A timely reminder for Landlords on the importance of meeting their obligations under gas safety legislation as Gas Safety Week comes to an end Sunday.
Landlords are legally responsible for the safety of their tenants and their duties extend to a wide range of accommodation, whether occupied under a lease or licence (lodgers), including:
– residential premises provided for rent by local authorities, housing associations, private sector landlords, housing co-operatives, hostels
– rooms let in bed-sit accommodation, private households, bed and breakfast accommodation and hotels
– rented holiday accommodation such as chalets, cottages, flats, caravans and narrow boats on inland waterways.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 deal with landlords’ duties to make sure gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants are safe.
A Landlord’s responsibilities include the maintenance of pipe work, appliances and flues. Gas appliances should be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If these are not available it is recommended that they are serviced annually unless advised otherwise by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
A gas safety check must be carried out on every gas appliance/flue. A gas safety check will make sure gas fittings and appliances are safe to use.
A record of the annual gas safety check must be provided to tenants within 28 days of the check being completed or to new tenants before they move in. Landlords must keep copies of the gas safety record for two years.
All installation, maintenance and safety checks need to be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
In situations where a tenant introduces their own gas appliances, then landlords are responsible for the maintenance of the gas pipe work but not for the appliance itself.
Landlord should provide tenants with instructions for all appliances in a rental property and should also make sure tenants know where to turn off the gas and what to do in the event of a gas emergency.
Problems with Access. The contract you draw up with the tenant should allow you access for any maintenance or safety check work to be carried out. In the event of difficulties landlords must take ‘all reasonable steps’ to ensure this work is carried out, and this may involve giving written notice to a tenant requesting access, and explaining the reason. Landlords should keep records of any action taken to demonstrate what steps have been made to attempt to comply with the law.
See the HSE website for more information about landlords’ responsibility for gas safety.
Even when a property is only rented for a short period of time, perhaps your own home, or only a week as a holiday home, landlord still have specific duties for gas safety.
For information on landlords’ gas safety responsibilities which apply to short term lets, download our factsheet.