Summer means that landlords across the capital will be finding new student tenants for the year ahead. London has a huge number of universities, attracting students from around the world, which means student properties can be big business for landlords. However, when renting a property to students, the same rules apply to these sorts of houses as any other property, which means you’ll need an annual landlord gas certificate and will need to ensure your appliances are safe. Here are some reasons why student homes need to be regularly checked, and how you can keep your tenants safe.
Why can gas appliances be dangerous?
Gas is an excellent way to heat properties and provide hot water, often the cheapest, easiest options for central heating and running appliances. However, if safety checks aren’t carried out, then gas can become dangerous, leaking carbon monoxide and other dangerous fumes that can be fatal.
If you are renting to young people, then they can be particularly vulnerable. They may mistake the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning for a headache or hangover, and not be sure what to do in the event of a gas leak, which makes it even more important to get a gas safety certificate and to have a carbon monoxide detector in your property, should the worst happen.
What should student landlords do?
Landlords of student homes need to get an annual gas safety check carried out by someone qualified with up to date gas safety cards. These checks cover a large checklist of items, so that your boiler, appliances and individual parts are checked, including:
· Electrical connections
· Pipes – ensuring they’re clear
· Whether the unit is sealed and without leaks
· Flow and pressure of your gas
Most student landlords get this done over the summer, when tenants are on holiday, and you need to ensure there’s a copy of the certificate in the house. When a gas safety check is carried out, you should keep a copy of the record for two years, just in case there are any queries.
Landlords who neglect to get gas safety certificates are increasingly getting fined for non-compliance. Many universities now offer housing advice to students and help them report issues such as lack of gas safety checks, meaning more rogue landlords are being caught out. Fines can be issued of up to £6,000 for each issue, and should the worst happen, landlords can even be prosecuted for manslaughter if someone dies due to their negligence. Should your property be damaged due to issues with gas safety, it’s unlikely your insurance will pay out for repairs, so it’s very important that you can show you’ve done all you can to keep people safe.
For gas safety inspections, repairs and much more, contact West London Gas of Boundary House, Boston Rd, London, W7 2QE. Simply call us on 020 8434 3644 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.