The private rented market in Bristol is a rapidly growing segment. In fifteen years this market has grown from just 12 per cent to the current level of 29 per cent of all accommodation in the city. There is now more privately rented property than there is social, with much of the accommodation concentrated in the Central, Clifton Down, Hotwells and Harbourside wards.
The demand for rental properties is driving the cost of rents higher too, with Bristol experiencing a 17 – 22 per cent rise in the past in just three years. This was significantly higher than the England average of between 9 and 16 per cent, demonstrating just how attractive the city of Bristol is to the renting demographic. Today, a one bedroom flat in Bristol will cost on average £725 a month to rent, whereas a four-bedroom house can cost in excess of £1,617 a month.
When you’re paying high rents for your home, you should expect to be kept safe by your landlord. One way in which they can do this is by maintaining your annual Gas Safety Check, to ensure all appliances and gas supplies are safe for your use. However, despite this check being relatively cheap and easy to get done, 37 per cent of tenants are currently living in a home with an out of date gas certificate.
Do you need a gas safety certificate in Bristol?
Figures from the Gas Safe Register suggest that one in seven homes inspected by gas engineers in Bristol were found to have faulty or unsafe appliances. In the city centre alone, around Colston Hall, 23 boilers and seven cookers were found to be unsafe last year. In the Ashley district, a total of 492 unsafe appliances were discovered.
If you’re a landlord, you almost certainly need to get a gas safety check every year, as you could be risking the health and safety of your tenants if you do not. Carbon monoxide poisoning kills around 40 people every year, according to the Carbon Monoxide and Gas Safety Society, and if one of those people were living in your property at the time, the consequences could be severe.
Are you a landlord?
You would think that the question of whether you’re a landlord or not would be an easy one to answer, but it’s not always as straightforward as you might think. As well as the obvious person who owns a house which is rented to a person or family, you could be classed as a landlord if:
- You have domestic staff living with you
- You have students staying with you
- You have an adult child living at home who pays you to stay there
- You rent out a caravan or mobile home
- Your let your own home through Airbnb or similar
There are many other situations where you could be liable for a gas safety check but not realise it. Find out more on our page about who needs a gas safety certificate.
How to get a gas safety certificate in Bristol
If you think you need a gas safety certificate, finding an engineer to help you is easy. The Gas Safe Register is a database of all the UK’s registered engineers, which you can search by postcode to find someone local to you.
Research shows that 89 per cent of landlords are private individuals, and 93 per cent of them own just one rental property. It’s likely that these ‘hobby’ landlords are not 100 per cent clear on the requirements of the certificate, and therefore could fail in their duty to their tenants. There really is no excuse though; it’s easy and cheap to obtain gas safety certificates in Bristol and could save lives as a result.