Tenant refusing gas safety check

by Readers Question

12:20 PM, 9th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Tenant refusing gas safety check

Make Text Bigger
Tenant refusing gas safety check

I have a tenant who keeps making excuses for not keeping an appointment for an enginer to carry out the annual gas safety check. Tenant refusing gas safety check

He is in arrears to me for over £1,500 and I suspect he may have had his gas cut off for non payment of bills.

The previous certificate expired a couple of months ago and I’m wondering if I have any liability given the fact the tenant is responsible preventing the check.

Any thoughts?

Thanks

Adrian



Comments

Mark Alexander

12:23 PM, 9th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Hi Adrian

You could apply for a Court Order order which to allow to you gain forced access into the property if necessary. You may just want to make such an application to the Courts to protect your own back.

It sounds to me like you are going to need some professional help to evict this tenant and attempt to recover the rent arrears. I suggest you take a look at our legal section and this linked page in particular >>> http://www.property118.com/tenant-eviction/39099/

Please let us know how you get on.

Sally T

15:21 PM, 9th September 2013
About 5 years ago

It may be worth contacting your local housing standards and explaining your situation to them. Make sure you get it in writing that they know that you have tried on several occasions to have the checks done but the tenant has not allowed it. That way the tenant can't use it against later on when your going through the eviction process ( I read it in a previous post on here).

Mary Latham

15:41 PM, 9th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Sally T" at "09/09/2013 - 15:21":

Really good advice from Sally. If you do not do this you are not covered and if they speak to the tenant they will probably get you the access you need. If not you must go for a Court Order to gain access otherwise you may face action from the local authority despite the tenants stopping you because they would say that you did not do anything to enforce your right to carry out a statutory obligation - a Court Order is the only thing that can enforce your rights.

Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets

My book, where I warn about the storm clouds that are gathering for landlords is here >>> http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1484855337 .

Alistair Gibbins

16:23 PM, 9th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mary Latham" at "09/09/2013 - 15:41":

I would also check he is not growing drugs at the property and arrange an inspection as soon as possible.

Mark Alexander

17:39 PM, 9th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Very good point Alistair. If the property is being used as a cannabis farm the bills will either be astronomical of zero when the meters get bypassed.
.

Richard Kent

23:22 PM, 9th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Adrian,
I have had a few tenants try this one before. The council are likely to do nothing apart from advising you to inform the tenant in writing.

Its a delay tactic and an invitation for harassment.

Evict ASAP using Sec 21.

Remember that all you need to show is that you have been trying to communicate to gain access and the tenant has refused access and not replying to your letters. Just send letters by recorded delivery.

That's enough to avoid any claims of negligence made against you. No solicitor will act against you if you can show this. I know first hand.

Don't try to gain access with a court order as it can take as long if not longer than evicting the tenant.

Don't enter the property or have the gas cut off as you will invite action against you under harassment legislation.

One last thing. Have a gas engineer visit the property and post in one of their special no access calling cards. Ask the engineer to send you a letter saying he attended the property but could not get access.

The tenant commits an offence if he refuses the engineer access but that offence is not worth taking action against in itself. The key point is that you have shown you have take "All reasonable steps" to gain access.

And remember one thing. The more this tenant does this the more he plays into your hands by demonstrating he is unreasonable.

You see my point, which I hope you will enjoy over a nice pint of cold beer.

I hope this advice helps.

Nigel Parry

11:00 AM, 10th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Just a couple of pointers, really,
1) You have already had a few appointments cancelled, so writing a letter with a confirmed time and date with you attending with your keyswould be a logical step. I wouldn't send it recorded delivery, as the tenant can refuse to sign for it, and you would find it hard to prove you had sent it. Just take the letter to the post office and get proof of postage. It's FREE. Please ensure you leave a couple of days for the letter to reach the tenant in terms of the visit date.
2) If the tenant refuses access on the date and time (or the locks are changed) report it immediately in writing (online) to the local Environmental Health department and ask for their help.
3) As the tenant is in arrears (provided it is at least two months), I would write a letter to the local council demanding direct payment of HB/LHA. They may not be in reciept of LHA, but at least you will know and it will flag this to the Council.
4) if you can't get access serve a Section 21 anyway, and get the ball rolling on eviction.

Adrian Jones

11:03 AM, 10th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by " " at "09/09/2013 - 23:22":

Thanks everyone.

I spoke to my agent this morning who said she had sent numerous text messages trying to make an appointment. Presumably these will remain on the phone log.

I have asked her and the engineer to write to the tenant saying they will be calling on a certain day (with keys) to carry out the inspection. The terms of the agreement allow for this subject to 24 hours notice.

If, as I suspect, the gas supply has been cut off presumably my liability ends. If this is the case I will ask the engineer to confirm to me in writing and then write to the tenant informing him to contact me as soon as the supply is reinstated.

I'll keep you posted.

Thanks again.

Richard Kent

14:56 PM, 10th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Adrian Jones" at "10/09/2013 - 11:03":

Hi Adrian,
The terms of your agreement might say you have to give 24 hrs notice but that does not give you a right to enter the premises if the tenant does not want you to.

Just be aware of what I mentioned earlier as i know of at least one letting agent who had to pay damages for harassment for doing what you plan to do.

They went into the property to do a gas check when the tenant was refusing access.

In other words if the tenant refuses access there is not a lot you can do.

I would be interested in hearing the outcome.

Sometimes the tenant sees the sense after some verbal persuasion 🙂

Romain Garcin

15:04 PM, 10th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by " " at "10/09/2013 - 14:56":

Do you mean it went to court because the landlord gained access once to fulfill his obligation? (which is not harassment as far as I can tell)

1 2 5

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

Croydon Council Support S21 Ban

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More