Gas Safety – A Landlord’s Duties and Legal Responsibilities

As Gas Safe registered plumbers who are often called out to emergencies and situations involving poorly installed and/or maintained gas appliances, we here at CW Services Plumbing and Heating thought it would be a helpful to highlight, both for the sake of landlords and their tenants, what the landlord’s responsibilities are when it comes down to fitted gas appliances

If you are a landlord you have some very specific and important legal responsibilities to your tenants as for as your rental properties are concerned; none more so than your responsibilities for any gas appliances and installations.

These responsibilities apply to all types of premises let out

It doesn’t matter what type of accommodation it is you are letting, a landlord is responsible for obtaining a gas safety certificate. They are responsible for all types of accommodation:

  • Residential premises that are rented out by: hostels, housing associations, housing co-operatives, local authorities and landlords in the private sector
  • Rooms that are let-out in bed-sit accommodations, bed and breakfast accommodations, hotels and private households
  • Holiday accommodations that are rented or let out including: caravans, chalets, cottages, flats and narrow-boats on inland waterways

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

The rules that lay out a landlord’s responsibilities are detailed in the 1998 Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations. They cover a landlord’s duties to his/her tenants with regard to the safe operation of gas appliances, fittings and flues.

If you are a landlord renting or letting out property that has gas appliances in it, there are 3 particular areas of responsibility you need to be concerned with:

Maintenance

It is vitally important that any gas appliances, flues and pipe-work are maintained in a good and safe state of repair. All gas appliances should be annually serviced according to the instructions and recommendations of the manufacturer. In cases where these instructions and recommendations can’t be found, these appliances should at least be given an annual service unless a Gas Safe registered engineer/plumber recommends otherwise.

Gas safety inspections

Each gas appliance and/or flue must undergo a 12 month annual safety inspection. This inspection will ensure that the gas appliance in question is safe to be used.

Keeping a record

Landlords must by law provide their tenants with a copy of the annual gas appliances test within 28 days of its completion. In the case of a new tenant moving in, that tenant must be given a copy of the current gas appliance test before they move in. The law also says that landlords must keep copies of annual gas appliance checks for a period of 2 years.

Only use Gas Safe Registered engineers/plumbers

For their own protection, and the safety of tenants, landlords should only ever employ Gas Safe registered engineers/plumbers to carry out any work or checks on gas appliances and/or flues.

For landlords with premises that contain gas appliances in South London, CW Services Plumbing and Heating are Gas Safe registered and can be commissioned for emergencies, repairs and annual gas appliance checks

What to do if tenants have their own gas appliances?

If a tenant has his or her own gas appliances fitted in a rented property, the landlord is only responsible for checking and maintaining the gas pipe-work to the appliance.

When a landlord cannot gain access to his/her property

When any landlord draws up a contract for a tenant and tenancy, he/she should ensure that access for maintenance, in order to carry out gas safety checks, is written into the contract. If a tenant refuses a landlord access that landlord must do within reason to gain access in order to carry out the necessary safety checks. This could involve giving the tenant written notice requesting access and explaining the reason why. It is in the landlord’s best interest to keep a record of any such correspondence.

Short term lets

The period of the let is irrelevant as far as gas safety checks are concerned. Landlords who let their properties out for a week or less are still bound by law to ensure that any gas appliances have been properly checked and certified.

Making sure a tenant knows how to turn off the gas supply

In the case of a gas emergency arising it is always recommended that landlords should show their tenants where the gas supply can be turned off and ensure they know how, and have the wherewithal to do it.

Gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning kill

The importance of properly maintaining and checking gas appliances cannot be overstated. Gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning events can kill, and if a landlord is found to be liable he/she will be prosecuted.

Landlords can book the services of a gas safe registered plumbing engineer from CW Plumbing and Heating Services. Whether it’s a repair, an emergency situation or an annual gas appliance check, our plumbing engineers are approved for this type of work. You can call us to arrange a meeting, or book our services, on 020 7733 6812 or 07949 095 184.