Carlisle judge orders tenants to allow gas engineers to do inspection
Last updated at 17:02, Friday, 09 August 2013
Injunctions have been imposed on two tenants who sparked safety fears by refusing to let engineers into their homes.
A landlord says it was left with no option but to take legal action since not letting its staff into properties can potentially put lives at risk.
A judge has ordered that the two tenants allow gas safety engineers working for Eden Housing Association into the homes in Penrith.
And they have also been told they must each pay £600 towards the costs of taking action against them at Carlisle County Court.
It is the first time the housing association has mounted a case of this kind – but says it will do the same again if people who rent homes from it refuse to comply with safety rules.
Eden Housing says it took the tenants to court after they repeatedly failed to respond to attempts for safety engineers to carry out annual gas boiler and safety checks.
They also failed to respond to a solicitors’ letter more than five weeks after initial moves were made to gain access to the properties, the landlord said.
Eden managing director John Clasper said: “We don’t like applying for an injunction because it costs us time and money and the tenant is also left with a large legal bill.
“It is, however, very important that we are able to carry out these inspections for the benefit of residents, their families and neighbours.
“Failure to do our duty can lead to us being prosecuted, but it’s the safety and well-being of our tenants and the local community that matters most.”
Gas safety inspections are carried out free and at a time that best suits residents, Mr Clasper said.
Landlords are obliged legally to carry out an annual test and inspection of gas appliances and installation pipe work in its properties.
It’s a duty Eden, which owns and manages about 1,800 homes in north Cumbria, says it takes “very seriously”.
“We were left with no choice but to go ahead with injunction action,” Mr Clasper added.
“If a resident refuses our engineers access, they are not only in breach of their tenancy agreement but they are placing their lives, and the lives of their neighbours, at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning and faulty gas appliances.”
As well as looking after its own portfolio of homes in places including Penrith and Carlisle, Eden Housing Association works as managing agent for Mitre Housing Association, Lowther and District Housing Association, Allonby Almshouses, and the Lyvennet Community Trust.
First published at 17:01, Friday, 09 August 2013
Published by http://www.cumberlandnews.co.uk
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