Electrical and Gas Safety
We are committed to providing private landlords and agents with quality information to help them to operate successful businesses now and into the future.
Information for Landlords
Our aim is to improve conditions in the private sector and to prevent homelessness, it is therefore essential that we support and encourage responsible renting and should you have any issues you wish to discuss then please contact Housing Services at Swale Council.
The electrical Safety Council publish a leaflet 'Landlords Guide to Electrical Safety'.
More information on Gas Safety can be found on on the DirectGov website - Gov.uk: Gas Safety.
Things you should know: Electrical Safety
In Houses in Multiple Occupation there is an increased loading on the electrical installation, outlets can easily become damaged. Electrical appliances and wiring are the second most common source of ignition in dwellings.
- A full electrical installation test is needed for the whole property every 5 years. The installation needs to be safe and in good working order; however, it is not necessary for it to fully comply with BS 7671:2001 (Requirements for electrical installations. IEE Wiring Regulations. Sixteenth edition), the inspection should be carried out by a competent electrician.
- From January 2005 remedial work required Building Regulation approval under Part P, this can be avoided if the electrician is registered with an approved scheme, for example NICEIC's Domestic Installer Scheme and ECA's Electrotechnical Assessment Scheme. It is recommended that this should be a consideration when you engage an electrician.
- The council will accept that the installation is in good order and repair if a satisfactory report is received from electricians who can self certify under Part P Building Regulations, are members of certain trade organisations or have relevant qualifications.
- You can find contractors on the trade organization websites or in directories such as 'yellow pages'. Some contractors provide an all in one service for electrical installations, gas safety, fire alarms and emergency lighting.
- Findings should be recorded on test certificate or a similar trade organization report.
- Remedy defects 'requiring urgent attention' and 'requiring improvement' (defects 1 and 2 on reports) .
- Annually check the electrical appliances that you provide for safety, this is called PAT testing (portable appliance testing). This is not a legal requirement, but appliances must be safe - if they are not there is a risk of prosecution or civil action. Any failed appliances should be withdrawn. An inventory of appliances supplied with the let is advised by Trading Standards who can provide further advice.
Things you should know: Gas Safety
Carbon monoxide from unsafe appliances can kill. People die every year from appliances that have not been properly installed or maintained.
There is a legal duty on landlords to carry out a safety check each year under The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, further details can be found in the leaflet Gas Appliances - get them checked, keep them safe, produced by the Health and Safety Executive.
The Housing (Houses in Multiple Occupation) Management Regulations also require that the gas installation and appliances be properly maintained.
Both laws will be met if:
- An annual gas safety check is carried out on all appliances (e.g. boilers, fires, cookers, water heaters), flues and pipe work provided by the landlord
- Safety checks are carried out by a Gas Safe Register contractor, some contractors provide an all in one service for electrical safety and fire alarm maintenance
- The safety checks prove that all are in a safe condition
- A record is kept for 2 years
- Evidence to all tenants is provided within 28 days of the checks
- New tenants are provided with a gas safety record
Landlords are not responsible for the maintenance of installations and appliances owned by tenants and flues solely provided for these appliances.
The Gas Safe Register can be used to check that your contractor is registered.