A London tenant was left unable to warm his house up after his landlord put the thermostat in a cage.
Alex Milsom shared a picture of the thermostat on Twitter, where it quickly went viral.
He said: “Hilariously/alarmingly this is a common experience as other people who have replied to my tweet have told me.
“We had the Nest installed earlier this month, and then sometime between Friday night and Saturday afternoon we found our Nest adopted the motto of MC Hammer – namely ‘can’t touch this’ – and lo-and-behold we had no ability to control the thermostat.
“This also affected our ability to control the hot water – and today and yesterday we found our hot water availability in short-supply.”
With the temperature getting increasingly frosty, Mr Milsom said he is unable to heat up extra water in the house, and ended up having to shower at work when the hot water ran out.
He added: “People across London, the UK, and indeed across the world have replied to my tweet to say about their experiences. From landlords who have taken away heating to landlords who have been even worse, it’s a really important discussion that I’m glad we had.
“It was also super endearing how everyone has been willing to support me as well – from free legal advice to everything else under the sun!”
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “This is yet another example of the raw deal private renters get in England.
“If your home is excessively cold or hot, it can be classed as a hazard under the health and safety rating system for rented homes. It is not acceptable for a landlord to provide an inadequate level of heating.
“And if your landlord is coming into your home without notice, then it could be harassment.
“Shelter’s trained advisers are on hand seven days a week to support anyone facing housing problems like this, from poor quality housing to eviction notices. To get advice and support, visit www.shelter.org.uk/gethelp.”