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Landlord Legal Issues

Solicitor Tessa Shepperson of Landlord Law answers your questions

Q. My tenant is being difficult about  allowing access for the annual gas safety check and she insists that a specific member of my agent's firm be present.  However the agents want to charge me extra for it.  Can they do this?

A. With any problem with letting agents, the first thing to do is take a look at your agency agreement. This should set out what they agree to do and what they will charge for. If part of their job is to arrange for the gas certificate then I would have thought this sort of thing would fall within that.  

However, I am concerned at their unhelpful attitude - have they written to the tenant telling her that the annual inspection is a legal requirement, which is there for her safety? Many tenants are unaware of this. I also wonder why this tenant is insisting on a specific member of staff attending - is this because other members of staff have upset her in some way?

You will have a legal defence to prosecution under the gas regulations if you have documented three separate attempts to get the inspection done but I am sure you will not want to risk prosecution! So realistically there may be no alternative to paying the agents fee if this is the only way your engineer will get access.

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