The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released a statement highlighting landlords’ gas safety obligations to short-term let tenants, as demand for the rental property market soars ahead of the 2012 Olympics.
Business savvy gas installers can use the Olympics to actively advise their customers on the laws associated with short-term lets, potentially resulting in an increased workload for installers, while helping them to raise awareness of the services they can offer.
Even for a short-term let houses or flats, landlords are legally obligated to comply with the necessary gas safety regulations. This includes:
- rooms let in a bed-sit, private households, bed and breakfast accommodation and hotels
- rented holiday accommodation such as chalets, cottages, flats, caravans and narrow boats on inland waterways
- residential premises.
The Gas Safety (Installations and Use) Regulations 1998 requires landlords to ensure all areas where gas is used are safe, and that the property is thoroughly checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Landlords have three very specific duties to ensure their tenant’s safety:
- pipework, appliances and flues must be maintained in a safe condition
- gas appliances must be serviced according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If these are not available, it is recommended that they are serviced every 12 months unless a Gas Safe registered engineer advises otherwise
- landlords will need to prove that regular maintenance of flues and appliance has been undertaken, together with any necessary repairs.
Landlords are required to ensure gas safety checks must be carried out every 12 months even of only one or two rooms are rented out.
Gas safety records must be kept up to date and provided to tenants within 28 days of a check being completed or to new tenants prior to them moving in. If a property or rooms is hired out for less than 28 days at a time, landlords must display a copy of the Landlords Gas Safety Record in a prominent position within the property, so a copy does not need to be given to every new occupier. Copies of these records must be kept for at least two years. It is also necessary for landlords to keep their tenants informed about their responsibilities while they are staying in their property.