Tenants at risk despite regulations
Tenants living in the private rented sector are being failed by local authorities when it comes to fire and gas safety, despite the introduction of landlord licensing schemes.
Every rental property is legally required to have an annual gas safety inspection. But a recent study reveals that just 58 per cent have had this checked in the past 12 months.
With over five million private rented homes in the UK, that means over 2.1 million homes have not had a gas safety check, leaving them at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning – the silent killer.
The survey also found that 40% of tenants say they do not have smoke alarms installed, despite landlords being legally required to fit them on each floor of a property.
Around 40 local authorities currently operate a Landlord Licence Scheme in their area which includes the need for landlords to demonstrate that they have met the legal requirement for an annual gas safety check in each property they own.
This leaves huge swathes of the UK without a scheme or many councils are failing to enforce the need for annual checks.
Liverpool becomes the safest city for renters
In a first of its kind initiative, technology company – Gas Tag – has partnered with Liverpool City Council to issue free gas safety technology to the city’s 7,500 landlords who manage 30,000 private rented homes.
Gas Tag has been developed to ensure that the correct work is carried out on gas appliances at the appropriate time, by the right engineers. As soon as a physical Gas Tag is installed on the gas outlet in a property it tracks all the property’s gas appliances, services and installations – and can only be used by a qualified Gas Safe Registered engineer.
The engineer is also required to check if the smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector is installed and in working order.
For the first time we are seeing emerging technologies providing us with new ways to help improve safety.
Paul Durose, founder and CEO of Gas Tag, said: “It is nothing short of a disgrace that safety is still compromised for people living in over 2 million rented homes in the UK.
“Councils are increasingly helping to improve standards but are under so many financial pressures that a significant number will almost certainly not be checking the certificates that are sent in to them.
“It means many rogue landlords are running free and tenants are in the dark as to whether they have a good, legally compliant landlord or one that is less scrupulous.
“We know that the majority of landlords are doing their bit to provide safe homes for their tenants. It’s the dishonest landlords who are slipping through the net and putting people’s lives at risk.
“Our mission is to make the UK the safest in the world when it comes to gas and fire safety. We’ve started our journey in Liverpool by partnering with the City Council to give our technology for free to all registered landlords. By working together, we can stamp out rogue landlords and improve safety for all.
“While legislation has increased pressure on landlords to raise their game, there is still more that local authorities could do to help protect tenants.”