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Gas safety

It is vital that you understand your responsibilities in relation to gas supply and appliances and the duties and responsibilities placed on a landlord by the Gas Safety Regulations.

You or your agent may not contract out of your obligations under the Regulations by including a clause in the tenancy agreement and a breach of the Regulations is a criminal offence enforced by Health & Safety Executive.

>> Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 make it mandatory that gas appliances must be maintained in a safe condition at all times. You are required by the Regulations to ensure that all gas appliances are maintained in good order and that an annual safety check is carried out by a tradesperson who is registered with CORGI (Council for Registered Gas Installers). 

All CORGI installers should carry identification cards which will state on the back the type of work they are authorised to carry out. 
For further information about CORGI installers and to locate one local to you, see the CORGI web-site.

Once the inspection has been carried out, the installer will provide you with a gas safety certificate. A gas safety certificate must be provided to tenants of properties which contain gas appliances when they first go in, and annually thereafter. Failure to do this is a criminal offence. 

You should also arrange (and pay for) any necessary repair work to be carried out and should not seek to place responsibility for this onto the tenants, although if the repairs are caused by the tenantsí improper use of the property, then the tenants can be charged for the (reasonable) cost of the repair work. 

For further information about your responsibilities, contact the Health and Safety Executive for advice. Additional information and details of your local Health and Safety Executive office can be obtained from the Health and Safety Executive website.

It is very important that the gas regulations are complied with and all necessary repairs carried out as soon as possible. Defective gas appliances are very dangerous and some tenants have died as a result. Culpable landlords face manslaughter charges and jail.

A landlord must:

  • Have gas appliances checked for safety by a CORGI registered gas installer within 12 months of their installation and then ensure further checks at least once every twelve months after that.
  • Ensure a gas safety check has been carried out on pipe work, each appliance and flue every 12 months, except where the appliance was installed less than 12 months ago. The CORGI registered installer must take remedial action if an appliance fails a safety check.
  • Give a copy of the safety check record to any new tenant before they move in or to an existing tenant(s) within 28 days of the check.
  • Keep a record of the safety check made on each appliance for two years.
  • Ensure that gas appliances, fittings, and flues are maintained in a safe condition.

>> Exceptions to the regulations

  • The Regulations do not apply to gas appliances, which are owned by the tenant.
  • The Regulations do not apply to leases of more than 7 years unless it can be ended before 7 years from the commencement of the term.
  • The Regulations allow a defence for some specified regulations where a person can show that they took all reasonable steps to prevent the contravention of the Regulations.
  • Portable or mobile gas appliances supplied from a cylinder must be included in maintenance and the annual check; however they are excluded from other parts of the Regulations

>> Room sealed appliances

The regulations require that:

  • A gas appliance installed in a bathroom or a shower room must be a room-sealed appliance (A room-sealed appliance is an appliance which is sealed from the room in which it is located and obtains the air for combustion from the open air outside the building and the products of combustion are discharged to the open air.)
  • A gas fire, other gas space heater or a gas water heater of 14 kilowatt heat output or less in a room used or intended to be used as sleeping accommodation must either be:
  • A room-sealed appliance or,
  • It must incorporate a safety control designed to shut down the appliance before there is a build-up of a dangerous quantity of the products of combustion in the room concerned

>> Indicators that an appliance is faulty or dangerous

Danger signs to look for are:

  • Stains, soot or discolouring around a gas appliance indicating that the flue or chimney is blocked in which case carbon monoxide can build up in the room
  • A yellow or orange flame on a gas fire or water heater
  • The most effective indication of a combustion problem would be the activation of a properly installed carbon monoxide detector

>> Tenants' duties

Tenants also have responsibilities imposed upon them by the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. They must report any defect that they become aware of and must not use an appliance that is not safe. You should inform tenants of this in writing and should include a clause explaining the duties in the tenancy agreement. This would include reporting any defect and not using an appliance that is not safe.

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