When landlords rent out property they are obligated to provide heating, whether it’s central heating or some other kind of heating in every room that is occupied by tenants. Not only do they have to supply heating but they also have to make sure that when temperatures plunge to -1°C, bedrooms are heated to a minimum of 18°C while living rooms should be able to be heated to at least 21°C.
A functioning boiler for rented properties is therefore essential to meet these legal requirements, however it is the tenant who must be responsible when it comes to reporting any malfunctions in the heating system.
Why have a boiler service?
Landlords need a boiler service to ensure that tenants are kept safe from dangers such as gas leaks.
Appliances need to be checked regularly in line with manufacturers’ recommendations and also be checked by gas safety engineers. If you are a landlord, you might want to issue a ban on any supplementary, unchecked gas appliances to be brought into the property as an extra precaution too. The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states a gas safety certificate as one of the bare minimum requirements for landlords.
This certificate, also referred to as a CP-12, is effectively a report of all maintenance and safety checks carried out for gas appliances. This report should contain:
- The date of the check.
- The address of the property.
- A description of every appliance serviced.
- The name of the landlord.
- The credentials of the engineer carrying out the service.
- A note of any defects discovered and the steps taken to fix them.
- Confirmation that the check was in accordance with the Gas Safety Regulations 1998.
These certificates can only be signed off by a Gas Safe Registered engineer after an annual check. It is vital that landlords supply tenants with a copy of the latest CP-12 before they move in or, if they’re existing tenants, up to 28 days after the service was carried out.
Communal heating systems
A communal heating system, also called a ‘heat network’ has an external boiler or common heat source and supplies a number of dwellings or buildings. It will provide the heating and hot water to all the flats in a building
Communal heating is controlled by the landlord or their engineers, or sometimes by a managing agent, or a heat provider and is either paid for as part of the tenant’s service charge, or itemised separately.
What a communal heating system does is heat the entire block of flats from a central source. There must be at least two tenants in a block for it to be classified as such. Where there is a communal heating system, landlords need to comply with certain requirements which are:
- Make the National Measurement and Regulation Office aware of your plans to install a communal heating system.
- Determine whether each flat should have their own separate meters.
- Controls should be installed in the case of separate meters, so tenants can manage how much heating they use. This is only advised if it is both feasible within the building, and cost-effective.
- Where it is not practical to install separate meters, you must assess whether thermostatic radiator valves and heat cost allocators could be used instead.
- Heating and hot water bills must be accurate and built on real time use. Rather than estimating the expected usage from tenants, bills must be issued at a minimum of once a year.
- Billing information must be supplied.
If one boiler fails in a block, then it will impact on other flats as the heat is from one central source. As the landlord is responsible for providing heat for tenants it is their responsibility to get it fixed. Obviously, this isn’t an ideal situation which is probably why modern apartment blocks now tend to have their own independent systems, with the landlord being obliged to provide a cold water supply to each flat.
A boiler service might not be on top of your to-do list but as a landlord you should definitely make it a priority as it will save you a lot of headaches in the future.
An annual service will determine whether it is working correctly and is safe. At Range Heating we offer a thorough service, checking your flat boiler for leaks, the function of the primary components, gas pressure, a flue test and clean parts of the boiler were necessary.
We have competitive rates and our service is always quick and same day, so don’t wait until the boiler breaks down and you have angry tenants calling you in the middle of a cold winter night, get your boilers checked out now.