Gas Safety Week: What Should Renters Expect From Landlords

How to stay gas safe in rented accommodation

As a tenant in rented accommodation it is essential to be aware of any gas appliances in the property. This includes gas appliances, pipework, fittings and chimneys. These appliances could be faulty and as a result life-threatening. This is why it is important you arrange annual gas safety checks with your landlord to ensure appliances are safe and fit for use.

These checks include:

  • Ensuring that products of combustion (fumes) are being safely removed outside via the chimney;
  • Ensuring an appliance is burning the gas properly, and that there is an adequate supply of fresh air in order for it to do so;
  • Ensuring all safety devices are working properly and shutting an appliance off should a fault occur.

When a gas safety check has been arranged with your landlord or there is an emergency it’s in your best interest to let a Gas Safe registered engineer into the property to carry out a check – but always ask to see their Gas Safe ID Card first! In addition to this it is a good idea to confirm with your landlord especially if you aren’t expecting an engineer to call.

When renting it is always good to be aware of the signs of a gas leak for example:

  • Smell – We add a distinctive, sulphur-like, rotten egg odour so you can detect even small amounts of natural gas.
  • Sight – Be aware of dirt spraying into the air, liquids bubbling and vegetation dying in a moist area.
  • Sound – Pay attention to hissing, whistling or roaring sounds coming from underground or from a gas appliance.

Your Responsibilities

As you are the resident of the property when renting the accommodation, it is your responsibility to complete maintenance on the gas appliances in a safe condition. The tenant should service the gas appliances in accordance with the frequency given in the manufacturer’s instructions. If these are not available, you should get in touch with your landlord and arrange an annual service unless advised otherwise by a gas safe engineer.

Any gas appliances owned by tenants are not the landlord’s responsibility, however the connecting pipework and chimney (if not solely connected to the tenant’s appliance) remains the responsibility of the landlord to maintain.

Gas Safety Records

When a registered gas engineer has completed a gas safety check in your home, they will record all of the checks they have carried out on a form. This is the Gas Safety Record, and it will list all of the appliances and fittings they have checked in the property.

When renting a property from a private landlord, the council, a housing association, student accommodation or any other landlord, they should provide you with a copy of the record within 28 days of the check being completed. If you are a new tenant, you should expect to be given a copy of the latest record upon moving into the residency. Find out more information on Gas Safety Records.

If you do not receive a Gas Safety Record from your landlord for your current property, you need to ask your landlord for this document. If they fail to do so, you need to report them to the HSE, because failing to follow gas safety requirements is a criminal offence and the HSE has the power to issue a formal caution and may prosecute your landlord.

Students Moving into a Rented Property

As a student you are like any other tenant in that your landlord needs to ensure that any gas appliances in the property are safe for you to use. It’s unlikely gas safety is at the top of your priorities, but know your rights and the warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning – it may just save your life one day.

The six symptoms of carbon monoxide (headache, muscle weakness, dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision, and loss of consciousness) can be mistaken for a hangover. To avoid this request for an audible carbon monoxide alarm with your landlord or you can buy a battery operated one at a DIY store. Usually the same cost of a good night out.

If you have any gas safety questions feel free to get in touch with us here.