It’s mid-September, and that means it’s gas safety week in the UK. In support of that, we are giving you 4 essential things you need to know when letting out a property and what you need to do to keep your tenants safe.
What Needs Checking?
As a Landlord, you must check any gas appliance or flue installed in the property. This also includes any appliance or flue serving the rental property. For example, boilers for central heating that aren’t installed in the property but are used to heat the property must be checked and maintained.
You must maintain them to the manufacturer's instructions, however, if these are unavailable you will need to follow a registered gas safety engineer's advice.
Do I need to check all appliances used in the property?
Only the ones owed by you as the landlord. Anything that is the property of your tenant is the responsibility of the tenant and should be checked and maintained by them.
When do I need to arrange for checks to happen?
You will need to make sure that each appliance is checked annually by a registered gas safety engineer. You must keep a record of the certificates of completion handy too.
We recommend putting a reminder in your phone or on your computer, to recur on the same date every year. This way it’s an easy reminder to get booked in.
Ensure that you have the tenants’ permission to enter the property - you aren’t able to just walk in. However, you should have it written in your tenancy agreement that essential checks and maintenance can be carried out with notice.
Who can perform the checks?
Only a Gas Safe registered engineer can perform the checks. It is your responsibility to make sure that they are registered before allowing them to carry out the work. They will test the gas appliances to make sure the gas burns correctly and safely, it’s physically safe (is secure on the wall/ unit), and that it’s suitable for the room it’s located in.
They will also make sure that there is an adequate amount of air flow suitable for that particular appliance, and that any air vents or flues are working correctly.
Why is it important to get the appliances checked?
It’s important to get the appliances checked on a regular basis as failure to do so or spot the warning signs could lead to a number of serious consequences. The main risks are:
Fires - Gas appliances burn gas in a controlled and safe way, but faulty or damaged appliances could leak gas, which if it’s ignited could result in fire or even explosion.
Gas Leaks - Not only could gas leaks cause damage to your property, it could also cause your tenants to become ill. Symptoms such as sickness, headaches, weakness could mean that there is a gas leak somewhere.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning - When gas is burned, carbon monoxide is released. Damaged or faulty flues can result in leaking CO into a room, if this isn’t a well ventilated room then this could be fatal to your tenants.
To summarise: as a landlord you are responsible to maintain and get repaired any appliance within a property that you own. You need to make sure that the person who carries out any work to the appliance is a gas safe registered engineer, and you must keep a record of all the checks carried out on each appliance. Failure to uphold the gas safety measure is seen as a serious offence which could result in hefty fines.
If you find it tough to keep up with your obligations as a landlord and you’re thinking of employing a property manager, we can help. Take a look at our landlord services to find out more about what we can offer.