Gas safety is one of the most strictly enforced requirements for a possible landlord of a property. Rightly so, because the consequences of not observing them are dreadful. What they include can be seen here – Boom! So what does a landlord need to do to avoid these consequences?
Gas Safety Record Certificate
This is a key document, evidencing that the current safety of gas maintenance in the property meets Gas Regulations. For short term rentals the requirement is that this document is displayed where the tenant can see it. To be legal it must be completed by a registered gas safe engineer. It shows:
- The full name, signature and registration number of the gas engineer who performed the gas safety check
- The address of the property being checked
- The contact details of the landlord of the property, or an estate agent if applicable
- The date of the inspection
- The location and description of all gas appliances and flues
- Any defects or irregularities found with the gas appliances
- Any repairs that have been done on the spot
- What repairs are still necessary to bring the appliances into working condition
- When the appliance needs to be serviced again
- Confirmation that all relevant safety checks have been carried out
What Do I Need to Check?
Of course your Gas Safe registered engineer will do the actual checks, but things they should be looking at – to fulfil Gas Regulations – include:
- Any gas leaks
Any gas leak can rapidly cause a build-up of gas, which could ignite explosively. See Boom! Especially the bit about manslaughter!
- Any problems with flues
Poor combustion, poor flue efficiency, can lead to a build-up of toxic carbon monoxide. Again see Boom! Again about manslaughter!
- Well serviced and maintained gas appliances
All the gas using equipment in your property must be up-to-date, and well serviced, to ensure it is working safely.
- No gas in bedrooms
In simple terms gas burning appliances in bedrooms is not a good idea since the risk of undetectable carbon monoxide poisoning is high. There are detailed gas regulation requirements around this. Get your engineer to test and certify them.
- CO alarms
Because it is lethal, yet has no odour, and sends people to sleep, carbon monoxide is a particular danger, so a very good idea is to provide an alarm to detect it. Obviously the alarm should be regularly tested.
- No gas appliances brought in
In longer tenancies there is a likelihood that the tenants may install their own gas equipment. This is fairly unlikely for short term tenants, but in case they should be tempted to, you as a landlord should ensure they cannot just tap into your safe gas system. Or else – Boom!
You Cannot be too Careful
So what are the potential consequences of neglecting gas safety?
- Invalid insurance
- Up to £6000 in fines
- Six months in prison
- Court action from a tenant who is suing for civil damages
- Manslaughter charges if a tenant dies as a result of unsafe gas installations