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Gas SafetyIf you let a property equipped with gas appliances you are responsible for the safety of your tenants and you have three main responsibilities:
pipework, appliances and flues must be maintained in a safe condition. Gas appliances should be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If these are not available it is recommended that they are serviced annually unless advised otherwise by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Gas Safety checks
A 12 monthly gas safety check must be carried out on every gas appliance/flue. A gas safety check will make sure gas fittings and appliances are safe to use.
A record of the annual gas safety check must be provided to your tenant within 28 days of the check being completed or to new tenants before they move in. Landlords must keep copies of the gas safety record for two years.
All installation, maintenance and safety checks need to be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. If a tenant has their own gas appliance that you have not provided, then you are responsible for the maintenance of the gas pipework but not for the actual appliance.
You should also make sure your tenants know where to turn off the gas and what to do in the event of a gas emergency.
There is no statutory obligation on landlords or agents to have professional checks carried out on the electrical system or appliances. However, under Common Law and various statutory regulations: The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, The Housing Act 2004, The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, and the Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994, both of which come under the Consumer Protection Act 1987, there is an obligation to ensure that all electrical equipment is safe.
At the beginning of each new tenancy, you should ensure that electrical installations - like fixed wiring - are safe and well maintained. Any electrical appliances you supply to tenants - like cookers and kettles - should be safe for them to use.
You should carry out regular inspections of fixed electrical installations - like sockets and light fittings - every five years.
You should also arrange, at least once a year, for a qualified electrician to carry out a portable appliance testing (PAT) safety test on any portable electrical equipment you provide for tenants, like kettles. The PAT tester will give you a dated certificate and put stickers on the plugs of appliances to show that they are safe.
Energy performance certificateA landlord must make sure that a valid Energy Performance Certificate is available to all of their prospective tenants from 1 October 2008. The Energy Performance Certificate and recommendation report must be made available free of charge by a landlord to their tenant at the earliest opportunity and no later than:
when any written information about the building is given in response to a request for information received from a prospective tenant; or
when a prospective tenant views the property; or
if neither of those occur, before the landlord enters into a tenancy agreement to let out the property.
A new certificate will not be required on each let since, in the case of rental property, EPCs will be valid for 10 years.