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Gas safety - The Law

The current legislation controlling the installation and use of gas is the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 which came into force on 31 October 1998 and place duties mainly on installers, landlords and some gas suppliers.

These Regulations aim to prevent injury to consumers and the public from either carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning or fire and explosion.

In particular the Regulations require gas installation businesses

  • to be registered with CORGI, which is approved by HSE to maintain a register of gas installation businesses
  • monitor the competency of those businesses and their operatives to undertake gas work safely and to investigate complaints against registered installers

All gas fitting operatives are also required to be able to demonstrate they are competent to undertake gas work safely normally by being assessed against nationally accepted standards.

Landlords have duties to ensure that the gas appliances and flues they provide for tenants' use are maintained in a safe condition at all times and checked for safety each year by a CORGI registered installer, and a copy of the check record is provided to the tenant.

Unlike landlords there is no duty on owner/occupiers of private domestic property to have their gas appliances either maintained or regularly checked for safety.

For this reason HSE, other government departments and CORGI have over the past few years, spent a considerable amount of money on publicity campaigns advising owner occupiers to take such action. Below are the main responsibilities for landlords, tenants, letting agents and owner occupiers.

Landlords - responsibilities

By Law you must:

  • Ensure installation pipe work, appliances and flues provided for tenants are maintained in a safe condition
  • Ensure an annual safety check is carried out on each appliance and/or flue that you provide for tenants use
  • Ensure maintenance and annual safety checks are carried out by a CORGI registered installer
  • Keep a record of each safety check for 2 years
  • Issue a copy of the safety check to each existing tenant within 28 days of check being completed and to any new tenant before they move in
  • Ensure all gas equipment (including any appliance left by a previous tenant) is safe or otherwise removed before re-letting
  • If a managing agent is used to help the landlord in meeting their duties, make sure that the management contract clearly specifies who is to make arrangements for maintenance and safety checks to be carried out and for keeping records. However, the landlord maintains overall responsibility for ensuring duties are met, irrespective of whether a managing agent is employed
  • Ensure that anyone carrying out work on gas appliances/fittings and/or flues provided for tenants use has the required competence and that only CORGI registered installers are used
  • A leaflet explaining some of the main requirements of landlords, under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, is available from HSE.

Tenant - responsibilities

HSE advises:

  • You should allow your landlord access to the property to carry out maintenance or safety checks on appliances and/or flues that they provide for your use
  • That gas appliances and/or flues you own should be regularly maintained and a safety check carried out at least once every 12 months by a CORGI registered installer
  • That, if there is any doubt about the safety of gas equipment it should be turned off and not touched until checked by a competent installer, and remedial action taken as necessary

Letting Agents - responsibilities

By law you must:

  • Ensure that the management contract clearly specifies who is to make arrangements for maintenance and safety checks on gas equipment and for keeping associated records
  • Where specified by the management contract ensure gas appliances and/or flues are serviced at least once every 12 months or at any other time if there is a safety doubt
  • Ensure that maintenance and safety checks on gas appliances/fittings and/or flues provided for tenants use are only carried out by a CORGI registered installer

Owner Occupier - responsibilities

HSE Advises:

  • That all gas appliances and/or flues should be regularly maintained and a safety check carried out annually or at any other time if there is a safety doubt by a CORGI registered installer.
  • A leaflet aimed at all gas consumers is available from HSE and contains information in order to manage gas appliances/equipment safely and the danger signs to look out for.

 

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