As a landlord, you should be aware of your moral duties and legal responsibilities for the safety of all your tenants. Knowing and understanding the gas safety laws is very important to ensure compliance.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 outlines the duties and responsibilities of landlords to make sure that gas appliances, fittings and flues/chimney provided for tenants’ use are safe.
Here’s a helpful guide when letting a property with a gas appliance:
Installation and maintenance
Under the current safety regulations, it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the gas and electrical systems and appliances at the property are maintained in a safe condition and serviced by a qualified contractor. Thus, a landlord should ensure that the gas equipment provided for tenants’ use is safely installed and maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Moreover, gas pipework, appliances and chimney/flues must be maintained in a safe condition. The frequency of servicing a gas appliance should be based on the manufacturer’s instructions. If these are not available, annual servicing is advisable, unless recommended otherwise by a Gas Safe registered engineer. This covers gas pipework, gas cookers, gas boilers, gas fires and gas water heaters.
Tenants are responsible for any gas appliances that they own, however, the flues, pipework or chimneys they are connected to, remains to be a responsibility of and must be maintained by the landlord.
Gas safety checks/inspections
A gas safety check must be carried out to ensure that all gas fittings and flues are maintained in a safe condition, and a safety record must be issued prior to the tenant moving into a property. This must be undertaken by a qualified registered Gas Safe engineer every year.
This gas safety check will ensure that gas fittings and appliances are fit for purpose and safe to use.
Gas safety certificate
The gas safety certificate or a copy of the annual gas safety check (CP12) must be issued to a new tenant at the start of the tenancy and within 28 days of the check to an existing tenant. If gas safety record indicates that there are problems that affect gas safety, the landlord should get the problems seen to.
Failure to maintain appliances correctly could result in loss of life, and failure to comply with the regulations could result in fines of up to £6,000 for each offence, so it cannot be stressed highly enough how important it is to adhere to these regulations. There is also a possibility of receiving an unlimited fine and even a custodial sentence.
Landlords should keep copies of the gas safety record for two years.
Landlord’s right to access for gas safety
What happens if a tenant refuses to give the landlord reasonable access to the property for the completion of gas safety inspections?
First, the landlord should make sure that it is indicated in the tenancy agreement that access should be allowed for any maintenance or required safety check work. Second, the landlord must provide the tenant with a written notice of scheduled work in advance, requesting access to the rental property, and explaining the reason.
Third, landlords should keep a record of any action taken it might be needed at a later time. It is also best to seek legal advice.
Short term lets
Even if you let a property for a short duration only (i.e. holiday home), landlords should still comply with the same gas safety obligations.
Download our Landlord Compliance Checklist that helps you prove you have fulfilled your legal responsibilities:
KeyRing Lettings is a ‘not for profit’ agency, providing a comprehensive letting and management service for landlords and tenants in Mendip. Under our fully managed service, we will keep you up to date on all new legislation and legal requirements to ensure you’re fully compliant. If you’re thinking of letting your property and don’t know where to start, contact us today.