expect everyone to roast while he leave the windows open.

    Can you read your gas meter and work out how much you've spent since the last bill? Knowing how much has been spent might be the wake up call he needs.

  • Just wanted to add this: Our house doesn't have a thermostat, and it's soooooo fucking annoying because the second you turn it on, you're too hot. Then if you turn it off, within ten minutes it's freezing :curse:
    Not justifying what he's doing, but it could be possible that he's doing a piss poor job of regulating the temperature. I fail at this every day, purely because of the lack of thermostat.
    I'd go with a prepayment meter, it's the only real way to make him see the value of the gas he's using.

  • Ok heres a few things that may help, sounds like the tap on your rads knackered,

    if you get the plastic cap off by pulling upwars it should come off, leaving you with a stub with a square bit at bottom get a pair of pliers or mole grips and gently shut then open the valve taking extreeme care as its probo scrummed up with lime/rust,

    if you want the rad off tottally again open gently then gently close valve try shutting both, then (this is the tricky bit) apply a controlled ammount of pressure till it feels like its shut hard, if its stilll struggling give it a little tap with the pliers then try and shut a bit more, any feel of the valve slackening or snapping while ur tightening STOP,

    u can get new plastic caps at plummers and builders merchants for sod all unless the valves caput,

    secondly ur rad sound likes it needs bleeding or the systems got a bit of air in ie all the rads need bleeding its really easy all u need is a mug or bowl a rad key from a merchants (they might give u theese things for sod all!) and u can let the air out when the heatings on, ie maybee just do your own rad, but it sound like they all need doing starting with i think the nearest first etc, (some newer rads you can use a screwdriver)

    All you do is open the bleed valve at the top till you hear a hiss and wait till water starts coming out into your bowl for a second or two till its a constant stream/jet of water Have plenty of towels or rags at the ready to soak up any messy spills!

    As for your heating setup, its sounds crap, why hasnt it a thermo, why the hell hasnt your spot digs got a temp stat?
    It l cost a fortune the boiler will be going all the time! bloody silly!

    having the boiler in a bedroom sounds dodgy, has it a carbon mon oxide alarm?

    See if you can have a word with landlord, say the boiler runs to much need a stat etc or there may be a big bill that may get left unpaid that might make him think about makeing the boiler run more efficient,

    lilke paul says kill the power to the boiler if it gets to hot, turn the gas down etc, it should have its own supply, if its on a plug in a soket its wrong realying on the ring main, so just put a bit of quiet pressure on the landlord, he should be doing reasonbly ok, you never know if your rad valves knaked he might put a thermo rad valve on instead!

  • thanks gee - i didn't think the radiators might be scummed up. i'm gonna call the landlord and see if he'll do anything about it. i dunno if it's his responsibility to sort them out or not, but it's worth asking.
    we've had a bit of a chat in the house. the other 2 went into the guy's room when the heating hadn't been on and said his room is quite cold. he's agreed to keep the window shut. (tho i am sicksicksick of the smell of smoke!!!!) i think there must be a draught or something, he originally said there was a hole in the wall :S but when i kept saying, tell the landlord, it became apparent that there isn't a hole in the wall, so i don't really know what that was about. :/ Anyway.. we had a talk.. and he said he will ask the rest of us if we want the heating on before he puts it on, and if we don't, he will use the space heater. i'm a bit concerned about this because they use so much energy, and if he ends up leaving it on all the time because he's not annoying me by doing so, we will have a large bill that i will not be able to afford to pay. But I suppose one thing at a time -_- i explained that having the heating on at 2.30am is not okay, i get hot and can't sleep (and now have a retarded sleeping pattern lol :|) and he said he couldn't sleep because he was so cold. But he sleeps naked and said it's his right to do so. aaagh *bash*
    It's more difficult because he tries to be nice to me, like when i cried he tried to comfort me even though i just wanted to smash a glass in his face :( if he was horrible I could just stab him and that would be that but he's not.
    [There's more complicated stuff going on too, which doesn't help.]
    i'm glad i made this thread, i think it may have stopped me killing him :P

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • no worries i like to help if i can, it sounds like you should get on your landlords case, it is his responsibility to maintain everything in lets face it his house, unless you have paid a bond or signed an agreement any differant, sound like it needs sorting out soon, esp that smell of smoke, its illegal to have an incorectly fitted flu or rent out a property with a dogy flu or boiler, after your life is in his hands and he can potentially get done for manslaughter! so ev shouls have a certificate of compliance, ie gas safe(corgis finished to many cowboys1) and the carbon mon oxide meters etc etc, see if you can get a thermo vale fitted on your rad, and see if he will fit a temp stat, explain that the gas bill will go down you lot will be able to afford ity and not leave him with unpaid bills etc, Remember it is all the landlords responsibilty to rent out a safe habitable house.(the flipside being tenants who trash the place and make things dangerous!)