Gas and electricity safety / compliance for Airbnb hosts

in
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 1
4,817 Views

Hi

Please could someone tell me the legal requirements for a host regarding Gas and Electricity Safety in their property?  

I am UK based and occassionaly rent out my entire home on Airbnb. I have read conflicting things on this issue and it's not clear if letting out your property on Airbnb means you are technically classed as a "Landlord" (in which case a Gas Saftey certificate is definitely required) or otherwise.  I am struggling to find anything useful re Electricity Safety also....

Does anyone have any experience in this area or advice they could share?  It would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Natalie

9 Replies

Re: Gas and electricity safety / compliance for Airbnb hosts

in
Scotland, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Natalie98  The only advice I can offer on regulations in England and Wales concerns fire safety:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/11085/payingguests.pdf

This applies to properties including family houses used for small scale B&B.

Re: Gas and electricity safety / compliance for Airbnb hosts

in
Criccieth, United Kingdom
Level 4

Hi. It would appear a certificate from a qualified gas engineer would meet the legal requirements. I think (don't know for sure) that the electrics could be Landlord requirements as described on the Electrical Safety First website.

To help you more and not simply be giving it a stab in the dark (legislation is always changing, plus this is really a question which you need answering "officially") this is quite an informative page listing what you need to cover before you go for it: 11 legal matters you need to heed

Although it is for a B&B business, I would personally expect the health and safety requirements to apply across the board. An annual gas check is advisable for a domestic household, so that is not really an extra requirement, however a fire certificate is beyond what you would normally need yourself, however good an idea it may be to have your house checked over by your friendly local Fire Officer. Where it becomes murky IMO, is where a B&B stops and the rules pertaining to having a lodger/s starts? OK lodgers are long-term. The other licensing and costs involved is a nightmare. Insurance is another can of worms you need to open and address, I'm afraid. Especially if you are paying a mortgage!

Re: Gas and electricity safety / compliance for Airbnb hosts

in
Ponteland, United Kingdom
Level 1

What action does AirBnB take if properties do not meet standards on electicial, gas, fire and structural safety?

Re: Gas and electricity safety / compliance for Airbnb hosts

in
Criccieth, United Kingdom
Level 4

I doubt very much that ABB take any action unless there is a problem reported by guests claiming or reporting health & safety issues which a host is/has ignored or will/has not repaired. The onus is on the host meeting all pertinent local/national statutory and insurance requirements as ABB clearly states in its guidelines. The ABB business plan is basically as a rental facilitator which washes its hands of as much administration and answerability as possible. They fill beds/accommodation and manage the money, but that is about the deal. All the rest you are on your own as both a guest and a host. Everything is trust based. To be fair ABB do step in when there are issues their customers report as a matter of their personal safety. They can cancel bookings and refund guests in full. What they undertake beyond that to ensure the property does come up to spec in the future is nebulous. They do not have agents on the ground or even in the country in some cases, so that is not an option. It must be fairly easy to delete one property, then present it again as a new one, even under a new persona? It is not for nothing the "trust" element of ABB is talked up.

Re: Gas and electricity safety / compliance for Airbnb hosts

in
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level 10

I’ve been told that anyone letting a room in their house has to have a gas safety certificate. My boiler service / check cost £120.

Re: Gas and electricity safety / compliance for Airbnb hosts

in
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 2

This can help! https://safehostbnb.co.uk/ - it has legislation for health and safety in short term lets and is accessible for free. 

Re: Gas and electricity safety / compliance for Airbnb hosts

Level 1

It is a legal requirement if you are renting a room in your property to have an annual gas safety inspection, this is clarified on the Gas Safe Website.

https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/help-and-advice/renting-a-property/information-for-landlords/

Re: Gas and electricity safety / compliance for Airbnb hosts

in
Alnwick, United Kingdom
Level 1

I feel sure gas safety certificate required, and in the ,albeit  unlikely event of a gas safety casualty, lack of certificate could be considered criminal, IMHO. 

Re: Gas and electricity safety / compliance for Airbnb hosts

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Natalie98There are many regulations you need to comply with, things you need to do etc, for gas, electrics, general safety and so on. Information online is often unclear as to whether or not you *need* to do it. For example, you might find information that some legislation might apply to "Assured Shorthold Tenancies", which implies that it does not necessarily apply for "holiday guests" because they are not on any form of tenancy. Legal guidance, information and advice for property owners really does need to be improved.

 

Does this particular property need an electrical test every year? Or every 3 years? Is it a legal requirement to get appliances PAT tested every year? Every 2 years? Never? How often do we need to test smoke alarms? Do we need a fire blanket or a fire extinguisher or both or neither? What about requirements of the insurance company? Or local authorities? AAARRRGGHHH!!!

 

We work on the basis of "better safe than sorry" - we do various things whether they're legally required or not. Every property we own or manage must have electrical and gas certificates and must be tested annually. We do a fire risk assessment on every property. We do a general safety risk assessment on every property. We have smoke alarms and CO2 alarms and test them on every changeover. We provide fire procedures and general safety information in our guest information packs. All housekeepers are given a safety briefing on every property. They carry spare batteries for smoke and CO2 alarms. They check that fire extinguishers have not been used / have not expired. The list goes on and on, but hopefully you get the picture!

 

It can be very useful to stay in a hotel or with an experienced AirBnB host and read the information they provide to guests. You can normally find someone to do fire and safety risk assessments for you - sure, it costs money, but better safe than sorry.

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