Renting A Property
How to stay safe in your rented accommodation
Badly fitted or faulty gas appliances and gas pipework, and blocked chimneys and flues, can all be life-threatening. If you live in rented accommodation, here’s what you need to know to ensure the safety of you and your family.
The responsibility for gas safety in a rented property lies with the landlord but tenants should also be aware of the laws and regulations so that they understand what to expect. For example, landlords are required to have an annual gas safety check carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer, but, landlords are not always required to install carbon monoxide alarms.
You can find out more about appropriate gas safety regulations for rentals below.
Gas safety for landlords
Staying on top of the gas safety in a property you’re renting out may seem like extra hassle but as a landlord you have a number of responsibilities to take into consideration. Cutting corners on gas safety in your properties can have serious impacts, so it pays to understand what your obligations are.
As a landlord letting a residential property, you have a legal duty to ensure it’s safe for your tenants. This means you’re required by law to get a Gas Safe registered engineer to do an annual gas safety check on all gas appliances - and it’s the results of these checks that are recorded in your Landlord Gas Safety Record. You’ll receive a copy, and you’ll need to provide a record of this check to your tenants.
In your record, you should find:
A description and location of each appliance or flue that was checked
The name, registration number and signature of the engineer who made the checks
The date the checks were carried out
The address of the property where the appliances or flues are installed
Your name and address (or an agent’s where applicable)
Information on any safety defects and actions needed or taken to fix them
The results of all operational safety checks carried out on the appliances
The gas pipework in your rented property must also be kept in a safe condition. Installation pipework is not covered by the annual gas safety check, but both we and the HSE recommend that when you request a safety check, you ask your Gas Safe registered engineer to:
Test for tightness on the whole gas system, including installation pipework
Visually examine the pipework (so far as is reasonably practicable)
Gas safety for tenants
When you move into a rented property your landlord must provide you with a Landlord’s Gas Safety Record. Unchecked and badly maintained gas appliances pose a potentially lethal risk to your safety and health due to risk of fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning
As a tenant it’s important that you understand what your landlord is responsible for.
Landlords have a legal duty to arrange gas safety checks in rented properties. It’s really important that your landlord arranges these checks on an annual basis, to make sure all gas appliances are safe and fit for your continued use. Checks can include:
Making sure products of combustion (fumes) are being safely removed outside via the flue or chimney
Ensuring an appliance is burning the gas properly, and that there’s an adequate supply of fresh air for it to do so
Making sure all safety devices are working properly
Shutting off an appliance if a fault is found
If a Gas Safe registered engineer visits your home to carry out a safety check, it’s important to let them do so - but don’t forget to check their Gas Safe ID card first. This is proof that they’re Gas Safe registered and shows what types of work they’re qualified to undertake.
Gas Safety Records
When an engineer does a gas safety check at the property you’re renting, they’ll record the checks they carry out on a form. This is called a Gas safety record, and it should list all of the appliances and fittings they’ve checked.
Whether you’re renting from a private landlord, the council, a housing association or any other type of landlord, they should provide you with your own copy of this record within 28 days of the check being completed. New tenants just starting a tenancy should also be given a copy of the latest record.
If you don’t have a current copy of the Gas Safety Record (sometimes called a tenant Gas Safety Certificate), ask your landlord to provide this. If they’re unable to do so, you can report them to the HSE. Failure to follow gas safety requirements and uphold tenant gas rights is a criminal offence and the HSE can issue a formal caution and may prosecute your landlord.
Gas safety for students
Gas safety may not be the first thing many students think of, but as tenants they also need to be aware of what they can do to stay safe and their landlords responsibilities
As a student, you’re just like any other tenant in that your landlord must ensure that any gas appliances in the property are safe for you to use. Knowing your rights – and the hangover-like warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning - might just save your life.If you own your own appliances, or have other specific circumstances, these may not be covered by your landlord’s legal responsibilities