The Gas Safe Register provides the following advice to tenants on staying gas safe in their rented accommodation.
Faulty gas appliances and gas pipework, poor gas fittings and blocked chimneys/flues can be life-threatening – so it’s important for your landlord to arrange annual gas safety checks to ensure appliances are safe and fit for use. The checks can include:
- Ensuring that products of combustion (fumes) are being safely removed outside via the flue or 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.
It’s in your best interest to let a Gas Safe registered engineer in if they visit your property to carry out a check – but don’t forget to ask to see their Gas Safe ID card and always check with your landlord if you aren’t expecting an engineer to call.
Gas Safety Records
When a registered engineer does a gas safety check in your home, they will record all of the checks they carry out on a form. This is the Gas Safety Record, and it should list all of the appliances and fittings they’ve checked.
If you’re renting a property from a private landlord, the council, a housing association or any other landlord, they should provide you with a copy of the record within 28 days of the check being completed. They also need to give a copy of the latest record to new tenants upon the start of their tenancy.
If you’re not in possession of a valid record for your current property, you can ask your landlord to provide this. If they fail to do so, you can report them to the HSE. Failure 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.
Student moving into a rented property?
Students are like any other tenants in that your landlord needs to ensure that any gas appliances in the property are safe for you to use. As a student, gas safety is unlikely to be top of your priorities list, but knowing your rights – and the warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning – might just save your life.
The six symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning could be mistaken for a hangover. To avoid this, it’s a good idea to invest in an audible carbon monoxide alarm – you can buy a battery operated one at any DIY store, usually for the price of a good night at the Students’ Union (£15-£20). Once it’s yours, you can take it with you wherever you go next. Make sure the alarm is marked to comply with the European safety standard BS EN 50291.
If you own your own appliance in a tenanted property or have other specific circumstances, you can find out more about a landlord’s duties from our previous blog If you have a gas emergency, read our previous blog to find out what course of action to take.