ONE in twenty private renters claim to have suffered carbon monoxide poisoning in their home in the last five years, according to new research for Shelter Scotland and Scottish Gas.
The survey found about 5% of those renting from a private landlord had been affected.
Meanwhile, about two-fifths (43%) of renters said their landlord or letting agent had failed to carry out gas safety checks in the past five years, with 7% of tenants stating they had experienced a gas leak in this period.
Shelter Scotland director Graeme Brown said: “It’s shocking to think that in thousands of households across Scotland there are disasters waiting to happen because a simple safety check has not taken place.
“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.
“It’s absolutely vital that tenants are aware of the need to get an annual gas safety check.
“Meanwhile, landlords need to know that gas safety is not optional. Failing to get a gas safety check can and does put lives at risk.”
Shelter Scotland has joined forces with Scottish Gas in a bid to improve housing in the private rental sector.
Scottish Gas engineer Paul Dailly advised of checks tenants can carry out to help ensure their safety.
He said: “There are vital checks people can do to keep themselves and their families safe.
“Looking for signs of staining, sooting or discolouration on, or around, your gas boiler, fire or water heater; keeping vents in doors, walls or windows clear; making sure your chimney isn’t blocked and checking pilot lights and other gas flames to ensure they burn blue are all simple tests that can be done to help protect your home and everyone in it.”
A total of 1,387 people privately renting their home were questioned for the research, which was carried out by YouGov.