'It caused me no end of stress': Council send woman warrant letter in 'miscommunication'

Barking Town Hall

Barking and Dagenham Council said a "miscommunication" saw the warrant letter sent out - Credit: Ken Mears

A woman said she was caused "no end of stress" after Barking and Dagenham Council told her it would seek a warrant to carry out a gas safety check - despite the appointment having taken place.

Linda Jennings, from Dagenham, received a letter from the council dated March 29 which said it would apply at court for a warrant to enter her home and carry out the check and a service.

But Linda said an engineer visited the day before for the check.

She told the Post: "There has been a rollercoaster of emotion and it has caused me no end of stress."

A council spokesperson said it had called Linda to apologise and a "miscommunication" with its maintenance company Barking and Dagenham Management Services had led to the letter starting the warrant process being sent.

They confirmed the council had not obtained the warrant but Linda said she was left in limbo.

"It has been horrendous. I can't be the only person this has happened to.

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"I was frightened to go out."

According to the school worker, an appointment for the annual check was due to take place on February 18.

But she said an engineer did not turn up because it was the same day as Storm Eunice.

Linda admitted missing two further appointments, which she said were "not convenient" as she was at work.

The council spokesperson said it must undertake various checks by law to ensure its homes are safe.

"To do these checks, we sometimes need tenants to give us access to their homes and when they don’t, we have no other option than to appeal to the court to get a warrant, which is always the last resort.

"In this particular instance, two appointments had already been missed by the tenant.

"To ensure the inspection could be carried out, we then started the warrant process by sending the tenant a human rights letter to tell her what was happening."

The council said it was not told by Linda the inspection had taken place.

"While we are sorry for the miscommunication, it is essential that tenants engage with us when we need to gain access so we can check their homes are safe.

"If they cannot make an appointment, they need to let us know so it can be rearranged and the warrant process can be avoided entirely.”