According to Gas Tag, ‘accidental landlords’ – homeowners that are renting out their property because they can’t sell their home – are potentially putting their tenants’ lives at risk because they are not aware of their legal obligations.
What are a landlord’s legal obligations relating to heating?
Landlords are legally obliged to have gas appliances checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer and must provide their tenants with a Gas Safety Certificate within 28 days of the annual check taking place.
Since October 1st 2015, Regulations also require Landlords to install CO alarms in rooms with solid fuel appliances.
The landlord or owner must also ensure that electrical installations and wiring are maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy and electrical appliances must be checked on change of tenancy or at least every five years.
A growing problem
Paul Durose, CEO of Gas Tag, said: “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.”
Findings by Gas Tag
Gas Tag surveyed people renting across the UK and discovered that many tenants are not even aware of the legal obligations of their landlords.
- 28% either didn’t have or did not know if their rented home had a Gas Safety Certificate – the legal requirement;
- Almost a quarter (24%) did not think their landlord was obliged to install a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm if there was a solid fuel burning source like wood or coal;
- 81% did not know that a landlord is responsible for checking all electrical appliances every time a new tenant moves into a property;
- 50% still think their gas engineer should be Corgi registered – it changed to Gas Safe Register almost 10 years ago;
- 36% wrongly thought they were – rather than the landlord was – responsible for electrical safety in the rented home;
- Almost a third (29%) did not realise you should call the National Grid helpline if they smell gas in or around the home.
Help your customers stay gas and electrically safe in rented accommodation
- Have customers ask Landlord arranges annual gas safety checks – and gives them a copy of the report ahead of their tenancy or within 28 days of the annual check taking place.
- This annual record should list all the appliances and fittings that they have checked. Read the report to check the appliances have passed, are safe to use or whether any remedial action needs to be taken.
- Landlords who fail – or refuse – to provide your customers with a valid report can be reported to the HSE.
- Make sure they ask for and check your Gas Safe Register ID here before letting you in to the property.
- Make them aware of the six symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.
- Have them check if their home is fitted with a smoke alarm.
- Tell them to consider an audible carbon monoxide alarm – check that it complies with the European safety standard BS EN 50291.
- If they have a solid fuel burning source like wood or coal, by law their landlord should install a carbon monoxide alarm.
- By law, their landlord must ensure that electrical installations and wiring are maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy. Have them ask to see the Electrical Installation Condition report and ensure that a periodic inspection and test of the electrical installation is carried out by a registered electrician at least every five years or on change of tenancy.
- Have them ask for certification to confirm that any recent electrical work meets the UK national standards BS 7671.
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