As a landlord the safety of your tenants is your responsibility and this extends to making sure that gas appliances, fittings and flues are maintained and safe for use. If your property is equipped with gas appliances then under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, you will be responsible for:
Annual gas safety checks: This must be carried out every 12 months on every gas appliance or flue to ensure they are safe for use.
Maintenance and repair: Gas appliances, flues and pipework need to be maintained and appliances serviced as per manufacturer’s guides, or in absence of these on an annual basis via a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Providing a CP12 certificate to tenants: A full record must be kept on the annual gas safety check and provided to the tenant within 28 days of the check or before they move in for new tenants
Record keeping: Copies of the CP12 records must be kept for 2 years.
Duties apply to fixed as well as potable LPG appliances. However, if your tenant has an appliance that you have not provided for use, then you are responsible for the maintenance of the pipework but not the appliance itself.
In addition to being responsible for gas safety it is highly recommended to ensure that you have suitable landlord insurance in place to keep your commercial and residential investments safe, should the unthinkable happen.
When you are unable to access the property
If your tenants are not playing ball and you are experiencing difficulty entering the property to perform safety checks then you must provide documentation of the reasonable steps that you took to access the property, including copies of correspondence with the tenant. There should be repeated attempts to comply with the law and the tenants made aware that this is a legal requirement, however, you are not permitted to force entry.
When you are not responsible
If a lifelong lease is in place (longer than 7 years and for life) then as a landlord you are not responsible for gas safety checks and maintenance. But if the property agreement is lifelong and provided as part of the tenants job then the landlord would still be responsible for these duties.
What if you use a letting agent?
If as a landlord you use the services of a letting agent then you should clearly specify who is responsible for carrying out the maintenance, safety checks, and record keeping. It is also strongly advised that if the agent is found responsible that you make sure you see copies of all maintenance and repair information to fulfil your legal duties.
What if the property is sublet?
When the property is sublet then the ‘original’ landlord retains duties which can overlap with the sub-letter. In this situation a clear allocation of duties is once again necessary to ensure legal obligation are met and the tenant is kept safe.
If your tenants heating is switched off due to maintenance or repair
When your tenants heating, hot water or appliance is switched off during safety checks and maintenance/repair then this is for their own safety and you must provide emergency heating when required.
What are the consequences if you do not maintain gas appliances?
If you fail to meet the legal requirements then you could risk being prosecuted, which may result in imprisonment or a fine up to £20,000 or both for each offence.
Article Courtesy of: www.bluedropservices.co.uk