In relation to domestic gas a Landlord is anyone who rents out a property that they own under a lease that is shorter than 7 years or under a licence (Gas Safety Regulations 1998)
What are my requirements as a Landlord?
As a landlord, you are responsible for the safety of your tenants. The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 deal with landlords’ duties to make sure gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants are safe.
Appliances, fittings and flues in a communal area but which may be used by tenants are also included. You are responsible for the maintenance and repair of flues, appliances and pipework provided for your tenants use; by a Gas Safe registered engineer . Although there is no prescribed timeframe for these duties, good practice would be the demonstration of regular, annual maintenance checks and subsequent repairs.
You are also responsible for ensuring an annual gas safety check is carried out within 12 months of the installation of a new appliance or flue which you provide and annually thereafter by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. You must keep a record of the safety check for 2 years and issue a copy to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being completed and issue a copy to any new tenants before they move in.
Failure to do so would invalidate Section 21 notice if you are trying to regain possession of the property.
If I use a managing agent am I still responsible as a Landlord?
If a managing agent is used to help you meet your duties, make sure that the management contract clearly specifies who is to make the arrangements for maintenance and safety checks. HSE strongly advises that you request to see copies of the maintenance information and safety check from the management agency to ensure maintenance has been completed, which will also help to fulfil your other legal duties.
What should I do if I suspect an appliance is unsafe?
It is illegal for anyone to use a gas appliance if they suspect it is unsafe. Turn the appliance off and do not touch it until it has been checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer
If you suspect there is a gas leak you should immediately do the following:
- Call National Grid's Gas Emergency Freephone number: 0800 111 999
- Open all the doors and windows
- Shut off the gas supply at the meter control valve (if you know where it is)
What if I break the regulations?
You are putting lives at risk and breaking the law. HSE gives gas safety a high priority and will take the appropriate action to ensure compliance with the regulations; this could result in a substantial fine and/or a custodial sentence.
Failure to comply with Gas Safety Regulations can also result in invalidating legal notices such as Section 21 in the event of you requesting possession of the property.
For further information about Gas Safety take a look at the HSE Website
Information contained in this article may have changed since it was first published. Ezylet strongly advises you to seek legal advice from a qualified professional.