New Gas Safety Regulations introduced on 31 December 2012

by Sarah Ashcroft

Landlords must make sure that they take action to prepare their rental properties for the new Gas Safety Regulations, which came into effect on 31 December 2012.

The Health and Safety Executive issued a safety notice towards the end of 2012 about the issue of flues. Under the terms of the updated regulation, gas engineers are legally required to check the flue after carrying out any work on the boiler.

During every servicing, the flue needs to be continuous in length, all joints have to be correctly assembled and appropriately sealed, while the flue should be adequately supported throughout its length.

If the gas engineer is not satisfied that this criteria has been met, then they cannot issue a Landlords Gas Safety Certificate and this means that the heating system will have to be shut down.

The easiest way for landlords to avoid this situation is to have inspection hatches fitted into the ceiling - or stud wall where relevant - as this will ensure that the engineer can carry out the inspection.

Property owners are urged to take a 'better safe than sorry' approach to this issue, as they do not want their heating to be turned off because they have failed to comply with the regulation.

Under the terms of tenancy agreements, landlords have a responsibility to provide a heating system that is in full working order for the duration of the tenancy.

Failure to do so may result in compensation for those renting the property, as it will not be in a fit state for habitation. More information on the matter can be found on the Gas Safety Register website.

Landlords should also take time out to familiarise themselves with any legal developments in their field. This is because they are responsible for the safety of their tenant and so could face prosecution if anything goes wrong.

Pipework, appliances and flues must all be maintained in a safe condition, while a gas safety check has to be carried out every 12 months.

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Published on: January 16, 2013

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