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  • Buy-to-Let

    Tenant not responding to comms for gas check?

    Hi all

    I have a tenant who isn't the best when it comes to communication, but does eventually get back to me, until now!

    I have a gas check due next week, and for the past couple of weeks I have been calling, left messages and voicemails to find out availability and have not had a response.

    I have penciled in a date with the gas engineer, but need the tenant to confirm this.

    Am I within my rights to send her a message saying I will be attending the property with the gas engineer on this date, and if she has any questions or if it isn't convenience she can contact me?

    In all my 7 years of being a landlord, I have never entered a tenanted property with my own keys, so it will be a first.

    What would you do?

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    Write informing him of inspection and GSC, with well over 24hrs notice.  Unless he says "no" turn up, knock loudly, wait, knock again, if no response let yourself in with engineer.  If asked to leave go, calm & polite.

    Repeat twice more if necessary for evidence (eg H&S come after you for no GSC). (ie keep copies of all letters, emails, engineer's bills).

    One of the risks of being a landlord:  Is there any clause in tenancy requiring him to do anything re GSC?  No, the normal "inspection" won't cover it I think. In your shoes I'd have served a valid s21 by now, if only as a "hint".

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    Gas safety checks: gas appliances and flues must be safety checked annually by a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer.

    New regulations introduced in April 2018 allow a landlord to arrange for a gas safety check to be carried out any time from 10-12 calendar months after the previous check whilst still preserving the original check expiry date.

    Where a gas safety check is carried out less than 10 months or more than 12 months after the previous gas safety check this will have the effect of ‘resetting the clock’ and the new deadline date will now be 12 months from the date of this latest gas safety check.

    Landlords are not responsible for safety checks on gas appliances owned by the tenant or any flues that solely connects to tenants own gas appliances.

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    Any issues?

    Some landlord/tenant relationships can become problematic. The tenancy agreement should allow access for any maintenance or safety check work that needs to be carried out.

    However, if your tenant refuses to give you access to the property you must show that you've taken all 'reasonable steps' to comply with the law - such as repeating attempts to carry out the safety check and writing to the tenant explaining that a safety check is a legal requirement that is in place for their own safety.

    Be sure to keep a record of any action taken as you may need this at a later date. The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations do not give powers to ‘force disconnection’ of the gas supply in these circumstances and you may need to seek legal advice.

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    If there is an outside meter either turn the gas off or get your gas engineer to cap it

    they will soon ring

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    Chartered Accountant, FCA 34th year in public practice,

    BTL since 1992

    http://www.blythepropertyholdings.com

    That would be illegal harassment, an offence landlords can & have gone to jail for.

    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_a...e_landlord

    Unwise advice, to the very least.

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    HSE will not be interested in excuses if death occurs due to a faulty boiler and there is no gas certificate

    it is a health and safety issue not harrassment, shutting down a potentially unsafe boiler

    it has happened once to me, being unable to get access, so gas was turned off

    the tenant was on the phone reporting the boiler wasnt working within an hour, the boiler got a gas certificate and the tenant had hot water

    never had an issue since,

    rather explain the above in court, than be on a manslaughter charge

    https://www.co-gassafety.co.uk/informatio...-injuries/

    on average 40 deaths and 300 injured a year

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    Chartered Accountant, FCA 34th year in public practice,

    BTL since 1992

    http://www.blythepropertyholdings.com

    Agreed. That sounds like the smartest thing to do under the circumstances. 

    Would maybe good to follow up in writing to cover your back, just in case. Something like "As you have failed to respond, I've had to turn your gas off for your safety... etc"

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    I would go along with Artful`s advice re entry

    Its all about evidencing it to the powers to be if required to do so

    Take reasonable steps -  then you cant be criticised

    You and the gas man act as each others witnesses in case the tenant is not there

    My AST has this clause which they sign at the start...

    ``By signing below, you confirm that I may use my keys to provide access to my Gas Safe Registered gas engineer for the purpose of carrying out the annual gas safety check, provided that you have been given not less than 24 hours notice in writing. You may revoke this agreement at any time by giving me no less than 24 hours written notice.`` 

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    Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com

    Property Tribes has a video answer to this FAQ:

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    Thanks Vanessa that is a very useful video.

    Very interesting that you may not be prosecuted for a gas certificate as long as you have made at least 3 clear attempts. Did not know that!

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