UK renters are at risk due to lack of basic safety knowledge

Millions of people renting in the UK are at risk due to a lack of basic safety knowledge, according to new research.

Almost ten million people rent their homes – over 5 million privately and almost the same number in social housing.

Yet large numbers are either too trusting of tradesmen who come to their home or simply do not have the knowledge.

Among the survey’s findings were:

  • Almost a third (29%) do not bother to ask for the credentials of gas engineers visiting their home;
  • 50% still think their gas engineer should be Corgi registered – it changed to Gas Safe Register almost 10 years ago;
  • 28% either didn’t have or did not know if their rented home had a Gas Safety Certificate – the legal requirement;
  • Almost a quarter (24%) did not think their landlord was obliged to install a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm if there was a solid fuel burning source like wood or coal;
  • 81% did not know that a landlord is responsible for checking all electrical appliances every time a new tenant moves into a property;
  • 36% wrongly thought they were – rather than the landlord was- responsible for electrical safety in the rented home;
  • Almost a third (29%) did not realise you should call the National Grid helpline if they smell gas in or around the home.

Paul Durose, CEO of Gas Tag, which commissioned the survey, said: “The findings reveal that large sections of the UK’s rented population are putting their lives at serious risk.

“There is a huge amount of confusion about what someone’s landlord is responsible for.

“It is scary that half of those questioned still think their gas engineer needs to be Corgi approved when it changed over to Gas Safe Register in 2009.

“It is also disturbing that over a third do not ask their engineer for their credentials before they let them into their home.

“This is despite 1.1million gas jobs a year being carried out by illegal gas fitters who are not qualified.”

Women are most culpable of failing to ask for credentials with 33% admitting they didn’t, compared to 20% of men.

Gas Tag’s software is the first of its kind and is bringing about a ‘revolution’ in gas safety in the UK. More than one million British homes are set to be ‘Gas Tagged’ this year.

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