Thousands of amateur landlords putting tenants’ lives at risk

Many part-time landlords across the UK are putting their tenants’ lives at risk and could face hefty fines for breaking basic gas safety legislation, according to fresh research.

A new survey of 1,000 amateur landlords and 500 tenants of part-time landlords conducted by Atomik Research, on behalf of British Gas, has found that 20% of all amateur landlords fail to carry out compulsory annual gas safety checks, while more than a third of people whose rental properties are not their main source of income are not even aware that gas safety is a legal requirement.

Gas safety checks pick up a range of problems including faulty boilers and are vital in helping to prevent gas leaks, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Barry Sheerman MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG), said: “It is shocking that 38% of landlords in the ‘non-traditional’ rental sector – which includes holiday lets, Airbnb accommodation, and lodgers – do not know that they are legally obliged to have a safety check conducted on all gas appliances in their premises.

“I urge all landlords to have their gas appliances serviced by a Gas Safe Registered engineer on an annual basis, to ensure that they are in safe and functioning order, and that holidaymakers and others staying in their properties are safe from CO poisoning.”

British Gas engineer Sheena Anker concurred that it is crucial for part-time landlords to ensure that their tenants are kept safe, and to stay on the right side of the law.

Anker said: “I’ve visited properties and seen unsafe appliances which either haven’t been serviced in years or have been installed by illegal gas fitters. Worryingly, tenants are often oblivious to the danger they are in. To stay safe, tenants should ask landlords for a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate, following a check from a Gas Safe-registered engineer.”

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