One of the most vital landlord responsibilities is checking that gas appliances in their properties are safe.

According to the east midlands department of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), private landlords are required to check the gas safety of their homes on an annual basis.

Gas safety certificates must be issues to all tenants when they move in, the organisation warned.

Neil Craig, principal inspector with the HSE, said: "Every year about 20 to 30 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning associated with domestic gas appliances, due mainly to these appliances not having been properly installed or maintained."

Private landlords must make sure that their gas appliances are well-maintained to avoid issues such as this, he added.

His comments come ahead of Gas Safe Register taking over from the Corgi gas scheme as the recognised standard for gas appliances in the UK.

They also follow the guilty plea from Cambridgeshire landlord Ajay Ahuja, who admitted to contravening Section 33(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 when he did not issue his tenant with a safety certificate despite numerous requests from the HSE.

Written by John Weeks
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