Responsibility for gas safety
Landlords, tenants and owner-occupiers all have legal responsibilities when it comes to gas safety.
What responsibilities do I have if I am renting?
Landlords have a legal duty to have all gas appliances in their properties inspected on an annual basis. If you are a tenant, you must allow a registered gas installer access to your accommodation to carry out safety checks and, if necessary, repair work. Your landlord should give you adequate notice of the gas safety inspection.
Being gas safety conscious
If any of the gas appliances in your home belong to you, you should arrange for a registered gas installer to check them each year as well.
In an emergency
Call the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999 if you smell gas or think there’s a gas leak.
For information on gas safety, call the HSE’s free Gas Safety Advice Line on 0800 300 363.
Do not use any gas appliances that you know or suspect to be unsafe. If there is a gas leak, you should try and prevent any further escapes of gas, for example by turning off the gas supply.
What responsibilities do landlords have?
Gas safety records
All landlords have to have a valid gas safety record for the gas equipment in the property they rent out. A copy of the record must be provided to the tenant. The record will list all appliances, including those owned by the tenant, although landlords are only responsible for the appliances that they own. Before you move into rented accommodation, you should always ask to see a copy of the current gas safety record.
Gas safety records are valid for 12 months and can only be issued by a registered Gas Safe engineer. In order to give a gas safety record, the gas engineer must carry out a gas safety check.
If the gas engineer identifies any problems which affect gas safety, the landlord has to get them repaired. The gas engineer will take the appropriate action to make the installation safe, which may include disconnecting faulty equipment. They can also ask the gas provider to cut off the supply to the property if necessary.
Your landlord must keep a record of the date of the safety check, any problems it highlighted and any work that was done to rectify these problems. Your landlord should give you a copy of this record within 28 days of the safety check.
What if a landlord doesn’t comply?
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is responsible for enforcing gas safety. You should get in touch with the HSE if your landlord:
- has not provided you with a valid gas safety record, or
- refuses to let you see records of safety checks, or
- doesn’t do any work required.
Failure to follow gas safety requirements is a criminal offence and the HSE can issue a formal caution and may prosecute your landlord. If convicted, the landlord may be fined or even given a prison sentence.
You can call the HSE helpline on 0845 345 0055 or 0800 300 363 or contact your nearest office – details are available on the HSE website.
If you live in a house or flat that is occupied by more than two households (a house in multiple occupation or HMO), your local council also has powers to ensure that your landlord complies with the rules on gas safety.
What are my responsibilities if I own my home?
Getting gas safety checks
If you own your home, you should arrange for a gas safety check to be carried out once a year – this is not a legal requirement unless you have lodgers or tenants, but is recommended.
Being gas safety conscious
If you suspect any gas appliances in your home may be faulty, don’t use them. Call out a registered gas engineer as soon as possible. If the gas engineer disconnects any appliances, you mustn’t reconnect them until any faults have been rectified.
If you do, you are breaking the law.
Declaration of Safety
If you are having a gas appliance installed or replaced, the registered gas installer will issue you with a notification called a Declaration of Safety. Keep this somewhere safe, as you’ll need it when you come to sell your home in the future, to prove that the work has been carried out properly by a registered engineer.
Remember – never DIY with gas, it’s dangerous and likely to be illegal.