61 percent of tenants could have out of date gas safety certificates

by Property 118

0:01 AM, 18th September 2013
About 5 years ago

61 percent of tenants could have out of date gas safety certificates

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61 percent of tenants could have out of date gas safety certificates

There has been a rise in Landlords failing to get up to date gas safety certificates and 61% of tenants could be at risk from faulty gas fittings according to a survey conducted by SpareRoom.co.uk. gas safety certificates

The latest survey of UK tenants revealed that potentially 37% are now renting properties that have out-of-date gas safety certificates, which is up from 34% two years ago.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% of tenants surveyed were not aware that a gas safety check had been carried out in the last 12 months but could not be certain either way, which means as many as 61% of renters could be at risk from unsafe fittings and appliances across the UK. That’s up from 56% in 2011. The table below compares the results of surveys on gas safety carried out by SpareRoom in 2011 and 2013:

Renters were asked: ‘If you’ve been in your property over a year, when was your last gas safety check carried out?’

2011

2013

Within the last 12 months

44%

39%

More than 12 months ago

12%

11%

Never

22%

26%

Don’t know

22%

24%

Landlords are legally required to perform annual gas safety checks on their properties to ensure all gas fittings and appliances are operating safely and efficiently. It’s a landlord’s responsibility to arrange for a registered Gas Safe engineer to carry out this check, and to provide tenants with a copy of the gas safety certificate to prove that a gas safety check has been carried out.

The survey highlights that 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.

According to the latest figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 4 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 comments: “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.”



Comments

Gillian Schifreen

16:14 PM, 18th September 2013
About 5 years ago

While I'm sure some landlords are negligent in getting gas safety certs, some may also be in the position we are in where we are unable to get this check done. We have a very elderly tenant who clearly is suffering from some sort of dementia. For about 3 months we've attempted to gain entry to the property but he just won't answer the door. We do have a key but he leaves his key in the door so we can't get in. Early on we did send the gas safe engineer who has always done the checks, but although he opened the door on this occasion our tenant wouldn't allow him entry,

We've contacted the local council regarding this matter, so should some problem occur, they have been notified. They can't seem to offer any solution other than to say we are legally liable to have the check done. WE KNOW THIS. He has one daughter in Dubai and she is also unable to help. We live 25 miles away so can't really stake out the place. Obviously at some point we're going to need to call a locksmith out when a gas safe appt. has been made but I am right in thinking we'll need to get the permission of a court to do this?

The neighbours do see him about but anything said to him is forgotten almost immediately and he has become fearful of answering the door - he's also extremely deaf! Other than that he's a lovely old gentleman.

Vanessa Warwick

17:42 PM, 18th September 2013
About 5 years ago

This post is very timely as it is currently the annual Gas Safety Week 2013 - co-ordinated by the Gas Safe Register. (16th to 22nd September).

Tenant health and safety should be at the forefront of any landlord and lettings agents mind.

Gas Safety Week is a community initiative to spread gas safety awareness, and Property Tribes has got behind this to promote gas safety in the private rented sector.

We interviewed Mark Rolfe from the Gas Safe Register and you can watch the interview here:

http://www.propertytribes.com/pt-tv-interview-with-gas-safe-register-promote-t-9028.html

Please tweet your support of Gas Safety Week 2013 as it really is a matter of life and death ...

Mark Alexander

18:19 PM, 18th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gillian Schifreen " at "18/09/2013 - 16:14":

Hi Gillian

Gaining access for Gas Checks is a far more common problem than you might imagine. See this thread to see what other landlords have to say about it and what they do/recommend >>> http://www.property118.com/tenant-refusing-gas-safety-check/43288/

Romain Garcin

18:24 PM, 18th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Just to play devil's advocate: amongst the owner occupiers here, who has a GSC done on his own hone every year?

Mark Alexander

18:28 PM, 18th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Romain " at "18/09/2013 - 18:24":

Not me, but then again, there's no gas where I live LOL.

We do have our oil boilers serviced annually though.

I know exactly where you are coming from though Romain, very few landlords have annual gas checks on their homes, I do ask.

Gillian Schifreen

18:41 PM, 18th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "18/09/2013 - 18:19":

Most of this thread is about the dodgy tenants who are avoiding checks and I'm sure the courts would certainly find in favour of the landlord in this instance. However our tenant simply doesn't understand/remember that this needs to be done. Therefore I think we'd be treated more harshly as it would be considered that we need to find a way of gaining entry to sort the problem. Easier said than done!

Mary Latham

19:02 PM, 18th September 2013
About 5 years ago

In one area where the local authority put in Selective Licensing they found that almost 90% of the Gas Safety Certificates provided post dated the request. If they had wanted to be heavy handed they could legally have asked for the last two certificates as the law requires.

I do have my own gas system checked every year.

I really do sympathise Gillian, having dealt with my own mother while she suffered dementia and also a neighbour of one of my tenants I really do understand your difficulty. The poor lady needs support and if she is getting it through Social Services they should help you to gain access worth a phone call but be very patient they are so tied up in Data Protection they will tell you very little. I tackled this by telling them the situation and saying that I did not expect them to respond just to take action and in case they didn't I would be writing to confirm my conversation and copying in the Head of Social Services and the local MP.

There is a very great danger that even having gas in the building is not safe with a tenant who has Dementia, particularly if there is a gas cooker. A gas explosion can take out several properties and their occupiers and this is a very important issue.

I wish you luck Gillian I would not want to go through it all again I found it very stressful and actually quite heartbreaking that society does not care about people with Dementia who have no one to take care of them and the support services were a major disappointment to me. Landlords should not be left to deal with tenants in this sad condition but if we don't no one else will.

Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets

My book, where I warn about the storm clouds that are gathering for landlords is here >>> http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1484855337

Gillian Schifreen

19:20 PM, 18th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mary Latham" at "18/09/2013 - 19:02":

Mary it is very difficult. We contacted social services last year when he was behaving very strangely with neighbours he knows well. Their response was, "we wrote asking if he needed help but he didn't reply so the case is closed".

Give me strength!


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