Gas Safety for Tenants and Landlords: Gas Safety Week 2014

publication date: Sep 19, 2014
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
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Landlords must keep properties Gas Safe for Tenants

As a landlord you have huge responsibilities when it comes to making sure your property is Gas Safe.

Here’s what has happened to other landlords who didn’t bother to make sure they kept up with the regulations:-

  1. Accrington Landlord – ordered to pay £60,000 in fines after ignoring warnings for arranging annual gas safety checks in his rented property.
  2. Oxford Landlord – pleaded guilty to breaching the Gas Safe rules and was fined and had to pay court costs of just over £4,000.
  3. Slough Landlord – was fined and had to pay court costs over £12,000 because he didn’t bother to carry out gas checks on a rental property for four years!

As a landlord you are responsible for making sure your tenants can live safely in your property – and if you don’t the local authorities can clamp down on you. Up until now, they haven’t done much, but millions has been made available by the government to prosecute landlords who don’t comply with the rules and regulations.

Check out our Gas Safe checklist

If you let via a letting agent, it doesn’t excuse you from responsibility, unless it forms part of your terms and conditions and you are paying for property management.

Considering it costs under £100 to make sure someone else is legally responsible for your tenant’s safety, it’s down right daft not to keep up with Gas Safety regulations.

And for under £30, you can make sure you have a Carbon Monoxide alarm which if something goes wrong with the boiler or gas appliance, your tenants will be alerted. To order one, visit Bluewatch.

Check out our Gas Safe checklist

If you are a tenant, you have responsibilities too:-

  1. Make sure you don’t rent a property with gas appliances unless you have an up to date gas safety certificate

  2. Ask or buy a Carbon Monoxide alarm for yourself. Don’t, as one tenant did, leave this to ‘beep’ for several days before alerting their agent to ‘complain’ about the noise!

  3. If you see any of the following, alert your landlord or letting agent:-

    1. Sooty stains

    2. Condensation

    3. Blocked ventilation ducts

    4. Erratic gas flames

The key things to keep an eye on include the boiler, cooker and a gas fire, if you have one.

Choosing an Gas Safe Engineer
It’s essential as a landlord not to have just any gas engineer come to your property.

What you need is someone who keeps up to date with the laws you have to abide by as a landlord. They can change during the year and the ideal is to have a gas safe engineer who also has properties they let out or has a lot of landlords as their clients, so takes time to keep up with the law.

Check out our Gas Safe checklist

Treat your Gas Safe Engineer well
For me, I like to have people working on my properties that I know well. There are several advantages to this in that if something goes wrong, they will help at the start or end of the day to see if they can do a ‘quick fix’.

One of the things I always do to try and keep the tradespeople loyal is to make sure I always pay on time, am reasonable with my requests and if they have a problem or make a mistake, don’t make life to miserable for them – we are all human after all!

Keep your paperwork!
Don’t forget, you need to make sure you keep all your gas safety certificates and work signed off for many years to ensure that if you are asked to provide evidence you kept your properties safe you can.

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All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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