Make Gas Safety Your Top Priority | Landlord Resources | #3

Do you know the importance of gas safety?

Gas safety is a statutory duty that no landlord can afford to ignore. Unlike any other aspect of property management, such as assured shorthold tenancies, paying attention to the safety of gas installations in your rental properties can literally be the difference between life and death.

Landlords can get away with issuing a written tenancy agreement and still remain within the law.

If you are a private landlord and your tenant pays less than £100,000 per year in rent, moved into the property on or after 28 February 1997 and has rights to deny you entry into the property without mutual agreement, then an AST is automatically created and can take the form of an oral agreement.

However, under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, it’s a landlord’s legal responsibility to obtain a Gas Safety Certificate every 12 months.

You must get this from a Gas Safe-registered engineer for all pipework, gas appliances and flues installed at your property. Verbal confirmation that a property’s gas supply is in working order just won’t cut the mustard in a court of law.

Legislation also forces landlords to keep a record of the safety inspection for two years, and give a copy to all of your tenants within 28 days of the safety check taking place. If your tenants change, they’ll need a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate before they move in.

However, it’s easy to overlook the date of the annual inspection. Unlike renewal dates for many types of insurance, Gas Safety Certificate providers do not always notify their customers that an annual inspection is due.

But it’s not just the UK’s 1.6 million buy-to-let investors who are liable to miss Gas Safety Check deadlines.

It was reported last month that three housing associations failed to meet the Homes and Communities Agency’s governance standard after failing to comply with gas safety regulations.

Carbon monoxide poisoning…

A common consequence of not complying with the Gas Safety Regulations is carbon monoxide poisoning, which kills more than 50 people each year in their homes, with more than 200 suffering from health problems as a result of CO exposure.

Carbon monoxide is so dangerous because you can’t see, smell or hear it. Even worse, the symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to those of a hangover or the flu. Sufferers may experience headaches, nausea, dizziness, breathlessness and in extreme cases might even collapse or lose consciousness. If the symptoms disappear when you leave the house, then it could be that you’re suffering from CO poisoning.

…And how to prevent it

It is a landlord’s responsibility to make sure that all gas appliances in a property serviced and checked on an annual basis.

It is essential that you use a Gas Safe-registered engineer, as only registered engineers are legally allowed to install and service gas appliances in your home.

It is also advisable to fit a carbon monoxide alarm in all bedrooms. These are available from most DIY stores.

The alarm will sound when CO levels in the room start to rise above the normal level, at which stage you should contact an engineer immediately and leave the property.

Are YOU Gas Safe Registered?

The penalties of non-compliance

The penalties for failing to comply with gas safety legislation are severe because 653 people died and 4686 suffered serious injury due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning between September 1995 and August 2013.

Many of those deaths have resulted in landlords and agents facing manslaughter charges that carry custodial sentences, while courts can also impose unlimited fines. This may also invalidate your property insurance and could subsequently lead to claims for civil damages.

Works Order Form

You can’t always be available to accompany tradesmen when they call at your properties to carry our repairs or annual safety checks, but giving instructions over the phone can sometimes mean they are not followed.

Filling out this Works Order Form not only gets round this problem, it can be used as both a records sheet and can double up as a receipt if required.

All content on this form and other forms for landlords published by Property Division are provided “as is”, with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy or timeliness, and without representations, warranties or other contractual terms of any kind, express or implied. Property Division does not represent or warrant that this letter or other material supplied by Property Division will be accurate, current, uninterrupted, error-free or omission-free.

TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMISSIBLE PURSUANT TO APPLICABLE LAW, PROPERTY DIVISION DISCLAIMS ALL LIABILITY TO YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE IN RESPECT OF THE CONTENT ON THIS SITE AND ALL SERVICES PROVIDED THROUGH IT, WHETHER UNDER ANY THEORY OF TORT, CONTRACT, WARRANTY, STRICT LIABILITY OR NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE, AND WHETHER IN RESPECT OF DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE OR SIMILAR DAMAGES, EVEN IF PROPERTY DIVISION WAS ADVISED, KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

The information presented on this site should not be construed as legal or any other professional advice or service. You should consult with a professional adviser familiar with your particular factual situation for advice concerning specific legal or other matters before making any decision.

Letter to Tenants about Gas Safety

It is not only a statutory duty to carry out Gas Safety Checks, your tenants must be supplied with a copy of the report. The Letter to Tenants about Gas Safety can sent out with the report to ensure your tenants recognise its importance.

All content on this form and other forms for landlords published by Property Division are provided “as is”, with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy or timeliness, and without representations, warranties or other contractual terms of any kind, express or implied. Property Division does not represent or warrant that this letter or other material supplied by Property Division will be accurate, current, uninterrupted, error-free or omission-free.

TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMISSIBLE PURSUANT TO APPLICABLE LAW, PROPERTY DIVISION DISCLAIMS ALL LIABILITY TO YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE IN RESPECT OF THE CONTENT ON THIS SITE AND ALL SERVICES PROVIDED THROUGH IT, WHETHER UNDER ANY THEORY OF TORT, CONTRACT, WARRANTY, STRICT LIABILITY OR NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE, AND WHETHER IN RESPECT OF DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE OR SIMILAR DAMAGES, EVEN IF PROPERTY DIVISION WAS ADVISED, KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

The information presented on this site should not be construed as legal or any other professional advice or service. You should consult with a professional adviser familiar with your particular factual situation for advice concerning specific legal or other matters before making any decision.

Over the next few weeks we will be sending you additional documents that cover:

  • Change Of Tenant Procedure
  • Deed of Assignment of Tenancy
  • Shorthold Tenancy Agreement Form
  • Company Let Agreement Document
  • Holiday Letting Agreement Form
  • Tenant Inventory Form
  • Letter to Local Authority (Council Tax)
  • Letter to Utility Supplier

About the author:

I have been dealing with Properties in London since 2005 and i never stop being fascinated by it! Amazingly, London seems to be on a sphere of its own when it comes to properties like no other city in the world. Property investment, development and technology are things that have always intrigued me and whenever get a chance to share my thoughts, i do!
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