Gas Safety Checks
Having annual checks on your home's gas installation and appliances is just good practice, making sure that you and your family are living in a safe environment, with the piece of mind that your gas appliances aren't doing anything potentially dangerous.
If you are a landlord then you are legally obligated to have annual gas safety checks carried out on the property / properties that you let, ensuring that your tenants are safe and that you are covered by law.
The facts from Health and Safety Executive
Every year about 14 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by gas appliances and flues which have not been properly installed or maintained. Many others also suffer ill health.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 specifically deal with the installation, maintenance and use of gas appliances, fittings and flues in domestic and certain commercial premises. They place duties on certain landlords* to ensure that gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants’ use are safe.
These duties to protect tenants’ safety are in addition to the more general ones that landlords have under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.*Details of these landlords can be found in HSE’s Approved Code of Practice on the Regulations.
*Details of these landlords can be found in HSE’s Approved Code of Practice on the Regulations HERE
Gas Safety Checks
The duties generally apply to appliances and flues provided for tenants’ use in ‘relevant premises’, that is those occupied for residential purposes under either a licence, a tenancy agreement for a set term, or a lease as defined in the Regulations. Essentially any lease under seven years is covered. What are my main duties as a landlord? You are required to:
The Regulations specify the gas safety matters to be covered. You should not assume that an annual service inspection meets the safety check requirement, or that a safety check will, on its own, be sufficient to provide effective maintenance. Ask the advice of a Gas Safe registered engineer where necessary.
Which gas equipment is covered?
The safety check and maintenance requirements generally apply to any gas appliance or flue installed in the ‘relevant premises’ except that:
Your duty to maintain and carry out safety checks applies to fixed as well as portable appliances, such as LPG cabinet heaters.
What happens if I don’t maintain my tenants’ gas appliances?
Failure to do so may result in loss of life. Not only that, you risk being prosecuted, and this could result in you facing imprisonment or a fine of up to £20 000, or both, for each offence. If the case is then referred to the Crown Court the maximum penalty may be imprisonment, or an unlimited fine, or both.
*Details can be downloaded HERE