ARLA, the Association of Residential Letting Agents has highlighted the importance of landlords and agents being aware of gas safety and regulatory obligations.
The association released two fact sheets giving updates on the issues surrounding gas safety in the approach to Gas Safety Week, which runs from the 14th to the 20th of September.
The first offers letting agents and landlords a guide to notices instructing ‘Danger Do Not Use’. The factsheet outlines how they should be used and when they are necessary, along with the responsibilities involved for landlords and agents acting on behalf of landlords.
It aims to make agents and landlords aware of changes resulting from an enquiry which has led to the Gas Industry Unsafe situations Procedure (GIUsP) stipulating that Do Not Use warnings should be used whether there is an ‘immediate danger’ posed by a gas installation or it is considered ‘at risk’. This procedure aims to make it as clear as possible for users to understand that appliances cannot be used.
These notices are issued when an engineer registered with Gas Safe identifies that there is a gas-related danger caused by a gas fitting or appliance within a property.
The second publication provides a guide to gas safety responsibility as set down by the law. This focuses on the obligations outlined in The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
This factsheet also offers information on new regulations regarding carbon monoxide and smoke alarms, and informs landlords and agents about how to obtain further information as well as who to contact for facts and advice.
ARLA wants to remind landlords or their agents that the law stipulates that they are obliged to ensure that:
All flues, appliances and pipe work that are provided for tenants in rental properties are safe and regularly maintained.
All flues and appliances must undergo a yearly safety check. It is possible to set up a reminder for this at www.staygassafe.co.uk.
All annual safety checks and maintenance jobs are carried out by a Gas Safe-registered engineer. It is the responsibility of the landlord or agent acting on their behalf to check the engineer’s ID and verify that they are qualified to do the work.
These checks should be carried out before any work is undertaken as failure to do this can have devastating, potentially life-threatening consequences, not just for the tenants within a property but also for people in the surrounding area – and for landlords who fail to carry out the necessary measures to protect their tenants.
All gas equipment and appliances, whether supplied by the landlord or left over from a previous tenancy, must be safe for tenants to use. Any items that are not safe or will not be maintained must be removed.
The Gas Safety Record must be given to the tenant in a property in advance of them moving in or no longer than 28 days after the gas safety check has been completed.
A copy of this Gas Safety Record must be kept for a minimum of two years.