Landlords are responsible for ensuring that the property they are renting out to their tenants is safe for the tenants to live in, meaning that gas safety checks, electrical checks and fire safety checks must be carried out routinely.
Unfortunately, some landlords are unaware of important regulations surrounding the safety of their properties, creating grey clouds of uncertainty as to who is responsible for safety checks and what procedures must be carried out in order for the property to be deemed ‘safe for use’.
As landlords have duties under the Gas Safety Regulations 1998, it’s important that all checks are fully understood by landlords to avoid breaching safety regulations, potential fines and in some cases, having non-compliance, which can be escalated into legal proceedings.
Whether you are a landlord looking to find out your responsibilities relating to landlord gas safety checks, or a tenant hoping to get an idea of your own responsibilities, this guide should explain everything you need to know about gas safety checks on rental properties in the UK.
Landlords have a duty of care in regards to their tenants, meaning that they are responsible for the properties tenants are living in. Under the Gas Safety Regulations 1998, landlords must ensure that all pipework, appliances or equipment (which have been provided for your use) are maintained and checked by Gas Safe registered engineers to ensure they are in a safe and usable condition.
This check must be completed with a proven gas safety check record (also known as a CP12 certificate) which will need to be given to the tenant either before they move in (if they are new tenants) or within 28 days of the check taking place (if they are existing tenants).
This regulation applies to any landlord who provides residential property (through local authorities, the private sector, hostels or housing associations) and holiday accommodation (for example, cottages, flats, bed and breakfast properties, caravans, Airbnb properties) or any other form of temporary accommodation. For temporary accommodation with rental periods of 28 days, a gas safety check certificate should be displayed in the property for tenants to clearly see.
As a landlord, it’s important to understand that not only should rental properties be gas safety checked at the beginning of a tenancy, but also thereafter on an annual basis. Landlords should ensure that gas safety checks are carried out every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer, with the record of each check kept and stored for two years.
All gas pipework, appliances and chimneys must be maintained in a safe condition, however, it’s important that all appliances are checked for individual manufacturer guidelines as they may need to be checked more frequently than once a year.
If any repair work must be carried out relating to gas safety, it’s important to understand landlord repair responsibilities so that the property can continue to stay in a safe condition for tenants to use.
Landlord vs Lettings Agent: Who is Responsible?
If you use a letting agent to manage communication and handle property administration, you may be wondering whether gas safety checks are the responsibility of yourself or your letting agent. Your contract should clearly state who is responsible for carrying out maintenance and safety duties.
If the compliance of these regulations is the responsibility of your chosen letting agent, then they will be in charge of ensuring the property is safe for tenant use. This means that the letting agent is responsible for arranging annual gas safety checks, routine maintenance inspections and ensuring that the property is generally safe for use.
With any rental property, it’s important that tenants are clear which responsibilities are down to them and how they can support in the safeguarding of the rental property. If you are a tenant, you must be aware of what should be done in the event of a gas emergency and how to turn the gas off in the property.
Tenants should also report any problems back to their landlord or letting agent if it involves health and safety, whether it relates to gas safety, fire safety or electrical safety. It’s also worth understanding that any appliances that aren’t owned by the landlord are your own responsibility to safety check.
As a tenant, you also have the responsibility to allow access for routine maintenance or safety checks to take place, within reason. This means that you should be cooperative and tell your landlord (or letting agent) when you are likely to be available for the property to be accessed by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Our Experienced Lettings Team Can Help
If your knowledge isn’t up to scratch, or if you’d prefer for someone else to stay in control of landlord health and safety, including gas safety checks, electrical safety and the fire safety of your London property, we’d be more than happy to help.
As a landlord with JOHNS&CO, you will receive a tailored range of services from our experienced lettings team, allowing you to benefit from a dedicated property manager on-site at each development we represent, a tailored marketing campaign to advertise your property to rent and our vast links with corporate companies.