Can I delegate gas safety checks to my tenant

Question

I've moved to Australia, and am renting my property in the UK. Sorting a gas safety check is tricky with the time difference - can I ask my tenant to handle this?

Answer

Gas safety checks are one of the biggest considerations a landlord has to think about, and it’s no surprise that if there was an option to pass the buck, many would grab it with both hands.

However, you are unable to ask your tenant to handle this responsibility for you – it is something that you have to keep control of.

With around 14 deaths being caused by carbon monoxide poisoning every year, it is vital that this essential check is kept us to date. A tenancy agreement
cannot be used to transfer these responsibilities.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, if your property has a non-residential element as well, a shop or public house for example, you can have a contract drawn up between yourself and your tenant for an appliance or flue if it is located in the non-residential part of a premises. The contract can state that your tenant has a duty not to use the appliance if they believe it to be dangerous.

If your property is being sublet, despite the ‘new tenant’ not having been brought in by you, you still have a responsibility for their safety and wellbeing whilst they live in your property. You, as the original landlord, may retain certain duties which overlap those of the person who is responsible for the sublet, so do not assume that a gas safety check is not your responsibility! You should still ensure that the check is carried out on an annual basis, and that you retain certification, and that you circulate valid pass certificates to all tenants no later than 28 days after the check has been carried out.

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