A housing association in Gloucestershire has been exposed by regulators for not conducting annual gas safety checks.
Severn Vale Housing Society breached the Homes and Communities Agency’s (HCA) serious detriment threshold for overriding tenant complaints, by not ensuring about a dozen properties had up to date gas safety certificates. As a consequence, Severn Vale breached the HCA’s Home Standard.
The 3,785-home housing provider contacted the HCA to notify the Agency that it had found one of its properties with an overdue gas safety certificate. An additional data exercise revealed further out of date certificates.
A HCA regulatory notice said that in some cases, “certificates had been expired for several years.”
It also says: “The breach exposed a number of tenants to the potential of serious harm for lengthy periods.”
The HCA mentioned that the overdue servicing has since been completed, and Severn Vale has reviewed its procedures and introduced a new gas servicing system. The regulator will now contemplate whether to take further action, and will revise whether the case raises concerns over Severn Vale’s governance.
A spokesperson for Severn Vale Housing Society says: “The safety of our customers is paramount, and we take our responsibilities as a landlord extremely seriously.”
The housing provider’s statement also noted that it has updated its processes, to ensure all of its properties have annual gas safety checks, and that an independent audit in February confirmed Severn Vale’s “processes are now working effectively.”1
Severn Vale is now the ninth social housing provider to breach the serious detriment threshold for intervention by the HCA on customer complaints. Six more landlords have breached the threshold for missing gas safety checks. These are: First Wessex, Merlin Housing Society, Yorkshire Housing, Guinness Partnership, Your Housing Group, and Gallions Housing Association.
Circle breached the threshold for poor repairs, and Blackpool Council for the collapse of a balcony.