Gas Boiler Regulations – Landlords Question

by Readers Question

23:17 PM, 7th March 2013
About 6 years ago

Gas Boiler Regulations – Landlords Question

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Gas Boiler Regulations – Landlords Question

Gas Boiler Regulations - Landlords QuestionI recently asked a plumber to look at a gas boiler in my rented flat. The hot water was patchy so asked him to rectify the problem, do a service and while he has at it give me the annual boiler safety check.

However, he took one look and refused to do anything, recommending that we shut off the boiler as it contravened the new gas boiler regulations implemented in December 2012.

Naturally my tenant was unhappy with that.

Apparently, these regulations state that the flues of the boiler must be visible for checking. Therefore, if as is the case of many flats, it is all behind panels/cupbords etc, you have to cut access holes every meter until it reaches the outside wall. Until we undertook this work he could not complete the work and left sending us the invoice.

Result a call out fee + VAT amounting to £100.

I wanted to raise awareness of these new gas boiler regulations to other landlords and also get your opinion as to whether I should pay this guy as I have now had to get another plumber to do the work.

Thanks for your advice.

Amanda Yates



Comments

Mark Alexander

23:21 PM, 7th March 2013
About 6 years ago

Amanda, of course you should pay the plumber. He gave up his time to come and see you, used his fuel to get to you and gave you sound advice. Why would you even consider not paying him?

The rules were put in place for good reasons, i.e. to keep your tenants safe. Whether you agree with those rules or not though, I'm pretty sure that your plumber didn't create them.

I'm sorry if that's not the answer you wanted to hear but I really can't see why you would see this any other way, unless of course there's something you have not shared about this story.

4:13 AM, 8th March 2013
About 6 years ago

Amanda over 1 year I ago I mentioned on numerous forums about these hidden gas flue problems.
In fact I repeated it on several occasions!!
Mine has cost me over £1000 to sort out!
Why don't you sign up for the FREE LL magazine on http://www.landlordnet.co.uk
That is where I found out about this new regulation over 1 1/2 years ago.
I spoke to gassafe who advised they did NOT have sufficient budget to make this new regulation known about
When you are in front of the judge for killing a tenant through CO poisoning, I think he would take a dim view of your contention that you knew nothing about the regulation.!
It is a truism; but it is the case, ignorance of the law is NO defence.
The info was on this site and others.
Just type in my details and search the hidden gas flue issue and all the info will be there.
It is of course an uphill struggle for LL to keep abreast of they myriad of laws and issues that face LL.
Sites like this perform a massively useful function of keeping LL up to date.
Ignore these sites at your peril.
I have learnt loads and this site has saved me from a few foul-ups!!!
Keep yourself educated and thank god for MA starting this site!!!

Rob

10:09 AM, 8th March 2013
About 6 years ago

That is correct amanda, i have to install inspection panels in some of my flats, the panels have to be 300x300mm no more than 1.5meters apart im going to need 3 hatches installed at a cost of arond £400 per flat. until there fitted you wont be able to get a gas safety certificate.

10:38 AM, 8th March 2013
About 6 years ago

Thanks for this. Paul I have now subscribed to the magazine. I have only owned this flat since October and so have realised that I need to make sure I am in the loop.

My irritation with plumber 1 is because he knew he was being asked to go to a flat, these regs are very new and not well known. A quick question from him asking about the flues being open or covered will have saved his time and my money.

Mike

12:04 PM, 8th March 2013
About 6 years ago

I think the point Amanda was trying to make is that how much she was charged by this Gas safe Engineer or RGI, turning up and unable to carry out any service work or issue a safety record for not being able to inspect the flue as part of the new gas safe regulations.

I agree with Amanda that to pay someone £100.00 for just turning up and not actually carrying out any service work other than to turn the appliance off and issue a safety advice is a bit much. It is actually a rip off!

I had my rented place with a WAU (Warm Air Heating) serviced a few months ago, there were two qualified blokes, who took around an hour, and did all the necessary safety checks and other appliance cleaning etc, and climbed up into the loft and issued me with a safety record all for £90.00.

Mike

12:07 PM, 8th March 2013
About 6 years ago

in fact, they did such a good job, that i actually paid them £120.00! (they deserved it or you can say they earned it)

Mark Alexander

15:04 PM, 8th March 2013
About 6 years ago

Hello Amanda

I'm beginning to see this from a different perspective now and feel slightly embarrassed about my initial response. Having now understood the situation I can see your dilemma regarding payment. On balance though, is it worth the hassle of getting into a dispute over £100? I think I'd probably still pay plumber #1 and just not use him again.

15:47 PM, 8th March 2013
About 6 years ago

I do take your point but I also wonder if this plumber is not deliberately taking advantage of peoples ignorance and charging £100 a time for each futile visit. It would have taken less than 2 minutes to decide that he couldn't inspect it and do the decent thing which would be to call us and arrange to come back after we had completed the necessary work.

I will wait to see if he chases the invoice and if he does will probably make him an offer which will not be the full price.

NB We have discovered that these panels can be bought quite cheaply online and there is a Youtube video showing you how to fit them yourself. There is no need to spend £400 per flat as per previous comment.

Rob

17:46 PM, 8th March 2013
About 6 years ago

Amanda dont buy the cheap plastic ones just to save a few quid, they have to comply with fire and safety regs and the cheap plastic ones do not comply so beware! you will only end up replacing them later and paying twice. Do it properly! And as for doing it yourself do you no where the joins are in the flu? Because they have to be placed where the joins are, the trades people that do these panels put a telescopic camera in the ceiling to find the joins so they ensure they cut the holes in the ceiling in the correct place 1st time. But hey ive only been a landlord for 10 years so what do i no. If you want to cut corners by buying cheap ones and fit them yourself with the guidance of youtube then you do that.

20:28 PM, 8th March 2013
About 6 years ago

I think Amanda makes a fair point when arranging a CP12 inspection.
All a gassafe engineeer should ask before attending is does the boiler have a hidden gas flue; that is a boiler NOT mounted on an outside wall.
Are there inspection hatches.
If there are no hatches then the engineeer need NOT attend as a CP12 would NOT be granted.
ALL gas engineers who are carrying out CP12 inspections could ask these 2 simple questions BEFORE they attend.
But of course they wouldn't collect a £100 fee!!!!!

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