Developers have been slow to respond to concerns about concealed boiler flues, but soon they will have to act
Hatch a plan
Four years after 26-year-old Elouise Littlewood died of carbon monoxide poisoning in her newly built flat, developers are still uncovering problems with similar concealed flue boiler systems.
As we report this week, Taylor Wimpey has this year discovered two issues with concealed flue systems - so-called because the pipes run above ceilings and behind walls. In one case it had to move some residents from their homes after boilers were turned off and in another 10 people were ‘potentially exposed to carbon monoxide’.
This is a sensitive issue for developers - Persimmon refused point blank to give us any information on its flue systems at all.
Apart from the obvious moral case for landlords to check their own properties, there is now another reason for them to act. From 1 January, homes with concealed flues - estimated at more than 30,000 in the UK - will find their boilers shut down if they have no adequate inspection hatches.
If they haven’t already it is time for landlords to ensure tenants are protected.