Welfare Reform Bill

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Debbie Aspden
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We have a portfolio of 16 properties of which 12 are let to LHA Claimants.
All properties have Gas Central Heating and in some of them also gas appliances.
We have recently completed the annual inspection by our Gas Safe engineer and this year were unable to validate the safety in three properties as the tenants had no gas in the meter.
They had failed to credit the Pay As You Go meter. In all cases they had been without gas for several weeks and had debts to clear.
All three said that they would advise us when they had put sufficient credit into the meter and we could then rearrange a visit by Gas Safe.
To date we have been able to inspect two of the properties but the third remains without gas.
I consider that if the Welfare Reforms do not address issues such as this how many tenants would prefer to have hot water and heating at the expense of paying the rent. I know that of the three instanced here that if they had access to the money they would certainly not pay the rent.
The second more alarming point is that the meters can be put in credit by the tenant at any point without the landlord knowing and thus the legal requirement to have appliances tested annually could fail.I have taken the stance to have Gas Safe disconnect gas completely to the properties until the tenant has the funds to credit the meter and pay for Gas Safe reconnection.
I do not know if this is right or wrong but I do know that I would be held responsible for any faulty equipment.

Regards

Debbie

20/01/2012 00:00

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