Whilst both gas and electricity can be lethal, from a landlord’s perspective, the law relating to gas safety is more stringent than it is for electricity with substantial fines or even imprisonment for of the breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. These regulations impose a duty on landlords to use a Gas Safe Registered engineer to undertake and maintenance to pipework, appliances and flues.
There is a further duty on landlords to arrange a gas safety check to be carried out every 12 months, also by a Gas Safe Registered engineer, and provide your tenant with a copy of the Safety Certificate before they move in, or within 28 days of the inspection for existing tenants. You must also keep a record of each safety check for two years.
Between tenancies, you have a responsibility to check that none of the gas pipework, flues or appliances have been tampered with, and if they have, then you should have these checked by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. As there have been several instances of bogus Gas Safe Registered engineers it is always worth checking credentials with www.gassaferegister.co.uk.
These checks apply to LPG (bottled gas) as well as mains gas, and to any gas appliance provided by you for the tenant’s use in the property. Should the tenant wish to install their own gas appliance, whilst you are not strictly responsible for the safety of these under the Gas Safety Regulations, you may have other Health and Safety obligations; especially with regard to neighbours should there be a gas-related problem. So it might be a good idea to provide for an annual inspection of tenants’ appliances within your tenancy agreement.
You should also show your tenant how to turn the gas off in the event of a suspected leak and provide them with the emergency gas freephone number of 0800 111 999.
And if you haven’t got a tenant, then our emergency tenant-finding telephone number is xxx xxx xxxx.
It pays to be safe!
Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA
CEO – Oakfield Estate Agents