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PropTech could be key to boosting health and safety in rental sector

Increased use of technology could boost gas-related health and safety in the private rental sector according to the people behind a new compliance tool. 

Paul Durose, founder and chief executive of Gas Tag, says an absence of technology currently makes it difficult for agents and landlords to be sure correct gas safety compliance measures are being followed.

It is a legal requirement for landlords - or agents acting on their behalf - to ensure gas appliances in rental properties are checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. They must also provide renters with a gas safety certificate within 28 days of the annual check taking place.

But the Gas Tag chief warns that a lack of transparency and technology is limiting the effectiveness of such mandatory checks.

“There’s currently no real recourse when a poor job is carried out because of the lack of technology in the system” according to Durose (pictured). 

“Currently, if agents and landlords want to categorically make sure engineers are doing a good job, there's not much else they can do other than physically checking themselves” he adds.

Gas Tag is a PropTech tool that claims to ensure the correct work has been carried out at the right time, by the right engineer.

The physical tag itself is scanned by engineers as evidence that work has taken place at a property, while an an app is used by engineers to log the work, and a portal provides proof of compliance and an overview of all gas works completed at a specific location.

Under his system letting agents can show clients that works at their properties have been completed by a Gas Safe engineer, says Durose, who believes his tool also offers protection to tenants from illegal gas work and unsafe properties.

A direct link to the Gas Safe Register automates letting agents' process of competency checking, meaning they don’t have to make calls to obtain updates from contractors.

He adds that while agents' compliance pressures are greater than ever before and incomes are being squeezed due to the tenant fees ban, agents need to be doing everything they can to protect tenants and landlords in the most cost-effective and efficient way possible. 

“We are working with the government and insurance companies to ensure there is a Gas Tag in every household in the UK” Durose says.

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