The Housing Executive has called on tenants to ensure they allow its contractors access to complete gas boiler safety checks.
If the annual checks can’t be carried out, tenants risk having their supply cut off.
“As a landlord, the Housing Executive has a legal obligation to carry out an annual gas safety check,” a spokesperson explained. “Gas safety in the home is paramount and failure to allow this service will result in gas capping, a disconnection of the service. Tenants may also face a charge for reconnection. This is a last resort but will be carried out if required.”
The Executive revealed this week that gaining admittance to tenants’ properties has proved a real problem, with almost 400 ‘no access’ cases across Northern Ireland (37 of them in Newtownabbey) since September.
“The Housing Executive aims to be as flexible as possible and households will initially receive a letter informing them of a date for the service check, which they can change if it is unsuitable,” the spokesperson continued. “If there is no response, the tenant will be issued with a ‘no access’ card, which informs them of the need to make contact with the contractor and warns that the gas supply will be cut off if they do not comply. This will be followed up with a hand delivered letter, again requesting contact is made within seven days.
“If, at that stage, there is still no response the supply will be disconnected until the required safety checks are carried out. Tenants will be issued with a notice informing them they must make contact with the Housing Executive in order to get the supply reconnected.”
Sharon Crooks, the Housing Executive’s Area Manager, commented: “Gas safety in the home is paramount and I urge any tenant who has not had their gas boiler checked to work with our contractors to ensure this safety check is carried out. We appreciate the run up to Christmas and New Year is hectic but we do not want tenants to run the risk of having no heat or means of cooking if they have not contacted us.
“If a gas leak is left unchecked you are placing not only yourself at risk but also the safety of others in neighbouring properties.”
Tenants with questions about their home gas supply should contact the Housing Executive on 03448 920 901.
• If you smell gas in or near your home call the 24-hour gas emergency service on 0800 002 001.