Tenants in the private rented sector are being warned of potentially dangerous gas safety hazards, as many landlords do not carry out regular checks.
Research has found that as many as one in ten tenants could be at risk from gas leaks or carbon monoxide poisoning.
In a survey of more than 4,000 tenants, by housing charity Shelter and British Gas, 10% of renters said that their landlord had not carried out a gas safety check in the last year.
Landlords are required by law to carry out gas safety checks once a year, to make sure properties are gas-safe.
The safety checks highlight faults such as problematic boilers or gas leaks and prevent potentially deadly hazards like explosions and carbon monoxide leaks.
“It’s shocking to think that in thousands of households across the country there are accidents waiting to happen because a simple safety check has not taken place,” said Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive.
“For households with children, this is an even bigger concern. Renters have a right to know that the property they are living in is safe.”
Landlords who fail to carry out annual gas safety checks can face large fines or even imprisonment, yet many are unaware of their legal obligations.
A separate survey of landlords, by the same organisations, found that 15% are unaware that they are required by law to carry out gas checks.
“It’s absolutely vital that renters are aware of the need to get an annual gas safety check,” added Mr Robb.
“Meanwhile, landlords need to know that gas safety is not optional. Failing to get a gas safety certificate can put lives at risk.”
If you are a currently renting in the private rented sector, finances are often tight thanks to rising rents and the high cost of living.