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Getting Access for Annual Gas Safety Check

I thought I was going to have a good day today, well, in comparison to yesterday. However, some of my tenants had other plans in mind.

For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been trying to arrange with my Heating engineer to get access to a set of 6 properties, so he could carry out the annual gas boiler service and certification, otherwise known as CP12. But some tenants were proving uncooperative. In one case, when I couldn’t get to speak to one of the tenants, I had to call her mum, who then passed on my message, and guess what, tenant calls me on the same number we’d called and left messages on. Even after that, she still refused to contact the Heating engineer or reply to his messages to arrange the appointment. Another one had phone calls, emails etc., and still no appointment made. A third and fourth likewise. Yesterday, I got so fed up with the lot of them, I sent out a letter stating clearly that as they had failed to respond to either me or to the Heating engineer to enable us make appointments at their convenience, I considered that they were obstructing me in my legal obligation toward them, and therefore in breach of their tenancy agreement, which may result in legal action to repossess the property and they would be liable for all my costs.

I also stated that I was putting them on notice of breach and respectfully requested they remedy the breach by calling to confirm they would provide access for the heating engineer to visit in 3 days time and within a 3 hour period. Sent first class, with proof of posting.

Guess what, 8.59am this morning, one texts me to say she’s called the heating engineer directly. An hour later, the son of one of the other tenants rings and tries to give me lip for threating to evict his mother, and a third also rings the heating engineer directly. Still waiting to hear from the fourth one, but I’m sure we’ll do so before close of business today.

Why does it have to take the threat of eviction to get a response from some people. The son who rang on his mum’s behalf, claimed to be a former letting agent, and whilst he understood the legal responsibility, he felt I had no right to state I would evict her. This he said, because of her advanced age, and the fact that she had personal problems to deal with, one being that her aged husband was in hospital. I reminded him that if the something went wrong with the boiler and she got injured/ill, they would have no qualms taking me to court and stringing me up to dry for dereliction of duty.This is the same tenant whom I didn’t evict them when the local authority would not approve their housing benefit claim for several months, and whom I’ve worked with over the past 18 months to get her arrears paid off in instalments, and who still owes me a fair sum. Where the heck was he when all this was going on, and why can’t he pay his mother’s rent arrears? For goodness sakes, what the heck else is a landlord supposed to do?? If we are nice, we are taken for mugs, if we are not so nice, we are piloried. Damned if we do, and damned if we don’t.

I keep saying this, I am not a nanny. I am a landlord, running a business, and not a charity, or walk-in centre or phone-in helpline for them to dump their problems on me. And if the grey hairs on my head are anything to go by, I have enough of my own as it is without adding those of scores of tenants to it.

So, hopefully, by thursday, we’ll have the full complement of certifications done. Onwards to the next batch.

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    Posted in Housing Regulations, Lettings and Management, Maintenance.

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    One Response

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    1. Grumpier Tenant says

      Whilst I empathise with the problems you face as a landlord, I must say that if you don’t want the hassle that inevitably comes along with letting out your property/ies, you should either appoint someone to manage it/then for you or sell up and invest in something which does not require attention. As you say, you are running a business and must necessarily take the good with the bad (it is trite logic that, in letting out property, you will undoubtedly come across payment delinquencies, access difficulties etc).

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