Gas Safety Regulations for Landlords 

Written By PropertyLoop
February 11, 2021

Landlords are legally obligated to ensure that all gas appliances across their rental property are safe for use by their occupants. This responsibility is enforced through the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations 1998, demanding that landlords arrange for their rental to undergo a gas safety inspection each year. Once the gas safety inspection has been completed by a certified Gas Safe engineer the landlord must document the certification that demonstrates their property is safe for a minimum of two years. Rental property owners will also be expected to supply their tenants with a copy of the gas safety certificate within 28 days of the inspection being completed, alongside the document being given to new renters at the start of a tenancy.  

What Is Checked in a Landlord Gas Safety Check?

During the gas safety inspection, the Gas Safe registered engineer will ensure that all gas appliances throughout the property are safe for use. These assessments will see the engineer evaluate an appliance’s suitability for their location within the rental, the rate at which they consume gas, that they are installed correctly, with secure fittings and pipework. Alongside this, the engineer will ensure that all flues, chimneys, vents and pipework are correctly installed and free from damage.  

What Happens if You Fail Gas Safety Certificate? 

During the inspection gas appliances can be found to be unfit for operation, presenting a danger to the occupants of the property. If this is the case there are a number of grades that could be attributed to a faulty appliance, denoting the risk it presents to the user.  

Immediately Dangerous” 

Such appliances will present a significant risk  

“At Risk”  

This could potentially put the user at risk  

Not to current standards”  

Technically safe but not up to regulations   

How Much Does a Gas Safety Check Cost? 

As can be expected the cost of a gas safety check will vary depending on the engineer providing the service. Similarly to carrying out repairs to the property, finding multiple quotes for the work, and proceeding with the most cost-efficient is the common route taken by landlords.  With this being said, landlords must keep in mind that gas safety inspections can only be carried out by approved Gas Safe registered engineers.  

 How Often Should a Landlord Do a Gas Safety Check? 

Landlords are legally required to have an accredited engineer conduct a gas safety check each year. However, rental property owners may not always have to align their gas safety check to the exact date. Thanks to the Gas Safety Regulations of 2018, providing that a landlord is able to sufficiently prove that their previous two annual gas safety checks took place on time, they are able to renew their gas safety certificate early. Despite the gas safety inspection taking place up to two months before the expiry date of the existing certificate, it will only come into effect once the existing deadline has been passed, leaving the period over which the certificate is valid unaltered.   

My Landlord Gas Safety Certificate Expired 

As mentioned, landlords must have a gas safety check performed annually. Therefore, if the certificate has expired the landlord must find a Gas Safe Engineer to carry out a Gas Safety Inspection immediately.  

Is It Illegal to Rent a Home Without a Gas Safety Certificate? 

 Landlords are legally required to have a valid gas safety certificate for their rental property. In the circumstance that a landlord neglects to hold a gas safety certificate the penalties are severe, potentially seeing the failure be treated as a criminal matter. Not only will this invalidate the insurance policies taken out on the property by the landlord, but they could face up to six months imprisonment, up to £6,000 in fines and even legal action from residents

Gas Safety Tips For Landlords

Look Out for Leaks

Perhaps the most common fault with boilers, leaks can often only be found if the pressure is dropping. That’s because many leaks are under the floorboards.  

There is an understandable tendency amongst homeowners to simply top up the boiler but constantly doing this can cause a lot of damage. It’s best to find out where the leak is in the first place. So, look along the pipework, at the radiator valves and scrutinise towel rails. 

When you do find the leak, make sure it’s bone dry before running the heating, then return and check. Sometimes even just tightening up radiator valves can help stop a leak. 

Knowing What Causes Limescale

If there is one substance that will really knacker your boiler over time, it’s limescale. Unfortunately for some householders it’s difficult to avoid – especially if you live along the east coast of England. That’s because the water here is described as ‘hard’ and which, in turn, means it contains limescale. Over time it results in a build-up of limescale and which can block pipes and parts of the heating system itself. 

Don’t despair though, if this is your property. You can install a scale reducer to help prevent the limescale build up. 

Stop the Sludge  

A boiler inhibitor helps break down materials and sludge in your heating system, but it needs somewhere to go. Having a magnetic system filer built in during – and after – the boiler installation can help.  

Forget Flushing  

Engineers will usually recommend a power flush for a sluggish heating system. But this can actually do more harm than good – especially if your radiators are old. That’s because the joints will have become weak over the years (and decades). Power flushing the system with strong chemicals can loosen these even further and cause leaks. 

Then again, the pipework may not be correctly routed – in which case a power flush simply won’t work when attempting to unblock that sluggish system since it doesn’t real all the radiators in the property. 

Power flushing isn’t cheap either. I can actually cost anything from £350 to £650 depending on how many radiators you have. The first price is the average quote for six radiators and the latter for 16 radiators. If you do decide to go down the power flushing route then examine the engineering report (or get a plumber pal to do it) so that you can make sure you are spending money wisely. 

Release the Old Radiators 

By ‘release’ we mean send those old radiators to the scrap heap. Instead, invest in some more efficient versions. Heating engineers say new radiators can be up to 50% more efficient than the ones they are replacing. Considering the cost of power flushing can be around 40% of the cost of installing new radiators (with parts) it’s a bit of a No Brainer really. 

But when is a radiator an old radiator? Well, after 10 years any radiator is going to start going downhill a bit. Really, it’s at that point you want to be shopping around for replacements. 

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