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Industry news


UP-FRONT SAVINGS Multipanel waterproof wall panels can be fitted directly to almost any surface, including existing tiles or straight onto studwork. They can be fitted and ready to use in just 24 hours, ensuring that units are fit to re-let much more quickly. Waterproof wall panels are up to three times


quicker to install than tiles, says Multipanel’s Key Accounts Director, Michael Dobson, “and as they require no additional tradesmen to install, the resultant cost savings that can be achieved by switching from tiles is considerable –typically up to £20 per m2. “On a modest bathroom refurb project


comprising, say 50 properties, for example, with


average size bathrooms, the overall savings could be as much as £5,000. Even more, if you factor in shorter void periods between tenancies which result from getting the job done faster.” The Centre for Better Ageing predicts that 96 per


cent of us will continue to live in mainstream housing in later life. We therefore need to be thinking of the ways in which we maintain, adapt and create homes to make them suitable for inclusive living – homes that are just as appealing to say, an able-bodied person and his family, as they would be to an older person with declining mobility.


ABOUT MULTIPANEL When it comes to manufacturing products to


CASE STUDY EXAMPLE For Simon Bonney, Disabled Adaptation Supervisor at Plymouth Community Homes, choosing Multipanel waterproof wall panels is all part of his approach to refurbishment. “We gravitate towards quality products that are easy to install in our properties as this helps us to get work done quickly, thereby reducing the time taken to adapt a property to provide a mobility solution that supports the most suitable adaptation. Simon manages hundreds of bathroom adaptations each year, and his contractors recently


completed three refurbishments using waterproof bathroom wall panels. These were for family homes where restricted mobility needs had to be factored in. Residents were allowed to choose the colour scheme and were, according to Simon, extremely pleased with the finish. “Our residents, he says, “are now able to maintain their living area more effectively due to the


easy-to-clean wall panels — great for all our residents, but particularly so for those who have mobility issues which impacts their ability to clean tiles and grout.”


achieve completely watertight low maintenance bathrooms and kitchens, Multipanel are the industry experts. With a history of innovation spanning over 135


years, Multipanel is at the forefront in manufacturing waterproof wall panels, vinyl and wet room flooring, and ceilings that enable housing professionals to create great looking, practical, waterproof interiors —ones that tenants will enjoy and appreciate. The ease with which our products can be


installed, together with negligible ongoing maintenance, makes our products a clear choice in the social housing sector. For more information, contact michael.dobson@multipanel.co.uk or visit www.grantwestfield.co.uk


Landlord given custodial sentence for gas safety offences


A landlord has been sentenced for failing to maintain gas appliances at a rental property in Norwich and repeatedly failing to provide his tenants with a Landlords Gas Safety Certificate. Norwich Magistrates Court heard that inspectors


from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Gas Safe Register inspected a property at Kings Lynn in Norfolk in 2017 where they found a gas oven to be ‘at risk’ and the gas central heating boiler to be unsafe to use. The subsequent investigation found the landlord,


Mr Steven Ladell, had failed in his duty to have the gas appliances regularly inspected or maintained, and failed to provide a Landlords Gas Safety Certificate for a number of years, all of which are legal requirements. In addition, Mr Ladell failed to comply with an Improvement Notice issued on 13 July 2017 which required he take action to deal with these issues. Mr Steven Ladell of Great Harwood, Blackburn,


pleaded guilty to breaching Section 21 of the Health & Safety Work etc. Act 1974 and breaching Regulation 36(2) and Regulation 36(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He received a 20-week custodial sentence, suspended for two years, was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid community work and to pay full costs of £4,146.34. Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Paul


Unwin said: “Landlords must ensure gas appliances at their tenanted properties are checked by a Gas Safe Register engineer at least every 12 months, and are maintained in a safe condition. The HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards”


Plymouth landlord put tenants’ lives at risk


A landlord from Plymouth has been sentenced to


15 months imprisonment after gas appliances at his rental property in Plymouth were found to be ‘Immediately Dangerous’. Plymouth Crown Court heard how the gas appliances in the property on Laira Street were


worked on by someone who was not registered with the Gas Safe Register. An investigation by the Health and Safety


Executive (HSE) found that Lokendra Khadka had failed to ever have gas appliances checked for safety at his rental property. Further, he had arranged for a person to make alterations to a gas boiler flue and that person had left it in an extremely dangerous state. Mr Khadka was unable to provide any details to


HSE or to Plymouth Crown Court on who did this work on the gas boiler flue for him. Lokendra Kumar Khadka of Albert Road,


Plymouth, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 24 | HMM September 2018 | www.housingmmonline.co.uk


36 (3)(a) and 36(4) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He has been sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months and ordered to pay costs of £4,904. Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Simon


Jones said: “Mr Khadka put his tenants and their children at a very real risk of death from the gas work he arranged at his rental property, done by someone who was not competent to do it safely. “Landlords must ensure they only use Gas Safe


Register installers to work on gas appliances at their tenanted properties. Further, landlord’s must ensure that gas appliances at their tenanted properties are checked for safety at least every 12 months”


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