Carbon Monoxide poisoning – landlords putting tenants at risk

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People renting flats and houses from private landlords are being put at risk of suffering carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty gas appliances.

A survey has found that up to a third of tenants are renting a property with an out-of-date gas safety certificate, putting them at risk of serious injury and even death from carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks and even explosions.

Landlords are required, by law, to have the gas appliances in their properties checked by a qualified engineer every year to obtain a gas safety certificate. But the director of the flatshare website spareroom.co.uk, Matt Hutchinson, thinks that tenants are being put at risk of things like carbon monoxide poising in rented accommodation because of landlords who don’t know about their legal obligations. He said:

"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’ve advertised for tenants privately, rather than through a letting agent."

"It is vital that anyone thinking of renting out a property gets to grips with their responsibilities as a landlord, and keeps up to speed with any regulatory changes. Too many landlords are clearly forgetting their responsibilities once tenants are in place."

The Health and Safety Executive reported that in 2009 18 people died and 310 were injured by faulty gas appliances which resulted in carbon monoxide poisoning, fires and explosions.

If you have been affected by carbon monoxide poisoning in rented accommodation – symptoms include headaches, nausea, dizziness, feeling breathless, losing consciousness or feeling flu-like – then you may be able to claim compensation for carbon monoxide poisoning if your landlord has not had the gas appliances properly checked for safety.

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