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Help us to keep your property safe during the Covid-19 crisis

Tower Hamlets Homes -
26 June 2020

Posted on Monday 29th June 2020

Why we carry out gas safety checks

We carry out annual gas safety checks to keep homes safe, including a service of pipes, boilers and any fires. These checks are a legalvan with landlord of year logo requirement and tenants must allow access to our contractors to carry out the checks, so that occupants are not put at risk.

The well-being of our customers, contractors and our staff is our priority, and we would like to assure you that during the Covid-19 period, as always, our health and safety procedures are designed to make sure everyone is kept safe, even if you are currently shielding from the virus.

Gas safety checks during the Covid-19 period

During the Covid-19 period we understand that residents may have concerns about visitors to their homes but want to reassure you that we are taking the highest level of precautions possible to keep everyone safe and ensure that hygiene is always observed. The changes we have made reduce the risk of spread of infection and are in line with current Government and World Health Organisation advice.

Our contractor carrying out gas safety checks is Mears, and we will write to everyone in advance to let them know when their annual check is due. The most important thing to do is not to ignore the letter when you receive it.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about gas safety checks

The FAQs below will help to understand the process.

If you have any other questions or concerns please use the following contact details:

Mears contractors: 0208 525 6557

Tower Hamlets Homes: 020 7364 5015

Q: How long do the checks take?

A: The checks take around an hour.

Q: How do I contact Mears if I need to re-arrange an appointment?

A: The details are on the letter you will have received, and you can also use the following numbers:

Mears contractors: 0208 525 6557

Tower Hamlets Homes: 020 7364 5015

Q: Why does the check need to be made?

A: The check needs to be made as it is important to ensure that the gas appliances are working properly. Faulty appliances can cause illness and if not made safe, can cause death. Every year we are required by law to check that all the landlord’s gas appliances in your home, such as fires or central heating boilers, are operating safely and efficiently.

Q: Can I postpone the appointment?

A: Government and the Regulator has instructed landlords to complete the checks but to make arrangements to reduce any risk. It is important that the appointment is made, even during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Q: What if I am unwell with COVID-19, have the symptoms and am self-isolating?

A: Please contact us and we will rearrange the appointment. We’ll be pleased to carry out an inspection at your property once you’re feeling well enough and have completed any self-isolation requirements (as per the Government guidelines) and are happy for us to visit.

Q: What should I do if I am ‘shielding’ or classed as high risk?

A: Contact us to let us know and we will make all the arrangements to minimise any risk to you whilst we complete the appointment.

Q: What happens during the check?

A: All our staff and contractors carry identification and will show you this when they arrive. If someone can’t produce an identity card - DO NOT let them into your home. Contact us straight away or call the police using 999.

When the check is completed you will be given a copy of the Landlord’s Gas Safety Record to confirm that each gas appliance supplied by us is safe to use.

Q: What Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will your staff and contractors use?

A: So that you stay safe, all our staff and the contractors will use appropriate PPE that meets Government and Health and Safety Executive guidelines. A dynamic risk assessment that is specific to your situation will be carried out prior to entering your property, which will determine the appropriate PPE to be worn.

Q: Will staff and contractors apply the social distancing guidelines within my property?

To ensure your safety and that of our employees, our contractors will apply the appropriate social distancing measures. We may also ask you and any other household members to wait in another room or go outside while the inspection is carried out.

Q: What additional measures will be put in place to keep us safe?

A: Our contractors will explain how the appointment will work best and what they need in order to carry out their inspection. In addition to observing social distancing guidelines and wearing PPE, we ask that you open doors and windows in the room they are working in, to allow ventilation and to avoid the use of door handles. The contractor will clean the area they have worked in and will take their work waste away with them.

Q: Which areas of my property will the contractor need to access?

A: Access will be need to:

•the gas appliance which is the subject of the visit

•possibly the gas meter

•the roof-space (if appropriate) to check the chimney or flue

•we may also need to visually inspect any other installed gas appliances

Q: Will the contractor need hand washing facilities?

A: As part of their PPE our contractors will have their own hand sanitiser.

Q: Will the contractor require anything else?

We politely ask that the area where the contractor will be working, is clear, tidy and cleaned before the visit. The contractor will ensure the area of the home worked in is left clean and tidy.

Q: What will happen if I refuse to have the check done?

A: The check must be completed by law and you cannot refuse to have visit and check carried out.

As landlords we are required to repair and maintain gas appliances that are owned by the Council. There is more information in clause 12 to 22 of your tenancy agreement, section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, section 4 of the Defective premises Act 1972 and the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1988.

As the tenant, you have an obligation to provide access to the Council. Clause 22(a) of the tenancy conditions provides “You must allow access to our officers or contractors on production of suitable identification”. Section 11(6) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 also imposes a duty on you to permit the Council to enter your property for repair and inspection.

Q: Can you take legal access to get access to carry the check out?

A: We will make every effort to contact you, allow you to re-arrange appointments and assist in any way we can regarding your personal circumstances.

We always seek to avoid having to take legal action, however if you don’t allow us access to have the check done, or fail to respond to us, we will ask our legal team to seek a warrant in 14 days at a Magistrates Court to enter your property under the Environmental Protection Act section 81(3) 1990.

Your safety, the safety of those in your household or visitors, your neighbours, and your community is our priority. If legal action is necessary to ensure this safety is maintained, then that is what we will use.

Posted on Monday 29th June 2020

Tower Hamlets Homes -
26 June 2020