As a landlord, you are responsible for the safety of your tenants. The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 deal with landlords’ duties to make sure gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants are safe.
Appliances, fittings and flues in a communal area but which may be used by tenants are also included. You are responsible for the maintenance and repair of flues,appliances and pipework provided for your tenants use ;by a Gas Safe registered engineer . Although there is no prescribed timeframe for these duties, good practice would be the demonstration of regular, annual maintenance checks and subsequent repairs.
You are also responsible for ensuring an annual gas safety check is carried out within 12 months of the installation of a new appliance or flue which you provide and annually thereafter 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
Any gas appliance that you own and provide for the tenant's use is included in your legal duties. If a tenant has their own gas appliance that you have not provided, then you have responsibilities for parts of the associated installation and pipework but not for the actual appliance.
There are some good practice measures that you could adopt with appliances that tenants own:
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations state that landlords must only use a Gas Safe registered engineer for maintenance and safety checks on gas equipment they own and provide for tenants use in domestic premises. HSE advises that you check that the Gas Safe registered engineer is competent to work in that specific area of gas. This is clearly marked on the back of the engineer's Gas Safe Register registration card.
Regulation 36(2) requires checks for ongoing maintenance purposes, for instance, before a new tenancy is commenced.
Before you re-let a property after tenants have vacated it, you need to ensure that all appliances and flues are safe and have an up-to-date gas safety check record. A copy of this record needs to be given to tenants prior to moving in.
If you suspect that an appliance could have been tampered with, or there is the possibility of vandalism while a property remains empty, HSE recommends you arrange for another gas safety check to be completed by a Gas Safe registered engineer before giving access to new tenants. When tenants vacate your premises, they may have removed appliances unsafely (eg leaving open-ended pipes, having shut off the emergency control valve), or left their own appliances in place. Landlords should take the opportunity to clarify appliance ownership prior to re-letting.
Appropriate checks should be carried out and any unsafe equipment rectified or removed before a new tenancy begins. It is also recommended that installation pipework be inspected and tested for soundness before property is relet.
Landlords need to take account of any appliance left by a tenant (ie when a lease comes to an end) which the landlord decides to retain in the premises, ensuring that they are included in the annual checks and maintenance arrangements.
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