May 23, 2023

Can I Sue My Landlord For No Gas Safety Check?

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Every landlord in the UK is legally bound to follow gas safety regulations as per the Gas Safety (Installations and Use) Regulations 1998. These regulations cover safe gas appliance installation and maintenance and using gas systems, including fittings, appliances, and flues.

Every landlord is legally required to have a registered gas safety engineer perform a detailed inspection of the appliances, systems, and meter to ensure there are faults and leaks. Landlords are required to get this inspection done every year.

During the engineer’s visit to your property, you can expect him/her to:

  • Inspect all gas appliances installed within your property
  • Inspect and record the burner pressure or gas against the manufacturer’s data plate
  • Test the ventilation and air supply
  • Check the appliance flue gases
  • Conduct a tightness test of the gas meter
  • Ensure all safety devices are working
  • Check the boiler flue system
  • Inspect the heating system, including radiators and hot water cylinders
  • Provide your landlord with a gas safety certificate

For more details regarding what a gas safety check may involve, click here.

A gas check ensures that every tenant remains safe from gas-safety hazards. In case a gas appliance in your property is improperly installed or is damaged or leaking, it can lead to the release of a poisonous gas called Carbon monoxide, an odorless gas that can potentially be fatal if inhaled.

In England and Wales, approximately 40 deaths and 200 non-fatal carbon monoxide poisoning incidents requiring hospitalization have been reported. Therefore, gas safety regulations have been set to prevent more incidents involving gas-safety hazards.

Your landlord must provide you with a gas safety certificate before you move into their building. Not doing so can get your landlord into trouble, and he may be liable to pay a fine or even face imprisonment.

What Can I Do If My Landlord Does Not Get a Gas Safety Check Done?

If you live in a rented building and your landlord has refused to get a gas safety check done despite your multiple requests, it is natural to feel frustrated and unsafe within your property. There are a few ways you can deal with this:

First, remind your landlord that it is a legal requirement for them to conduct a gas safety check on their property and provide you (the tenant) with a gas safety certificate. This is under the Gas Safety Regulations of 1998. A landlord should renew their gas safety certificate every year and also keep a record of the previous two years' gas safety certificate that they were given.

If your landlord still refuses to comply, you, as a tenant, can report your landlord to Health and Safety Executive (HSE). You can do this by submitting the LGSR1 form by clicking here.

In some cases, landlords use agents, confusing tenants about who is responsible for getting gas safety checks carried out. In case your landlord uses an agent, there will be a contract between the two specifying who is responsible for carrying out these duties of gas safety checks and maintenance; if the contract specifies the agent is responsible, then the Gas Safety Regulations 1998 that apply to the landlord will apply to the agent instead.

As a tenant, you must also avoid using any appliances you believe to be dangerous. While you request and take steps to convince your landlord to conduct a gas safety check, here are some steps you can ensure to stay safe:

How to Ensure Gas Safety:

  1. Get a Carbon monoxide alarm installed

If you have a boiler, stove, or any other gas appliances installed within your property, it's recommended that you get a CO alarm installed within your property. Any appliance that has been poorly installed or maintained risks leaking carbon monoxide, which can harm you, your family, and your property.

Carbon monoxide is odorless and goes undetected in all gas safety hazard incidents. Therefore, get an audible carbon monoxide alarm, follow the manufacturer’s guide on installing your alarm, and install it within your home.

However, that's not all – you must regularly test the alarm's batteries to ensure it works efficiently. By doing this, you can keep yourself and your family safe while you report to your landlord for refusal to comply with the gas safety regulations.

  1. Know the Common Signs of Carbon monoxide Poisoning

Unfortunately, accidents do not come with a warning. Knowing the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can save lives if you detect a potential gas leak on your property. Some of the most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and shortness of breath. High levels of CO, if inhaled, can also lead to fainting and be fatal.

If you’re ever in a situation where you have reasonable grounds to believe there might be a gas leak in your property, leave your house immediately and call the National Gas Emergencies at 0800 111 999.

If you can do so without danger, try to turn off your main gas supply. The main tap is located beside your gas meter.

  1. Inspect Your Appliances for Any Warning Signs

Another way you could ensure gas safety until your landlord decides to get a gas safety check done is by testing your appliances for any leaks, cracks, clunking noises, or black marks. You could also check the vents in your home for any signs of blockage. If you notice any warning signs, convey them to your landlord immediately, as they can indicate danger.

Conclusion

While you may not be able to directly sue your landlord for non-compliance with the Gas Safety Regulations 1998, you can be assured that your complaint to the HSE will be taken seriously. Gas safety is essential to reduce catastrophic gas-hazard incidents that cost many lives yearly. Meanwhile, you can take the above-mentioned steps to gas safety to prevent any harm from coming your way!

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