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Keep an eye out for rogue gas traders
29th December 2011
Landlords should avoid falling victim to rogue traders when it comes to gas appliances, even if their finances are stretched.
The Gas Safety Register has said that in the current economic environment in which many people are seeing their finances increasingly squeezed, it could be tempting to accept offers at a discounted price from traders who might not be qualified to work with gas.
"In times of austerity, in times where people haven’t got as much money and there's somebody in the pub, club or corner shop who says 'I know [someone] who can do a job for you', they are the people who, unfortunately, might very well be doing work they’re unqualified for, unsafely," said Jeff Learman, director of communications at the Gas Safety Register.
"[If] they're not [on the] Gas Safety Register the real consequence [could be] serious illness if not fatality."
Gas safety is an important issue for landlords, who are required by law to make sure all gas appliances are installed by a registered professional and serviced annually.
They could also find that landlord housing insurance is invalidated if they have gas appliances installed or repaired by someone who is not qualified to do so.
Landlords and homeowners should check that any person they hire is listed on the Gas Safety Register.
"In any line of work there will always be those who take advantage of the system and are basically operating illegally," said Mr Learman.
"Yes, of course there are illegal operators, and we have a dedicated national investigation team who try to identify these people and where possible prosecute them through the HSE (Health and Safety Executive)."
It follows the recent news that a landlord from Croydon was fined a total of £24,000 after an HSE investigation found he had failed to have gas appliances at his property installed by a qualified professional.
Posted by Heather Thomas