If any gas appliance or system isn’t properly installed and maintained, there’s a potential danger of fire, explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning – any of which could be deadly.
So, as a landlord, you have a legal obligation to make sure that all gas appliances in your rental property are safe and don’t pose any risk to your tenants.
What does the law say about gas safety checks?
Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, landlords must keep gas appliances, pipework and flues in a safe condition. Every year, a gas safety check must be carried out and a gas safety certificate secured to confirm that the required standards have been met.
The annual check must be carried out within 12 months of the last one and the certificate can be renewed up to two months prior to the deadline. So, for example, if your current certificate expires on 31st July 2022, you could book your check for the start of June and the expiry date for that certificate would be 31st July 2023 – you won’t ‘lose’ any of the 12-month validity period of your current certificate.
Who can make the checks?
The gas engineer you use must be on the Gas Safe Register. It is illegal for someone who’s not registered to carry out work on any domestic gas appliance.
All registered engineers carry a Gas Safe ID card, showing the type of work they’re qualified to do and confirming whether their qualifications are up to date. Be aware though that some gas engineers use fake IDs, so always do an independent check via https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/
What does a gas safety check involve?
The Gas Safe engineer will inspect all the gas appliances (e.g. cooker and hob) and systems (e.g. boiler and hot water cylinder). The check includes:
- A visual inspection of gas appliances, the gas heating system and the boiler flue system
- A tightness test at the gas meter to make sure there aren’t any leaks
- Checking the ventilation and air supply
- Checking the gas rate and burner pressure
- Ensuring safety devices are working
- Checking the pressure vessel inside the boiler
Note: The gas safety check is different to a gas or boiler service and doesn’t include repairing appliances.
Any necessary repairs must be carried out as soon as possible. If the engineer considers that your tenants are in immediate danger, they will ask your permission to disconnect the gas supply.
What documentation should I receive?
The engineer will provide you with a Gas Safety Certificate, which details every appliance, along with information on any defects and what actions are required.
What do I need to do with the gas safety certificate?
Either you or your agent should keep the original certificate for a minimum of two years – and ideally until the tenancy ends. A copy of the current certificate must be given to new tenants before they move in, and to existing tenants within 28 days of the check.
Of course, if we manage your rental, we’ll arrange for the annual gas check and any necessary repairs to be carried out on your behalf. But if you have any questions or you currently self-manage and you’d like to discuss our Fully Managed service, just get in touch with your local Reeds Rains branch and one of the team will be happy to help.
Upcoming changes to smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations in England
There are two changes expected to the rules around smoke and CO alarms for rented homes in England, which could come into force as early as this autumn.
The first change would make landlords responsible for repairing or replacing alarms during the tenancy if a fault is reported, rather than just having to ensure they’re working properly when the tenancy begins.
And the second change would require a CO alarm in rooms with a fixed combustion appliance, such as a gas boiler – but only at the point a new appliance is installed. This would be an extension to the existing law that there must be a CO alarm in any room where solid fuel is burnt.It’s anticipated that when these changes are introduced, it will be with immediate effect – i.e. there won’t be any grace period - so we’d suggest it’s worth becoming compliant now. Of course, we’ll update you once a date has been confirmed.