On average 8 landlords a year are taken to court and found guilty of gas related offences, some face prison, others community service, most get fines which typically exceed £8000, but the costs and fines that a judge can impose are unlimited.
Most landlords are prosecuted by the HSE (health and safety executive) and the majority of cases are brought about not because someone was actually hurt but because of the potential that someone could have been hurt due to badly installed or poorly maintained gas appliances and pipework.
The main legislation for the UK is the Gas Safety (installation and Use Regulations 1998 (GSIU 1998). Within that legislation the regulations of particular concern for landlords are 36(2) (a) and 36(3) (a) of the (GSIU) 1998. They state that landlords must ensure that relevant gas fittings and appliances are maintained in a safe condition, that appliances are serviced in accordance with the manufactures instructions and that a safety check is carried out at intervals of 12 months by a gas safe registered engineer. A record of inspection must be issued and kept for 2 years, and a copy must be given to the tenants within 28 days or if its a new tenant prior to them moving in.
Also of note;
It is the responsibility of the landlord not the tenant to insure inspection and maintance is carried out, although tenants must grant reasonable access.
That an inspection is not the same as maintance.
The landlord is obliged to ensure the engineer is qualified and registered on the gas safe register, this can be done quite easily by checking their details on the gas safe register website.
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