Are tenants fully aware of safety obligations?

By Alex Timperley, 01 May 2018

When renting, the sight of something breaking is always unwelcome. Whether a washing machine, a light fitting or anything else, you are running the risk of being without something essential for a long period of time. Anxiety is understandable.

The first step is to inform your letting or landlord of the issue and then they will call in a tradesperson to fix the issue as soon as they can. From then, it is up to the tenant to arrange the date and time, and hopefully the problem will be fixed.

However, one important part of the process is often missed out. By getting a letting agent or landlord to call in a plumber or electrician the tenant is often left with the assumption that the tradesperson is qualified and the best person for the job. Is this always the case?

Recent research from Gas Tag, a software technology company, confirms that almost a third of people don’t bother checking the credentials of gas engineers when they arrive, and half of all tenants are unaware of the qualifications needed – for instance, the Corgi registration system was phased out and replaced with the Gas Sage Register almost a decade ago.

In addition, the research found that almost 30% had no idea whether their current home had an up to date gas safety certificate in the first place, and almost a quarter did not know that their landlord had a legal obligation to install a carbon monoxide detector.

Furthermore, more than a third wrongly believe they are responsible for electrical safety in the home, and more than 80% are unaware that the letting agent or landlord must check all electrical appliances before a tenant moves in.

There are some obvious and well-publicised downsides to renting – that you do not own your own home being chief among them. However, there are also upsides, such as not being responsible for this sort of maintenance. Tenants must be aware of the letting agent or landlords responsibilities, and they must make sure that they check everything is properly in place or they are potentially putting their own lives at risk.

If you are looking for more advice on this issue – either as a tenant or a landlord – please get in touch with the team today.

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