According to the Gas Safe Register, one in six UK homes has gas appliances which are unsafe for use. This not only places the people in them in grave danger, it also has the potential to financially ruin the landlords who are letting them, and damage their reputations forever.
Marylebone Estate Agent, Kubie Gold says; “All landlords have a legal responsibility to ensure that their properties and tenants are safe when it comes to gas safety.”
The law now insists that all landlords must:
- Maintain pipes, appliances and flues
- Arrange an annual gas safety check
- Keep a record of all checks and services
- Ensure that any work undertaken is conducted by a certified Gas Safe engineer
Although you’ll be arranging annual gas safety checks, this alone isn’t enough to ensure the property is safe to be lived in. Rent Guaranteed Specialists, Assetgrove continues, “It is all landlords’ responsibility to ensure that all pipes, appliances and flues are in good condition. When you book an engineer to do the safety check it’s advisable to ask them to check the whole gas system, including pipe work.”
You’ll also need to be sure that the appliances and flues are well maintained and serviced according to the manufacturer guidelines. If you’re unable to find the original documents, contact the HSE for guidance.
Remember: Your Tenant Must Be Notified!
Always give your tenant at least 24 notice of any checks and services- ideally at least a week if you want to give them the option to be at home when the engineer arrives.
If you’re not sure who to employ to undertake the checks, you can do some research online and double check they’re qualified by using the Gas Safe Register.
Once the checks have been made the engineer will provide you with a record which you’ll be required to keep for at least 24 months. Your tenant should also be given a copy of the report- this must be provided within one month of the check taking place.
Fulham estate agent, Lawsons & Daughters concludes, “It may seem like an unwanted expense, but your annual gas safety check and related maintenance are both absolutely essential if you want to be a reputable landlord. Fulfilling your obligations now will help protect your property, the tenants, and ultimately you.”
The property market has great potential for investors, and the buy to let industry has gone from strength to strength over the past few years. Will the UK’s population at an all-time high, and this set to soar to over 70 Million by 2030, people will always need homes. The important thing to remember is that there is no such thing as a “Get rich quick” scheme, so if you want to invest in property you’ll also need to invest in safety- and that means complying to all the right rules and regulations.
All information in this article was sourced from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). To find out about your other obligations as a landlord, speak to your local trusted lettings or estate agent.