This year, Gas Safety Week is running from Monday 12th September to Sunday 18th September. Yes, that’s right, there’s an entire week dedicated to gas safety and for very good reason – it’s massively important. Landlords have a responsibility to the safety of their tenants, and following the obligations when it comes to gas in rental properties is a big part of that.
But what are your obligations as a landlord? Here are the things you are responsible for when it comes to gas safety in every single one of your properties.
You are responsible for maintaining any gas appliances in or used by your property. The caveat to this is that you only need to do this for appliances that come with the property. If the appliance belongs to your tenant, they are responsible for its upkeep.
Appliances should be maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or if these are unavailable you will need to follow the advice of a registered gas safety engineer.
Any appliances or gas flues MUST be checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. It’s your responsibility as a landlord, to ensure that the engineer is legitimately qualified and able to carry out the work. These checks can be carried out on ant date, as long as it’s 12 months or less since the last check was completed.
What do the engineers do on these checks?
There are three main things that the engineer will be looking for:
- Any faults or damage which could render the appliance unsafe
- The physical safety (Is the boiler fixed to the wall correctly, as an example)
- Suitability of the room the appliance is in, for example, is there enough ventilation?
You’ll need to keep records of any checks carried out each year. This is really important, the evidence of these checks may be required in the future.
Why is all this important?
Carbon monoxide is released as a waste product of burning gas, which means that a faulty flue can leak the fatal gas into homes. By getting them checked every year by a professional, this scenario is much more unlikely.
Each year as leaks can occur from faulty appliances and pipework which can lead to fires or explosions with potentially devastating results.
More importantly around 20 people die each year through carbon monoxide poisoning in the United Kingdom as a result of poorly maintained or faulty gas appliances. The highest was in 2019, when there were 53 reported deaths from accidental poisoning by carbon monoxide.
Faulty gas appliances can also lead to fires, so proper maintenance reduces this outcome by quite a lot, and gas leaks can be fatal too, at first causing symptoms such as headaches, sickness, and weakness.
Ultimately, a few checks can save lives, and there’s nothing more important than that.
If you’re a landlord struggling to keep up with your obligations and the ever-changing landscape of lettings legislation, take a look at the landlords’ section on our website to learn more about the services we provide, and how we can help remove the headache of compliance by taking care of managing your property.