Understanding Safety of Oil-Fired Boilers for Landlords

Ensuring that the properties you manage are safe is an utmost priority as a landlord or letting agent. One significant component often overlooked is the safety of oil-fired boilers. This article delves into the safety requirements of these boilers and whether an annual certificate, similar to that for gas, is required in England and Wales.

Understanding Oil-Fired Boilers

Before we delve into the intricacies of safety compliance, let's first understand what oil-fired boilers are. These boilers are standard in properties not connected to the gas grid and are a reliable, efficient way of heating a property. They use a supply of stored oil (usually kept in a tank), which is burned to provide heat.

Oil-Fired Boilers Safety Regulations

The safety regulations governing oil-fired boilers in the UK differ slightly from those of gas appliances. While landlords and letting agents are familiar with the annual Gas Safety Certificate requirement for gas boilers, oil-fired boilers do not fall under the same regulatory framework.

However, safety checks can still be addressed. Landlords and letting agents must ensure that the oil-fired boilers in their properties are safe and working correctly.

The Role of OFTEC

The Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) is responsible for setting industry standards for oil-fired boilers in the UK. They recommend an annual service and inspection of these appliances by an OFTEC-registered technician.

While an annual certificate is not legally required, a regular inspection can provide landlords and letting agents with documentation showcasing the boiler's safety, which can be helpful in disputes or insurance claims.

The Importance of Regular Servicing

Regular servicing of an oil-fired boiler is essential for several reasons:

  1. Safety: Regular inspections can help identify potential issues that may lead to dangerous situations, such as oil leaks or carbon monoxide leaks.
  2. Efficiency: A well-serviced boiler operates more efficiently, saving fuel costs and reducing environmental impact.
  3. Longevity: Regular maintenance can extend the life of your boiler, saving on replacement costs in the long run.

Your Responsibilities as a Landlord or Letting Agent

Even though an annual certificate is not legally required for oil-fired boilers, it is still the landlord or letting agent's responsibility to ensure the safety of their tenants. Here's what you can do:

  • Arrange for an annual boiler service by a registered OFTEC technician.
  • Keep a record of the servicing, including any work done and the condition of the boiler.
  • Provide tenants with information on how to use the boiler safely.
  • Respond promptly to any reported issues with the boiler and arrange for necessary repairs.


While oil-fired boilers do not legally require an annual safety certificate like gas boilers, the safety of these appliances should not be overlooked. Landlords and letting agents are encouraged to arrange a yearly service by a registered OFTEC technician. Doing so not only ensures the safety of your tenants but can also lead to increased efficiency and longevity of the appliance.

Remember, a safe home is a happy home. Let's all play our part in ensuring our properties are safe.

More information can be found here: http://www.thehealthandsafetyconsultancy.co.uk/guides/oil-firedboilers.asp.


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Gas Safety

It is vital that landlords clearly understand their responsibilities and obligations in relation to gas supply and appliances and the duties and responsibilities placed on them by the gas safety regulations.