Gas safety checks, Landlord Safety Certificates & Gas Safety FAQs
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Landlord’s Gas Safety Certificates FAQs
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:
- Send a reminder to the tenant that their appliances should be serviced and checked for safety each year by a Gas Safe Registered, and where possible, offer to include these (at reasonable cost) within gas safety maintenance undertaken on your behalf.
- At the start of the tenancy, advise the tenant of any flues or chimneys that are unsuitable for the installation of a gas appliance. You may also wish to consider regulating the installation of any appliance by a tenant through the conditions of the tenancy agreement.
- It is also recommended to include all flues (e.g. chimneys) connected to gas appliances within your landlord’s gas safety check, even where they do not serve appliances provided by the landlord. This may also help to fulfil other legal duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
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:
- leave the tenant a notice stating that an attempt was made to complete the gas safety check and provide your contact details;
- Write to the tenant explaining that a safety check is a legal requirement and that it is for the tenants own safety. Give the tenant the opportunity to arrange their own appointment;
- HSE inspectors will look for at least three attempts to complete the gas safety check, including the above suggestions; however the approach will need to be appropriate to each circumstance. It would ultimately be for a court to decide if the action taken was reasonable depending upon the individual circumstances.
- It is a good idea to include arrangements for access in the tenancy agreement.
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:
- A gas fire, gas space heater or a gas water heater (including a gas boiler) over 14 kilowatts gross input unless it is room sealed.
- A gas fire, gas space heater, or a gas water heater (including a gas boiler) of 14 kilowatts gross input or less or any instantaneous water heater unless it is room sealed or has an atmosphere-sensing device.
- If a room contains one or more of the above appliances and was used as a bedroom prior to 1998 then you will need to do a risk assessment to determine if it can still be used as a bedroom. If you are unsure of the safety of any gas appliance you should get a Gas Safe Registered engineer to check it for you.
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.
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