Gas Safety

You have duties under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 to arrange maintenance by a Gas Safe Registered engineer for all pipe work, appliances and flues, which you own and have provided for your tenants use. You must also arrange for an annual gas safety check to be carried out every 12 months 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.

What are my main duties as a landlord?

You are required to:

  • ensure gas fittings and flues are maintained in a safe condition. Gas appliances should be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If these are not available it is recommended that they are serviced annually unless advised otherwise by a Gas Safe registered engineer;
  • ensure an annual safety check is carried out on each gas appliance/flue. Before any new lease starts, you must make sure that these checks have been carried out within one year before the start of the lease date, unless the appliances in the property have been installed for less than 12 months, in which case they should be checked within 12 months of their installation date;
  • have all installation, maintenance and safety checks carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer; keep a record of each safety check for at least two years;
  • issue a copy of the latest safety check record to existing tenants within 28 days of the check being completed, or to any new tenant before they move in (in certain cases there is an option to display the record).

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: appliances owned by the tenant are not covered; flues/chimneys solely connected to an appliance owned by the tenant are not covered; any appliances and flues serving ‘relevant premises’ (such as central heating boilers not installed in tenants’ accommodation, but used to heat them) are covered.

What if an appliance fails the safety check?

The safety check record will contain details of any defect identified and remedial action taken. You must ensure that any safety defect is rectified (by a Gas Safe registered engineer) before the equipment is used again. It is recommended that you keep copies of work done to rectify defects identified by the safety check.

It is an offence to use, or allow the use of, a gas appliance you know to be unsafe.
In no circumstances should you reconnect an appliance that you have been told is unsafe, which has either been isolated or disconnected for safety reasons, until the fault has been rectified.

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.