Richard Hearne from 1Gas sharing his expertise of gas connections with LandlordZONE.
Read on to find out more about your responsibilities as a landlord, advice for getting a new gas connection, and what to do if you have multiple units in a building.
What is the responsibility of landlords?
There is no legal responsibility for a landlord to have a gas supply installed to their rental property, but there needs to be an adequate source of alternative heating.
Gas central heating is seen as standard by most people and many tenants would be put off a rental property without gas central heating.
This is often the case because people view alternative heating systems such as electric as unreliable, difficult to operate and costly to use.
There is therefore the argument that a gas supply to a rental property could increase its rentability and the potential for an increased asking price.
Advice for getting a new gas connection?
The most important thing you should consider is the location of the meter housing – particularly when the property is a flat or an apartment.
There are many safety regulations in place that complicate matters and which mean you need to be flexible. Typically a meter would need to be located externally along the front wall of the building – but there are exceptions.
You need to act sooner rather than later as standard domestic gas connections can typically take between 4-8 weeks.
You will also need to consider whether you would like to arrange the excavation and reinstatement of the trenches for the gas pipe on private land yourself (this will keep the cost down) or whether you would like the engineers to do it all at the same time (this will cost more).
Advice for moving a gas connection
Altering an existing supply is extremely costly for the work involved; the reason being that new domestic connections (within reason) are heavily subsidised by the Government to make gas an affordable option for the average homeowner.
Unfortunately, alterations to existing supplies don’t benefit from this subsidisation and can often cost more than installing a new supply.
If you do need to move a gas connection you will basically follow the same process as if you were getting a new connection; finding out who your supplier is and getting a quote.
Landlords are required to have an annual gas safety check carried out to test the safety of each gas appliance in the property. And the landlord is legally required to provide a copy of the gas safety certificate to the tenant each year.
In terms of the actual gas supply to the property there is virtually no maintenance required. The only thing you need to be aware of is the condition of the plastic meter housing (if the meter is located externally) as these can become brittle over time and break, leaving the meter exposed to the elements and vandalism.
What if I have multiple units in a building?
Many of the same principles apply. However, the maximum number of new connections a landlord could install and still be eligible for the Government subsidisation is four.
Any more than this would mean that the connection becomes classified as non-standard and can resultantly be quite costly.
If we use the example of a block of flats that require a new gas supply above the first floor, this would be classed as a non-standard gas connection due to increased risks and costs of working at height.
Article Courtesy of 1gasconnections.co.uk