Gas safety: A guide for landlords

As a landlord, you have the responsibility of ensuring the property you rent issafe to live in. One of the most importing things in this is making sure your property is gas safe. We have put this guide together to help landlords understand their responsibilities, potential penalties and advice to help them perform their duties.  

When it comes to responsibilities surrounding gas safety, it is not only down to the landlord. Tenants and employees of the landlord also have some responsibilities. Let’s take a look at who is responsible for what.

What responsibilities do landlords have for gas safety?

Landlords are responsible for ensuring that all gas appliances, including the installation pipe or flues,are maintained in a safe condition for the entire time the property is occupied. They should bear this in mind when responding to repair requests and ensure priority is given to those that relate to gas appliances or issues.

Landlords of rented residential properties are required by law to carry out an annual gas safety check on all of the gas appliances they provide, i.e. boiler, oven and fire and also includes all related gas flues.

This work must be performed by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer, once performed and providing the engineer is satisfied that the property is gas safe, a CP12 gas safety certificate will be issued. As a Gas Safe Registered Engineer, we can help landlords in Romsey, Southampton and the surrounding areas with their gas safety checks and certification.  

The only exception to the rule is if there is a tenancy agreement of 7 years or more, this then places the responsibility onto the tenant. This only applies to tenancies with a fixed term of 7 years, not tenancies that have lasted for 7 years.  

It is also important to mention that there have been some changes to when and how often landlords should get a new gas safety certificate.  

Until April 6th 2018, a Gas Safety Certificate would last for 12 months from the day the engineer performed the inspection. This meant that landlords would often end up getting a check done every 10-11 months rather than risking breaching the law. 

From April 6th 2018 this changed, a gas safety inspection performed in the 2 months prior to the expiry of the current certificate is treated as having been performed on the last day of the existing certificate. 

It is the landlord'sresponsibility to ensure that tenants are given a copy of the current CP12 certificate prior to the tenancy beginning and they must also ensure they give the tenant a copy of the replacement certificate within 28 days of the annual check being completed.  

It is good practice for a landlord to have a system in place that verifies that checks have been carried out and that they have been carried out properly, to ensure the safety of their tenants. Failure to carry out annual gas safety checks is a criminal offence.

In addition, it is also the landlord'sresponsibility to ensure that the installation of gas appliances in rental properties adhere to Part J of the Building Regulations. This relates to boilers having to have a minimum efficiency of 86%, the landlord will need a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate from the engineer who installed the boiler to confirm that the boiler has been assessed and complies with the regulations.

What responsibilities do landlords and tenants have for gas safety?

There are responsibilities under the Gas Safety Regulations that relate to all people. This includes landlords, tenants and the employees of landlords. They are:  

●     No person searching for an escape of gas is to use any source of ignition e.g. a match or lighter. 

●     Combustiblematerial must not be stored in any meter box. 

●     Any person disconnecting a gas fitting must seal off the outlet pipe. 

●     No person to carry out work unless competent. 

●     No person is to install a meter in a locked box without supplying a key. 

●     No alterations are to be made to any premises which would adversely affect the safety of a gas fitting so as to result in any contravention of or failure to comply with the regulations e.g. installation/removal of a window, air bricks, extractor fans or putting extra weight on hidden pipes. 

●     Nothing may be done which could affect a gas fitting or any flue or means of ventilation in such a manner that subsequent use could constitute a danger to any person.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are usually responsible for dealing with any breaches relating to gas safety and they have powers to enforce around this. For breaches of the Building Regulations, the local authority are responsible for enforcing actions.

What are the penalties for non-compliance of gas safety regulations?

Landlords that fail to comply with gas safety regulations may be faced with heavy penalties. Not providing a CP12 certificate is a criminal offence, landlords can face fines of up to £6000 or 6 months in prison if they do not provide an up to date CP12 certificate to their tenants.  

Landlords who do not ensure their properties are gas safe and provide the appropriate certificationshould be aware that this is a hazardous situation, and they may be subject to enforcement actions such as improvement or prohibition notices or emergency remedial action from the local authority. 

In addition, the landlord can be held liable for having defective premises, which can lead to large losses through civil damages.

What if a tenant refuses to access to perform gas safety checks?

It is typically written in the tenancy agreement that the landlord can access the property on a 24 hour written notice to inspect for or perform checks and repairs that are needed.  

However, if a tenant refuses a landlord access, the landlord must either obtain an injunction against the tenant, get the tenant'sconsent to enter or begin eviction proceedings under Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988. 

The HSE has previously confirmed that they will not prosecute landlords who can show they have made at least 3 genuine efforts to access the property to perform their obligations. To prove this, landlords should ensure they have written records of every attempt, including if possible conformation of the refused access by the engineer.

Can anyone enter a property if there is a genuine gas safety risk?

The Gas Safety (Right of Entry) Regulations 1996 permits the National Grid the right to enter premises where there is reasonable cause to suspect a gas escape. The National Grid officers would still require the tenant'sconsent to enter the property unless authorised by a Magistrates Warrant.

What if the tenant installs a gas appliance?

If a tenant installs a gas appliance without telling the landlord, these appliances will belong to the tenant and are therefore excluded from the landlord’s liability. However, any installationpipeworkwill not be excluded and this will be the responsibility of the landlord.  

If a tenant leaves an appliance they installed behind when they leave the property, this then becomes the property and responsibility of the landlord.

About Tailor-Made Property Services

At Tailor-Made Property Services,we offer a range of high-qualityproperty services to homeowners, landlords and residential property managers in Romsey, Southampton and surrounding areas. We provide a friendly, professional and reliable service 7 days a week, 365 days a year in Romsey, Southampton and the surrounding areas. 

Our heating and plumbing services includerepairs, servicing, installations and certificates to homeowners, landlords and residential property managers throughout Romsey and Southampton. So whether you need to service, repair or install a gas boiler, Tailor-Made Property Services can help.  

As a fully qualified and Gas Safe Registered engineer in Romsey, Southampton and surrounding areas, we provide the following heating and plumbing services:  

●    Central Heating Repair

●    Central Heating Installation

●    Gas Safety Certificates

●    Homeowner Gas Certificates

●    Gas Appliance Installs

●    Boiler Servicing

●    Power Flushing

●    Plumbing in Appliances

●    Fitting Taps

●    Fitting Shower Valves

●    Cistern Repairs  

Whether you want to book a visit, request a quote or you have an emergency that needs urgent attention, get in touch with Rebecca or Paul on 01794 329 831 or email us at info@tailormadepropertyservices.co.uk

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