Landlords - gas safety

For advice, contact the Gas Emergency Free phone number 0800 111 999.

Your duties as a landlord 

  • All gas appliances and installations should have annual safety checks, carried out by a Gas Safe registered gas installer. Safety checks must have been carried out within one year of the start of any new lease start date. If the appliances in the property have been installed for less than 12 months, they should be checked within 12 months of their installation date by a Gas Safe registered gas installer
  • Safety certificates must be available for inspection at any time. If you cannot provide proof, you could be prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive
  • Gas fittings and flues should be maintained in a safe condition
  • Gas appliances should be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. This includes portable appliances
  • Any appliances and flues serving 'relevant premises' - such as central heating boilers not installed in tenants' accommodation but used to heat them should be maintained in a safe condition
  • Keep a record of each safety check for at least two years (The Houses in Multiple Occupation Licensing Scheme requires you to keep records for the duration of the Licence)
  • Issue a copy of the safety check record to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being completed, or to any new tenant before they move in (in certain cases there is an option to display the record)

Check a gas safe registration

A gas safe registered installer will have a current Gas Safe photo ID card, showing their licence number, trading title and expiry date of the card. The back of the card will list the sort of work they are competent to carry out.

Exceptions 

  • Appliances owned by the tenant
  • Flues/chimneys solely connected to an appliance owned by the tenant 

Landlord/tenant contract 

Landlords can not delegate these duties to a tenant, and has overall responsibility, even when using an agent.

You can draw up a contract with a tenant for an appliance or flue installed in a non-residential part of a premises, for example, a shop or public house. It should identify who makes arrangements for maintenance and safety checks to be carried out and to keep records.

The contract must allow you access for any maintenance or safety check work to be carried ou, and you have to take all reasonable steps to make sure this work is carried out. 

Keep a record of any action, in case a tenant refuses access and you have to show what steps you havetaken. If a tenant continues to refuse access, you can take action through the courts under the terms of their tenants' contracts. You must not use force to gain entry into the property.

If an appliance fails the safety check, you should record details of any defect identified and remedial action taken in the safety check record.

You must make sure that any safety defect is fixed before the equipment is used again. You should keep copies of work done to rectify defects.

It is an offence to use, or allow the use, of gas appliances you know to be unsafe. You must not reconnect any appliancee you have been told are unsafe, and which have been isolated or disconnected for safety reasons, until the fault has been fixed. 

Leaks

If you smell gas, or suspect there is a gas escape, immediately open all windows and doors and shut off the gas supply at the meter control valve.

If you suspect a carbon monoxide leakage, follow the same procedure, unless you can identify the specific appliance at fault. If you can, get a Gas Safe registered installer to investigate and make repairs.

If you provide liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for use by a tenant in premises other than a building, e.g. a caravan or holiday home park, you must discuss emergency arrangements with your LPG supplier and agree what action to take in case of a gas escape or emission of carbon monoxide from any LPG appliance.

If you fail to maintain a tenants' gas appliance, the results can be fatal. You can be prosecuted, and receive a maximum fine of £5,000 for each offence. If the case is referred to the Crown Court, the maximum penalty is an unlimited fine and the possibility of imprisonment. 

Danger signs

  • Stains, soot or discolouring around a gas fire or at the top of a water heater. This may mean that the flue or chimney is blocked. Carbon monoxide can build up in the room
  • A yellow or orange flame on a gas fire or water heater
  • A strange smell when the gas appliance is on

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Reduce carbon monoxide poisoning by:

  • only buying appliances which have been tested for safety. If you're buying a second hand appliance, make sure you get a written guarantee and ask for a copy of the user instructions
  • never fitting gas appliances yourself - always use an installer registered with Gas Safe. This is not just common sense - it is the law
  • always have your gas appliances checked and maintained annually by a Gas Safe registered installer. This is the law
     
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