Gas and Electrical Safety Advice For Landlords.

By: Rick Skew

As a landlord, you have a legal obligation to ensure that the building you let is safe for the tenants to reside in. Generally speaking, gas and electrical systems along with all appliances present the highest risk of injury. It is essential you make certain that these systems are not dangerous.

For gas installations:
It is essential that you ensure that every one of the fittings and flues are maintained properly and in a safe condition. This means you should have gas installations and appliances serviced every 12 months, and you have to keep a record of the service being carried out
You will want to have a gas safety check done on all gas appliances and flues annually. A Gas safety certificate is a legal requirement. Ideally, check gas installations and appliances immediately prior to the start of any new tenancy, even if the gas safety certificate is still current.

Your managing agent should do this for you. Only a Gas Safe registered plumber or central heating engineer is qualified to repair or certificate anything attached to the gas system. For instance, dealing with boilers, flues or cookers. Make certain that you keep a record of each safety check for 2 years. Your Gas Safe engineer will issue this certificate. You must also make sure you hand a copy of the Gas Safe engineer’s safety check report and certificate to the tenants.

The statutory regulations are: Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. These regulations are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive.

For electrical installations:
While there is no requirement by law to have the fixed wire electrical system checked for safety, it is good practice and quite often a requirement for a good property management agency to provide a Periodic Inspection Report. When the|If the} system is safe and in good condition, it will have 'Satisfactory Inspection' listed on the PIR document. A check every 5 years is usually deemed to be satisfactory.

All properties built since June 1992 are bound by building regulations to have inter-connected mains operated smoke alarms fitted on every level of the building. In older properties this is not a requirement.

However, landlords are well advised to provide a minimum of a battery operated smoke alarm as a duty of care. When you fit battery-operated smoke alarms unfortunately, it becomes the landlord’s responsibility to test them regularly and for the batteries to be changed regularly. This makes installing a mains operated smoke alarm look more attractive and cost efficient in the long term.

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and the Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994 stipulate that all electrical equipment in tenanted residential properties must be safe.

Any electrical equipment you provide must be in good working order and safe. E.g. kettles, cookers, microwaves, televisions and washing machines. Technically a PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) procedure needs to be applied. This is a test for every appliance to ensure that it is safe. A sticker with the pass date is stuck onto it and a record kept. For landlords with multiple properties this can be time consuming and expensive. Ideally keep the amount of electrical equipment you supply to the tenant at an absolute minimum.

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I have spent a lot of my time working for a company called Electricians and I have seen some pretty sites and some not so pretty sites. Over the years I have realised that there is a lot can be done to avoid calling a plumber or gas engineer out.

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