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Under the skin of the letting market

Here we share news and views on both the local letting market in & around Oxfordshire and all planned and recent legislation.

Gas Safety Week – day by day

gas safety week logo


Today started with early morning call from the letting department. The team had successfully let a new property  over the weekend and the tenants where itching to move in but the landlord hadn’t had the gas boiler or hob checked. It is a legal responsibility of the landlord to carry out an annual gas safety check and regular service on gas appliances including gas boilers, cookers, hobs and gas fires. These checks must be carried out using a Gas Safe registered engineer, and after a couple of calls the gas safe check is booked in with one of our team of registered engineers for Wednesday. Both the landlord and letting team are happy.


Today we booked in the gas safeties for the next quarter with our gas engineers. Bricks & Mortar is a division of Finders Keepers and as such we offer a service to all Finders Keepers landlords to arrange the annual gas safety check for them. We deal with booking in the appointment with the tenants and engineers, arranging access. Peace of mind at £95.00 for a boiler, £48.00 for a fire and £26.00 for a hob.  We offer a discount for all Finders Keepers fully managed landlords.


We received a call from the engineer at the new property reporting that the boiler has a flue in a void and will need to be switched off, leaving the property without any hot water unless hatches are fitted.

In January 2013 the gas legislation around boiler flues changed. An engineer needs to be able to inspect any flue to check that it is safe and does not have an damage which may result in a leak. This means that any flue that runs into a void space needs to be seen via hatches fitted every 1.5m or at every joint.

With the new tenants due to move in on the weekend, the hatches need to be fitted immediately.  The Property Manager gives the go ahead for the hatches and a we call our trusted handyman (the hero of the day). He was able to meet the engineer on-site on the same day and fit the hatches. Result! The boiler is turned back on,  the property is given the gas safety check paperwork and the stress level of the Property Manager is reduced.


We received a worrying call from a Property Manager who had a tenant who mentioned they were feeling unwell. An engineer was sent out immediately and the hob was disconnected, a carbon monoxide alarm was fitted, the property was well ventilated and the tenant was sent to the doctor.

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas which can kill quickly with no warning. CO is an invisible killer: you can’t see it or feel it. Its symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness. They might not just be the signs of a good night out!

CO poisoning can be easy be mistaken for a hangover. Just last year six students (not Finders Keepers tenants!) made the headlines after narrowly escaping death when their CO alarm warmed them that their gas cooker was leaking. We wish CO alarms were as common as smoke alarms.


We had a visit from one of our gas engineers dropping of a batch of gas safety paperwork ready for next week.  He also came in to show off his new Gas Safe Registration card with his nice new mug shot.

By using our team of trusted engineers we know that they are all Gas Safe registered engineers and are fully qualified.  If you are ever unsure, check for the logo on their ID card or check the gas safe website. Doing DIY on gas can be fatal!

Bricks & Mortar work with Gas Safe registered engineers to check more than 1,400 properties each year. To arrange your safety checks at any time in the year call Sarah Tallent on 01865 302350.