Tenants faulty Carbon Monoxide alarm- called emergency services and gas turned off.

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    Tenants faulty Carbon Monoxide alarm- called emergency services and gas turned off.

    Hi, I had a not so pleasant text from my tenant at 11.35 pm 2 days ago asking how long I had the Carbon Monoxide tester as it had woken them up. Tenant said she had then tried 3 lots of batteries in and it wasn't working. Also the test button wasn't working.

    Texted them stating that I hadn't put a CO detector in the house and didn't need to do so as per regs. They confirmed that the gas fire hadn't been on in weeks and prior to their holiday. The hob was on for a short time at 5pm as had a barbecue outside for the daughters birthday. The Worcester boiler that is appx 2 years old (used for appx a year) was installed by a Gas Safe engineer. Tenant then said that she thought the boyfriend had brought the detector from the old house where they used to live. I said it is obviously faulty and needed replacing. All appliances were off and had been off all evening.

    The next thing, the tenant texted me at 1.30am on the 15th and stated she had rung emergency services 101. They told me that their gas had been turned off and a warning notice given- nothing else! I said I needed to know what exactly had happened. They ignored me at first.

    Tenants late yesterday finally provided a photo of the warning notice that had been issued so I could find out what had gone on. They hadn't told me anything except that the gas had been turned off.

    I rang Northern Gas Networks this morning who had confirmed that there was no CO result whatsoever but they had to cap off the gas and issue a warning notice as a matter of course in such circumstances. The notice stated that all appliances must be tested (by a Gas Safe engineer) who will then turn the gas back on. There is a Landlords Gas Certificate for the property which was issued appx 3 months ago.

    The following was confirmed by the emergency engineer. Engineer showed up and alarm was going when he arrived. He went into all the rooms and tested with professional equipment but no positive CO results whatsoever. Their alarm was still going off at the time he was testing. The tenant told them that the detector was only a year old (when she had originally questioned me regarding supplying a faulty tester. Laughable!) The gas emergency services left them a heater and an electric hob until it is sorted.

    The tenants have been complaining to me since this happened, now 2 days ago and demanding to know when the gas will be turned back on. They have created a problem that did not exist due to their faulty detector. I have spend hours today trying to sort this out and finally got the correct account of events (from the engineers report). I have been trying to sort out a Gas Safe engineer to do a check on the property at short notice which is proving difficult. The tenants are complaining and putting pressure on me to sort it out as they have no hot water etc. Not so nice texts are coming through thick and fast!

    This has been caused by their faulty detector but somehow its all my fault and they are getting heavy with me. I have been trying all evening to find an engineer who can get over at very short notice but so far without any luck.

    Your comments please.

    #2
    They are cheeky people.

    However, it could have been a different story. I had a similar situation with a faulty CO detector, tenant was very worried and I had unnecessary expenses. But I do believe in better to be safe than sorry.

    Get a Gas Safety Engineer out to do the updated certificate - don't worry if it can't be done immediately, but I'm sure you would be able to find someone to get it done within a week. Inform the tenants of the date and if they start making noises about taking time off work, suggest they get a friend or family member to attend, if not, you will attend, using your own keys if necessary to allow the checks to be done.

    Put this down to experience and think carefully about renewing their AST when it expires.

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      #3
      Section 21 notice at the four month point.

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        #4
        Thanks for the reply. Their 6 months AST has expired. Just wondering.... I, as a landlady, have done everything within the law and supplied them with a Landlord certificate for gas etc. that is valid for a year. The faulty CO detector was their own which tenant originally said it was one I'd supplied. She then said she thought it was one the boyfriend had brought from their old house. She told the emergency gas engineer that it was a year old. When I questioned her on that she texted me and has now said that her previous landlady bought it in Feb 2016 and given it to her to keep. Several conflicting stories! BUT IT IS THEIRS!

        The fact that I have provided the necessary paperwork as a landlord and it is their faulty meter that caused her to ring emergency services and turn off the gas supply I am thinking of getting some further advice as to whether this should be me who is dealing with it. Obviously anyone can get a gas check done and get a certificate so shouldn't they be doing it?

        I had originally agreed let them rent the house for a year. I was going to put it on the market then while out and about we bumped into this couple who were looking for a place. I let them rent it for an £150 reduced rent for convenience. Their 6 months AST is past and they said they love the place and asked it they could stay which I agreed to so they are on a rolling contract.

        I need to know my obligations as a landlord and find out if I am within my rights to leave it to them to sort. They are being very demanding and quite obnoxious re getting the gas turned back on.

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          #5
          AST initial 6 months has ended. Yes, just weighing up pros and cons

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            #6
            just wondering perhaps whether texting was the best medium for such an exchange. Surely over the phone would not only be easier but also allow for a less misinterpretation of intent.... that's if it can't be done face to face.

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              #7
              I did actually speak on the phone as well but, yes, texting is the way to do it as I cant prove what she's said and I've said over the phone. She texted me first regarding the detector that was faulty asking how long I'd had it- which was in fact her own. If there is any trouble in the future, I have all the evidence of whats gone on in the texts. It's as good as a paper trail. Believe me, they can't get out with what they have put in the texts and thats the proof of whats gone on.

              The last tenant who was seriously in rent arrears, I took to court and all our text messages I printed off and they were used as evidence. No good saying she's said this and that and she can just deny it- it's all in the texts.

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                #8
                Originally posted by Sequoia77 View Post
                d she can just deny it- it's all in the texts.
                or the invented texts. No proof at all one way or the other if you are dealing with liars.

                Northern Gas Networks have some answering to do. How can they just shut down a gas supply on the basis of an alarm going off where there is no other evidence at all and in fact positive evidence of a faulty alarm that was going off while zero CO. I am pretty sure this would not be their standard procedure (or if it is, one has to question why they need gas engineers at all - why not just send any old bloke to turn off the gas supply based on any request at all).

                I think if the facts are as you state them, you need to ask the tenant to compensate you for your loss, and if they decline then evict.

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                  #9
                  Get the gas put on and evict.

                  (It's all very well blaming tenant or gas co. However, if tenant now calls council and they find other problems, you can't evict.)

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by JK0 View Post
                    Get the gas put on and evict.

                    (It's all very well blaming tenant or gas co. However, if tenant now calls council and they find other problems, you can't evict.)
                    Indeed. Exactly how bad ill-considered law (made and encouraged by idiots) damages everyone.

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                      #11
                      Andrew, I like your answers! There are quite long text strings on my phone from both their numbers- her and the boyfriend. As I mentioned, with the last tenant, the judge did use the texts as evidence- so does Judge Judy- ha ha! They have subtle ways of extracting the truth and catching people out. Even less evidence with a phone conversation! I'm not planning on anything going to court but never know what happens in the future so always aware of such eventualities. They have admitted in their texts that the detector was theirs and given by their previous landlady in Feb 2016. They told the engineer that their detector was a year old.

                      I spoke to NGN and the woman said they cap off the gas as a matter of course. Tenants alarm had activated even though faulty. She said NGN arent qualified to do gas checks. That has to be done by a GasSafe engineer who will then put the gas back on. I know it's crazy but part of our society that doesn't want responsibility for anything. Just cap off the gas then we are covered attitude!

                      Yes, will get tenants to pay and if they kick up a fuss will put up the rent a bit or give them 2 months notice as required by law. They asked me if they could stay as they said they love it there. The rent is £150 cheaper than what I was charging the last tenant 6 years ago.

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                        #12
                        JKO Why would the council get involved? There are no problems anyway. Fully renovated, Newly built extensions, new electrics, all tested, gas certificate etc. Can just give them 2 months notice if required.

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                          #13
                          Andrew, True! Law usually on wrong side and protects wrong doers

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by Sequoia77 View Post
                            JKO Why would the council get involved?
                            Because your f***witted tenants call them? They already rang the fire brigade!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Maybe they did. Ha ha! When their first spotlight light bulb blew they were texting telling me it had blown, asking what type of lightbulb it was and where they could buy one! I gave them one and said they can buy at tesco. Yes, this is for real!

                              Last time I called there, all the rooms are dark as dead light bulbs left in and not replaced. Prob too complicated for them to change the lightbulbs.
                              Last edited by Sequoia77; 17-05-2017, 13:47 PM. Reason: Comment added

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