Withholding rent

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I have an issue with my tenants wanting a rent abatement and need some advice please (and a second opinion to that I have already received from the RLA).
I recently had to have a new boiler installed unfortunately leaving my tenants without central heating or hot water for 10 days. They did however have hot water for a shower and 4 heaters so the flat was completely habitable and they didn't complain at the time (apart fromthe inconvinience of having tradesmen there). After the installation I paid 160 for a deep clean and 25 for them to go out for a meal one night. Both of which weer goodwill gestures on my part.
It was never discussed at the time but now they are asking for a 50% rent discount for the time the boiler was out of use (which comes to c. 170. I think this is too much and is unsubstantiated. Can anyone advise if I am legally obliged to offer a discount and if so, what amt wouold be reasonable. Someone at the RLA had suggested 10%... (after all, how do you put a price on the presence of a boiler in context of the overall rent?).
thanks for any further advice.
15/04/2010 00:00

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