Environment, Safety and Standards

Landlords must take safety obligations seriously

After a spate of fines for landlords who have broken gas safety rules, the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) is urging those renting out properties to ensure they are complying with Government legislation.

In April a landlord in Plymouth was fined more than £11,000 for letting a property which had a dangerous gas boiler. The landlord also failed to provide gas safety certificates for his properties on several occasions.

And 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.

Meanwhile, in January, a landlord in Harrogate was fined almost £3,000 for failing to provide gas safety certificates for two rental properties.

Patricia Barber, Chair of the AIIC said: “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.”

It is mandatory for landlords to install smoke detectors on every floor of properties with habitable rooms and to install carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with solid fuel sources. However the organisation does not believe the new rules go far enough.

Commenting on the legislation, 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.”

The AIIC is now urging landlords to review their gas systems, including boilers and gas appliances, in order to make sure tenants’ safety is not put at risk.

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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