Even today with the Internet,social media and television being in your face, a small number of landlords who manage their own rental properties are still not aware of their responsibilities.
Landlords are under a duty of care to ensure all gas appliances, chimneys,flues and fittings provided in rental properties are safe pursuant to the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
1/ Annual gas safety checks must be carried out by a qualified Gas Safe engineer on every gas appliance, this includes flues. You can find a Gas Safe engineer by checking out the https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/find-an-engineer/
2/ Appliances, pipework and chimney/flues must to be maintained. Gas appliances should, realistically be serviced annually so why not arrange to have the servicing carried out at the same time that the annual gas safety checks are carried out. Gas Safe engineers will more often than not advise you, the landlord when their rental properties are due for its annual check.
3/ A copy of the annual gas safety check must be provided to your tenants within 28 days of completion. New tenants should receive their copy at the start of their tenancy.
Did You Know??
According to a Gas Safe investigation unsafe gas appliances have been found in a fifth (21%) of privately-rented accommodation, with gas heaters considered to be the most dangerous appliance in rented properties.
1/ A fifth of tenants (19%) are unaware their boiler should be safety checked annually, and half of this group (11%) do not believe that their boiler has been inspected this year.
2/ More than a third of landlords (37%) are unaware of their duty to ensure that gas appliances they have supplied are checked annually.
3/ More alarmingly, one in seven landlords (15%) think gas appliance safety is the responsibility of their local council.
Gas Safe Register also found the The West Midlands had the highest percentage out of the five regions to be most dangerous for harbouring unsafe gas appliances.
West Midlands – 28%
North West –17%
East England – 19%
Scotland – 18%
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are responsible for enforcing this legislation and failing to comply could well result in a fine and/or custodial sentence of either the landlord or letting agent where they manage the property.
A well written tenancy agreement should include a clause requiring the tenant to grant access for the purpose of a Gas Safety check. Landlords are then under a duty to take “all reasonable steps” to ensure the check is carried out. Any communication whatsoever requesting access should be retained by landlords and if a tenant refuses to give access or does not respond to the landlords communication, the landlord should seriously think about getting their local environmental health officer or the HSE involved.
As mentioned earlier, there are severe penalties that landlords or agents can face for non-compliance, so landlords/agents should not sit on their laurels just because a tenant is seen to be difficult! The Health and Safety Executive has guidance which states that it will not prosecute where clear efforts have been made to secure access and it has been refused.
If you are thinking of getting into the property rental market and don’t know where to start, speak to us for impartial advice and guidance to get the best return on your investment. For more information about other potential investment properties that we could introduce you to, or to ask about our thoughts on your own investment choices, call us now on 01827 425195, you can always email me on Lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk
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