Can I claim tenant injury compensation for carbon monoxide poisoning from a faulty boiler? I was hospitalised due to breathing in the gas and think my landlord should pay me compensation.
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
You may be entitled to make a claim for tenant injury compensation if you can establish that your landlord was to blame for failing to maintain the boiler and ensure it could be operated safely; however, it may not necessarily be his or her fault if, for example, the gas engineer who last inspected the boiler failed to spot a fault or identify that the boiler should have been condemned for being dangerous.
Boilers much be serviced regularly in order to ensure that they are safe, and this is usually the responsibility of the property owner. It is possible that the claim would need to be made against your landlord, but only if it was your landlord’s responsibility to arrange for the maintenance and servicing of the boiler.
However, if you signed a contract which specifically made you responsible for any maintenance, servicing and repairs to the gas boiler, the injuries you sustained would be attributable to your personal negligence and no claim for personal injury compensation would be possible.
You must be able to identify the correct third party that was at fault for your injuries, in addition to being able to establish that you sustained an injury by breathing in carbon monoxide as a direct result of the third party negligence before a claim for an injury as a tenant can be made through the Injuries Board. This does not mean you need to have all of your evidence collected to support your claim before the Injuries Board application is submitted; however you should start to collect evidence as soon as possible.
You should take photographs of the boiler, in particular of any area which is dirty or covered in carbon or soot. You should collate any certificates supplied by gas boiler maintenance companies that have previously inspected the boiler. You should also contact a personal injury solicitor to discuss making a claim for tenant injury compensation. A personal injury solicitor will assist you with identifying who was responsible for maintaining the boiler, confirming third party negligence and ensuring your tenant injury claim form is completed correctly. A solicitor is also in the best position to attempt to negotiate a settlement directly with the negligent third party’s insurance company, rather than having to wait for an Injuries Board assessment to be completed.