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Landlords: your obligations for gas safety

Your legal responsibilities for keeping your tenants safe

If you own properties that you rent out you have a legal responsibility to make sure they are safe for your tenants. Regardless of whether that’s your old flat or you have an extensive property portfolio and run it as a business, your obligations are the same and they are very clear.

You have to make sure that all gas appliances, pipework, chimneys and flues in the property are safe by having them serviced annually by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. They will then provide you with a Landlords’ Gas Safety Certificate, also known as a CP12. You need to provide a copy of this to your tenants within 28 days and whenever a new tenant moves in. Please note that there is no grace period and it is a criminal offence not to have one in place. The Health & Safety Executive can impose a fine of up to £6000 and even a 6 month custodial sentence.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • You are responsible for the maintenance and servicing of the gas appliances in your property. Your tenants should report any faults or issues and you should give at least 24 hours’ notice for routine repairs or servicing (obviously, if it’s an emergency repair this may not be appropriate). You shouldn’t enter your property unless you have the consent of your tenant
  • If the certificate lapses because your tenant refuses entry for an engineer you won’t be prosecuted as long as you can provide evidence that you have made at least 3 attempts to arrange access. You should reinforce with your tenant that they may be putting themselves in danger if they don’t allow access for these checks
  • If a tenant installs their own gas appliance, such as a cooker, it is their responsibility to install and maintain it however it is your responsibility to maintain any pipework. If the tenant leaves the appliance when they move out it becomes your responsibility if you leave it in situ for subsequent tenants
  • You are obliged to have working carbon monoxide detectors installed in your property. These should be checked when the gas safety checks are carried out but it’s not unreasonable to ask your tenant to periodically test devices

The consequences of not meeting your obligations in terms of gas safety should be taken seriously; not only are there the legal penalties of fines and prison terms just for not having the Gas Safety Certificate in place, any injury or loss of life resulting from faulty appliances could be deemed your responsibility.

How much does a Gas Safety Certificate cost?

We can offer Gas Safety Certificates for landlords for £49 for the first appliance and £39 for each subsequent appliance. For a combined service and certificate it’s £69 for the first appliance and £49 for subsequent appliances. We can also, obviously, offer fast reactive repairs (see our rates). Call 0333 577 0151 for further details.

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