More than six in ten tenants at risk from faulty gas fittings
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Health and also in Housing, Legal
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Well over half of those in rented accommodation in the UK could be at risk from faulty gas fittings and appliances because landlords are failing to carry out required annual safety checks.
A survey by website SpareRoom.co.uk found that 37% of tenants are currently in properties that have out-of-date gas safety certificates - up from 34% two years ago.
More than a quarter (26%) of renters had never seen a gas safety check carried out while they had been renting the property – up from 22% in 2011 – while one in 10 (11%) said the last gas safety check, which must be completed annually, was carried out more than 12 months ago.
An additional 24% were not aware that a gas safety check had been carried out in the last 12 months but could not be certain either way, meaning as many as 61% of UK renters could be at risk from unsafe fittings and appliances - up from 56% in 2011.
Landlord are legally required to arrange for a registered gas safe engineer to carry out checks every 12 months, and to provide tenants with a copy of the gas safety certificate to prove it has been done.
However, according to the survey more and more landlords are failing to adhere to this basic legal requirement, leaving tenants at risk of injury and landlords at risk of prosecution if a tenant was to suffer a gas-related injury or died as a result of a gas leak or explosion.
The latest figures from the health and safety executive (HSE) show that four people died and 333 were seriously injured in the UK last year from fire exposure, explosions, carbon monoxide poisoning and other forms of gas-related exposure.
Matt Hutchinson, director of SpareRoom, said: “Landlords have legal obligations to carry out annual gas safety checks but it seems awareness is slipping.
“The current boom in buy-to-let has exacerbated the problem. While most professional landlords know the rules and are diligent in getting checks carried out, many amateur landlords may not even realise they need a certificate. It’s crucial that those thinking of letting properties or rooms get to grips with their responsibilities as landlords, and keep up to speed with any regulatory changes. Too many landlords are clearly forgetting their responsibilities once tenants are in place.”