CASE STUDY

Gas service appointment

A landlord’s handling of a missed gas service appointment was unreasonable because it failed to keep sufficient records to support its contractor’s account of the event or to offer compensation in recognition

Mr J complained that the landlord’s gas contractor missed an appointment to carry out a gas service at his home, incorrectly informed him that it had previously attended the property when there had been no answer and failed to call or leave a message for him as agreed prior to reattending and missing him again.  He was also dissatisfied that the landlord rejected his version of the event without supporting evidence and that it only apologised for inconvenience caused instead of compensating him.

We found the landlord’s rejection of Mr J’s description of the missed appointment and the lack of compensation to be unreasonable as this was based on its acceptance of the gas contractor’s unsupported account of the event. The landlord agreed with the contractor’s contrary version of having initially attended the appointment, being unable to access his home and leaving a calling card before calling him and leaving a voicemail message prior to reattending the property and leaving a no access sticker in his absence.

However, the landlord and its gas contractor failed to provide any documentary evidence to support the contractor’s description of the call and attendances at Mr J’s home.  There was an onus on them to have kept sufficiently accurate records to demonstrate the steps they had taken to attempt to carry out the gas service and their failure to evidence this showed that they did not. The landlord should therefore have acknowledged that it was unable to support the contractor’s account of the event and compensated Mr J for this instead of rejecting his version and only apologising for the inconvenience.

Outcome:

As a result, we determined that the landlord was responsible for service failure in respect of its handling of the missed gas service appointment and ordered it to pay Mr J £100 compensation for his distress and inconvenience. We also recommended the landlord to:
• ensure that its records accurately reflected residents’ repair and gas appointment contact preferences
• clearly explain to them if it could not do so
• keep contemporaneous records of any attempted calls and voicemail messages for residents
• consider using date and time stamped photographs of attendances.