Landlord guide to gas safety
1 in 6 homes in the UK has an unsafe gas appliance, according to Gas Safe Register. As a landlord, it’s your legal responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of your tenants with regards to gas safety.
However, the government aren’t always so clear on how you should do that. This guide has some practical advice on how you to interpret your obligations.
By law you must:
- Maintain gas pipework, flues and appliances in a safe condition
- Ensure an annual gas safety check is carried out on each appliance and flue
- Keep a record of each safety check
All installation, maintenance, repairs and safety checks must be carried out by a gas safe registered engineer
To keep up to date with your gas safety obligations, you should signup to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) gas eBulletin
Maintenance of pipework, flues and appliances
Conducting annual gas safety checks and keeping records alone is not enough to make sure that you have fulfilled your maintenance obligations.
It’s your responsibility to ensure all gas pipework, flues and appliances are maintained in safe condition i.e. “regular” inspections and the necessary repairs are made. As for how and when, the government is less clear. So here’s some more practical advice:
Making sure pipework is maintained
When conducting an annual gas safety check, some engineers do check the installation pipework as standard, but it’s not technically included in the check. However, the Health and Safety Executive advise that, while they’re at it, you ask the gas safe registered engineer to:
- Test for soundness on the whole gas system, including installation pipework
- Visually examine the pipework – as far as is reasonably possible
Making sure appliances and flues are maintained
All gas appliances in the property should be regularly serviced, as per the manufacturer’s instructions. If these aren’t available, then the HSE advise that all gas appliances are serviced annually.
Servicing should include:
- Examination of the physical condition and safe functioning of appliance(s), installation pipework, ventilation, and any flue for signs of deterioration
- Carrying out of performance tests
- Making any necessary repairs/replacements
There is no formal requirement to keep a record of your maintenance checks – only the annual gas safety checks. However, you’ll have to be able to show, if asked, that you’ve been making regular checks and repairs by showing that any necessary repairs have been made
Remember, you must give tenants 24 hours’ notice before you arrive at the property – even if it’s to carry out essential tasks like an annual gas safety check
Annual gas safety checks
You must ensure that any gas appliances (permanent or portable) and gas flues in the property have an annual gas safety check from a gas safe registered engineer.
If the engineer identifies anything at risk and is not able to rectify it there and then, then you must take prompt action to arrange for this to be fixed and ensure that the appliance is not used until it is safe.
You can make sure your engineer is qualified to carry out the check by using the Gas Safe Register
Make sure you never forget to get your annual gas safety check, sign up for a reminder
After they’ve made their checks, the engineer will give you a record. You must keep a record of each check for at least 2 years. A record of the check should be supplied to your tenant within 28 days of the check being completed. For new tenants, it must be provided before they move in.
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