Published: 17/10/2023As a landlord, ensuring the safety of your tenants is paramount. One of the critical aspects of this responsibility is conducting regular gas safety checks. If improperly maintained and inspected, gas appliances can pose serious risks to your tenants, including gas leaks, fires, explosions, and even carbon monoxide poisoning. These dangers are not to be taken lightly and can be life-threatening.
The Legal Framework
In the United Kingdom, the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations of 1998 laid the law regarding gas safety in rental properties. According to these regulations, landlords are required to maintain gas appliances, pipework, and flues in a safe condition. To prove compliance, a gas safety check must be performed annually, issuing a gas safety certificate that attests to the safety standards being met.
Similar to a car's annual MOT, there is some flexibility in scheduling the gas safety check. It can be conducted up to two months before the current certificate's expiration date without affecting the 12-month validity period.
Who Can Perform the Checks?
A crucial aspect of these checks is ensuring that a Gas Safe registered engineer carries them out. It is illegal for anyone not on the Gas Safe Register to perform work on domestic gas appliances. All registered engineers possess a Gas Safe ID card, displaying their qualifications and their currency. To confirm an engineer's credentials, you can independently verify them on the Gas Safe Register's official website.
What Does a Gas Safety Check Entail?
During a gas safety check, a Gas Safe engineer will inspect all gas appliances and systems, including the cooker, hob, boiler, and radiators. It's important to note that this check differs from a service and does not include repair work. The key components of the check include:
- A visual inspection of gas appliances, the gas heating system, and the boiler flue system.
- A tightness test at the gas metre to detect any leaks.
- Examination of ventilation and air supply.
- Verification of the gas rate and burner pressure.
- Ensuring safety devices are in proper working condition.
- Checking the pressure vessel inside the boiler.
Documentation and Legal Requirements
Upon completing the gas safety check, the engineer will provide you with a Gas Safety Certificate. This certificate includes details about each appliance, identified defects, and recommended actions. You are legally obligated to keep the original certificate for at least two years, and it is advisable to retain all certificates related to a tenancy until it concludes. Additionally, you must furnish a copy of the current certificate to new tenants before they move in and to existing tenants within 28 days of the check.
If you've entrusted Circa London with managing your rental property, we will take care of the annual gas check and any necessary repairs. But if you have any questions or you currently self-manage and you’d like to discuss our management services, just get in touch with our property management team, who will be delighted to help.
*NB Disclaimer: this article is for guidance purposes only.