Landlords – Do you know all the rules?

Landlords have specific legal responsibilities to their tenants when it comes to gas safety.

As a landlord, you are responsible for the safety of your tenants. Landlords duties apply to a wide range of accommodation, occupied under a lease or licence, which includes:

  • Residential premises provided for rent by local authorities, housing associations, private sector landlords, housing co-operatives & hostels.
  • Rooms let within bed sit accommodation, private households, bed and breakfast accommodation & hotels.
  • Rented holiday accommodation such as chalets, cottages, flats, caravans and also narrow boats on inland waterways.

The gas safety regulations of 1998 deal with landlords’ duties to make sure gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants are safe.

Landlord responsibilities.

If you let a property equipped with gas appliances you have three main responsibilities:

  1. Maintenance – Pipework, appliances and flues must be maintained in a safe condition. Gas appliances should be serviced in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. If these are not available it is recommended that they are serviced annually unless advised otherwise by a gas safe registered engineer.
  2. Gas safety checks – A 12 month gas safety check must be carried out on every gas appliance / flue. A gas safety check will make sure that gas fittings and appliances are safe to use.
  3. Valid Record – A record of the annual gas safety check must be provided to your tenant within 28 days of the check being completed or to new tenants before they move in. Landlords must keep copies of the gas safety record for a minimum of 2 years!

All installation, maintenance and safety checks need to be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

If a tenant has their own gas appliance that you have not provided, then you are still responsible for the maintenance of the gas pipework but not the actual appliance itself. You should also make sure that your tenants know where to turn off the gas & what to do in the event of a gas emergency.

What if my tenant won’t allow me access to the property?

The contract you draw up with your tenant should allow you access for any maintenance or safety check work to be carried out. You have to take ‘all reasonable steps’ to ensure this work is carried out. This may involve giving written notice to a tenant requesting access, and explaining the reason to them. Always keep a record of any actions taken between you and the tenant.

What if I’m only renting my property for a short period of time?

Even if a property is only rented out for a short period of time, perhaps only a week as a holiday home, you are still a landlord and have specific duties for gas safety. All of the same rules apply whether it be a week or a year!

If you feel you may need some advice on any of the matters above, please do not hesitate to give GME Group plumbing a call on 01435-868988 and a member of the team will be more than happy to help with anything you are unsure of. Alternatively, you can always contact us via our enquiry form and we will get back to you within 24 hours.