COVID-19: Gas safety advice for landlords
UPDATE 23 March 2020
We are aware that the new restrictions announced by the UK Prime Minister on leaving your own home and avoidance of any social contact will reduce the ability for landlords to arrange annual safety checks. We are working with the HSE to provide new guidance specific to this 3-week period.
Landlords have a legal duty to repair and maintain gas pipework, flues and appliances in a safe condition, to ensure an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue, and to keep a record of each safety check. If you anticipate difficulties in gaining access as the COVID-19 situation progresses, you have the flexibility to carry out annual gas safety checks two months before the deadline date. Landlords can have the annual gas safety checks at their properties carried out any time from 10 to 12 calendar months after the previous check and still retain the original deadline date as if the check had been carried out exactly 12 months after the previous check. You are encouraged to arrange your annual gas safety checks as early as possible, as a contingency against tenants being in self-isolation for a period of 14 days (in line with current guidelines), or gas engineers being unavailable due to illness. The two-month period to carry out annual gas safety checks should provide adequate resilience in most situations.In the event you are unable to gain access to the property, eg persistent refusal of access due to vulnerable tenants self-isolating, you will be expected to be able to demonstrate that you took reasonable steps to comply with the law. This will need to include records of communication with the tenant and details of your engineers attempts to gain access.
What is a Gas Safety Record?
A Gas Safety Record is the documentation that may be given to you by a gas engineer after they’ve done gas work at your property. The documentation provided will often depend on the type of work they’ve undertaken - be it a service or a safety check.
While all gas engineers are required by law to be on the Gas Safe Register, it’s not a legal requirement for them to provide Gas Safety Record documentation after they visit you. There’s one exception, and that’s if you’re a landlord.
Landlord Gas Safety Record: the low down
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:
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:
Want to see an example of what the Landlord Gas Safety Record should look like? Download it here.
Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, you’ll find lots more information on gas safety in rented accommodation in our Renting A Property section.
I’m not a landlord - what documentation can I expect?
If you’re not a landlord, that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t receive any documentation from your Gas Safe registered engineer. In fact, it’s considered good practice for your engineer to provide you with some form of record, even if it’s not as detailed as a Landlord’s Gas Safety Record.
It’s a great idea to get in touch with your Gas Safe registered engineer before they visit your property, so you’ll know exactly what to expect from them.