Landlords - do you know where you stand on gas safety?

We thought Gas Safety Week would be a good time to remind landlords of their obligations when it comes to ensuring a safe environment for their tenants.

CO Gas Safety data shows that on average, there are 40 deaths and 300 injuries per year down to carbon monoxide poisoning. As it can be hard to determine poisoning on those who have died unexpectedly through a blood sample or breath test, this figure may in truth be much higher.

In 2011, the Gas Safety Register launched Gas Safety Week as a way to open a national conversation with suppliers, organisations, the government and individuals, around the importance of gas safety, in the hope that future death or injury can be avoided.

Your responsibility towards your tenants

As a landlord, you have legal duties which span many different types of properties, including private residential accommodation, housing associations, bed sits, and hotels among others.

Under The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulation of 1998 you have three key responsibilities:

  1. To maintain appliances, pipework and chimneys or flues to ensure they’re safe to use. All gas appliances need to be serviced regularly. This needs to happen annually or according to the appliances instructions, and should always be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
  2. Arrange an annual gas safety check on every gas appliance/flue. By law, this needs to be done by a registered engineer.
  3. Record all gas safety checks and keep copies for at least two years. The record should either be given to existing tenants within 28 days of completion, or to new tenants at the start of their tenancy.

Other considerations

It’s a good idea to let your tenants know how and where they can turn off the gas in case of emergency to avoid an injury or damage to the property through an explosion.

Also there may be times where your tenant has their own gas appliance, such as an oven. In these circumstances you only have an obligation to maintain the pipework and not the appliance itself.

If your tenant refuses you or the gas safety engineer entry to carry out necessary checks, you’ll need to take reasonable steps to ensure this essential work goes ahead. Keep a record of any refusals in case this is needed for legal reasons further down the line.

Gas Safety Week is running from 19th – 25th September but these obligations apply as long as you rent out your property. For more information on Gas Safety Week click here.