Gifted appliances

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    Gifted appliances

    I hope I’m ok to ask a question as a tenant here! I have lived in a rented property for almost ten years. It’s rented from a large housing association at market rate rent on an assured shorthold tenancy. Within the rent, we pay a service charge of about £30 a month for maintenance of landscaping, admin, lighting etc.

    I had a problem last year when, during the annual gas safety check, i noticed that the gas guy didn’t actually touch the appliance (hob - he didn’t even go into the kitchen or open his toolbox). He did a visual inspection only, and supplied a certificate to that effect. When I looked back on previous years certificates, I found that the previous two had also been visual only. The gas company confirmed that their contract was visual gas inspections only, to save costs. The HA confirmed this also, and confirmed that it was legal, by email. I assume that since they were willing to put it in writing it was correct. They are a big HA, tens of thousands of properties.

    I had another visual gas check at the end of last year, then last month there was a flurry of rechecks and a full gas check was done. Whoop!

    Today we have received letters which state that all appliances within the property are gifted to us with immediate effect, and as such the HA have no further responsibility for maintenance. That includes fitted items like extractor hoods, and gas appliances. The letter further states that if we don’t want the appliances they will come and remove them for us.

    My questions are, firstly can they delegate responsibility for repair and safety checks like this? If I reject the appliances can they remove the fitted oven and hob and leave holes in the kitchen? If they remove the gas appliances, whose responsibility is it to make good the damage. Whose responsibility would it then be to gas check the pipes and meter, or will that not be an issue with no appliances?

    Thank you for your time.

    #2
    They're not delegating responsibility for maintenance, they're stopping supplying the items as a service and giving them to you.
    Whether they can do that or not depends on what you rent from them - if it includes the appliances, they can't stop supplying them, even if they give them to you in exchange.

    I'd ask them about the damage and holes in the kitchen and who makes good.

    If someone removes gas appliances, they have to cap off the pipes, which will mean no gas checks are necessary for the items removed, but gas checks may still be necessary if there are other gas fueled things in the property.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you. The items were already fitted by them when we moved in (hob and cooker are integrated, extractor attached to the wall and ceiling) and are on our inventory, though that was ten years ago. All of the gas appliances have been gifted, so if they remove they will presumably cap the gas.

      They said they wont make good (they don’t do any maintenance at all beyond the minimum, we have had to repair/replace everything over the years, things like replacing fences, making good plastering after a boiler leak) - they will just rip out.

      Comment


        #4
        The actions of the HA are irresponsible and astonishing.

        A quick Google confirmed what I thought had to be the case, which is that the safety of an applicance and installations cannot be checked simply by looking at them. One site gives the following list:

        1. Check with the occupant to determine if they have had any problems with the gas installation/appliance(s).
        2. Check that all gas appliances have an adequate supply of air and are operating correctly.
        3. Check appliance for gas tightness.
        4. Check standing and working pressure if test points available.
        5. Check burner pressure / gas rate against manufacturers data plate.
        6. Check for satisfactory provision of all necessary ventilation.
        7. Test flue flow to ensure removal of products of combustion.
        8. Check satisfactory operation of all the flame failure devices.
        9 Check for physical stability, presence and effectiveness of stability brackets (where appropriate).
        10.Investigate any evidence of unsafe operation and report to a responsible person. An appliance can not be deemed as having been checked, until the above has been completed.
        11. For a Landlords Safety Record inspection a tightness test of the full system should be added to the above.

        It seems that the HA have not been complying with the law. They need to be reported to the enforcing authority - not sure who that is - you can ask your local council.

        As jpkeates says, the HA have as part of your tenancy agreed (whether expressly or impliedly) to supply and maintain the gas applicances. I do not see how they can unilaterally change the agreement by gifting the appliances. I have posted the question here: http://swarblaw.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=10609

        You may wish to consider writing to your M.P. and/or contacting the local press.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
          It seems that the HA have not been complying with the law. They need to be reported to the enforcing authority - not sure who that is - you can ask your local council.
          I would imagine the Health & Safety Executive.
          I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

          Comment


            #6
            I reported them to HSE last summer - I don’t know the outcome. I suspect the gifting of their appliances is some sort of response to that?

            Comment


              #7
              This is from 2017. They appear to be under the impression that small gas appliances only need visual checks. I couldn’t find anything to the contrary on google and therefore reported it to hse and left it at that. They are a big HA, thousands of homes - who am I to argue otherwise?

              Comment


                #8
                Only private landlords HAVE to do gas safety checks. Councils and housing associations are not obliged to (nor are owner occupiers).

                ​​​​​​
                I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                  housing associations are not obliged to​​
                  Any chance you can provide a reference for that?
                  I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Gas safety inspection requirements are the same for private and social housing.

                    I'd suggest that another possible reason for the sudden decision to do away with the service might be the sacking of the "Gas Servicing Contract Manager".
                    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by KTC View Post

                      Any chance you can provide a reference for that?
                      I'd be interested to know too.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        HA's do have to carry out GSC's, although some don't seem to think so and subsequently get into trouble for not doing them:

                        http://www.agsm.uk.com/as-a-number-o...for-providers/

                        Even if they remove the appliances and cap off the pipe they still have to have that inspected.

                        Comment

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