What are my duties as a landlord?
You have duties under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 to arrange maintenance by a Gas Safe Registered engineer for all pipe work, appliances and flues, which you own and have provided for your tenants use. You must also arrange for an annual gas safety check to be carried out every 12 months by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. You must keep a record of the safety check for 2 years and issue a copy to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being completed and issue a copy to any new tenants before they move in.
Do I have to use a Gas Safe Registered engineer to complete gas work?
Yes. The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations state that landlords must only use a Gas Safe Registered engineer for maintenance and safety checks on gas equipment they own and provide for tenants use in domestic premises. HSE advises that you check that the Gas Safe Registered 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.
What gas appliances do I have responsibilities for?
Any gas appliance that you own and provide for the tenant's use is included in your legal duties. If a tenant has their own gas appliance that you have not provided, then you have responsibilities for parts of the associated installation and pipe work but not for the actual appliance.
There are some good practice measures that you could adopt with appliances that tenants own:
What checks should be done between tenancies?
You must visually check the property to see if the departing tenant has either removed appliances unsafely, or alternatively left behind their own appliance, which should either be removed or checked for safety by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. The opportunity should be taken to clarify appliance ownership prior to renting the property again.
If you suspect that an appliance could have been tampered with, or there is the possibility of vandalism while a property remains empty, then HSE recommends you arrange for another gas safety check to be completed by a Gas Safe Registered engineer before giving access to new tenants.
Before you re-let the property you need to ensure that all appliances are safe and have an up to date landlord's gas safety record (a copy of which needs to be given to the new tenant); it is also good practice to arrange for the pipe work to be inspected and tested for soundness.
How far do I need to go if the tenant prevents access for a gas safety check?
A landlord has to show that they took all reasonable steps to comply with the law. HSE recommends the following best practice in these circumstances and strongly advises that a record be kept of all correspondence with the tenants:
What should I do if my tenant's heating and hot water has been switched off due to a gas safety check or maintenance?
If a gas appliance has been switched off by a Gas Safe Registered engineer it is because it is unsafe and should not be used. No matter how inconvenient the situation is for the tenant such action helps to ensure their safety. If a heating appliance has been disconnected then you must provide your tenant with emergency heating, for more information on this contact your local authority whilst arranging for appropriate remedial work by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.
Can a room containing a gas appliance still be used as a bedroom?
Since 31 October 1998, any room converted to use as sleeping accommodation should not contain the following types of gas appliances:
What if I break the regulations?
You are putting lives at risk and breaking the law. HSE gives gas safety a high priority and will take the appropriate action to ensure compliance with the regulations; this could result in a substantial fine and/or a custodial sentence.
How can I check whether an engineer is qualified to undertake a gas safety check in my property?
All registered engineers under the new scheme must carry ID cards that identify the appliances on which they are qualified to work. Consumers are strongly encouraged to check the ID card before letting anyone begin work on their gas appliances.