Can I charge for wasted Gas Certificate visit?

by Readers Question

9:33 AM, 15th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Can I charge for wasted Gas Certificate visit?

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Can I charge for wasted Gas Certificate visit?

I know I can’t charge for an annual Gas Cert to be carried out, BUT …

What if after having given adequate notice to the tenant that the engineer is coming, but when he gets there there is no actual credit on the gas meter? In some cases it is not as simple as just pressing the emergency credit button – many tenants already to their max. He can’t run anything to check the system works and issue a gas cert, so essentially it is a wasted visit.

Where do I stand on this? The engineer is loath to come out again (not only to that property but others I have)

Not had this before so its not something I have written into any Tenancy Agreements – is adding the fact there will be a £10 charge for this to the tenant if this happens something to add into the notification letter to start with?

If they refuse to pay, is this something to note so when they do leave and it comes to paying back the deposit, can it be retained from this?

Reluctant Landlord



Comments

Oyibo

10:45 AM, 15th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Debatable without knowing your circumatances but; if they have a good reason, are generally OK tennants and the extra costs of a the missed visit + revist is "small" - I'd just absorb it. I avoid being seen as chiselling every cent out of reasonable people.

Mike

10:53 AM, 15th June 2020
About 2 months ago

I am sure you would be entitled to claim back costs as you had to pay your Engineer for a wasted time, as far as I know, you could claim this back through the tenant directly or through his Deposit as long as the tenant is told that due to his own negligence since there was not enough credit in the meter it was not possible to test and issue a safety certificate.

However, a word of caution, the engineer should have issued a failure certificate based on unable to test due to lack of credit in the gas prepay meter, and issued a failure certificate, this covers you from not having a safety certificate in place, should the tenant prolong the next visit and the current certificate runs out.

Ian Narbeth

11:16 AM, 15th June 2020
About 2 months ago

I have to confess this is a new one on me. I think you will struggle to charge the tenant for this. You cannot now include such charges in the AST and until the tenant leaves and you claim against the deposit there is no cost-effective way of recovering small sums in a case like this where facts may be disputed. Could the gas engineer not have topped up by £10 and added that to your bill? That would have mitigated the loss.

Clint

12:35 PM, 15th June 2020
About 2 months ago

I had a similar case where, I always arrange a date for the gas safety test and inform them that they must have gas available (usually where there is a gas meter this could be a problem). The tenant completely forgot where I told her that she would have to pay for the test where being a good tenant agreed however, I decided to leave it and paid twice for the test as I did not want to get fouled by the tenant fee ban.
Prior to the tenant fee ban, I would have accepted the payment from the tenant.
A Bit of Digression.
From a point of the tenant fee ban, I was just wondering if when claiming for rent arrears or any other money owed by the tenant is one allowed to claim the court interest charges which is 8% when otherwise the maximum would be 2% above the Bank of England Base Rate?
Further still if one charged say an administration fee or solicitors fees and the court ordered the tenant to pay these, where possibly, the tenant got a CCJ ?
And say an administration fee for the work done where ultimately, the court would give the tenant a CCJ if not paid, could one fall foul of the tenant fees ban? I would have thought not as, it is a court order.

MasterG

17:48 PM, 15th June 2020
About 2 months ago

I doubt you'd have any success in claiming it unless you instructed the tenant to ensure there was credit on the meter. If you merely told them to allow access, they have fully complied with your instructions. It's unreasonable to expect them to know how a safety test is performed.

Gennie Nash

18:19 PM, 15th June 2020
About 2 months ago

IMO, anyone that is renting a place with gas, knows that gas is required to do anything with the gas system. Not having it topped up with some kind of credit is very neglectful! I would not expect the gas engineer to find a PayPoint and go and top it up on anyone's behalf, that's not really his job, or the LL's. I'd be really cheesed off if I was charged twice by the engineer and I'd let the tenant know that I was keeping the invoice for a possible deduction when they leave, depending on whether they make a habit of similar situations. What is wrong with people?!

WP

19:15 PM, 15th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Thanks all. I'm going to make it abundantly clear in the letters out saying the Gas Cert is due and it is expected gas to be in credit to allow this. If not I will highlight the £10 charge that the engineer will charge me as a result and I will pass this on to them. (if they dont pay keeping a note and deducting this from Deposit.). I'll attach a copy of the failure note to them asking them to contact me when they do get gas and another check will be arranged. I'm covered.

WP

19:53 PM, 15th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Oyibo at 15/06/2020 - 10:45
I would if they were good tenants...

WP

19:55 PM, 15th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 15/06/2020 - 11:16
possibly but I have had this more than once now and I'm getting sick of tenants not taking responsibility for even the smallest things. If need be I'll keep at deposit end. Most are Bonds with the Council so should not be a big as dispute as with a deposit scheme I guess. Only time will tell....

WP

19:59 PM, 15th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Gennie Nash at 15/06/2020 - 18:19
In addition to housing them it is clearly my responsibility to do everything for them....I am the Nanny State incarnate!....yet the DWP insists that they pay such tenants the rent first so they can be treated like a 'normal working person' and pay the rent themselves to the Landlord. Yeah right....


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