Gaining access for a landlord gas safety inspection
How to gain access for a landlord gas safety inspection and what to do if your tenant is reluctant to allow this
You know that as a landlord you have a duty to carry out a gas safety inspection every year, but what happens when a tenant refuses access to do so? Despite your name being on the deeds of the property, landlords are unable to just enter the premises as and when they need to. However, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself, the property and your tenant.
Tenant access – rights and responsibilities
Landlords have an implied obligation to permit a tenant to ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the property. This means that the landlord must not interfere with the tenant’s right to live in their rented home without undue interference.
The tenancy agreement will state how much notice the landlord must give to enter the premises. This is usually 24 hours. The tenant cannot then refuse access without a valid reason. As a gas safety check is a legal requirement then this is clearly a valid reason. Even so, as a landlord, you can’t just let yourself and/or the gas engineer in without specific permission.
What to do if the tenant is refusing access for the gas safety inspection
In circumstances in which the tenant does not give agreement for the gas safety inspection to take place, the next step is to explain to them exactly why you need to access the property.
There are several ways to do this:
- Send a letter making the appointment, explaining why it is necessary.
- If they do not respond, write another letter asking them to contact you urgently, emphasising that the inspection is a legal requirement and that it is for their safety.
What to include in a letter to a tenant regarding a gas safety inspection
In your letters, you should offer the tenant the opportunity to be present when the engineer visits. If they choose not to be there, you as the landlord or your representative can let the engineer in as it is not the tenant’s responsibility to be there themselves.
In all circumstances, there are things you can do to prove you have made every effort to carry out your obligations as a landlord to carry out your legal responsibilities around gas safety. It is a good idea to have documented evidence that you have made at least three attempts to make the appointment.
You might also wish to access independent help to reassure your tenant of the specific reason for needing to carry out the inspection. It may be a good idea to include this in your letters.
Even at this stage though, you still do not have an automatic right as a landlord to attend the property. If things remain difficult it is important that you can demonstrate that all reasonable steps have been taken to arrange the gas safety check.
It may be a good idea to have made contact with a Gas Safe registered engineer. It may help your tenant understand that this person or company is independent of you and name them in any correspondence.
If you’re a landlord in Manchester, Stockport or Greater Manchester, Brooktech delivers legally-compliant gas safety works. Get in touch to find out how we can provide peace of mind at a competitive price and help you through the process of ensuring Gas Safety Certificates are in place and up to date.