Cadman Homes on top of gas safety laws

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A RUGBY estate and letting agents is warning landlords about changes to gas safety regulations in respect of concealed flue requirements.

They will come into force on January 1.

Valerie Cadman–Jones, founder of Cadman Homes, said: “We were made aware of the new regulations by Weightmans LLP, a national law firm that specialises in property law.

“They are always on top of any changes to regulations or the law, working with them means that we can give our landlords the very best advice, at the earliest opportunity.”

The gas industry has worked together to provide guidance to registered engineers on how to deal with gas servicing.

Anyone who is responsible for letting a property must ensure that gas appliances are regularly maintained and checked, to ensure that they are safe and are working effectively. Failure to do this means that the HSE will take action against landlords who disregard their obligations to their tenant’s safety.

There has been an increase in the awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning and the serious risk it creates.

Landlords, particularly those who own flats and apartments, need to do all that they can to ensure that they are not increasing the risk to their tenants.

The changes that are coming in to force relate to the technical instructions that are given to Gas Safe registered engineers in relation to concealed flues which are designed to take waste products from the boiler to outside.

Data indicates that the concealed flues run through voids such as ceiling voids in buildings and if they are not in good working condition then they can affect the performance of the boiler.

This in turn means that the boiler may start to produce a higher level of carbon monoxide and increase the risk of poisoning to anyone exposed to it.

The Gas Safety Register regulates engineers and details their duties relating to gas appliances and concealed flues. The safety of the public is their top priority and their campaign to make the nation gas safe. Landlords in turn are required to check the gas appliances every 12 months and ensure that they are keeping the gas appliances safe.

Gas Safe has now made the below recommendations:

1) Landlords should fit inspection hatches as soon as possible to enable inspection of concealed flues. They will inspect that the flue is correctly fitted and safe from possible carbon monoxide leaks.

2) The hatches should be at least 300mm square and positioned within 1.5m of any joint flue system.

In November 2010 the HSE issued the new guidelines and landlords have until December 31 to inspect existing hatches to ensure that they are complying with the new regulations when they come into force on January 1.

“We strive to keep our clients ahead of the game when it comes to all safety regulations, particularly gas safety, as it not only impacts on them, but the tenant’s safety and comfort too,” said Mathew Cadman–Jones, head of lettings.

From January 1, if an engineer cannot view the concealed flue in the boiler, the boiler will be categorised as ‘At Risk’ and the engineer will advise the occupier and landlord to turn it off immediately. This means that the tenant may then be able to argue that the landlord has breached their tenancy agreement and can bring a claim for disrepair if they have failed to fit an inspection hatch that meets the necessary requirements.

To avoid the possibility of expensive costs or action being brought against a landlord, it is recommended that the above checks are conducted before 1 January 2013.

Telephone Cadman estate agents on (01788) 560905. For new instructions in November the family owned firm are offering a FREE Gas Safety Certificate or Energy Performance Certificate.

They have a 24/7 phone line and are open seven days a week. Based in Castle Street Rugby, and Warwick Road Coventry they are actively looking for more properties to sell and let and charge 1%+VAT to sell your home.