The demand for property rentals in Birmingham is one of the greatest in the UK, with students, young people and families all driving demand for homes to let. As such, the cost of renting in the city is on the increase, with prices rising by 3.2 per cent last year, largely due to a lack of available stock.
Whether you live in an affluent area of Birmingham or are just getting by in a cheap rental, you deserve to feel safe in your home. Unfortunately, it seems that not all tenants are able to do so, as research shows a third are currently living in a home which has not had a Gas Safety Check for a year or more. It is your landlord’s responsibility to conduct an annual Gas Safety Check, and if yours is out of date, your life could be at risk.
Rents in the city centre average around £700 a month for a one bedroom flat, and two-bedroom homes going for around £900 a month. However, prime schemes have seen even faster rental rate rises, at 4.9 per cent last year for the most desirable schemes. In districts such as Selly Oak, Digbeth and Sutton Coldfield, average rents range from £1,300 up to £1,600 a calendar month.
It is forecast that these rents will continue to grow, rising a staggering 17.6 per cent by 2021. With almost half (41 per cent) of Birmingham residents living in either social or privately rented homes, the impact of further price rises will have a significant impact on the local economy.
One in four homes in the West Midlands are unsafe
According to the Gas Safe Register, one in four homes which had a Gas Safety Check last year were found to have faulty appliances. Problems with gas connected appliances could result in poisonous carbon monoxide (CO) leaking into your home, an odourless, colourless, undetectable gas which could kill you while you sleep.
The gas safety check is a simple way to ensure appliances are safe, and that they are not leaking gas or carbon monoxide into your home. Your landlord has a legal responsibility to ensure this annual safety check is done, and if this is not happening, you and your family could be at risk. You can contact Birmingham City Council to report non-compliance, or talk to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for support.
How can landlords get a gas safety certificate in Birmingham?
Arranging to get your gas safety certificate in Birmingham couldn’t be easier. Here’s how it works:
- Use the Gas Safe Register to search by postcode for a local engineer
- Arrange for them to visit the property and undertake a check
- Notify your tenants that you will require access on that day
- The engineer will check all appliances, flues, pipework and meters
- If everything is fine, they will issue your CP12 gas safety certificate immediately
- You should give a copy of this certificate to your tenants within 28 days
Under recent changes to the rules, you can now arrange for your check to take place up to two months before the old certificate expires. You’ll still keep the same renewal date but will have more flexibility on when you can have the check itself. A gas safety certificate is not just a legal requirement; it’s also a moral obligation and could save lives, so there’s no reason not to get yours done on time.