News

Taking gas safety to your front door

September 1st 2021

As a landlord, we are legally responsible for the safety of our tenants. Annually, by law, we must visit every Torus property, whether you use your gas supply or not, to check heating systems, appliances and smoke detectors are safely installed and that any faults are fully repaired.

Though most customers allow access first time for their checks, some tenants repeatedly refuse access, putting themselves and their neighbours in danger.  We are committed to checking 100% of our homes each year and this month our Neighbourhood Officers  have been out in our communities visiting those who have been difficult to access or have missed several appointments, engaging them to see why they were refusing access or being reluctant to allow their annual gas safety check to be completed.

Torus Group Asset Compliance Manager, Vicky Houghton, said:

“Torus takes the safety of our customers seriously and allowing access for these vital checks protect you, your loved ones and the home you live in.

“We understand that, during the pandemic, some customers have been reluctant to allow engineers into their home, but the legal requirement to allow access for their annual gas safety check did not change because of Covid-19.

“To reassure customers, our contractors, HMS, introduced new strict Safe Systems of Works, working as quickly as possible, maintaining social distancing, where possible, and good levels of hand hygiene.  These practices have continued as restrictions continue to ease.

“The visits are also an opportunity to identify any customers who may require additional support from Torus, such as financial strain, property condition or health issues.

“Tenants who do not allow access to their homes for their gas safety check are in breach of their tenancy agreement which can result in Torus being forced into taking legal action, where tenants could incur court costs in excess of £1,000 or even lose their home.

“Legal action and eviction are always a last resort and is only taken when all other avenues to resolve serious tenancy issues have been exhausted.”

Over the past couple of weeks, we have gained access to 21 properties to complete their outstanding gas safety check.  With reasons given by tenants ranging from forgetting to book it in, not thinking it was important and they hadn’t topped up the meter.

Kira Dean, Torus Compliance Lead (Gas), added:

“There is no excuse not to allow access for your safety check, it’s about keeping you, your family and neighbours safe.

“The check can still be carried out even if you do not have any gas credit and even if the gas is capped, we still need access to make sure it is safe.

“Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. Every year thousands of people across the UK are diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning, which can kill quickly with no warning, as you cannot see it, taste it or smell it.

“On one recent visit, the Gas Engineer and Neighbourhood Officer discovered the tenant was installing a lean-to which would have blocked the boiler flue and created an immediately dangerous situation

“In addition, if you allow us access to complete your gas safety check the first time, you are in with a chance of winning £100 of Love2Shop vouchers in our quarterly prize draws.”

If you need to book your annual gas safety check or change an appointment call us on 0800 678 1894 or email info@torus.co.uk.