The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 impose duties on landlords to ensure that gas appliances are safe in rental properties. The regulations apply to appliances and flues provided for tenants’ use in ‘relevant premises’, which are those premises occupied for residential purposes under either a licence, a tenancy agreement for a set term, or a lease as defined in the Regulations – any lease under seven years is covered.
Under the regulations landlords have the following duties;
- ensure gas fittings and flues are maintained in a safe condition;
- ensure an annual safety check is carried out on each gas appliance/flue;
- have all installation, maintenance and safety checks carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer;
- keep a record of each safety check for at least two years; and
- issue a copy of the latest safety check record to existing tenants within 28 days of the check being completed, or to any new tenant before they move in (in certain cases there is an option to display the record with details of how tenants can obtain their own individual copy).
The record of inspection must include the following information;
- the date on which the appliance or flue was checked;
- the address of the premises at which the appliance or flue is installed;
- the name and address of the landlord of the premises (or, where appropriate, his agent) at which the appliance or flue is installed;
- a description of and the location of each appliance or flue checked;
- any defect identified;
- any remedial action taken;
- confirmation that the check undertaken complies with the inspection requirements of the regulations;
- the name and signature of the individual carrying out the check; and
- the registration number with which that individual, or his employer, is registered with Gas Safe.
Before any new lease starts, landlords must make sure that these checks have been carried out within one year before the start of the lease date, unless the appliances in the property have been installed for less than 12 months, in which case they should be checked within 12 months of their installation date.
Access to Premises
Landlords must ensure that the licence, lease or tenancy agreement provides access rights to the property so that gas safety checks and maintenance can be carried out. This is normally achieved by the inclusion of an access clause in the tenancy agreement which allows the landlord access upon reasonable notice to the tenant.
The regulations require landlords to take ‘all reasonable steps’ to ensure gas safety checks and maintenance are carried out, and this may involve giving written notice to a tenant requesting access, and explaining the reason. Where landlords are refused access by a tenant they should keep records of all correspondence and contact with the tenant in order to demonstrate the steps they have taken to comply with the legislation.
It should be remembered that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) does not intervene in access disputes between landlords and tenants. In this respect, there is no requirement to report those tenants to the HSE.
If you are a landlord and need advice on any aspect of gas safety checks or tenancy agreements please contact one of our team.
Consultant, Regulatory Team
DD: 01642 873757
Trainee, Commercial Property Team
DD: 01642 356528