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Landlords Need to Take Boiler Safety Seriously

Boiler safety is of paramount importance for all users. It is more important when the person living in the property is not responsible for the safety of the boiler, as in the case of landlord-tennat situation. Landlord Gas Safety Certificates ensure that the property is safe and that the boiler is well maintained.

The UK legal regulations are very detailed when discussing the standard for landlords of rental properties in relation to gas safety. The property has to be inspected for gas safety levels by a Corgi approved engineer. If the landlord does not meet this requirement he or she are liable to a fine of up to 5,000 and up to six months imprisonment.

According to the law, landlords are required to ensure the following:

  1. No open flue gas appliance is located in the same room where people are sleeping, a bathroom or a shower room.
  2. All work relating to the repair, service or installation of gas appliances to be carried out by a CORGI certified engineer.
  3. Both mobile and fixed gas appliances in the property must be kept at a safe working condition and inspected on an annual basis by a Corgi registered engineer.
  4. All work carried out to any gas appliance within the property must be approved by a set of safety tests conducted by a Corgi approved operative.
  5. The tenants living in the property must have unrestricted access to all documentation relating to the gas appliances (e.g. manuals for the appliances, safety documents).
  6. The dates of safety inspections must be kept in a clear set of records (which should also include any defects identified and respective work done). Access should be given to the tenants to such records within 28 days of the safety inspection or prior to new tenants moving into the property.

Landlords should consider installing protection against carbon monoxide poisoning in the rented property. Carbon monoxide poisoning causes between 20 to 30 deaths every year in the UK. Carbon monoxide is a result of an incomplete burning reaction, which creates a combination of carbon with a single oxygen molecule. The gas has no smell, colour or taste and is extremely poisonous, causing asphyxiation and sometimes death. Carbon monoxide can occur when the boiler installation is done poorly, when the flue is poorly designed or installed or is simply blocked.

Landlords have no choice but to ensure that all domestic boilers on the premise are checked and services annually. Large landlords, Local Authorities and Housing Associations find this statutory obligation to cause major concern due to the administrative complexity and logistics difficulty of the gas engineer gaining access to the boiler.

Analysing this industry shows that it can prove very difficult for a landlord of a large block of flats to arrange access to each property for the gas engineer. During normal hours, most flats are empty (while the tenants are at work), with very few tenants willing to stay at home and wait for the gas engineer to call in. As tenants are reluctant to take a paid leave to stay at home for such gas safety check, it is difficult for landlords to meet their legal requirements.

Landlords, who are obliged to comply with the law, may have to resort to obtaining an entry warrant if the tenant does not co-operate. This can incur additional cost of approximately 500 per dwelling for police attendance and making good.

This page has been written with contributions from qualified plumbers from Hertfordshire and experienced heating engineers from Milton Keynes. Several of the company's plumbers from Northamptonshire have worked on similar issues as well as some of our plumbing and heating engineers from Tonbridge and our Chiswick experienced plumbers.

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