Suspended prison sentence for housing association tenants
Two housing association tenants have been given a warning for breaching an injunction requiring them to give engineers access to their home to carry out gas safety checks.
Mark McDonaugh and Janette Blair of Boegrave Avenue, Lostock Hall, were given 14-day prison sentences suspended for two years at Preston County Court. It was found they had failed to allow gas engineers from the housing association access into their home to carry out compulsory gas safety checks.
The tenants had previously been ordered by Preston County Court in 2009 to allow New Progress Housing Association, a member of Progress Housing Group, access to their property each year to carry out the annual gas service on the boiler and gas appliances.
New Progress Housing has now advised McDonaugh and Blair that should they continue to prevent access to their home, it will have no other option than to go back to the court to ask that the 14-day suspended prison sentence be imposed.
Upon sentencing, District Judge Rouine also handed McDonaugh and Blair a £836 fine to cover New Progress Housing Association's court costs.
Gary Melia, operations director for housing, communities and support services at Progress Housing Group, said: "As a landlord, we have a legal duty to carry out an annual service of gas appliances in all our properties.
"These inspections are provided free of charge to our tenants and are scheduled at a time to suit them. If a tenant refuses our engineers access to their home, they are not only in breach of their tenancy agreement but they are placing their lives, and anyone else living in the property, at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning and faulty gas appliances."
New Progress Housing Association tenants who have been notified that their gas service is due and who wish to rearrange their appointment can contact New Progress Housing Association.