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Dealing with tenants

What information do I have to give my tenants?

You must issue the latest gas safety check record to:

  • existing tenants within 28 days of the gas safety check record being completed; and
  • to new tenants before they move in.

How can I provide the information?

If your tenant is happy and can access it, you can provide their copy of the gas safety check record electronically. But you must give them a paper copy if they ask for it.

Access to the property

The contract you make with your tenant should allow you access for any maintenance or safety check work that needs to be done. You must not use force to enter the property. For more information see regulation 39 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

A landlord has to show that they took all reasonable steps to comply with the law. HSE recommends the following actions and strongly advises that a record be kept of all correspondence with the tenants:

  • leave the tenant a notice stating that an attempt was made to complete the gas safety check and provide your contact details;
  • write to the tenant explaining that a safety check is a legal requirement and that it is for the tenant’s own safety. Give the tenant the opportunity to arrange their own appointment;
  • HSE inspectors will look for repeated attempts to complete the gas safety check, including the above suggestions; however the approach will need to be appropriate to each circumstance. It would ultimately be for a court to decide if the action taken was reasonable depending upon the individual circumstances.

Can I delegate responsibility to tenants for maintenance and gas safety checks?

No, except that a contract may be drawn up between a landlord or tenant for an appliance or flue installed in a non-residential part of a premises, for example shops and public houses. Your tenant has a duty not to use an appliance they believe to be dangerous. Further, a tenancy agreement, such as a full repairing and insuring lease, cannot be used to transfer these responsibilities to a tenant.

Who pays for repairs as a result of tenant damage?

Your tenancy agreement should make it clear who is responsible for repairs if a tenant causes damage to appliances or flues.

Am I responsible for gas safety checks on my tenant’s own appliances?

No. Tenants are responsible for the gas safety checks of their own appliances and the flue if the flue only services their appliance. We recommend that you include all flues (eg chimneys) connected to gas appliances within the gas safety check, even where they do not serve appliances that you provide.

My tenant’s hot water/heating has been switched off, what do I have to do?

If a heating appliance has been disconnected, you must provide the tenant with emergency heating, while arranging for appropriate remedial work by a Gas Safe registered engineer . If a gas appliance has been switched off by a Gas Safe registered engineer , it is because it was unsafe and should not be used. No matter how inconvenient this is, it ensures your tenant’s safety.

Am I still responsible for properties where there is a lifelong lease?

If the lease is for longer than seven years and is for life, the landlord is not responsible for gas safety checks and maintenance. But if there is an implied tenancy arrangement, such as accommodation is provided as part of a job (eg vicar, publican), you should continue to carry out your duties for maintenance and gas safety checks.

Do I have to provide a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm?

HSE strongly recommends the use of CO alarms as a useful precaution to give advance warning of carbon monoxide in the property.

On 1 Oct 2015 the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into force. From that date, private rented sector landlords have been required to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every floor of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where solid fuel is used.  After that, the landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

Further information

2015-10-14