The short answer to this question is that if you own the property outright and you are using it for business, then the responsibility for boiler maintenance falls to you. You can have your boiler serviced at any time, and it can even go years without a proper servicing.
This is not recommended however, as grime and blockages can occur which not only pose a safety risk to your commercial property such as gas leaks, it is also going to have an overall impact on the efficiency – meaning higher running costs on energy.
If on the other hand you are renting the retail premises from a landlord, then the responsibility is theirs. This holds true for both residential and commercial properties, and there can be consequences for not maintaining the upkeep of the boiler if you are a landlord.
You can be fined up to £6,000 for not having the commercial boiler in your property serviced within a 12-month period. If you are willingly negligent, then you could even be given a prison sentence up to 6 months. If there is a gas leak or explosion due to improper boiler servicing which affects your commercial tenants or their customers, you could face higher charges, especially if anybody gets hurt.
What Does The Law Actually Say Regarding Landlord Boiler Servicing?
To maintain high standards throughout the UK when it comes to boilers, laws were put into place as early as 1985 which state that the landlord of a property – be it residential, commercial or industrial – must maintain ‘proper working order’ of all home installations.
This is not only limited to the boiler, but includes the supply of electricity, gas and water too, as well as sanitation. The same Landlord & Tenant Act in Section 11 says that the property owner must ensure that the space heating and appliances for heating water are kept ‘in repair’.
What’s more, even if it is contracted into the tenancy agreement that the tenant must maintain the boiler, the landlord still has ultimate responsibility to ensure this is carried out.
The updated legislation regarding commercial boiler maintenance for landlords, the 1998 Gas Safety Act, also places the responsibility for the property’s supply of gas – and its appliances – on the landlord exclusively. Having said that, it also states that tenants should be properly educated as to how the appliance should be monitored during general use and maintained.
How Does The Responsible Party Demonstrate Boiler Servicing?
When a property is being rented out and the landlord requests a boiler service, once it has taken place they will be issued with a Gas Safety certificate. This is needed before a commercial property can be rented out, and because it is an official, legal document tenants have to be provided with it before they move in. Not only does this certificate include the boiler servicing, but it discloses the condition of everything gas related in your property, such as the infrastructure and appliances like gas cookers.
The certificate should have all of the necessary information included on it, such as:
- The registration number of the Gas Safe boiler engineer
- The commercial property address
- The date the safety inspection was carried out
- If any defects were discovered
- Any repairs which were undertaken
The document will also state the date by which the appliances need to be rechecked, so if you’re a landlord make sure to note this down in your diary at least two weeks before it is due so you can book an engineer in time to remain compliant.
How Often Do I Need A Commercial Boiler Servicing?
If you are the owner of the property and living in it, not renting it out, then we advise you should have your boiler checked every 6 months to keep it in good working order. Not only does a service mean the engineer can spot faults and potential faults before they happen but cleaning it out will help with the efficiency.
When you are the owner of a commercial premises, the boiler can often be overlooked when it comes to servicing, but if you are a large establishment such as a gym or leisure centre, then you may benefit from more frequent servicing. This will prevent any problems from building up, and if the boiler is being used all day every day, then it is likely to need a check-up more regularly.
If it’s your responsibility to get your boiler serviced, whether you are a landlord or own the premises outright, then give Rowlen a call today and we can let you know when your boiler will need to be serviced. If you aren’t sure, or don’t have the proper paperwork, aim to get a service booked as soon as possible so we can issue you with a Gas Safety certificate to keep you on the right side of the law.