Being a landlord doesn’t only mean collecting rent and holding rooftop parties for your tenants. It also entails responsibilities especially when it comes to tenant and property safety. Adhering to these guidelines ensures that no lives are lost and real estate is kept fresh and new at all times.
Law on Rental Accommodation
Landlords are duly required by law to keep their tenants safe. This responsibility extends throughout all ranges of accommodations that are covered by leases or licenses. It also includes any residential property provided for rent, holiday accommodations, rooms, private households and hotels.
Law on Gas Safety
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 tackles several key items that will help guide landlords on how to comply with the act. It also aids tenants as they are made aware of the landlord’s duties with regards to gas safety. The act deals with the installation, maintenance and utilization of gas appliances and fittings in both domestic and commercial properties. It covers compliance on gas safety laws as well as guidance on the landlord’s part.
The landlord has 3 main responsibilities if he chooses to utilize gas in the premises. First, he will be responsible for all the maintenance of the facilities and pipework. This also includes having all applicable gas appliances serviced as defined by the manufacturer. If there is no advice as to the frequency from the manufacturer, a Gas Safe registered engineer should be able to provide inputs. If none was solicited, service should be done annually.
Second, it is also their responsibility to have safety checks run on all appliance and flue every 12 months. This annual check is essential in ensuring that all the appliances and fittings are safe for daily use.
Lastly, it is also the landlord’s responsibility to provide copies of the gas safety record to existing tenants within 28 days of this being completed. For new tenants, they should be provided copies of it prior to moving in. For their part, landlords should keep their copies for a rolling two year window.
Some other things worth noting include:
- All checks must be performed by a registered Gas Safe engineer.
- Tenants bringing their own gas appliance are held responsible for it. Landlord responsibility stops at the gas pipework.
- Tenants should be made aware where the main gas valve is so as to prepare for emergencies.
- Tenant leases or contracts should explicitly allow landlords access for safety inspection and maintenance of the gas pipework. Landlords should document well the events and actions taken in case any tenants refuse access.
- Tenants that are on short-leases are still subject to gas safety inspections and maintenance if their lease period falls on designated time.