A guide to landlord boiler responsibilities and boiler maintenance

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

Here, we’ve compiled a guide to landlord responsibilities when it comes to boilers, as well as some 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, ventilation, wiring, and sanitary fittings. Boiler repairs and servicing therefore fall under your responsibilities.

It is also the landlord’s legal obligation to service any gas appliances with the frequency required by the manufacturer. In addition, 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 of the equipment.

Landlords are required to take action to repair any problems quickly, as the absence of hot water or heating constitutes a hazard under the law.

Landlord boiler service cover

The cost of replacing a faulty boiler can be significant. 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 in this way. When you’re covered, you’ll have a qualified engineer on the other end of the phone and ready to help. Compare boiler breakdown insurance quotes.

Top tips for how to maintain your boiler

1. Keep it serviced

You’re obliged to regularly service the boiler in your rental properties. As well as keeping you on the right side of the law, this will help make sure that bigger problems don’t arise further down the line.

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 regularly.

3. Ventilate

Many boilers need to be kept in well ventilated areas. If this applies to yours, make sure that items aren’t stored around the vents as this can starve the appliance of necessary oxygen.

4. Bleed the radiators

Finally, make sure that radiators are regularly maintained, and that they are bled when necessary. Read our step-by-step guide to bleeding a radiator.

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