Is my Heating Engineer feeling the crunch?

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  • Is my Heating Engineer feeling the crunch?

    I employ a professional heating company to service and carry out all plumbing and heating works to my properties. Lately though I have noticed a lot of little things being added to invoices and Gas Safety Certificates.

    Is he trying to bump up costs by taking advantage in the current financial climate?

    The most recent invoice came back, with a coal effect fire, needing new coals. I agreed to a quote for this as I am aware that the coals can deteriorate and cause an adverse effect on the fire, however on the same certificate, he stated that there was no Fire Guard and there were young children in the house.

    Am I legally obliged to provide a Fire Guard or is this one of the 'few' responsibilities that an agent can expect parents to take care of.

    I know some of you will go on about 'good practice' but if every bit of 'good practice' was followed there would be very little profit for Landlords left.

    The question is do i have a legal obligation to provide a fire guard?

    Another item that cropped up recently is a faulty gas valve, which is now obsolete, which means the Landlord has to cough up for a brand new fire.

    I just feel that I'm being taken advantage of, and am considering using another engineer, before anyone suggest it!!

  • #2
    I'm not aware of any requirement to provide a fireguard, but it does seem he is carrying out a risk assessment as part of the service (and which you seem to be being asked to paying for).

    Given you now know this, you should mention this to the tenant. I'm sure you can find a way to phrase it such that it does not sound like you intend to provide one.

    It is the engineers fault that the gas valve became faulty or that it is now obsolete? How old was the gas fire that had the faulty valve, and how much did the fire cost you?

    Are you sure that this is not just a run of bad luck, and not this chap being over-zealous?


    • #3
      Thanks for your response, it may be a run of bad luck, but just know the Landlords will start asking know how it is. Forgot to mention that the property that needs new coals also needs some gas (earth) bonding as well, (although I will need his electrician to carry out the bonding and a gas engineer to install the coals, becuae bonding is considered electrical work.) So two call outs. This seems like he really is taking the mick. Whoever heard of a gas/heating engineer who can't do bonding. Or is it just me???


      • #4
        The gas regulations are constantly changing. I'm not accusing Gas Safe or the predecessors Corgi of creating an income but it seems my engineers are always having to go on new courses for silly reasons. If they don't comply, they risk losing their 'license'
        My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.


        • #5
          I agree, don't forget if something goes wrong and an accident happens it's they're neck on the line as well as yours.
          It may be an idea to look into getting some kind of insurance that also includes your yearly gas check if you are really worried about being ripped off.
          Incidentally, try to keep electrical and gas items in a house to the bare minimum, less to be serviced and less to go a newly refurbed house a lot of the time there is no need for a fire the combi heating supply should be enough.


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