An independent survey by British Gas has revealed that as many as one in five part-time landlords in Manchester are flouting gas safety laws. In the past year, 20% have either failed to have a gas safety check completed on their property or have used a contractor who is not Gas Safe registered.

Part-time landlords refer to those who rent out their property to earn extra cash and not as their main source of income. Such landlords include those who rent their property as a holiday let, offer it as Airbnb accommodation or have a lodger in one of their rooms.

Negligent behaviour like this is putting lives at risk for the tenants who occupy the property whether on a short-term basis or more long-term rental. Startlingly, a third of part-time landlords are not aware that failure in gas safety could result in fatalities.

What does the law say?

It is a legal responsibility to carry out a gas safety check annually on the property you rent out. As part of this, it is a necessity to use a Gas Safe registered contractor to carry out the checks as this means they are qualified and legally able to do so.

The reason a gas safety check is so important is that all gas appliances in the premises are assessed helping to prevent such things as carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks and potential gas explosions. However, 40% said they were unaware of their obligation to have a valid gas safety certificate. Last year, the Deregulation Act made it a legal requirement for landlords to provide certain documentation, including a gas safety certificate, to their tenants upon granting an assured shorthold tenancy and within 28 days of each gas safety check after that.

A failure to provide a gas safety certificate can also limit a landlord’s options when seeking a possession order against a tenant, even if that tenant is in arrears with their rent.

It is the landlords’ job to ensure their tenants are kept secure in the home, not the other way around. Landlords who are disregarding gas safety laws may face significant fines.

Other health and safety regulations

  • Carbon monoxide alarm in every room that contains a solid fuel burning device e.g. wood burning fire
  • A minimum of one smoke alarm fitted on every floor of the property
  • All alarms are checked and in working order

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