Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

+ Landlord's responsibilities for a gas connected property?

As a Landlord you are responsible for the safety of your tenants. Gas Safety regulations; 1998 provide full details of duties which must be carried out to ensure gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants are safe for use and purpose. This Includes appliances that are within any communal area which tenants are permitted to use.

The Landlord is responsible for arranging the maintenance and repair of all provided flues, appliances and pipework, and to ensure these are carried out by a gas safe registered engineer.

You are also required to ensure an annual gas safety check is carried out within 10 to 12 months of a new appliance installation or flue. Records of these safety checks must be kept for a minimum on 2 years and these must be issued to existing tenants within 28 days of completion. Copies are to be issued to new tenants prior to them occupying the property.

+ Are Letting Agents responsible for maintenance & Safety checks?

If you decide to use a property management service, make sure your contract clearly identifies who is responsible for making arrangements for maintenance and safety checks.

The HSE strongly advise that you, as a Landlord, receive reports for any works and checks carried out on your property. This is to ensure all maintenance and safety services are completed, enabling you to fulfill your legal obligations as a Landlord.

+ Can my Tenants be responsible for the gas safety of the property?

No, however your tenant has a duty not to use an appliance they believe to be dangerous. An agreement may be drawn up for an appliance or flue installed in a non-residential part of the premises, for example a shop or public house.

+ Can a room containing a gas appliance be used as a bedroom?

Any room converted to use as sleeping accommodation should not hold a gas fire, gas space heater or gas water heater (over 14 kilowatts) unless room sealed.

If the mentioned appliances are below 14 kilowatts they must be either room sealed, or have an atmosphere sensing device. If a room contains one or more of these appliances, and has been used as a bedroom prior to 1998, a risk assessment must be carried out to determine whether it can still be used as a bedroom.

+ What happens if faults are found on annual gas safety inspections?

Gas safety checks are carried out by Gas Safety Registered engineers, and issued upon completion without delay and regardless of whether a defect has been detected. Landlords are responsible to add records of any follow up actions required, completing a full history on the property for gas safety.

+ When I move into a property, should I service my boiler?

When taking over a new property as a private owner servicing the boiler should be considered as a major priority especially if there isn’t any history of recent servicing or inspection – look for a boiler benchmark log book for a history of gas safe registered engineers visits.

Servicing a boiler or any gas appliance will ensure the appliance is operating correctly – safety and efficiency being top priority.

If you are a tenant moving into a rental property make sure you have a copy of the mandatory safety inspection report coving all gas appliances within the property.

+ When would be a good time in the year to service my boiler?

All manufacture’s recommend that your boiler is serviced on an annual basis and as such no time of year is better than any other time as most boilers operate throughout the year either supplying heating and hot water (winter months) or hot water only (summer months).

However there are likely to be peak periods such as late autumn or early winter and so should either appointments or parts required not be available, it is possible that delays in having a service carried out could arise which could lead to periods of problematic boiler operation.

+ Why does my radiator have cold patches?

If a radiator is cold at the top then an air bubble could be the reason, this can be resolved simply by bleeding the radiator as required.

Cold patches at the bottom of the radiator could be a sign that the system is dirty and that sludge and debris are sitting in the bottom of the radiator. Cleaning this out can be complex and so professional assistance is advised.

Cold patches elsewhere on the radiator panel could be a blockage, again from debris but this time a blockage within the channel ways of the radiator, again this can be complex to resolve wich may include a radiator replacement.

+ My timer doesnt stick to the correct time once set

If the time clock is an older mechanical clock it is possible that the drive mechanism is simply worn out and a replacement clock will be required.

If the clock is electronic and is battery operated then it maybe a simple case of new batteries are required – most batteries should last for a year to eighteen months.

Mains powered clocks are generally reliable and providing the power isn’t turned off and the battery backup supply is good, should the power be lost then most clocks of this type don’t give much trouble.

+ What should I look out for when buying a home?

It is recommended that each of the services (gas and electrical) be safety and operationally inspected as part of the home buying process especially if there isn’t a documented history of inspections

Once a property is purchased and issues arise then it’s often a case of an unforeseen and potential major expense that can take the shine off your “ideal” home.

+ What can landlords look out for in between boiler services to potentially foresee issues etc..

This isn’t an easy question to answer.

If the boiler is inspected and serviced on a regular basis then the boiler should function without issue. If the system is a combi boiler or a pressurised system then the pressure on the gauge either on the boiler or airing cupboard when the system is cold should read approximately 1 bar. With the system operating on heating then the pressure should be a little higher but not greater than 3 bar.

If it is greater than 3 bar then the figure can be an indication that a fault is developing and that attention from a gas registered engineer is required.

Other issues to look out for are cooler hot water temperatures at hot taps, cloudy hot water and slow flow or very noisy operation of boiler (banging, hissing, boom/thump sound on boiler start up).

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