Proptech could be vital in boosting health and safety in lettings sector

Published on 27th July 2019 by Laura West

It is hoped that the increased adoption and usage of technology in the lettings sector could improve gas related safety and health standards in the private rented sector. This is according to the developers behind a new rental compliance tool for the lettings market.

The chief executive and founder of Gas Tag, Paul Durose, explains that the absence of proptech makes it extremely difficult for landlords and letting agents to be confident that the appropriate gas safety compliance rules are being followed.

Currently, it is legally required that landlords, or letting agents acting on a landlord’s behalf, ensure that gas appliances installed in rental properties are thoroughly inspected annually by an engineer who is Gas Safe registered. Tenants must also be supplied with the gas safety certificate within a 28 day period of the inspection taking place.

However, the Gas Tag founder has warned that an absence of technology and transparency is reducing the effectiveness of these mandatory checks. Mr Durose explains that there is currently no effective recourse in the event of a poorly conducted inspection due to a lack of suitable proptech in the sector.

At the present time, if landlords and letting agents want to be 100% sure that the engineers they hire are doing a thorough job, there is not much they can do besides physically checking the inspection themselves.

Gas Tag is a tech tool which claims to ensure that the appropriate work has been conducted by the correct engineer. The tool works by scanning a tag, which is used as evidence that the required work has been completed at the property. This is in conjunction with an app, which is used by the engineer to log the work which has taken place, in addition to a portal which provides evidence of compliance as well as an overview of the complete gas works that have been finished at a specific property.

Under this system, letting agents could now show their clients that gas works at their rental properties have been completed by a Gas Safe registered engineer, explains Mr Durose, who also believes that this tool will offer protection to both tenants and landlords from unsafe properties and illegal gas work.

A direct link connected to the Gas Safe Register will automate the process of checking competency, which is usually carried out by letting agents. This will save many man hours spent making phone calls to contractors to obtain updates on the work. To get the most out of the software offerings that letting agents use, searching for property management software reviews in the UK can prove extremely valuable.

Paul Durose also added that as compliance with rules and regulations builds pressure on the sector like never before, and the incomes of property professionals are becoming increasingly squeezed thanks to the ban on tenant fees, letting agents must ensure that they do all they can in order to protect both landlords and tenants. It is thought that proptech is the most efficient and cost-effective way to guarantee compliance.

Mr Durose explains that his company is working with insurance companies and the government in an effort to ensure that this software is available to all households in the UK.

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