UK Landlords are legally obliged to carry out gas safety checks

Landlord Expert
By Landlord Expert September 20, 2011 10:44

Landlords are putting their tenants' lives at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning or potential explosions by failing to carry out annual gas safety checks, according to a report from Gas Safe Register.

Landlords are legally required to organise an annual gas safety check to be carried out by a registered Gas Safe engineer, but more than a third (41%) of tenants report that their gas appliances had broken down several times in the past five years, indicating that landlords aren't taking their responsibilities seriously.

Paul Johnston, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said: "Lack of annual safety checks can create a life threatening situation. Landlords are legally obliged to carry out checks and provide tenants with a gas safety check record to prove the work has been done. There are so many things that can go wrong if appliances aren't functioning properly, including risk of explosion and gas poisoning."

According to the Department of Health, 50 people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning and 4,000 have attended A&E over a 12-month period.

A further report into the state of the rental market reveals that 34% of people are living in properties which have out-of-date gas safety check records, with 14% of tenants claiming the last gas safety check was carried out more than 12 months ago.

Gas Safe Register's top tips for tenants include:

1. Know your rights. By law, landlords must use a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out annual gas safety checks and servicing on all gas fittings and appliances, and provide you with a copy of the gas safety check record. Check the date on the record to make sure it is not more than 12 months old.

2. Ask how to turn off the gas supply. Your landlord must show you how to turn off the gas supply in case of a gas leak. If you smell gas, call the 24-hour emergency gas service on 0800 111999. If you suspect a problem with any gas appliance, report it to your landlord straight away and do not use the appliance until it has been fixed.

3. Check that any engineer who visits for gas repairs or servicing is Gas Safe registered. Ask for their Gas Safe Register ID card before you let them in. The back of the ID card will show you if they are qualified to work on the specific appliance that needs fixing, fitting or servicing. If they're not Gas Safe registered they are working illegally and could put your life at risk.

4. If you own the gas appliances in your rented home, then you are responsible for their maintenance and safety checks. Your landlord is only responsible for the appliances and fittings that come with the home.

5. Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm. This will alert you if dangerous levels of CO are present. They cost about £20 from DIY stores and supermarkets and you can take them with you from home to home.

 

Landlord Expert
By Landlord Expert September 20, 2011 10:44

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