This week is Gas Safety Week. The aim of Gas Safety Week, which is co-ordinated by the Gas Safe Register, is to raise awareness of gas safety.
Gas safety is something landlords need to take seriously every week of the year, but the gas safety regulations are not always easy to understand. In this post we give our full support to Gas Safety Week by looking at what a landlord’s gas safety obligations are, and at how to make gas safety compliance and the need for gas safety certificates simpler.
Firstly, what are the main gas safety risks?
Gas appliances such as gas boilers, gas fires and gas cookers involve two main areas of safety risk: That they are not installed properly in the first place – and that they are not properly maintained and regularly serviced thereafter.
Gas appliances that are poorly installed and incorrectly serviced (or not serviced at all) can result in gas leaks and even fires and explosions. Faulty gas appliances can also emit dangerous levels of carbon monoxide or CO gas. CO has no colour, taste or odour and it is poisonous.
Carbon monoxide can cause serious health issues and even death. According to Health and Safety Executive statistics around seven people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning.
What are a landlord’s gas safety obligations?
As a landlord, you are legally responsible for the safety of your tenants including for gas safety in your property.
There are four main steps landlords must take to comply with these legal obligations:
Gas appliances in a property together with their associated flues and pipework must be permanently maintained in a safe condition.
Gas appliances must undergo an annual safety check. This and any necessary servicing and maintenance can only be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
For more information and to find or check a gas engineer visit the Gas Safe Register.
A copy of the Gas Safety Record produced by the engineer must be provided to new tenants before they move in to a property, or to existing tenants within 28 days of it being carried out.
Landlords must maintain a positive record of compliance by keeping copies of each Gas Safety Record at least until two further checks have been made.
How to make complying with gas safety laws simpler
While complying with the gas safety regulations is an absolute must, it is just one of the many regular tasks a landlord has to undertake. Here are some tips on how PaTMa Property Manager can help you avoid breaching the gas safety regulations, as well as save you time, money and hassle:
KNOW your responsibilities. Know what your responsibilities for gas safety are, alongside the need for annual gas safety certificates.
This post from the PaTMa Blog explains Safety Certificate Compliance and How To Stay Ahead Of Safety Certificate Management, for both gas and electrical safety, in detail.
HAVE an organised system. Have a system that includes producing gas safety certificates to new tenants as part of the set of pre-tenancy documentation that you must provide to them by law.
Here’s a post from the PaTMa Blog which details what all the pre-tenancy documents you must give to new tenants are: Feature Focus: Pre-Tenancy Documents
USE checklists to save time. A checklist is a simple but effective way to ensure that all the necessary steps are taken to set up a tenancy that is legally correct. A checklist can help you keep on top of referencing, right to rent checks, tenancy contracts, inventories, as well as gas and electrical safety certificates and much else besides.
This blog post explains what a tenancy checklist should cover, and how the PaTMa Property Manager new tenancy checklist feature can help you process the necessary checks quickly and efficiently: Feature Focus: New Tenancy Checklist
STORE safety certificates efficiently. Not only is it vital that you have up to date safety certificates, you should be able to produce them whenever they are needed.
PaTMa’s Property Manager enables you to upload and store all your safety certificates securely online with no risk of losing them. You can then retrieve them easily any time you need them. Here’s exactly how it works.
AUTOMATE where possible, so nothing is overlooked. As a landlord, you have a multitude of different things to remember. Some of them like safety certificates (as well as making sure the rent is received!) are things you simply cannot afford to overlook. It makes absolute sense to set up and use automated reminders for as many of these tasks as possible.
PaTMa’s Property Manager allows you to set up automated reminders for gas safety certificates. When a Gas Safety Record is coming up for renewal it will send you email or text reminders in plenty of time to arrange the annual gas safety check.
Here’s more information on how this works: Safety Certificate Renewal Reminders
While gas safety is undoubtedly one of the most important elements of a landlord’s responsibilities there is no reason why it should be a difficult or time consuming one. We hope this information will help you stay within the law, save time and be more efficient both in Gas Safety Week and beyond.
Gas Safety Week 2020 runs from 14-20 September. Gas Safety Week is an annual safety week to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of your gas appliances. It is co-ordinated by Gas Safe Register, the official list of gas engineers who are legally allowed to work on gas.