Landlords risking 'hefty' bill without frequent boiler servicing

The average landlord is risking a potential bill of almost £20,000, should they neglect to maintain the boilers within the properties across their portfolio, according to new research.

Related topics:  Landlords,  Property,  boilers
Property | Reporter
4th September 2023
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Landlords have a significant responsibility to their tenants when it comes to gas safety.

A gas safety check is a legal requirement that is central to fulfilling this responsibility and costs an average of £80 in England.

With 4.9 million private rental homes across the nation, the cumulative total cost of gas safety checks is £391 million per year.

However, the cost for the individual landlord is much less foreboding.

According to research from boiler engineer experts, Fair Fix, the average landlord in England owns 8.8 properties, so at £80 a pop, they’re facing a total gas safety check outgoing of £704 per year.

In Yorkshire & Humber, where the average landlord’s portfolio size of 12 properties is the largest of all regions, this cost climbs to £960 per year.

In the North East where landlords have an average of ten properties, the gas safety bill is £800, while in the East Midlands, it’s £736.

This gas safety check may be the only legal requirement for landlords, but it’s also a good idea to service the boiler every year which costs a nationwide average of £122.

This means that the average landlord in England can service the boiler and take care of the legally required gas safety check for an average cost of £202 per property, or a cumulative total of just £1,780 across their entire portfolio.

On a regional level, this cost is again at its highest in Yorkshire & Humber where the total climbs to £2,220.

While landlords are advised to carry out both of these checks for reasons of basic safety due diligence, there is also a financial benefit to getting the job done.

An annual boiler service, for example, can greatly increase the efficiency and longevity of the boiler. If, on the other hand, regular checks aren’t carried out and the boiler is allowed to deteriorate, the average cost of buying and installing a new one is £2,500.

As such, if a landlord had to replace the boilers across their whole portfolio -which is unlikely but not impossible if boilers have been neglected for a number of years - it would cost close to £20,000 compared to the £1,537 it costs to simply carry out the annual check-ups and maintenance.

Founder of Fair Fix, Tyrone Ekrem, commented: “Landlords are often very busy people with jobs and lives away from their portfolios. On top of this, they have also seen their profit margins depleted by government legislation, while the high cost of living is also denting profitability.

"As such, it’s understandable that some non-essential maintenance tasks, such as boiler servicing, may be overlooked in the current climate.

"However, it’s certainly worthwhile when you consider that the alternative is being hit with the cost of a brand new boiler, which can be hefty.”

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