Landlord gas safety: A guide to the regulations and your responsibilities
When you own a rented property, you need to make sure every aspect is as safe as possible for anyone who resides there, including all gas appliances and their associated pipework. As a landlord, you have certain legal responsibilities to uphold, and it’s absolutely vital that you know what they are.
In this guide, we are going to look at what you must lawfully do to ensure gas safety and how best to take care of your responsibilities. We’ll cover:
Who is a landlord?
Before we get into the specifics of a landlord’s role and responsibilities when it comes to gas safety, it’s important to establish who is considered a landlord in the eyes of the law.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) considers anyone who rents out a property they own under a lease or licence shorter than seven years a landlord. They are therefore responsible for gas safety for any tenants in the property.
These duties are applied to a range of accommodation types, including:
Residential property rented by:
- housing associations
- private sector landlords
- housing co-operatives
- private households
- bed and breakfasts
Rented holiday accommodation, including:
- narrow boats on inland waterways
The HSE also defines three types of landlord, as well as the arrangement between a letting agent or managing agent and a landlord. They are as follows:
- Short-term landlord: A landlord whose tenancy agreements last less than 28 days. Landlord duties still apply as it’s less than seven years.
- Long-term landlord (up to seven years): A landlord whose tenancy agreement last more than 28 days but less than seven years. Landlord duties still apply as it’s less than seven years.
- Long-term landlord (more than seven years): If an agreement runs over seven years and is considered “for life”, the tenant is considered a homeowner and landlord duties do not apply. But, if there’s an implied tenancy arrangement (e.g. accommodation for a job), then it’s recommended the long-term landlord carries out the duties.
- Letting or management agent: The contract between the agent and landlord should clearly stipulate who is responsible for gas safety. If the onus is on the agent, then the landlord duties apply to them. If it’s unclear, the duties default to the landlord.
What are the landlord gas safety regulations?
As a landlord, you need to abide by the law when it comes to gas safety as set out in The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, particularly Part F, 36 that relates directly to landlords.
The Regulations set out what you need to take care of when it comes to the gas appliances, fittings, and chimneys/flues in your property to ensure that your tenants are as safe as possible.
What are a landlord’s gas safety responsibilities?
The Gas Safety Regulations 1998 set out three main areas of responsibility that must be followed by the landlord of a property equipped with gas appliances. These are:
What happens if a landlord neglects their gas safety responsibilities?
It’s absolutely vital that landlords do not neglect their gas safety responsibilities. The Regulations are designed to ensure that both tenants and property have the maximum protection possible. Breaking the law could put lives at risk. If the HSE finds that a landlord has not carried out their duties, they take it very seriously and can issue a substantial fine and/or a custodial sentence.
What do landlords need to maintain?
You must ensure that gas appliances, pipework, and flues/chimneys in the property are maintained in a safe condition. Please note that this is in addition to the requirement for a gas safety check.
Each appliance needs to be serviced at the intervals recommended in the manufacturer’s instructions. If they are not available, you should aim to service appliances annually using a Gas Safe registered engineer to ensure they’re up to scratch.
All appliances, flues, and installation pipework (running from the meter to the appliance), must be checked for deterioration and tested for performance during maintenance.
You’re not responsible for maintaining gas appliances that belong to your tenants, but you are responsible for maintaining pipework/flues that supply these appliances. Pipes/flues that are part of the appliance are not your responsibility.
What is a landlord gas safety check?
As a landlord, you have the duty to arrange a gas safety check that must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer every 12 months.
This check will ensure that appliances are in a safe condition as set out by The Gas Safety Regulations, and a gas safety certificate will be issued upon completion. Any permanent or portable appliances in your property (not owned by the tenant) are also required to have a gas safety check.
Please note that a landlord gas safety inspection is in addition to your responsibility to maintain any appliances, as we outlined in the previous section.
What is involved in a landlord gas safety check?
An engineer will go around your property and check that all gas appliances, pipework, and flues are safe and working. They follow a set procedure for each item as defined in the Regulations:
- A check that gas is burning correctly.
- A check to confirm the appliance is fitted securely and pipework is connected.
- A check that safety functions are operating correctly.
- A check to see whether flues/chimneys are working.
- A check to confirm there is an acceptable air supply.
Who can carry out a landlord gas safety check?
As a landlord, you must arrange a gas safety check with an engineer or firm who is qualified and registered with the Gas Safe Register, the UK body which regulates gas works. You can check the website to find engineers in your area who are licenced to carry out checks and maintenance.
When an engineer arrives, they should be able to present you with a Gas Safe Register identification card that has all the details you need to verify that they’re legitimate. This will include:
- Photo of the engineer
- Business registration number
- Personal licence number
- Company name
- Start and expiry date
- Security hologram
- Details of what type of gas work the engineer can do (on the reverse)
What if a landlord gas safety check finds faults?
If one of the appliances in your property is found to be faulty during your annual landlord gas safety inspection, an engineer will follow the steps set out in the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure (GIUSP). This will see a risk assessment of the fault carried out by the engineer to determine what category it falls under. These are:
- Immediately Dangerous (ID): An appliance that poses immediate risk. An engineer will attempt to repair it during their visit, but, if it’s not possible, they will explain the risk, ask for permission to disconnect the appliance, and seal the gas supply. The engineer will then attach a danger sign and issue a warning notice that advises on further action you need to take.
- At Risk (AR): An appliance with a fault that could pose a risk in the future. The engineer will attempt to carry out a repair on their visit, but, if it can’t be done, they will assess if the risk can be removed by turning the gas off or if you need to contact the relevant organisation to resolve the issue. If the gas is switched off, the engineer will attach a danger sign and issue guidance about what you should do.
In line with your landlord gas safety responsibilities, you need to make sure that you note the advice given by the engineer who carries out the safety check. If any gas work is required, it is your duty to arrange this with a Gas Safe registered engineer to ensure your property is safe for habitation.
If you suspect that an appliance is faulty between annual checks, you should turn the appliance off, and you and your tenants should refrain from touching it until a Gas Safe engineer has inspected it. If you think there may be a gas leak already, you should call the National Grid’s Gas Emergency Freephone number on 0800 111 999 (from outside if on a mobile home). It’s also wise to open all windows and doors and shut off the gas supply at the mains.
How often do I need to arrange landlord gas safety checks?
You must arrange a safety check for your property annually to ensure that gas appliances are continuously safe. In April 2018, new rules were introduced that allow landlords to arrange a gas check any time between 10–12 months after the last check while still maintaining the previous expiry date. This allows for more flexibility when booking an appointment with an engineer.
One of the easiest ways to ensure that your gas safety check is carried out within the right time frame is to arrange a care plan for your property. Here at All England Gas, we offer landlord boiler cover that can take handle of all your essential needs, including an annual check by one of our Gas Safe registered engineers. We have different levels of cover to choose from, so you can choose one that best suits your needs.
How long does a landlord gas safety check take?
The length of time a landlord gas safety check takes depends on how many appliances are checked and what condition they are in. For instance, a typical visit to a domestic residence could take 30–60 minutes, but a check of an apartment block or multiple holiday homes could take much longer.
If you’re worried about how much time it will take to book a safety check and fitting it in to your schedule, it’s worth getting in touch with a Gas Safe engineer or firm to get a rough estimate. We advise that you plan any work during the summer months, as this is usually a quieter time for engineers and your appliances (especially heating) will not be required as much.
What is a landlord gas safety certificate?
In line with landlord duties for gas safety, you need to keep a record of any gas safety checks in the form of a landlord gas safety certificate. You can find out more about gas safety certificates in our comprehensive guide on the topic.
These documents — sometimes referred to as a gas safety record, LGSR or CP12 — are issued once an engineer has inspected your property’s appliances. They log the results of each check carried out, as well as any recommendations for repairs or maintenance.
Though there was once a standard form that needed to be filled out (CP12), there isn’t a set format for a landlord gas safety certificate. However, as a minimum, the certificate must include:
- Details of appliances checked (description, location etc.)
- Details of the engineer (name, registration number, signature)
- Date of the gas safety check
- The property’s address
- Name and address of the landlord (or agent)
- Details of any defects and recommended action
- Confirmation that the checks covered paragraphs (a) to (d) of regulation 26(9) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
Keeping and providing landlord gas safety certificates
Once you’ve had a gas safety check carried out, it’s your duty as a landlord to obtain a certificate and provide a copy to your current tenants within 28 days of the inspection or to new tenants before they move in. You can issue an electronic copy to your tenants if they are happy to receive one, but you must be able to provide a paper copy should they request it.
You must keep copies of these checks for two years from the date they were carried out. If you’ve taken advantage of the newer, flexible regulations, you must keep the records until two further gas inspections have been undertaken.
If your gas safety check finds faults, you need to supplement your records with evidence that the appropriate remedial work has been carried out. The Regulations require your gas safety certificate is considered a “living document”, where records are added to ensure it is up to date.
If necessary, you can also display this record in a prominent place, but any display should give details about how a tenant can request an individual copy. At the start of a new tenancy, you must inform your tenants where this notice is and how they can request their own copy.
How long does a landlord gas safety certificate last?
As the certificate is issued on the completion of your annual landlord gas safety check, they are valid for 12 months from the date it is carried out. If your landlord gas safety certificate has expired, you need to arrange a new check as soon as possible to ensure your property is safe and within the law.
How much does a landlord gas certificate cost?
There isn’t a set price for a landlord gas safety check and gas firms and engineers charge their own rates. There are a number of factors that can influence how much you will be charged, including the number of appliances being checked, your location, and the time of day.
Be wary of any engineer or company that offers very low fees, however, as they may not be qualified to carry out gas work. Always check the credentials of anyone undertaking a safety check on the Gas Safe Register, which provides details of all accredited engineers and firms.
At All England Gas, you can get your boiler and pipework inspected as part of one of our landlord boiler cover plans, which offer an affordable option for taking care of your gas safety needs.
Are landlords responsible for carbon monoxide detectors?
As dictated by the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations 2015, private sector landlords must provide at least one smoke alarm on each floor of a property, as well as a carbon monoxide detector in every room where solid fuel is used. They must also check the alarms work before a new tenancy begins. You can find out more in our carbon monoxide safety guide.
Do tenants have any responsibilities?
Though the majority of gas safety in rented properties falls to the landlord, there are some things that a tenant must do to ensure their safety within the Regulations.
Allowing access for gas works
One of their main duties is to comply with your tenancy contract, which should allow you access to the building if there are any maintenance or safety checks that needs carrying out. If you can’t get access to the property, it’s absolutely vital that you don’t use force to get in. Instead, you need to show you took all reasonable steps to carry out the work, including:
- Providing the tenant with a note that says you attempted to carry out a gas safety check. It should include your contact details so they can get in touch.
- Writing to your tenant to let them know that a gas safety check is a legal obligation and must be observed. You can give them leeway to arrange their own appointment if necessary.
- The HSE looks for evidence that repeated attempts were made to carry out the check, though your approach should always be appropriate to the situation.
Using their own gas appliances
If your tenant has a gas appliance that they own in the property, then it is their responsibility to organise gas safety checks, though any pipework or flues that are not permanently attached to the appliance still fall within your gas safety duties as landlord.
Should your tenant have their own gas appliance, there are some things you can do to help ensure that it’s safe without taking responsibility:
- Send them a reminder annually that a Gas Safe engineer needs to carry out a safety check.
- Before a tenancy begins, inform your new residents of any flues or chimneys that are unsuitable for connection of a gas appliance.
- Consider stipulating what type of gas appliances can be installed within the conditions of the tenancy agreement.
- Remember to include all flues and chimneys in your annual landlord gas safety inspection, even if they’re connected to your tenant’s appliance.
Unsafe gas appliances
If a tenant suspects that a gas appliance may be unsafe, then they have a duty not to use it and to report it as soon as possible. In addition, if an appliance has been found to be unsafe during a gas safety check and a “do not use” sign has been attached, then they should not disobey this notice.
Should a heating appliance need to be disconnected, then you must provide your tenant with an alternative option for emergency heating. For more advice on this step, you should contact your local council who should be able to help.
What are my responsibilities if I use a managing agent?
If you use a managing agent for your property, you still retain overall responsibility for gas safety and compliance with the law. In your management contract, you should include clear identification as to who will be responsible for arranging maintenance and safety checks, as well as who keeps records.
What are my responsibilities if the property is a sub-let?
An “original” landlord may share some duties that overlap with those of the sub-let landlord. If this is the case, co-operation is required to make sure that no legal responsibilities are overlooked and that the gas safety of the property is upheld.
What do short-term let landlords need to do?
If you have a property rented out on a short-term basis (less than 28 days), you are still considered a landlord by the law. This means that all of the duties and responsibilities that are set out in this guide apply, so you need to ensure appliances, pipework, and flues are maintained regularly and checked annually. You also must obtain a safety certificate and keep it for two years (or for the next two checks under new rules).
One allowance made for a short-term let under 28 days is that you can display the landlord gas safety certificate in a prominent position inside the property, so a new copy does not need to be provided to every new occupant of the residence.
Can a room with a gas appliance be used as a bedroom?
Thinking about renovating your property’s bedrooms? Then you need to be aware of some rules about placing a gas appliance in rooms used for sleeping. According to the law that changed in 1998 (The Gas Safety Regulations 1998, Part E, 30), any bedroom should not contain:
- A gas fire, space heater, or water heater (boilers included) over 14 kilowatts gross input unless the unit is room sealed.
- A gas fire, space heater, or water heater (boilers included) with a gross input of kilowatts or less, or an instant water heater, unless the unit is room sealed or has an atmosphere sensor.
If the room has been used as a bedroom since before 1998 and has one of these appliances, a risk assessment must be carried out to ensure it’s still safe.
We hope that this guide has helped you understand your gas safety responsibilities as a landlord. Follow the advice here and you will be able to stay within the law while keeping both your tenants and property safe. Take a look at the other guides in our help and advice centre for more information about gas safety.
If you’re looking for an easy and convenient way to maintain your landlord gas duties, consider one of our landlord cover plans. We have a range of levels of care available to suit your needs. We also offer homeowner cover as part of our boiler care plans if you need to protect your own home.
Please note: this guide is not intended to be exhaustive, and you should refer to the guidance from both the Gas Safe Register and the Health and Safety Executive to stay up to date.