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As the landlord, you are responsible for the maintenance of the boiler in your property. Tenants will expect it to be safe, and rely on you (or your letting agent) to address issues such as breakdowns or malfunctions When it comes to boilers and gas safety, it’s important you know your responsibilities in order to avoid costly fines, injuries, or worse.
Below are our top tips to avoiding letting your boiler land you in hot water by staying on top your boilers safety and maintenance.
Book yearly boiler maintenance checks with a Gas Safe engineer
Many people avoid the added cost of boiler safety checks, waiting for an issue to arise before calling someone out. Landlords cannot afford to do this. If you are using a letting agent, most will require you to have at least a yearly boiler maintenance check as part of the upkeep of the property.
Ideally, you should get a safety check for your boiler, along with other electrical and gas appliances in your property every 6 months to be safe.
Boiler experts LS1 Boiler Installation advise that you should ensure any engineer hired to service or fit a new boiler must be Gas Safe registered, and therefore not a “cowboy” engineer who will scam money and potentially leave an unsafe boiler installed. You can easily check a boiler company’s qualifications on the Gas Safe Register online.
To reassure your tenants, you should book your yearly check in advance, and provide a Gas Safety certificate.
Additionally, you can provide a Energy Performance Certificate, which will come in handy to assess the energy efficiency of the boiler. These will become mandatory in April 2018;to make sure that all properties have at least an E energy efficiency rating, so getting ahead on this is a smart move for a landlord.
Find out if you are eligible for a free new boiler
New boilers for landlords are a big additional expense. Tenants will often be entitled to get a faulty or old boiler replaced, with landlords footing the bill. However, in some circumstances, you might be able to get the boiler replaced for free.
Boiler grants are available for properties with tenants who have income related benefits. With this scheme you can get a new boiler, which is also more eco-friendly, fitted for free. There are clear guidelines, so it’s worth checking if you and your tenant qualify.
As a result of your yearly check you may need to replace an old or broken boiler, often for older boilers the cost of replacing a new part is equal or more than a new boilers cost. New boilers can be of benefit to tenants as they will be more energy efficient too.
Consider a local boiler company for insurance and breakdown cover
When it comes to inclusive home insurance or standalone boiler cover from large energy providers, like British Gas, EDF or HomeServe, be wary of the costs offered. Large energy service providers have been known to start breakdown covers on a low fee, and after a while, increase contract costs alarmingly high. .
Local boiler services won’t be keen to hike up their prices, typically because their focus is a quality service in one area. You will also find that they are more flexible with appointments, meaning you aren’t waiting as long for a fix.
Fit a Carbon Monoxide detector in your property
50 people die each year of carbon monoxide poisoning. It is so dangerous because you can’t see, hear or even smell it. The poisonous gas is produced by faulty or unsafe gas appliances, and is one of the prime reason why it is extremely important to get your boiler serviced every year.
Landlords are required by law to fit carbon monoxide detectors in any room with gas appliances. With a gas safety registered engineer carrying out boiler checks, they will also be able to test for carbon monoxide leaks.
Follow these simple tips, make checks a regularly part of your rental property’s maintenance plan and you’ll avoid any unexpected issues or costs.