TENANTS living in council-owned homes are being urged to allow access for essential gas safety inspections.

Moray Council’s gas servicing team will make multiple attempts to contact tenants who have missed their annual gas safety inspection, to arrange for this to take place. If no contact can be made, there’s no response received from letters or calls, or access at the property is refused, as a last resort tenants may face ‘forced entry’. The door will be forced, locks replaced, and the tenant charged for repair work. Of the 4,600 properties requiring gas inspections, six were the subject of a forced entry last year.

Moray Council’s Head of Housing and Property, Richard Anderson, said: “We recognise and respect that there may be vulnerable people shielding in homes during the Coronavirus outbreak, therefore we’ve delayed a number of these inspections at the tenants’ request. However we have a legal duty to carry these out as responsible landlords, and we’re no longer in a position to delay inspections anymore. Scottish Government guidance now allows us to work in the homes of clinically vulnerable, so long as safeguarding measures are in place.

“It’s our priority to keep tenants and their households safe, and we can reassure them that our tradespeople will comply with the current Covid-related safe working procedures. We ask that when we carry out these inspections tenants move to another room in the property, if possible, and staff will adhere to social distancing and be wearing appropriate PPE.

“It’s important to note that forced entries are extremely few and far between. It is a last resort, so we would urge tenants to co-operate with us and allow access to their home for these vital, and potentially life-saving, safety checks.”

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