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?
From 1st October 2022 the law changed in England and all relevant landlords must provide a carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation which contains a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers). For more information visit the FAQ section of the explanatory booklet published by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities. For information on the requirements in Scotland please visit Carbon monoxide alarms in private rented properties: guidance - gov.scot (www.gov.scot) For guidance in Wales Housing | Topic | GOV.WALES.
- Further information is available in the Landlords and gas safety FAQs section of this site.