New research by Gas Safe Register has found that the general safety of the home, including the condition of the boiler and appliances, falls low on the list of priorities for most homebuyers.
More than a quarter of UK home-buyers say that redecorating is their top priority when moving into a new house – ranking it far above addressing boiler issues (12%).
Of those surveyed, 27% of people said redecoration was their single most important priority, while for 21% it was fitting a new kitchen or bathroom.
Only 12% said they would fit a new boiler – despite the fact that 29% of people who have bought homes before have had to replace the boiler earlier than anticipated, due to faults or its age.
Buying a home is expensive but trying to save money on a survey can be a false economy. Almost a fifth of buyers (18%) say they have regretted not getting a more comprehensive survey when buying a home in the past.
The more comprehensive the survey the more likely it is that observations about the general condition of the boiler or gas appliances might be made and then used by the buyer to reduce the seller’s price.
However, even with a comprehensive survey, dangerous or potentially fatal issues such as a faulty boiler emitting carbon monoxide may not be identified unless the surveyor has been explicitly instructed to employ a Gas Safe registered engineer to check appliances.
This is even more important when one considers that it’s not a legal requirement for the seller to provide a service record for their boiler. This is particularly worrying as 24% of Brits admit they have either have never had their boiler serviced or haven’t had it serviced once a year as recommended.
Jonathan Samuel, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said: “Gas appliances can be dangerous if they’re not looked after, so it’s important to ensure you know if the boiler in the home you are planning to purchase has been serviced or fixed by someone who is legally registered and qualified to do so.”
Gas Safe Register recommends: Six simple steps
- Only use a Gas Safe registered engineer.
- Double-check both sides of your engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card to know that they’re registered and qualified to work on your gas appliances.
- Have all gas appliances regularly serviced and safety checked every year.
- Familiarise yourself with the six signs of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning; headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.
- Check appliances for warning signs that they are not working properly, e.g. black marks or stains on or around the appliance, lazy yellow flames instead of crisp blue ones (expect for fuel-effect fire that display this colour flame) and condensation in the room.
- Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm for a second line of defence against carbon monoxide poisoning, and check it is marked EN50291 and has the British Standards Kitemark.