Wednesday, 04 March 2015

ALMO evicts two over gas checks

An arm’s-length management organisation has evicted two tenants for failing to allow access to their homes for gas checks.

Six Town Housing obtained possession orders from Bury County Court against Rebecca Lord, 22, of Salmesbury House, Ramsbottom, and Alan Glossop, 55, of Coronation Gardens, Radcliffe.

Both had failed to allow access to their properties despite letters, visits, and a notice of intention to seek possession being served.

A spokesperson for the ALMO said: ‘We have a legal duty to undertake annual gas safety inspections, and we will not deviate from that duty. These inspections are necessary to ensure the safety of the tenant and their neighbours.

‘In all cases where exhaustive attempts to gain access to carry out the inspection has failed we will seek possession of the property.’

Readers' comments (11)

  • I like to hear Rebecca and Alan version

    When mine was due didn't turn up and liar saying phone me. I still chasing over one month later and getting excuse after excuse.

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  • Seems all tenants are carrying crosses of one sort or the other, likely to offend the new breed of social housing enforcers well-versed in the more arcane forms of PC.

    Couldn't this have all been cleared up by a 2-minute chat on the doorstep?

    I bet neither of the evictees have ever had any form of conversation with the enforcers and were bemused, and probably frightened, by the serving of court papers. It's how most people react.

    If they had made any form of plea at court to the court they would almost certainly have not been evicted. Six Towns know this and can be considered more culpable by trying it on anyway.

    Six Towns Housing - just another useless, officious, immoral and incompetent social housing provider.

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  • There isn't a cat in hell's chance of the Court granting an eviction on these grounds unless they are absolutely satisfied that the housing provider has done everything they can to gain access by other means.

    This is likely to have been not the first time either, as all a provider really needs is a Warrent of Entry - the courts permission to gain access, carry out the checks and then leave the propoerty secured. I would hazard a guess that this has been done at least a couple of times in the past and that the court were satisfied that the tenants would have continued to force the provider down this route.

    Imagine the alternative:
    "Housing provider failed to check exploding boiler
    An ALMO who hadn't carried out an annual safety check on a boiler that exploded killing a resident and her visiting boyfriend are due in court facing Corperate Manslaughter charges"

    Fred Blog: "This is just typical of useless, officious, immoral and incompetent social housing providers. It could all have been sorted out with a 2 minute chat on the doorstep"
    Henpecked: "When mine was due I was out but they kept coming until I finally let them in"

    Social Housing Providers can't win with some of you - have you thought about the private rented sector? That would free up a property for someone who would appreciate what they've got.

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  • 6 Towns should know that NOSP, let alone actual eviction, are totally unneccesary for gas safety compliance - the appear to have been given the wrong legqal advice. Many ALMOs stay at 100% simply be using the Environmental Protection Act. Any local court should grant an EPA Warrant (with Forced Entry if required) to carry out regulatory gas safety checks prior to the existing LGSR expiry date.

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  • Alpha One

    Clearly something is missing to this story, if they refused to let them in then an injunction is the next step, not eviction.

    Anyway, one has to question why any tenant would not allow their landlord in to do a gas safety inspection, clearly they had something to hide!

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  • Jon H

    Clearly a problem tenant anyway and the housing manager took advantage of this.

    Says something about the judge that granted it though...

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  • I can recount instances such as descibed by Penhouse. Not only gas inspections, but the same for periodic electrical installation tests,. A good one is for communal water testing for legionella when the dwelling is independant not part of a communal system.

    Michael Read is more than likely right in the most part with his speculation. It is perverse that lo-no quality adminstrators can threaten court action, let alone achieve eviction when most standard tenancy agreements alow the landlord the right to 'break in' where safety is the issue. Then charge the tenant of associated repairs.

    It could be that the 'contractor' directed mail to the address(s) for the attention of 'The Occupier'. I usually trash and shred such items without opening.

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  • The key part of this story is:

    "Both had failed to allow access to their properties despite letters, visits, and a notice of intention to seek possession being served."

    What else is could you reasonably ask the organisation to do in these cases? I don't think a "2-minute chat on the doorstep" would have made any difference - they've had visits and this didn't work.

    People in Britain are very keen on talking about their 'rights', but not so much about their 'responsibilities.' Allowing access for a gas check once a year is every tenant's responsibility, in both social and private rented housing.

    Like pj001 above, I doubt an eviction was granted for this alone. And I agree with pj001 about the outcry if the ALMO had left these boilers and they exploded.

    I know this will be a revelation to some but occasionally, just occasionally, tenants are in the wrong.

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  • * +

    Many moons ago I was asked to accompany a contractor to gain entry to a property occupied by a tenant who was close to court action for failure to allow access. The gas had had to be 'capped off' previously as a result, and the reason I had been asked to be there is because the tenant only agreed to allow access by someone completely unknown to him.

    What awaited inside was a horror story. No carpets, so the floorboards were rotting and filty, a large alsation had to be shut in another room and the walls were smeared with congealed grease and doghair, all of the tiling in the kitchen had 'blown' through damp and the kitchen walls covered in splatters of food.
    Long story short the main reason for refusing to allow access was a combination of not wanting staff to see the state of the property, the presence of a large dog (breach of tenancy in a one bed flat) severe rent arrears and a hatred of his housing officer for chasing them and taking him to court.
    It took the better part of fours years to finally evit this tenant and the property had to undergo major refit.
    My point? although I have no doubt that there are HA's whose gas service process could do with some work, but where this is not the case it's more likely that there is a jolly good reason why the tenant won't allow access and ends up in court!

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  • If they had to break in to evict,then why not break in to do the gas test and then recharge for the time and locks ?

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