LANDLORDS FACE STEEP PENALTIES FOR GAS SAFETY NON-COMPLIANCE
For landlords in the private rental sector, gas safety is more than just a matter of compliance or non-compliance; it’s a matter of life and death. Failure to maintain and repair gas appliances can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, which could result in manslaughter charges being brought against a landlord who demonstrated negligence by failing to organise the necessary gas safety checks. Last year, a landlord in England received a suspended six-month prison sentence for failing to arrange a gas safety check for two years, and was deemed by the HSE to have put the lives of his tenants at risk. So how can you remain compliant? Landlords should conduct due diligence and take all necessary steps to ensure the property is safe for habitation at all times: An annual gas safety check must be carried out by a Gas Safe Registered tradesperson. The inspection, which normally takes no longer than a couple of hours, can be carried out with or without the tenant present. As a landlord, you must record the date of the check, along with the results of it. You must provide your tenants with a copy of this report within 28 days of the visit. If the report has identified any faults or issues, you as a landlord have a legal obligation to get these repaired as soon as possible. Not adhering to these gas safety requirements is a criminal offence that could warrant a fine, or in serious cases a prison sentence. Penalties for non-compliance range from a £6,000 fine per offence and/or six months’ imprisonment. To ensure compliance with your responsibilities and ensure the safety of your tenants and property, gas safety checks must be completed every year. At West we arrange and oversee all safety checks and compliance matters for our landlords, giving them complete peace of mind.