Investors and landlords are putting tenants’ lives at risk and could face a substantial fine for flouting gas safety law, according to British Gas.
A survey shows that one in five part-time landlords - people whose rental properties are not their main source of income - has either failed to have a gas safety check carried out on their property in the last year, or has used a contractor who is not Gas Safe-registered.
British Gas says all landlords, including those who provide short-term lets, have a legal responsibility to carry out an annual gas safety check of their property. They are required to use a Gas Safe-registered engineer, and for the check to be recorded in detail on a Landlord Gas Safety Certificate.
The company says 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.
Its survey shows that 35 per cent of landlords are unaware of their obligations over gas.
Almost 40 per cent of those surveyed are unaware that gas safety checks are a legal requirement or that they are obliged to have a valid Gas Safety Certificate (CP12). More than a quarter of landlords surveyed have no idea a gas safety check should be annual.
“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” says British Gas engineer Sheena Anker.