What to Do When Your Central Heating Breaks Down

From a New Central Heating Installation To Regular Checks: Top Tips for Landlords

When you let your flats or houses out to other people, you’re a landlord and with that title come certain responsibilities. There are so many things a landlord needs to look at and provide, but high on the list is maintaining the central heating system.

Why Boiler Maintenance Is Your Responsibility

As the landlord, it’s your responsibility to ensure your tenants have access to basic things like heat and electricity. You’ll also be responsible for ensuring they are safe when it comes to the boiler functioning. You should ensure that you have your Gas Safety Certificate, as this is a legal requirement to have tenants.

All gas appliances and flues must be checked by a qualified engineer in any of the residences you rent out. Landlord gas safety checks may be carried out, as well, to ensure everything is in working order.

The only reason the tenant would be responsible for boiler maintenance and repairs is if they deliberately mistreated the boiler and caused it to break down. This is quite rare and in most cases, the tenant will contact you if they have an issue. You should encourage tenants to report problems so you can repair them rapidly. Not only will this paint you as a great landlord in their eyes, but it also prevents future lawsuits.

To protect yourself, you may wish to look into getting insurance for your boilers. This will cover leaks, breakdowns in the boiler itself or the central heating system, as well as parts and labour for repairing anything, boiler service once a year, etc. This makes it more affordable if something does go wrong. Look at the various packages your insurance company offers and choose the one that works best for you.

What Is Boiler Maintenance?

You should plan to have your rental property’s boiler serviced once a year. This is best done just before it needs to be used in the winter. If any issues are found, they can be resolved before the cold hits.

A skilled engineer will look over the boiler and radiators to ensure everything looks good. They will also do internal inspections while they are cleaning and preparing everything. During this time They will also:

Keep Records

It’s important to keep a complete record of all maintenance done on the property. This is required to provide proof that you have kept up with your side of the contract. You will need to turn over the record of an annual gas safety check or you could display it in the home that is being rented out.

While this refers to the boiler and gas in the home, you should keep track of any and all expenses that are required. This will help you determine when to raise rent and can be used as proof if a tenant tries to claim you did nothing.

Replace Or Clean Filters

Any filters in the central heating system will need to be cleaned or replaced. This prevents contaminants from getting into the system and helps provide a safer environment for your tenants.

Clean The Boiler

Each component in the boiler will be checked and cleaned. This may require removing some parts and that will ensure everything is ready to go for winter. The tank may need to be cleaned, flushed and descaled, as well, but the end result is a system that is fully functional.

Perform Checks

During the annual boiler service, each element of the boiler and central heating system will be checked to ensure they’re all in good condition and properly functioning. This includes:

  • Pilot burner
  • Cables
  • Probes
  • Thermostat
  • Flame sense device
  • Gas and pressure flow
  • Seals

Each of these will determine whether you need maintenance or if the boiler is on its way out.

Determine Safety Hazards

The engineer will also let you know if there are any safety hazards nearby. For example, if you have flammable materials within reach of the boiler, this is not permitted. You need to keep all combustible materials far away from the flame.

They will look at the surrounding area and ensure that your safety precautions are all holding up.

Test Flue & Combustion Releases

It’s essential that the boiler has a way to eliminate fumes and the flue is the way this will occur. This pipe leads to the outside of the house and should not be obstructed in any way or the fumes may stay inside the home and cause a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Finally, the engineer will ensure the entire boiler is functional and they can leave it in your hands.

This is a good time to check that all the alarms, both smoke and carbon monoxide, are functional. Any other fire prevention system may be checked at the same time. Gas safety inspections are a necessary part of the annual check, as well.

When Should I Upgrade My Boiler?

Central heating installation is something that must be done as soon as you realise the boiler needs replacing. This is usually in the middle of winter if all goes according to Murphy’s Law. However, if you can replace the boiler before the colder weather, this would be preferable.

You should know during the annual servicing if it’s necessary to upgrade your boiler. However, there are also certain signs. For example, if your boiler is over a decade old, it should be replaced.

If you are getting ready for gas safety inspections or your annual boiler service, be sure to warn your tenants ahead of time. This will let them know that the boiler must be off until the annual boiler service or gas boiler repair is complete.

West London Gas – Central Heating Repairs & Installations

Central heating installation and maintenance are all part of being a landlord, but West London Gas makes it easy to handle. We’ll manage all the details and you just need to schedule your annual boiler maintenance as needed.

Let us take the planning out of your hands. Contact West London Gas today to schedule your appointment.

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