Did you know, that as a landlord, you are legally responsible for the welfare of your tenants when it comes to gas safety? Whether it is an unreliable boiler, a corroded pipe or a faulty flue, the responsibility for checking, maintenance and record-keeping lies firmly with the landlord, and the legal ramifications of failing to deliver on this responsibility can be enormous.
At the very least, you should ensure that the gas pipework, flues and all gas appliances in the property are fully operational and in a safe condition. Carrying out an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue is imperative, as is keeping a record of these checks.
So what are your responsibilities as a landlord?
We answer some frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Who needs a gas safety check?
Landlords, housing associations, local authorities, hotels and B&Bs, colleges, boarding schools and hostels.
My property is empty, do I still need a gas safety check?
You must ensure all appliances and flues are safe and have an up-to-date safety check record for any new tenants before they move in.
What action must I take if the annual gas safety check identifies safety issues?
You must take prompt action to correct any defect. If there is any suspicion that an appliance may be dangerous or unsafe, then you must ensure it is not used until the defect has been remedied. If you have an agent acting on your behalf, then you must make them aware that this is the situation and ensure they follow your instructions.
Who can carry out a gas safety check?
The checks must be done by a Gas Safe registered engineer. You must check that the Gas Safe engineer is competent to work in that specific area of gas. This is clearly marked on the back of the engineer’s Gas Safe Register registration card, or you can check on the Gas Safe Register website (www.gassaferegister.co.uk).
Which pipework needs checking?
All installation pipework – that runs from the meter to the appliance – should be included in the check. Maintenance from the meter to the service point is the responsibility of the pipeline operator.
How often should pipework be checked?
Pipework is not covered under the annual gas safety check, but you should ask the Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out a check for soundness on the whole system, including the pipework. It is also worth asking the engineer to visually examine the pipework when he or she carries out the annual check.
Who should carry out repairs to appliances, flues and pipework?
All maintenance, checks and repairs should be carried out by a registered Gas Safe engineer.
What records should be kept?
- The record of a gas safety check must contain:
- The location of each appliance or flue checked
- The name, registration number and signature of the individual carrying out the check
- The date on which the check took place
- The address of the property at which the appliance or flue is installed
- Your name and address (or your agent’s details)
- Any defect identified and any remedial action taken
- A statement confirming that the safety check has been completed and complies with the requirements of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
What information do I need to give the tenants?
Existing tenants must receive the gas safety check record within 28 days of the test being completed. New tenants should receive the check before they move in. Who is responsible for damage caused by tenants? Your tenancy agreement should make it clear who is responsible for any damage to appliances and flues.
For further information: www.hse.gov.uk/gas/landlords/dealing.htm#information