Page last updated at 11:43 GMT, Thursday, 15 April 2010 12:43 UK

Gas safety worries over old certificates

Gas
Landlords must ensure they keep up to date on checks

A third of tenants are renting properties that have out-of-date gas safety certificates, a poll suggests.

In a survey of just over 1,000 UK tenants, 36% said that the legal time limit had elapsed and 26% said they had never been given a safety certificate.

Landlords are legally required to ensure an annual gas safety check is carried out and provide tenants with a copy of the certificate.

This must be performed by a registered engineer.

This register is overseen by the Gas Safe Register, a safety body that replaced Corgi in April 2009.

Deaths

Some 18 people died and 310 were injured in the UK as a result of gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK last year.

Landlords can face prosecution if a tenant is hurt or killed owing to a gas leak or explosion.

"One of the main reasons why gas safety checks are not being carried out is a lack of knowledge on the part of the landlord, in particular amateur landlords, many of whom may not even realise they need a gas safety certificate," said Matt Hutchinson, director of Spareroom.co.uk which conducted the survey on its website.

"While professional landlords have many years of experience and know the tenancy rules and regulations inside out, amateur landlords who buy second properties to rent out as a long-term investment may not have any previous experience of the rental market.

"This means they may not be aware of their legal obligations, particularly if they have advertised for tenants privately, rather than through a letting agent," he added.

The Gas Safety Register has previously warned that an estimated 250,000 gas appliances in Britain and the Isle of Man are installed or serviced by illegal fitters each year.



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