The Gas Safety Regulations 1998 for Landlords
These are to ensure the safety of all gas appliances in all let properties and landlord insurance policyholders must strictly adhered to. Badly maintained gas appliances can kill. From April 2009, the company which gas installers need to be registered with changed from CORGI to the Gas Safe Register, and the Gas Safe Register is now the official body for gas safety in Great Britain and the Isle of Man. Landlord insurance customers and tenants can find out more about them, and also find a Gas Safe-registered installer, from their website.
- All gas appliances (including mobile gas heaters) must be properly installed by a Gas Safe-registered plumber.
- Before a property is let, and annually thereafter, all gas appliances must be checked by a Gas Safe-registered plumber.
- A copy of the gas certificate stating that a check has been done and detailing any work done must be handed to a tenant at the start of a tenancy and provided to him annually thereafter (within 28 days of the annual check being completed).
- For properties, such as holiday lets, where occupancy is under 28 days, a copy of the safety check record should be posted in a prominent position in the premises.
- A landlord insurance policyholder cannot delegate maintenance or safety checks to a tenant.
- All gas certificates must be kept for at least two years, but landlords insurance customers are advised to keep them for at least six years, just in case they are needed as evidence in any claim brought in respect of the property.
The regulations are administered by the Health & Safety Executive, which is also the enforcing body. Breach of the regulations is a criminal offence punishable cither by a fine of up to £5,000 for each offence, or an unlimited fine/imprisonment if the case is referred to the Crown Court.
Problems to watch out for:
- Dust and detritus in a gas appliance which can cause it to become unsafe. A sign of this is when the colour of the flame changes to a smoky yellow.
- Black soot deposits around gas appliances.
- Cracks in the cement blocks found in older fires and mobile heaters.
- Poor ventilation, caused by either a blocked flue or ventilation in a room (e.g. air bricks) becoming blocked, which can cause a build-up of carbon monoxide in the air.
- Gas leaks (e.g. if gas pipes become damaged). It is important to ensure that vulnerable pipes are protected.
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