Landlords could be putting lives at risk because they are not following correct safety standards.
GasTag warns that ‘accidental landlords’ are renting out their property, not because they have bought a property intending to let, but because they want to move and cannot sell.
The CEO of Gas Tag, Paul Durose, says: “The number of accidental landlords has soared in the UK in the last few years and we’re extremely concerned that many don’t even know their legal obligations to their tenants.”
“This lack of basic safety knowledge means that thousands of people renting in the UK could be putting their lives at risk.”
Law abiding landlords ensure that gas appliances are checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. The law states that they must provide their tenants with a Gas Safety Certificate within 28 days of the annual check.
As the number of buy-to-let landlords goes down, the numbers of ‘accidental’ landlords now number more than 230,000.
Worryingly, qualified gas safe engineers find that one in six homes has a dangerous gas appliance. Gas fires are the most likely to be deemed unsafe.
The reports state that 4,000 people are hospitalised each year from carbon monoxide poisoning. Since October 1st 2015 the gas safe regulations require CO alarms in rooms with a solid fuel appliance and a gas appliance.
Landlords and owners must also ensure that wiring and electrical installations are maintained. The safe condition of all appliances must be checked throughout the tenancy. There are over 2,000 electrical fires reported every year in the UK.
Gas Tag surveys discovered that tenants are not even aware of the legal obligations of their landlords.
In the UK survey of renters, 28% either didn’t have or did not know if their rented home had a Gas Safety Certificate. Around a quarter (24%) didn’t think their landlord was obliged to install a carbon monoxide CO alarm if there was a wood or coal burner in the property. A staggering 81% didn’t know that a landlord is legally responsible for arranging a qualified electrician to check all appliances every time a tenant moves in.
Also, 50% of tenants surveyed still think that qualified gas engineers should be Corgi registered even though the name changed to Gas Safe Register nearly a decade ago. Worryingly 29% did not know to phone the National Grid helpline if they smell gas in their home.
Gas Tag has recently published a checklist guide for tenants to help keep you safe. It includes knowing about the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning which are often mistaken for the flu, food poisoning or tiredness. If you feel unwell, then seek medical help straight away. Also if you ever think you smell gas or suspect a gas leak in the UK, there is a free 24-hour national gas emergency number to ring.
If you ever see soot on or around your gas appliance, urgently speak to your landlord. Keep an eye on your gas boiler - see yellow flames instead of blue - or the pilot light keeps going out - then contact your landlord immediately.
If you think your landlord is refusing to carry out their legal gas responsibility correctly, you can contact the Health & Safety Executive. Find the details online at hse.gov.uk.
Act fast in a Gas emergency. The Gas Safe Register recommends the following swift actions:
- Turn off the gas at the meter
- Extinguish any naked flames
- Open the windows
- Call the gas emergency number
Your landlord should tell you when annual gas safety checks are taking place. Always read a copy of the report before you start your tenancy and within 28 days of every yearly inspection test taking place. Read the report to check that every appliance has passed, are safe to use or whether any remedial action needs to be made.
Landlords who don’t provide accurate reports can be reported to the Health and Safety Executive online at hse.gov.uk.
Check that only a Gas Safe registered engineer is carrying out work on gas appliances. Always ask for and check their ID with Gas Safe online or by phone before letting them into your property.
Make sure your home is fitted with a smoke alarm and an audible carbon monoxide alarm that comply with the latest European safety standards. If you have a solid fuel burning source, your landlord must install a carbon monoxide alarm for you.
By law, your landlord must maintain electrical installations and wiring in a safe condition throughout your tenancy. Ask for the Electrical Installation Condition report. A test of all the electrical items must be carried out by a registered electrician every five years or on change of tenancy.
Stay safe in your rented accommodation.
Read More: https://gastag.co.uk/news/accidental-landlords-putting-their-tenants-lives-in-jeopardy/
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