Tenants Refusing Access for Gas Safety Inspections – survey results from Landlord Law

by Tessa Shepperson

8:43 AM, 30th January 2014
About 7 years ago

Tenants Refusing Access for Gas Safety Inspections – survey results from Landlord Law

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Tenants Refusing Access for Gas Safety Inspections – survey results from Landlord Law

A couple of months ago I created a survey of Landlord Law members to identify what the levels of interest might be for a legal help kit on what to do if a tenant refuses access for Gages Safety inspections. Quite a few  members responded – if you were one, thank you very much.  We got 101 survey answers which is quite a lot.

In fact it is one of the reasons why I realised that this was such a problem and why I decided to create a kit to help.

I thought you might like to see the results so I have put them online in a pdf HERE

I have not included all the text answers as when people wrote them they thought they were writing direct to me and not for publication, but the answers to the general questions are still quite interesting.

What the survey said:- 

If you look at the results you will see that most of the people responding are landlords, and most of the landlords are landlords with over five properties. This makes sense as you are more likely to see this problem if you manage a lot of properties.

Most of the people answering were those responsible for the gas safety check and nearly half of all those responding had experienced problems with tenants preventing access to complete the inspection.

Next you can see the things I suggested we could do in a kit, and pretty much all of them were popular, the most popular being tips on techniques to get tenants to let you in. This is in fact what I have done in the kit.

I have tried to incorporate some of your suggestions too, although quite a few of them were strictly speaking a breach of tenants covenant for quiet enjoyment and not something I could therefore recommend.

For example, threatening to cut off the gas, or actually cutting off the gas, is technically, harassment, which is a criminal offence.

My main solution to this is to write some really strong letters for you to use, which go into the safety aspects, and also make some threats which you CAN legally make, such as that you will no longer be liable for damages if there is any injury caused by a defective gas appliance as it will be their fault that it was not repaired.  That sort of thing.

My letters are generally fairly effective.

There is a lot more to the kit than just three letters though (although actually there are considerably more than three letters).  For example we look at ways of keeping records so you can use it as evidence in court, and also include a section 21 notice for you to use with guidance on how to draft and serve it because the threat of evicting the tenant is one solution to the problem.

What quite a few of you said in the written answers was that what you wanted was a plan of action and a series of steps to carry out so you knew what to do and also what you COULD legally do and not do. This is what we have done.

In particular, if you manage a lot of properties, it is a good idea to have a set procedure which your tenants will come to recognise, so they know what to expect.  They will know, for example, that you don’t mess about and that if they do not let you in voluntarily, you will go to court and get an injunction order to force them to let you in, if you decide to make this part of your process of course.

Looking at this question again made me realise that I have forgotten to do the checklist, so I will do this and get it online in the kit.  That’s my job to do over the next few days.

The final survey page I have given you is on the the suggested cost.  You will see that most respondents said they would be willing to pay between £30 and £50, which is the price of the beta version (£37.50 plus VAT ie £45).

The final  version will be more at £75 + VAT (which about 10% of respondents thought would be reasonable) but if you get the kit now YOU won’t have to pay that.  Tessa Shepperson - Landlord Law

Anyway, that’s the survey results.  As you can see, I have tried to do what people wanted so I hope you will give the kit a try.  You will find it HERE 

The beta version will be available for one week only, after which we will be closing down the sales page and monitoring things before launching it ‘properly’ in a few months time.

Please note that the reasoning for the discount is that Robert and I need users and feedback (and I need some money to help with development costs).  Therefore, we are making the beta version of the kit available for just one week to get some users in so we can monitor the kit and re-launch it at the full price in the late spring/summer.

Therefore, if you want to get it at 50% discount andan opportunity to contribute to its evolution now is the time.

For more details please CLICK HERE 



Comments

sharon underwood

18:39 PM, 28th February 2014
About 7 years ago

Hi Tessa

Surely if a tenant refuses access you could simply call the council & notify them that you have been refused permission so that you are in no way liable??
I really don't understand how they can refuse or why they would want to.
I would have thought if you sent an email, recorded letter, &/or even a txt message you could not possibly be liable, is that not so??
No doubt im being incredibly naive but if I was refused entry I would ask council to contact them so that if for any reason it went to court you can prove you have done everything possible to comply & therefore can not be held responsible, I did have this kind of problem although not with gas but with repairs but after a couple of attempts I left it with the proof that I had tried to comply, what am I missing??


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