If you are renting a residential property, you need to be aware of the responsibilities that your landlord has regarding the safety of your gas supply. In order to comply with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015, the landlord has some clear obligations relating to the maintenance of all gas appliances within the property. In this article we look at what your landlord should be doing to guarantee your safety when it comes to your gas supply. To find out more about your landlord’s obligations relating to gas safety in your rental property, visit the Mayo Wynne Baxter Solicitors.
What Are The Landlord’s Key Responsibilities?
According to the Health and Safety Executive (http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/landlords/) a landlord has legal responsibility for their tenants’ safety when it comes to the gas supply to the property. By law a landlord must do the following:
- Maintain any gas appliances, flues or pipework and ensure any repairs are carried out to keep them in safe working order.
- Make sure that a gas safety check is carried out annually on every flue and gas appliance in the property.
- Maintain safety records of all annual gas safety checks for two years and ensure that each tenant is given a copy of an up to date gas safety check immediately upon taking up residence or within 28 days of the check being performed.
- Keep tenants informed about all of their own responsibilities relating to the gas supply whilst they are inhabiting the property.
- Make sure all tenants are aware of where to find the emergency gas shut-off valve for their accommodation and how to use it.
Who Can Install Gas Appliances And Carry Out Safety Checks In A Tenanted Property?
As stated on the Government website (https://www.gov.uk/private-renting/your-landlords-safety-responsibilities), only a registered Gas Safe Registered Engineer may install any gas equipment in a tenanted property or perform the annual obligatory Gas Safety Check. If your landlord fails to use a registered engineer they are committing an offence. You should always check that anyone who comes to install an appliance or perform a safety check in your rented property is a registered installer by asking to see their Gas Safe ID card.
Who Is Responsible For Gas Safety If I Rent Through An Agency?
Even if you rent through an agency it is still the landlord’s ultimate responsibility to ensure that all legal requirements are met regarding gas safety although the agency may arrange for an engineer to visit your property whenever required.
Does My Landlord Have To Supply A Smoke Alarm And A Carbon Monoxide Alarm In The Property?
If you are renting a property in England, your landlord is now required to supply a smoke alarm on every floor of any residential rental property and also a carbon monoxide alarm in any room which contains an oil, gas or solid fuel appliance following changes in the law from 1 October 2015. These obligations are laid out by the Residential Landlords Association (http://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/guides/carbon-monoxide-requirements.shtml).
What About Hidden Boiler Flues?
In some properties the boiler flues are unable to be inspected as they are hidden behind a wall or ceiling. As the law states that these flues must be inspected regularly, the landlord is obliged to have an inspection hatch installed in order for the mandatory checks to be performed.
What If I Have My Own Gas Appliances?
Most tenancy agreements prevent tenants from bringing their own gas appliances to a rented property, however if you are permitted to do so under the terms of your lease you will be responsible for carrying out all gas safety checks on those appliances. You will also be responsible for maintaining the flue if it only serves your own appliance.
Do I Have Any Other Responsibilities Regarding Gas Safety As A Tenant?
It is the tenant’s responsibility to make the landlord aware of any suspected defect or malfunction with any gas appliance in the property and to refrain from using the affected item until repairs have been carried out.
What Happens If My Landlord Fails To Maintain Gas Appliances?
If your landlord does not adhere to their legal obligations regarding gas safety in a tenanted property they are committing a criminal offence and may be prosecuted. The penalty for failure to maintain a gas appliance to a suitable standard may be either imprisonment, a large fine or both.