Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Tenant evicted for gas safety check snub

A social housing tenant has been evicted from her home for not allowing maintenance workers to carry out gas safety checks.

Claire Gardner, 35, was evicted from her one-bedroom flat in Kirkby on 6 October after a court granted a possession order.

Landlord, Knowsley Housing Trust said its officers called at the flat eight times in February and March but were met with no response.

She was served with a notice seeking possession but still did not respond, leading to a court summons being issued.

Ms Gardner did not attend the hearing and a possession order was granted giving her two weeks to leave her home.

Terry Bonner, operational director of landlord services at KHT, said: ‘At no time throughout the whole process or in the earlier court actions taken by KHT has Miss Gardner ever engaged with officers, responded to letters or attended at court.

‘We have a legal obligation to carry out these vital checks and make sure there are no problems with the gas supply.

‘In the end KHT was left with no option and eviction was necessary to ensure her safety and the safety of other residents in the area.’

A KHT spokesperson said Miss Gardner was not present at the property when the eviction was carried out and that the home was in poor condition with mail piled up by the front door.

Readers' comments (23)

  • Good.

    I'm sure people will complain, but as long as they can prove they made every effort to gain access by her permission then I see no issue with this.

    I'm sure people would have been complaining more had the building exploded (and then blaming the landlord for not acting) had the gas become unsafe.

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  • F451

    A fair response to a dangerous situation.

    At least the landlord is not hunting down the relatives of the tenant for reprisals.

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  • Has no-one at KHT or IH thought that absolutely no contact with this tenant since February 2011 probably means she had 'abandoned' her home some time ago. Maybe that's why there was no communication and she failed to respond at all. Was her rent being paid for all this time? Why didn't KHT follow a logical and lawful 'abandonment' procedure by serving a NTQ and after expiry, forcing entry and inspecting the property so see if there was objective evidence of her occupation? This doesn't seem a 'good story' for KHT or other landlords!

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  • She's probably not living there ... may not actually be living at all!

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  • Just a thought, but has anyone checked if this tenant is missing? Has anyone had contcat with her since February?

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  • Jono

    She was probably living in a separate privately owned home...

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  • It is surprising that KHT took this approach given that possession should be the last resort. A sledgehammer to crack a nut springs to mind! A breach of tenancy Injunction would have resolved the issue without the loss of a home.

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  • F451

    If you check on their website there is another non-resident tenant eviction for failure to give access to a gas check. It questions what handle the landlord has on property abandonment, and how long a property would have to lay vacant before they would notice, or worse, how long the tenant would lay dead before they noticed.

    I can't believe that the rent was being paid on the vacated units reported - so just what was the landlord playing at - or were they just happily cashing the benefit cheques!

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  • "Landlord, Knowsley Housing Trust said its officers called at the flat eight times in February and March but were met with no response."
    Why would the KHT send eight times their officers? Do they have so much time to waste?... What did they check in eight times?... It the case is that 8 times the officers (we are talking here about the officers and NOT the gas check contractor I presume) went to the premises how come they did not realise that either the property was abandoned or the tenant gone missing?... How come they have not informed the police?... The tenant not being there might have nothing to do whatsoever with the tenant REFUSING the gas check or REFUSING ENTRY, so what proofs KHT presented to the judge to convince the judge that the tenant was refusing entry?...
    KHT they said they found mail piled up, well does the mail say anything about what happened to the tenant?... It looks like that KHT had no other interest in this tenant than carrying the gas check even when it was clear for all to see the tenant was not refusing entry.

    My last gas check was carried out on 22 september and I still have not received the gas check certificate.

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  • C'mon Sense

    Kass - the issue is that had there been a gas explosion then you would be on here saying "Jail the directors" and "Shoot the housing officer" and other such drivel. It's not only to protect the property, but the tenant, and neighboring properties and occupiers. See? Oh, and the landlord cannot enter a property unless they have a court order, so by asking the tenant for entry, and being ignored (even when facing a court order) is pretty much refusing entry. See?
    Jeez!!

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