As a landlord, you have several legal obligations under The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.These are:
1) Arrange an annual gas safety check to include all gas appliances and flues within the property.This must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
2) Provide a copy of this report to your tenants within 28 days of the test, and to all new tenants moving into a property. Note: Under the Deregulation Act 2015 if this is not done you will not be able to serve an eviction notice to your tenants. See this post for more information.
3) Maintain all gas appliances, flues and pipework, to include an annual service.
You are also required under the Health And Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure the property is safe.
What happens if you don’t comply?
Non-compliance is a criminal office and the standard penalty is a £6000 fine (per appliance) and/or 6 months imprisonment. However, if there were to be a fatal incident due to lack of gas safety compliance a criminal charge as serious as manslaughter could be levied against the landlord and/or agent. Any buildings or contents insurance could also be invalidated.
The current regulations state that a gas certificate must be carried out on annual basis, and must not be allowed to expire. This can cause an issue if there is no availability for appointments meaning you potentially have time left on a certificate “wasted”. The government has therefore implemented the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 on 6th April 2018 which introduce more flexibility to the timing of the gas certificate, by using an “mot style” system whereby the certificate can be carried out within 2 months of the due date, but retain that original date going forwards.
For more information and to check if your engineer is gas safe registered you can visit the Gas Safe Register.