Gas regulation seems to be one area of regulation in landlord and tenant law which most people are aware of. Which is good as it is a serious issue.
Gas appliances can be very dangerous. People have died.
As many of you will be aware, the regulations provide as follows:
- All properties rented out with gas appliances need to get them checked annually by a gas installer registered with the Gas Safe Register (it used to be CORGI but that changed a few years ago)
- The gas installer will provide a certificate once this is done, a copy of which need to be provided to the tenants (or occupiers as these regulations apply to all types of letting, including lodgers)
- The responsibility for getting this done rests with the landlord and is not something that can be passed on to the tenant to deal with
- The landlord is also responsible for the cost of this and the cost of keeping the appliances in proper repair
A number of things which people often get confused about:
What do you do if the tenant will not let you in?
First – you cannot use your keys and go in to do the inspection when they are out, if they have specifically refused you access. Not unless there is an emergency – and the fact that no inspection has been done for a year will not qualify for this!
We had quite a long discussion about this a couple of years ago >> here and this comments to this post are well worth reading. But basically if your tenant won’t let you in:
- You need to make at least three attempts to get the inspection done, and have kept written records of this (ie copy letters etc)
- If this is done you will then have a defence to any prosecution brought (which is actually pretty unlikely in these circumstances)
- Despite some of the comments on the post linked above, my view (and that of most other lawyers) is that to get in without permission you need to get a court injuction
- In case of emergency (ie if a gas leak is suspected) ring the national gas emergency number 0800 111 999
What can tenants do if landlords don’t comply?
These regulations fall under the criminal law, so tenants do not have any right under the gas regulations to withhold rent.
The correct course of action is to contact the Heath and Safety Executive for your area and speak to them. The HSE is the organisation that does prosecutions under the regulations, not the police.
You will find a lot of helpful information on these websites:
But gas appliances can be so dangerous that it is vitally important that landlords get the inspections done and tenants allow the gas inspectors in to do it.