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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Been living at a high end property Rented months now.

Customer Question

Been living at a high end property Rented for 12 months now. Has a gas fire in the lounge. We requested certificates and checked it was all approved before using this winter.
The Agents confirmed they had certificates for boiler and Gas fire in Lounge.
We have been using it all winter, Fire cuts out one night, so switched it off, called agent for an engineer and the fire has been condemned as there are no air bricks or ventilation in the room.
He confirmed the safety cut off cut in as it had drawn all the air out of the room.
The Engineer confirmed there should be ventilation for a Gas fire of that size, and no way should have been approved initial (approved 2 days before we moved in)
I have inspected the outside of the house and found the 2 large air brick for ventilation were blocked up by Landlords just prior to moving in when refurbing the house.
If the safety valve hadnt have cut in myself and my wife could have fallen asleep and died in the lounge.
What are our rights and can we do anything to prior events? We feel we are lucky to be alive????
Thanks
Brian
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 1 year ago.
Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I ask if you have ascertained whether the fire and any gas boiler do in deed have gas safety certificates as the agents claimed please or have you still not had sight of them?

JACUSTOMER-vlffxwt8- :

We have a copy for the certificates they were issued to the Agenct 2 days before we moved in in April 2014.

JACUSTOMER-vlffxwt8- :

Also to add my wide if 3 months Pregnant, and had been suffering with headaches and extremely tired. I also had been sleeping very heavily, stuggling to get up.

JACUSTOMER-vlffxwt8- :

We kept saying when we got up in the morning we felt like we had been both hit by a bus, so tired

Joshua :

Thanks. Finally can you confirm you ave not suffered any ill effects from the encounter (beyond the hopfully temproary tiredness the next day)?

JACUSTOMER-vlffxwt8- :

Not sure, just tired, groggy and

Joshua :

It is possible to refer the issue to Gassafe for investigation in respect of the engineer that issued the safety certificates but of course that does not directly benefit you as this approach may only result in possible disciplining of the gas engineer who wrongly issue the certificates. If the landlord obtained gas safety certificates - whether they should have been isued or not, he is in compliance with legislative requirements and no action can be taken against him under health and safety legislation though he can be made to unblock air vents if necessary by the local authority by your requesting the council to carry out an HHSRS inspection to inspect the house for hazards.

Joshua :

In terms of compensation you may be able to claim...

Joshua :

if you believe you are continuing to suffer physically, it is important that you make an appointment to see your GP as soon as possible. Arguably even more so for your wife to ensure there is no damage to your baby. If you have been adversely impacted in any way, it is possible for you to frame a personal injury claim against the landlord negligence in blocking air vents in the property. The level of compensation you may be able to claim with depend entirely upon the level and extent of injuries you, your wife for baby may have suffered though one hopes of course that none of you have suffered any lasting ill effects. If you chose to make a claim, you would need to have a medical report, hence the importance of visiting your GP, and you would need to issue your claim within a maximum of three years though sooner rather than later would be preferable. There are many no-win no fee lawyers who undertake personal injury claims

JACUSTOMER-vlffxwt8- :

What type of compensation and how do we go about it. I think someone should pay. Unborn child, unknown if there would be any effects on him or her. two young children in the house with us asleep upstairs. We pay £2600 per month for this rental (High end 5 bed house) Gloucester.

Joshua :

notwithstanding the above, from what you say, you have lost the use of the gas fire and the property which is a loss of amenity and accordingly, are able to claim a modest reduction in rents for any period of time the gas fire is out of commission. Alternatively, you can require the landlord to re-commission the gas fire.

JACUSTOMER-vlffxwt8- :

Without going down the whole legal route, is there anything we can do to engineer a happy settlement for both parties?

Joshua :

in terms of the extent of compensation available to you, if as one would hope, none of you have suffered any long-lasting effects from the encounter with the gas fire, a personal injury claim is not likely to be worthwhile; strictly you could see compensation for a day or two's effects of monoxide posioning but unless the effects were more long term, the level of compensation available would not likely justify the claim. If your GP identifies more significant issues then a personal injury claim may be considered and the level of compensation determined by the extent and seriousness of any injuries you have suffered. If you have suffered long-term health damage, compensation could be significant.

JACUSTOMER-vlffxwt8- :

OK understand. So even the fact of how serious this is and we could have died by using the fire there are no grounds for that

Joshua :

Unfortunately whilst I entirely take your point, it is not possible to claim damages for injuries that did not happen - i.e. being placed in a potentially dangerous situation. One can claim damages if injuries did happen of course but not potential injuries that did not. My view would be the first step for both of you should be a visit to your GP to provide reassurance or failing which evidence of injury. From there you can determine whether you intend to pursue a personal injury claim or whether this is not worthwhile. from there, you could consider contacting the landlord and either asking him to reinstate the fire or make a deduction of say 5% of the monthly rental for loss of amenity. if, as all hopefully be the case, you find you have not suffered any long-term injury, you could still ask the landlord for payment to reflect the position he placed you in.

Joshua :

You could point to the fact that you suffered several days of ill effects from monoxide poisoning (if this was the case) which would justify compensation providing you can evidence this - though whether it would be worth actually claiming for on its own is questionable. Nevertheless you can ask and rattle your sabre on the point

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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