Gas safety accountability in the private rented sector can be improved by cutting-edge technology, a leading gas safety compliance tool has claimed.
According to Gas Tag, the current system makes it difficult for letting agents and landlords to know if the correct gas safety compliance measures are being followed. This, it says, could be putting the safety of tenants at risk.
It is currently a legal requirement for landlords, or letting agents acting on their behalf, to ensure gas appliances in rental properties are checked every year by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Renters must also be provided with a gas safety certificate within 28 days of the annual check taking place.
Gas Tag, however, argues that a lack of transparency and technology is limiting the efficiency of compulsory gas safety checks. At the same time, the ever-increasing amount of regulation in the private rented sector is putting more pressure on the time agents and landlords can dedicate to compliance.
The solution, Gas Tag says, is to raise standards through technology and transparency.
Currently, the lack of accountability for gas engineers is causing problems. Paul Durose, founder and chief executive of Gas Tag, said ‘there’s currently no real recourse when a poor job is carried out because of the lack of technology in the system’.
When it comes to gas safety checks, Durose argues the reputation of letting agents and landlords is in the hands of the gas engineer.
“Currently, if agents and landlords want to categorically make sure engineers are doing a good job, there's not much else they can do other than physically checking themselves. It's finding a solution to this problem which inspired Gas Tag.”
Gas Tag, which has a direct link to the Gas Safe Register, claims to be a unique market solution which ensures the correct work has been carried out at the right time, by the right engineer.
It is made of up of three main components. Firstly, the ‘Gas Tag’, a small tag scanned by engineers to show evidence that work has taken place at a property. Secondly, an app used by engineers to log their work as it’s carried out. And lastly a portal, which provides proof of compliance and an overview of all gas works completed.
The Gas Tag portal provides letting agents and landlords with a real-time view of all activity being carried out. It also makes information available on completed works, properties at risk and maintenance due dates.
“Our system offers unique transparency, demonstrating how compliance obligations are being met,” Durose said.
“Letting agents can easily showcase to clients that works at their properties have been completed by a Gas Safe engineer to a high-quality standard.”
He added: “We're aiming to remove the worry of managing a paper-based system. Electronically-stored gas safety records are generated inside the portal as the work is completed, providing an audit trail for all parties.”