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Landlords warned to take gas safety seriously

Date online: 10/05/2016

says it's time for the issue to be taken more seriously as tenants' livelihoods are increasingly put at risk.

Although there is only a minority of offenders, there seems to have been a spike in the number of landlords being fined for gas safety failings in recent times.

In April a landlord in Plymouth was fined over £11,000 for letting a property which had a dangerous gas boiler.
 
The landlord also failed to provide gas safety certificates for his numerous properties on several occasions.
 
In March a London landlord was fined and handed a suspended prison sentence for installing a boiler which was not checked by a suitably-qualified gas engineer.

The boiler was subsequently reported by the tenant after they suspected a carbon monoxide leak and the National Grid had to switch off the gas supply to ensure the tenant's safety.

Meanwhile, in January, a landlord in Harrogate was fined almost £3,000 for failing to provide gas safety certificates for two rental properties.
In light of these cases, the AIIC is urging landlords to review their gas systems, including boilers and gas appliances, in order to make sure tenants' safety is not put at risk.

Patricia Barber, Chair of the AIIC, had this to say: “Gas safety seems to have been becoming more of an issue in the last year and while the majority of landlords have their affairs in order, there are those that continue to ignore their obligations when it comes to gas safety.

All rented properties need to comply with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations, and it is extremely important that landlords take this responsibility seriously and make sure they are up to speed with what is required.”

Barber says that landlords should take the time to review their systems and appliances, make sure they are legally compliant and speak to a gas safety expert if necessary.

Last year it became mandatory for landlords to install carbon monoxide alarms and smoke detectors in all rented properties.

At the time the AIIC confirmed that inventory clerks are able to check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms for power during the inventory compilation or check-in process at the start of the tenancy and that they are able to report back to landlords any faults found with the devices.

Commenting on the legislation now it is over six months old, Barber says: “The legislation has been ill thought-out and in my opinion falls hugely short of its requirements.”

For example, the legislation includes no mention of the carbon dioxide detectors which protect tenants from fumes from gas appliances – one of the most common forms of heating in a rental property.”

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