In October 1998, the government released regulations for landlords concerning gas safety in rental properties. These regulations, ‘The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1988’ outline that landlords must ensure all gas supply to the property is safe and working properly, including gas appliances, fittings, chimneys and flues.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) comment ‘Landlords have a duty of care to their tenants. This is a legal duty to repair and maintain gas pipework, flues and appliances in a safe condition, to ensure an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue, and to keep a record of each safety check.’
What must a landlord do to comply with gas safety regulations?
Here is a quick checklist of landlord duties and responsibilities in relation to gas safety:
1.) Gas safety checks
The 1998 regulations state that annual gas safety checks should be carried out, by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. This includes checking portable and permanent gas appliances, and gas flues that you own for the use of tenants.
If the tenants introduce gas appliances and flues of their own into the property, the tenant is legally responsible for the gas safety of these items. However, it is recommended that the landlords include these specific appliances within the annual gas service regardless of ownership, to ensure ongoing safety of the tenants and property going forward.
Regular gas safety checks do not include installation pipework checks – pipes which run from the meter to the appliance. HSE therefore recommend you ask your Gas Safe registered engineer to add this to the annual test, which includes a visual examination of the pipework.
In addition, HSE recommends landlords supply and use Carbon Monoxide alarms within their properties, one for each room where solid fuel is used. These alarms should be checked at the beginning of every tenancy. In October 2015, the ‘Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations’ came into effect in England.
2.) Keeping a gas safety record
With each annual gas safety test, you should receive a ‘Landlord Gas Safety certificate’ from the approved engineer. This certificate should be supplied to your current tenants within 28 days of receiving the report, and if you have new tenants moving in, this report should be provided prior to their move in date.
Landlords do not need to re-do a gas safety test for each new tenant that moves in – all landlords need to ensure is that the gas safety certificate is renewed every 12 months and supplied to the tenant as soon as possible. For short let tenancies, you may also display the safety record in the property.
3.) Ongoing Maintenance
Outside of these annual tests, it is important that landlords respond quickly to any tenant requests or queries concerning gas maintenance. It is also recommended that landlords are aware of servicing recommendations for individual appliances that may need to be tested and serviced, outside of the annual safety test.
So, whilst letting your home is a great way to secure additional income, it also comes with its challenges. Couple these challenges with frequent and ongoing regulation and guideline changes from the government, all of a sudden, the job of being a landlord becomes stressful and time consuming.
This is where City Relay can help. We are proud to be London’s most trusted property management agency, offering an all-in-one service to our landlords including liaising with tenants, contract negotiations, protecting deposits, and best practise advice for you as the landlord. Find out more about our services and pricing or contact us now to find out how we can help you manage your property.