The gas was cut off at 20 Londonderry homes between September and December because contractors sent to carry out safety checks on gas boilers were unable to gain access.
The Housing Executive is calling on all tenants to ensure they allow its contractors access to complete the annual safety check of gas boilers.
If they do not they are in danger of having their supply cut off.
As a landlord, the Housing Executive has a legal obligation to carry out an annual gas safety check.
Gas safety in the home is paramount and failure to allow this service will result in gas capping, a disconnection of the service. Tenants may also face a charge for reconnection. This is a last resort but will be carried out if required.
Gaining admittance has proved a real problem with almost 400 ‘no access’ cases across Northern Ireland, 20 of those in Derry-Londonderry since September. The majority of those cases have now been resolved.
The Housing Executive aims to be as flexible as possible and households will initially receive a letter informing them of a date for the service check, which they can change if it is unsuitable.
If there is no response, the tenant will be issued with a ‘no access’ card, which informs them of the need to make contact with the contractor and warns that the gas supply will be cut off if they do not comply.
This will be followed up with a hand delivered letter, again requesting contact is made within seven days.
If, at that stage, there is still no response the supply will be disconnected until the required safety checks are carried out. Tenants will be issued with a notice informing them they must make contact with the Housing Executive in order to get the supply reconnected.
Avril McAllister, the Housing Executive’s Area Manager, said: “Gas safety in the home is paramount and I urge any tenant who has not had their gas boiler checked to work with our contractors to ensure this safety check is carried out.
“We appreciate the run up to Christmas and New Year is hectic but we do not want tenants to run the risk of having no heat or means of cooking if they have not contacted us. If a gas leak is left unchecked you are placing not only yourself at risk but also the safety of others in neighbouring properties.”
Any tenant who has a question or query about gas in their home can contact the Housing Executive on 03448 920 901. If you smell gas in or near your home please phone the 24-hour gas emergency service on 0800 002 001.