Landlords - do you know where you stand on gas safety?
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.
Although we need to be aware of gas safety throughout the year, Gas Safety Week is 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 due 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.
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:
- Gas safety checks – To ensure your tenants’ safety, all gas appliances, pipework and chimneys or flues need to undergo an annual gas safety check by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Once this has been carried out, you’ll be given a gas safety certificate with details of all the checks.
- Gas safety certificate – Following the annual gas safety check, you need to provide your tenants with a copy of the gas safety certificate, also known as a CP12 certificate. You need to keep copies of the gas safety certificate for at least two years. Landlords should provide new tenants with a copy of the gas safety certificate at the start of the tenancy and existing tenants within 28 days of each annual gas safety check, if there is a gas installation.
- Maintenance – It is a landlord’s responsibility to make sure that all gas pipework, appliances, chimneys and flues are kept in safe condition. 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.
The Government provides guidelines on gas safety for landlords and letting agents.
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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 Safe 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. Find out what to do if this happens to you in our article, How to gain access for a landlord gas inspection.
Gas Safety Week is running from 14 – 20 September 2020 but these obligations apply as long as you rent out your property.
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