Be Gas Safe - not Gas Sorry!

The latest expert column by our Director Neil Shaw has appeared in the Portsmouth News' Property guide.

You can read the full article below - about Gas Safety Week - and don't hestitate to get in touch about any of the issues involved.

Q: I’m a landlord – what measures do I need to take to ensure my properties are ‘gas safe’ for tenants?

A: Gas safety is one of the main issues of concern to lettings agencies, landlords and their tenants.

With Gas Safety Week upon us (September 19 to 25) it’s a timely reminder to ensure that all of the necessary measures and procedures are in place.

Landlords or their lettings agency are legally responsible for the safety of tenants. Appliances and flues must be in a safe condition, and need to be checked annually to ensure compliance.

Maintenance and checks have to be carried out by an engineer listed with the Gas Safe Register.

The landlord or letting agent is required to give the tenant a Gas Safety Record within 28 days of a check being completed or to a new tenant before they move in.

The landlord or letting agent must also keep a copy for at least two years.

Added to this, there are also regulations which came into force last October for the private rented sector regarding the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms which must also be taken into account.

It is also important to note that anyone working on gas appliances while not being Gas Safe registered is working illegally.

So, there are potential consequences in terms of fines and HSE prosecution but more critically the cost to human life from gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning caused by poorly fitted and badly maintained appliances.

The Gas Safe Register holds Gas Safety Week to raise awareness of the issue.

Most landlords and lettings agents are reputable and have their ‘houses in order’ but it is worth ensuring procedures are in place to ensure no checks or services slip through the net.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) – Chinneck Shaw is a member of both – have guides about gas safety and alarms on their websites which are well worth looking at.

Finally, please use a local gas engineer who will have local knowledge and expertise as well as vested interest in keeping the community safe.

Visit GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500 for more details.