A guide to landlord boiler responsibilities and boiler maintenance


Boiler maintenance should be a priority for landlords – one slip-up and you’ll either fall on the wrong side of the law, or the boiler will break down.

Read our guide to landlord heating obligations in the UK, including your responsibilities when it comes to boilers and top tips for boiler maintenance.

Landlord boiler service – what the law says

Landlords are legally responsible for repairs to heating, hot water, gas appliances, pipes, flues, ventilation, wiring, and sanitary fittings. This means boiler repairs and servicing is up to you.

It’s also the landlord’s legal obligation to service any gas appliances with the frequency required by the manufacturer – you’ll find this detailed in the product manual.

When it comes to gas boiler service legal requirements, you must have an annual gas safety check conducted by a registered engineer. You must keep copies of these checks, and they must be supplied to tenants at the beginning of each tenancy. Copies of the gas safety check record must be kept for at least two years.

Who’s responsible for boiler service – landlords or tenants?

The landlord is responsible for servicing the boiler. The Landlord and Tenant Act (1985) requires that landlords keep in good repair and working order installations that supply water, gas, and electricity, as well as sanitation systems. In the same way, landlords are also responsible for space heating and water heating systems.

However, tenants generally assume responsibility for daily maintenance such as keeping the heating running when necessary, and for reporting problems. Some tenancy agreements also stipulate that the tenant has responsibility for maintaining chimneys and flues.

The only exception to the landlord’s responsibility for boilers is when damage has been caused specifically by the tenant through mistreatment.

How long does a landlord have to fix a boiler?

Landlords are required to take action to repair any problems quickly. Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 states that repairs should be carried out in a ‘reasonable time’. Emergency repairs should be fixed within 24 hours as having no hot water or heating constitutes a hazard under the law.

Landlord boiler cover

The cost of replacing a faulty boiler can be really high. Luckily, it’s generally possible to get boiler breakdown cover as part of a landlord home emergency insurance policy.

Simply Business offers boiler breakdown cover. When you’re covered, you’ll have a phone number for an approved engineer who can be ready to help. Compare landlord boiler insurance quotes.

Top tips for how to maintain your boiler

1. Keep it serviced

Boilers need regular servicing to make sure they’re safe and running efficiently. As a landlord, you’re legally required to service the boiler in your rental properties every year. As well as keeping you on the right side of the law, this will help pick up any problems that might be costly to repair down the line.

Plus, an efficient boiler not only saves you or your tenants money on heating bills, it’s better for the environment. We’re also seeing a rise in landlords interested in green mortgages and the government is also consulting on proposals to raise energy performance standards in rental homes.

2. Educate your tenants

Explaining to your tenants some key things about the heating system is crucial. Make sure that they know to keep an eye on the pressure, and how to run the heating system properly. For example, it’s a good idea to turn the heating on a couple of times during the summer months to make sure everything’s working. And likewise, in the winter the property shouldn’t be left unheated for long periods of time as this can result in frozen pipes.

3. Ventilate

Many boilers need ventilation to run safely. While it may be in a boiler cupboard, make sure that items aren’t stored around the vents as this can starve the appliance of necessary oxygen.

4. Bleed the radiators

If your radiators aren’t heating up properly, you might need to bleed them. It’s recommended that you do this once a year, even if they’re working properly. Read our step-by-step guide to bleeding a radiator.

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Simply Business Editorial Team

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