With new pension freedoms leading a number of over 50’s becoming buy-to-let landlords, a new report serves as a warning for many to keep on top of their permitted safety requirements.
Encouragingly, the survey from Saga Landlord Insurance shows that eight out of ten over 50 year old landlords have the mandatory Gas Safety Certificate. However, there are concerns that some landlords may be unaware of the legal requirements facing them in their role.
A Gas Safety certificate can be obtained by a gas safe registered engineer assessing and validating the safety of appliance in a rental property, alongside checking that a system is working properly. The cost for this certificate varies depending on the number of gas appliances that need checking in the property. However, the cost is normally between £60-£100.
Landlords must note that a Gas Safety certificate must be obtained for each property in their portfolio, with each being reviewed on an annual basis. Should a property fail an assessment, the landlord will receive a detailed report from the engineer and will then have to employ somebody to carry out the necessary work on the property to bring it up to the relevant safety requirements.
Upon moving in to a property, each new tenant should be given a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate, and within 28 days of the annual check. Landlords are urged to keep a copy of the certificate for at least 2 years.
Landlords warned over gas safety
As the certificate is a legal requirement, landlords found to have flaunted this regulation could face prosecution or be liable to pay the penalty of £6,000. In addition, landlords may be forced to serve up to 6 months in prison.
Sue Green, Head of Home and Landlord Insurance at Saga said, ‘being a landlord comes with an array of administrative jobs which need to be completed, and in some cases, failing to do so could cost you dearly. The key is to thoroughly research exactly what the requirements are, and ensure you keep up-to-date with any developments that might change the situation.’
‘The safety of tenants must always come first, and part of this is ensuring that the boiler is running properly. Gas safety checks can pick up a range of problems including faulty boilers as well as helping to prevent gas leaks, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning,’ Green added.