Under most residential tenancies, landlords are legally responsible for the safety of your tenants in relation to gas safety. A landlord is require to:
- Repair and maintain gas pipework, flues and appliances in safe condition
- Ensure an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue
- Keep a record of each safety check
All gas appliances and flues need to undergo an annual gas safety check – which should always be carried out by a suitably qualified Gas Safe registered engineer.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998require that a copy of the gas safety certificate must be provided to an existing tenant within 28 days of the gas safety check being carried out. Landlords are also required to ensure that annual gas safety checks are carried out by a qualified and registered gas engineer.
Gas Safety Record
Following the annual gas safety check and receipt of your Landlord Gas Safety Record, you’ll need to provide a record of this check to your tenants. By law, a copy of your Landlord Gas Safety Record should be given to your current tenants within 28 days of the gas safety check – and for new tenants, you’ll need to provide this at the start of their tenancy.
For rental periods of less than 28 days, just make sure you’ve clearly displayed a copy of your gas safety record within the property. You’ll need to keep copies of this gas safety check record until a further two checks have been carried out.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms
From 1st of October 2022, a CO alarm is required to be fitted in every habitable room of a let property containing gas appliances (excluding appliances used for cooking purposes).
The landlord is responsible for carrying out a checks and tests to ensure that carbon monoxide alarms in the rental property are working on the commencement of a new tenancy.
Before purchasing a CO alarm, always ensure it complies with British Standard EN 50291 and carries a British or European approval mark, such as a Kitemark. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations about how to fit and test the CO alarm to ensure that the unit and the batteries are in good condition.
Consequences of Non-Compliance
Failure to comply with the Gas Safety Regulations is a serious offence. Being unable to provide a gas safety record is a criminal offence and landlords can be liable for unlimited fines and/or six months of imprisonment.
A landlord is unable to serve a tenant with a Section 21 Notice (no-fault eviction notice in England) where the tenant has not been provided with a copy of the current gas safety certificate.
A landlord is unable to serve a tenant with a Section 173 Notice (no-fault eviction notice in Wales) where the tenant has not been provided with a copy of the current gas safety certificate.
There is also currently contention as to whether the failure to provide a tenant with a copy of the gas safety certificate that was in place before the tenant takes up occupation of the property would prohibit the landlord from serving a section 21 notice. We understand this issue is currently on its way to appeal in the Supreme Court following an appeal against the decision in Trecarrell House Ltd v Rouncefield  EWCA Civ 760.
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