For all tenancies for less than 7 years, the landlord is responsible for making sure that the property meets gas safety standards (even if they use an agent).
You must make sure that:
The Health and Safety Executive (with support from the National Landlords Association) hasto help landlords understand what they must do to keep tenants safe in any property they let.
Failure to maintain gas installations and appliances may result in loss of life. You risk being prosecuted and could be imprisoned and/or fined for each offence in the county court. If the case is then referred to the crown court (or sheriff court in Scotland) the maximum penalty be an unlimited fine and possible imprisonment.
In England for tenancies starting on or after 1 October 2015, you must have given the tenant a gas safety certificate before you can use the accelerated possession procedure. This may also be the case for tenancies starting before 1 October 2015, but the law is at present unclear on this matter.
The landlord retains overall responsibility for ensuring compliance with requirements. If you use an agent, the contract with the agent should clearly identify who will make arrangements for maintenance and safety checks to be carried out, and who will keep records of checks made.
If the property is sublet, the 'original' landlord may retain duties that overlap with those acquired by the person who sublets. If so, the contract between them must make clear who is responsible for which duties, making sure that duties to fully safeguard tenants' safety will be met.
You can't delegate maintenance and safety check requirements to the tenant. But you may draw up a contract with your tenant to cover an appliance or flue that's installed in a non-residential part of the premises (for example, for shops and public houses).
The tenancy agreement should include a clause to allow access to the property to carry out any required maintenance, repairs or safety checks. You must take 'all reasonable steps' to make sure that work can be carried out, for example, giving the tenant written notice to request access (with a reason for the request).
You're advised to keep a record of any contact or action taken to gain access; if a tenant refuses access you may be required to show what steps have been taken. If a tenant continues to refuse access after you've made repeated attempts, you may need to consider action through the courts (under the terms of the tenancy agreement). You mustn't use force to gain entry to the property.
Maintenance and safety check requirements generally apply to any gas appliance or flue installed in the 'relevant premises' (meaning a property occupied for residential purposes under a licence or a tenancy agreement under 7 years). This includes any appliances and flues serving the relevant premises (such as central heating boilers used to heat tenants' accommodation but not installed in them).
Gas fittings and flues must be maintained in a safe condition. Gas appliances must be serviced based on the manufacturer's instructions (or annually, unless advised otherwise by a registered gas engineer.
The landlord's duty to carry out maintenance work and safety checks applies to fixed as well as portable appliances, such as LPG cabinet heaters.
Maintenance work and safety checks aren't required for:
An annual gas safety check must be carried out on each gas appliance/flue, and a gas safety certificate issued – see.
For a new tenancy, it must have been carried out within 12 months before the tenancy start date (or within 12 months of installation if the appliances have been installed for less than 12 months).
You mustn't assume that an annual service inspection meets an annual gas safety check requirement or that an annual gas safety check, on its own, provides effective maintenance. If in doubt, you can get advice from a registered gas engineer.
A registered gas engineer must carry out all installations, maintenance and gas safety checks.
All Gas Safe registered engineers will carry an ID card with their licence number and what they're qualified to do. You should always ask to see ID. You can find professionals and businesses registered with Gas Safe, or check that an engineer is registered, on the.
The gas safety check record will have details of any defect identified and any remedial action taken. You must make sure that any safety defect is rectified before the equipment is used again. You're recommended to keep copies of work done to rectify defects identified by the gas safety check.
It's an offence to use, or allow the use of, a gas appliance you know to be unsafe. In no circumstances should you reconnect an appliance that's been isolated, or disconnected for safety reasons, until the fault has been rectified. Your tenant has a duty not to use an appliance they believe to be unsafe.
If you smell gas, or suspect a leak:
If gas continues to escape, don't attempt to fix a leak or faulty appliance yourself – call the 24-hour emergency freephone helpline:
Follow the same procedure as above for a suspected carbon monoxide leak. If you can identify the faulty appliance, find a registered engineer to investigate and make repairs. If there is a suspected carbon monoxide leak, anyone within the property may need medical assistance.
If LPG is supplied for tenants' use in premises other than a building (for example, a caravan or holiday home):