This week we are supporting Gas Safety Week and we have taken time out to offer some guidance on gas safety and landlord responsibilities and also point out that cutting corners can not only put tenants and properties at risk but also hit landlords square in the pocket.
According to the National Approved Letting Scheme, thousands of people are diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning each year and over 43% of people in the UK fail to check their appliances annually.
The safety of tenants is paramount but in addition to that, landlords wanting to save a few pounds in the short term should think very carefully. According to the BBC, illegal gas jobs cost an extra 25% on average to rectify and bad jobs are often carried out by tradesmen who are recommended by friends and family but are not qualified to work on gas appliances safely. They continue to say that the British public is wasting £100million a year on rectifying illegal gas jobs.
It is extremely important for Landlords to check they are using gas safe registered engineers and they must make sure that:
- Pipe-work, appliances and flues provided for tenants are maintained in a safe condition.
- All appliances and flues provided for tenants use have an annual safety check. Set a reminder so you don’t forget at www.staygassafe.co.uk.
- Maintenance and annual safety checks are carried out by an engineer registered with Gas Safe Register.
- All gas equipment (including any appliance left by a previous tenant) is safe or otherwise removed before re-letting.
- A Gas Safety Record is provided to the tenant within 28 days of completing the check or to any new tenant before they move in.
- A copy of the Gas Safety Record is kept for two years.
Annual service vs Gas Safety check:
Having an annual service done on gas boilers and other gas appliances is recommended where as an annual gas safety check is a legal requirement for gas appliances. Often some landlords do not realise these are two separate activities. Although a a safety check and certificate will help the landlord meet their legal obligations, a full service is a much more comprehensive safety check which may involve the engineer inspecting internal components, cleaning and inspecting parts and in some cases fixing minor issues. It often makes sense to have these done at the same time from a cost perspective (as engineers are already at the property as opposed to having to do two separate visits) but also for the convenience of the tenant – ultimately it is the landlords responsibility, not that of the tenant, so making the appointment at a convenient time for the tenant actually helps landlords stay compliant. Some landlords will of course appoint a letting agent or property management company to arrange these each year if they do not want to arrange it themselves.
Having an annual service in addition to a gas safety check will not only keep landlords compliant, but it also helps identify any potential maintenance issues allowing landlords to act upon these before a boiler breaks down. This is good practice and meets the expectation that landlords are taking reasonable steps to maintain their properties and ensures insurance products such as our home emergency policy remains valid and claims can be made by tenants if they do experience a boiler failure and have no heating or hot water.
If you are a letting agent, housing association or multiple property landlord who would like to know more about how we can support you with gas safety checks and annual boiler services, as well as our 24/7 repair policy, please see our latest information leaflet here. Every gas engineer that we use is Gas Safe registered.
We’re supporting Gas Safety Week, taking place 18th – 24th September 2017, are you? Find out more at www.GasSafetyWeek.co.uk