You might imagine that tenants are less likely to be affected by Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning than homeowners.
While landlords and local authorities are legally obliged to perform annual gas appliance safety checks for tenants, and have certain obligations regarding the provision of CO detectors, homeowners have no such obligations, and you might assume that this means many homeowners will allow their boilers to degrade over time and will not have them repaired or maintained properly.
However, this is not necessarily the case. The Gas Safe Register discovered that over one-fifth of all privately-rented properties have unsafe gas appliances. Overall, 22% of all privately-rented properties investigated by the body were found to have unsafe gas appliances that could explode, cause a fire, or leak CO and gas, compared with just 16% of privately-owned homes and 12% of social homes. As there are 4.1 million homes in the private rented sector, this research suggests that as many as 900, 000 homes could be in danger.
Landlords’ obligations regarding gas appliance repair, servicing and maintenance
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 oblige landlords to ensure that all gas fittings and any flues that serve these fittings are maintained in a safe manner so as to reduce the likelihood of tenants becoming injured or dying while living in their premises. As a result of this legislation, they are legally required to perform annual gas boiler services and to provide their tenants with records of these checks.
But annual gas safety services are not a landlord’s only responsibility – they are also responsible for any repair work for all gas appliances and pipework in their properties.
Landlords that fail to adhere to these regulations could face prosecution, so it is surprising to discover that so many landlords are treating their legal responsibilities with such negligence. The risk of prosecution should not even be a landlord’s main concern when ensuring the safety of their property portfolio – landlords should note that, if they do not ensure gas appliances are safe, their tenants could actually die as a direct result of their negligence.
Why so many landlords are ignoring these responsibilities, putting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people at risk, is not known, although the number of ‘rogue landlords’ in the sector is likely to have spiked in recent years as the private rented sector becomes more lucrative. Tenants who are concerned that their landlords are treating their responsibilities negligently ought to speak with their council or the Health and Safety Executive.
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If you’re having trouble with any aspect of your boiler, home appliances or if you’re suffering from a home emergency such as an electrical breakdown, plumbing problem or security issue then be sure to get in touch with us. 24|7 Home Rescue may be able to help landlords with their gas safety obligations – contact us today to find out more.
Call us on 0345 3192 247 and one of our friendly technical team will go through some simple diagnostics to see if your problem can be resolved over the phone. If not, we’ll send an engineer to be with you as soon as possible to ensure you’re back up and running in no time.