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  • FIRST POST
    • Kellyallen
    • By Kellyallen 18th Apr 17, 6:46 PM
    • 5Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Kellyallen
    Gas leak - help!
    • #1
    • 18th Apr 17, 6:46 PM
    Gas leak - help! 18th Apr 17 at 6:46 PM
    Hope I'm posting this in the right place!

    I'm home visiting my family after 3 months out of the country.

    My mom told me that she's been paying an estimated gas and electric bill for a year and has had a call to say the estimate was wrong and she now owes over £1000. My moms house is the coldest I know so she is definitely not being excessive with the heating and is very conscious of turning lights off etc.

    I've opened the cupboard under the stairs to get something out and it absolutely STINKS of gas!! We now suspect a leak, which would explain the big bill.

    The house is privately rented. The landlord is appalling at sorting out any problems. The house was a state when she moved in and is falling apart. She's been living with no hot water (other than in the electric shower) for about 18 months, when they first moved in they had no oven for 6 weeks. The landlords botch everything. But my mom is of the opinion that she leaves them alone, they leave her alone. She pays for all repairs etc out of her own pocket. She's worried to ever kick up a fuss about anything incase they 'kick her out' of the house. Which is why she's gone so long without hot water.

    However, now this is serious!! A gas safety inspection hasn't been carried out during the just over 2 years she's lived there and she's never been given a gas safety certificate.

    This needs sorting urgently but we don't know the best way to go about it.

    We want-

    -the potential gas leak fixed

    -the hot water fixed

    -money towards the huge bill if it turns out to be a gas leak.

    Any advice on who to go to first? Environmental health? Ask the landlord to give us a copy of the most recent gas safety inspection certifate? Call a gas company to come and check out the potential leak which will then leave us with a cost which (based on experience) we won't be reimbursed for?

    Need to sort this out immediately but don't know what to do first!

    Please please help. Thank you in advance!

    Kelly
Page 1
    • lewishardwick
    • By lewishardwick 18th Apr 17, 6:51 PM
    • 421 Posts
    • 459 Thanks
    lewishardwick
    • #2
    • 18th Apr 17, 6:51 PM
    • #2
    • 18th Apr 17, 6:51 PM
    How did the supplier find out the estimate was wrong? Has your mother/visitimg engineer provided a meter reading to them?

    If there's a real risk of a leak, turn the gas off! Call the National Grid Emergency Line 0800 111 999. Follow their advice.

    Then call the landlord.
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 18th Apr 17, 6:51 PM
    • 289 Posts
    • 627 Thanks
    IAmWales
    • #3
    • 18th Apr 17, 6:51 PM
    • #3
    • 18th Apr 17, 6:51 PM
    If you can smell gas you need to call National Grid now. Their number is 0800 111999.

    (Cross post!)
    • kerri gt
    • By kerri gt 18th Apr 17, 6:54 PM
    • 7,308 Posts
    • 45,715 Thanks
    kerri gt
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 17, 6:54 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 17, 6:54 PM
    Call the National Gas Emergency Service (24 hours a day) on 0800 111 999 if there's any hint of a potential leak. We had to do that before and I don't recall any charge - but they will likely shut off the gas supply.

    For goodness sake don't mess around in that kind of scenario - regarding the state of the rental long term - can your mum look for something else ?
    Feb 2015 NSD Challenge 8/12
    JAN NSD 11/16


    • Mickygg
    • By Mickygg 18th Apr 17, 6:57 PM
    • 1,228 Posts
    • 925 Thanks
    Mickygg
    • #5
    • 18th Apr 17, 6:57 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Apr 17, 6:57 PM
    As Kerri gt says.
    I called them and they shut the gas off until I called a gas safe guy to come and fix. It was a wrongly installed gas hob so I was not best pleased. Oh there was no charge to shut the gas off. Anyway it would be landlords cost.
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 18th Apr 17, 7:44 PM
    • 7,204 Posts
    • 4,235 Thanks
    teddysmum
    • #6
    • 18th Apr 17, 7:44 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Apr 17, 7:44 PM
    I would have thought that a gas leak bad enough to cause an extra £1000 of billing would have blown the house up by now.


    It is more likely that estimated readings have been used , so the bills were too low and now an official reading has exposed the shortfall.


    To keep up with bills you need to allow entry for meter readers or send in your own readings on a regular basis (at least every two months).
    • another casualty
    • By another casualty 18th Apr 17, 7:52 PM
    • 2,184 Posts
    • 3,286 Thanks
    another casualty
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 17, 7:52 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 17, 7:52 PM
    Hope I'm posting this in the right place!

    I'm home visiting my family after 3 months out of the country.

    My mom told me that she's been paying an estimated gas and electric bill for a year and has had a call to say the estimate was wrong and she now owes over £1000. My moms house is the coldest I know so she is definitely not being excessive with the heating and is very conscious of turning lights off etc.

    I've opened the cupboard under the stairs to get something out and it absolutely STINKS of gas!! We now suspect a leak, which would explain the big bill.

    The house is privately rented. The landlord is appalling at sorting out any problems. The house was a state when she moved in and is falling apart. She's been living with no hot water (other than in the electric shower) for about 18 months, when they first moved in they had no oven for 6 weeks. The landlords botch everything. But my mom is of the opinion that she leaves them alone, they leave her alone. She pays for all repairs etc out of her own pocket. She's worried to ever kick up a fuss about anything incase they 'kick her out' of the house. Which is why she's gone so long without hot water.

    However, now this is serious!! A gas safety inspection hasn't been carried out during the just over 2 years she's lived there and she's never been given a gas safety certificate.

    This needs sorting urgently but we don't know the best way to go about it.

    We want-

    -the potential gas leak fixed

    -the hot water fixed

    -money towards the huge bill if it turns out to be a gas leak.

    Any advice on who to go to first? Environmental health? Ask the landlord to give us a copy of the most recent gas safety inspection certifate? Call a gas company to come and check out the potential leak which will then leave us with a cost which (based on experience) we won't be reimbursed for?

    Need to sort this out immediately but don't know what to do first!

    Please please help. Thank you in advance!

    Kelly
    Originally posted by Kellyallen
    As a tenant you have rights . Sounds like a shady landlord .
    Did you go,through a Lettings office/ estate agent? Did you pay a deposit ? You're lucky the house hasn't exploded by,the sounds of it .
    You will get expert help on here I'm sure . You may have to go to
    Cab/ shelter. You are paying rent. You're paying to live a decent life , not squalor for a scum landlord.
    One other thing : always read both electric and gas meters once a month. This way, you get no nasty surprises and will be able to pay your bills monthly saving you grief

    Best of luck
    • Quizzical Squirrel
    • By Quizzical Squirrel 18th Apr 17, 7:59 PM
    • 55 Posts
    • 3,746 Thanks
    Quizzical Squirrel
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 17, 7:59 PM
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 17, 7:59 PM
    Do you think there's a possibility that your mum isn't letting anyone come to the house?

    You've said she doesn't want to bother the landlord about the repairs (because she doesn't want him/workmen to come?) It's not normal for a tenant to meekly tolerate 18 months without hot water. That's a red flag. Something is going on there.

    She's not reading the meter or arranging anyone else to read it.
    Now we find out there's not been a gas safety inspection.

    Is she actually allowing inspections of any type or is she holing up in there?
    The landlord absolutely should have carried out safety inspections but for all we know, he could be fighting for legal access.

    I'd just check this out, in case she needs help and is struggling with living alone, just to get a full picture of the situation before you get (justifiably) angry.
    • another casualty
    • By another casualty 18th Apr 17, 8:03 PM
    • 2,184 Posts
    • 3,286 Thanks
    another casualty
    • #9
    • 18th Apr 17, 8:03 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Apr 17, 8:03 PM
    Very good point q s
    • JamesR22
    • By JamesR22 18th Apr 17, 8:09 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    JamesR22
    Hi,

    Hopefully you've called the emergency number by now.

    Your local gas distribution network (depends where you are in the country as to who it is) will come out within an hour (or two if you're able to isolate the gas supply and can no longer smell it).

    They will shut off the supply and check for a leak. There is no charge for this. If the leak is before the meter, it will be repaired, again, no cost. If the leak is on internal pipework after the meter (or an appliance) then they will leave it isolated at the meter, and it will be up to you (or landlord) to arrange for a Gas Safe engineer to fix the leak. This will of course be chargeable, but will be your landlords responsibility, as is ensuring a valid Gas Safety certificate is supplied (with yearly checks).

    I'm pretty sure it's against the law not to have this in place. After all this is a safety issue, not just the landlord trying to keep costs down. Time to get stern with them.

    Thanks
    • Kellyallen
    • By Kellyallen 18th Apr 17, 9:38 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Kellyallen
    Firstly, thank you so much for all the helpful responses!!
    Secondly- Sorry, I frantically wrote this message and may have been a bit misunderstood.
    I'm 27 and live in America, my mom is 49 and lives with my stepdad (who is a bit useless with this sort of stuff) and 3 teenage siblings. She's not an old lady living alone.
    She is in charge of the bills and has been aware of the smell in the cupboard for a long time but thought it just smelled old and musty. I went in the cupboard and thought it smelt like gas and my stepdad said he had thought that too.
    This afternoon my Nan and grandad visited and both smelt the cupboard and thought it smelt of gas too. We all had a bit/lot of a panic and an argument about the next step to take regarding the landlord and I posted on here.
    I think she shouldn't live here because she will always run into these problems with the shady landlord! She's taken to paying for repairs herself as it's such a grind trying to get the landlord over for anything! When the water first went he came and fiddled with something and it worked again, it stopped working shortly afterwards and she fiddled with the same thing and it worked again, it stopped working again and she couldn't get it working again, the landlord came out and got the water to barely lukewarm and said 'there you go, that will heat up' it never did. By this point she was fed up with him messing her around and they all just coped with cold water. There was recently a water leak, the landlord eventually came with a plumber and fixed it. My mom told the plumber about the hot water and he agreed to fix it. Long story short, the landlord told my mom to pay for the work and take it off her rent at the end of the month!!! Plumber was a no show, landlord is now in India for 2 months and said he would sort out the hot water when he is back in the country.
    The reason she thinks 'leave them alone they'll leave us alone' is because she has 2 dogs and most landlords won't allow pets in their home so her choice of house to move into is limited. The location is good as it's close to work and the property she was due to move into originally was literally pulled from under her feet 2 weeks before she was due to move in making my family effectively homeless. Luckily my Nan and grandad have a big house and we're able to take my family in for 3 months. My mom was desperate to move out and so the first house that came along that ticked all the boxes she grabbed with both hands despite the state it was in... (rented to a man who illegally sublet to 3 young lads who trashed the place. I mean TRASHED- my mom then cleaned it herself and forked out to decorate rooms and get it to a liveable state)
    She allows entry, doesn't have an issue with that. Nobody came by for almost a year, she thinks, to take a reading . She had been paying £150 per month which is in line with other similar properties she's lived in over the last 10 years. A reading was taken and she was told that she owes £1500

    So, I remembered (and reminded my stepdad- don't know how they get through the day without me ��) that one of his old friends is a gas man. He text him and he's coming round tomorrow. He said in the meantime just shut off the gas (well like I said, the heating is never bloody on, we are out this evening so don't need to cook and they're used to cold water so not an issue!) but I'm thinking that we should have called national grid. I asked my stepdad to ask his friend if we should call NG and he said no, just shut it off and he'll come round tomorrow.

    Like I say we don't know for sure that it's a gas leak but I'd say the hefty bill and smell off gas maybe adds up?

    Issue is we're dealing with obviously shady landlords here...
    the property was advertised through an agent initially but now is managed privately by the landlords sister. 1 months rent deposit was paid which my mom believes is held in a scheme..
    Anything she goes to them for they drag their feet then try to fix themselves with an absolute botched job! (Shower broke and took 2 months to fix, oven took 6 weeks - side note, they tried to silicone seal the glass back into the front of the oven when it kept falling out! Then removed it from the house when that didn't work and brought it back 6 weeks later!)
    All they care about is getting money each month and keeping costs down on anything that needs doing.
    Gas inspection has never been done, nothing to do with my mom refusing entry.

    She doesn't want to rock the boat because she doesn't want the struggle of finding somewhere else to live if they feel that my mom gives them too much grief.

    Where do you think we stand when it comes to the bill if it's proven to be due to a gas leak?
    We haven't contacted them yet as I fully expect them to try to send over one of their friends to do an inspection or botch something up or try to pull the wool over their eyes for their benefit.

    Sorry that's been a long one! Hope I've answered all questions. Difficult to explain the full situation. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read and help. Really appreciate it.

    Kelly
    • G_M
    • By G_M 18th Apr 17, 9:44 PM
    • 38,890 Posts
    • 44,143 Thanks
    G_M
    Has the landlord done annual gas safety inspections, and given your mum the report eaxh year?

    See

    http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/faqtenant.htm

    Assuming the LL has arranged annual inspections as required, and your mum has failed to raise any issues (eg smell of gas) then I don't see how the LL can be liable. The supply of the gas is a matter between her and the utility supplier.

    However if the LL has failed to do annual inspections as required, then her consequential loss (ie the excessive bills) may be atributable to the LL.
    Last edited by G_M; 18-04-2017 at 9:47 PM.
    • Kellyallen
    • By Kellyallen 18th Apr 17, 9:55 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Kellyallen
    Nope, there's never been an inspection! And my mom has never been given a gas safety certificate for the house.
    My mom never thought the cupboard smelled like gas. It's just this time that I've been back that I went in the cupboard and smelt gas and my mom said 'it's always smelt like that but I thought it just smelt old and musty, not like gas'

    It does smell old and musty.. but also like gas.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 18th Apr 17, 9:56 PM
    • 9,908 Posts
    • 13,542 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    If someone is sent to do some work on the gas pipes and/or appliances your mum should ask to see their ID and check that they are a Gas Safety Registered engineer. If they are not a gas safety registered engineer they should not be tinkering with gas pipes and appliances.
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th Apr 17, 10:01 PM
    • 58,129 Posts
    • 334,164 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    There is ONE rule to "I think I smell gas".
    Immediately phone the emergency number, a little man comes out for free and checks.
    On the phone they will tell you to open the doors and windows, to turn the gas off at the mains and, preferably, to wait outside for the little man.

    You're really putting people at risk by choosing any other route. If there is a gas leak, it might still be sitting in pockets here and there .....

    If you're not sure if it's gas or not .... and, let's face it, a dozen people there think it is .... then still call the emergency number and let the little man come out because .... people could die - and that's what the service is there for - and it's free.
    • anselld
    • By anselld 18th Apr 17, 10:25 PM
    • 5,097 Posts
    • 4,622 Thanks
    anselld
    Four people smell gas four hours ago and you are still typing a stupidly long post trying to decide what to to.....
    JUST PHONE THE NUMBER!!!
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 18th Apr 17, 10:29 PM
    • 2,103 Posts
    • 2,644 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    I would suggest that your mom looks for somewhere else to live. If she takes her time and looks around at what is available she can then decide if she wants to move or not.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 18th Apr 17, 10:30 PM
    • 38,890 Posts
    • 44,143 Thanks
    G_M
    Nope, there's never been an inspection! And my mom has never been given a gas safety certificate for the house.
    Originally posted by Kellyallen
    The law says she should be given a valid GSR when the tenancy starts.

    And further reports every 12 months.

    Since this has not happened, I believe a letter to the LL is a good 2nd step.

    The letter should

    a) point out the legal requirement which the LL has failed to comply with
    b) point out that there has been an undiscovered gas leak for an unknown period of time, which would have been discovered if the LL had arranged the annual inspections as required
    c) the gas leak needs fixing immediately
    d) as a result of the gas leak, the tenant has incurred high gas bills, costing an estimated extra £X

    The tenant does not wish to involve the Health and Safety Executive unless necessary, so hopes that the LL will arrange for a repair, and a payment of £X, within the next 3 working days.

    (You'll need to calculate a fair amount for £X - ie actual bill - 'normal' or expected gas bill.)

    Step 1, of course, is, as others have said, to get Transgas out asap to confirm if there IS in fact a leak.
    • Kellyallen
    • By Kellyallen 18th Apr 17, 10:33 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Kellyallen
    Sorry to offend!
    I didn't write a stupidly long post deciding what to do. I wrote the post explaining to people who were asking whether my mom was refusing entry and why she'd allowed the hot water to be off for so long.
    The smell that we think is gas has been there for a long long time. It's only today that people have said they think it smells like gas.
    We've been told to !!!! off the gas and someone is coming to us tomorrow.
    I would have called the number but a gas expert is coming to us tomorrow and after we asked him if we should call NG he said no just shut the gas off and open the windows and he'll sort it tomorrow.
    The smell isn't in the house. It's when you put your head in the cupboard.
    • Kellyallen
    • By Kellyallen 18th Apr 17, 10:42 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Kellyallen
    Thank you G_M! That's the sort of thing I needed, a way to speak to the LL firmly without rubbing them up the wrong way. I'll do that when we know more tomorrow.
    They're so difficult to deal with and drag their feet.

    I was in a rental property and the boiler was condemned as it didn't have inspection hatches along the flue. Had never had a gas inspection. And my LL dragged her feet for over a week before she had it repaired and hatches put in so it could be seitched back on, even after being told what they were doing was a criminal offence.... and she was a lawyer!!!
    So, god knows what these people will be like!
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