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What is a landlord gas safety certificate?

What is a landlord gas safety certificate

For anyone who is renting out a property in the UK, then you may be asking, ‘What is a landlord gas safety certificate?’

It’s important that a landlord understands that renting out a property without a valid gas safety certificate is illegal.

The certificate is a legal necessity and an important document that proves that the gas appliances in your rental property have been inspected by a qualified and registered Gas Safe engineer.

These checks must be carried out every 12 months and will ensure that you meet your legal duty of care in providing a tenant with a safe home to live in.

The gas safety certificate explained

For landlords new to renting out property, there is a range of legal responsibilities that you will need to meet.

Of these, the gas safety certificate is probably the most crucial and is your documented evidence that the gas appliances, flues and fittings have been inspected within the last 12 months by a Gas Safe qualified engineer.

The landlord’s gas safety certificate is also known as the CP12 or the Corgi Proforma which is from the days when the Corgi – the Council for Registered Gas Installers – was responsible for checking that all gas appliances were safe in a property.

Gas Safety registerHowever, in 2019 the Gas Safety register was created and the responsibility was passed across.

The register is the official home of all gas engineers in the UK who are allowed legally to inspect gas appliances for the certificate to be issued.

It’s important that landlords understand that only gas engineers who are registered are the ONLY people who are qualified to carry out the relevant checks to the gas appliances in their property.

Also, it’s a sound move for a landlord to have an annual gas service carried out to ensure gas appliances remain in the best condition because they are likely to last longer.

For those who may not have done so before, having the landlord gas safety check renewed as part of an annual service is easy to arrange.

And once you have the landlord’s gas safety certificate will give a tenant peace of mind because it shows them that you as a landlord is taking your legal responsibilities seriously.

Also, as a landlord you can get the boiler and other gas appliances fixed quickly and easily should any issues be detected in the inspection.

For those landlords who sign up with a gas firm offering a service contract as part of their gas inspection duties will be able to give their tenant a contact number of an expert to call should there be a gas emergency at the property.

How long does the landlord gas safety certificate last?

This is another important question for landlords to ask and that is how long will the landlord gas safety certificate last? The document will last for 12 months and as a landlord, you will need to give your tenants the new certificate within 28 days of the previous gas safety certificate expiring.

A certificate will also need to be given to tenants moving into the property within 28 days of them doing so.

Should a landlord retain the gas safety certificate after it has expired?

It makes good sense for a landlord to retain their gas safety certificate after it has expired, probably for at least two years.

That’s because should there be an issue, you can as the landlord demonstrate that you have a history of complying with the gas safety regulations, if necessary.

Are you a landlord without a gas safety certificate?

If you are a landlord who does not have a gas safety certificate, then you are not fulfilling your legal obligations.

This may then lead to you being fined and if the tenant has raised the issue with authorities, then they will be protected from eviction as a consequence.

Tenants own their gas appliances

landlord’s gas safety inspectionSince landlords in the UK offer furnished and unfinished properties, it’s not unusual for a tenant to bring their gas appliances into an unfurnished rental property.

However, there’s a big difference when it comes to the landlord’s gas safety inspection because the tenant will be legally responsible for their own gas appliances – but a landlord will need to check the fittings and flues.

Landlord organisations often recommend that landlords should take a view of being better safe and should carry out a gas safety inspection anyway.

What does the gas safety inspection include?

Since a landlord gas safety certificate is renewed every 12 months, it is a good idea to appreciate what this inspection includes.

The engineer will check all appliances and equipment that use gas, so this will include the gas boiler, the gas supply as well as any gas fires in the property. It will also include:

  • Checking gas appliances for safety regulations and tightness
  • Ensure that there’s enough provision for appliance ventilation
  • Check gas pressures and the burner with the manufacturer’s recommendations
  • Check flue flow to remove combustible deposits
  • Monitor working and standing gas pressures
  • Check safety devices so they work
  • Check for signs of gas device misuse.

How much will the landlord’s gas safety certificate cost?

The first thing to understand is that the cost of the gas safety inspection will vary around the country. The Gas Safety Regulator does not monitor prices for these safety inspections, so it’s an idea to shop around.

gas safety certificate costIndeed, you could ask other landlords for recommendations or if you are a member of a landlords’ organisation you could ask who they will recommend.

You should put together a shortlist of two or three, and potentially four gas safety engineers.

You should really go with the best engineer possible and you may need to check for any landlord’s reviews to ensure you’re getting the best gas safe engineer for your needs.

To help, the price of a gas inspection will depend on the size of the property and how many gas appliances there are to check. Your location will also have an impact.

As a landlord, you should expect the inspection to cost £60 for one appliance, usually the boiler. For properties with a gas cooker then the price will increase and will rise further if there are gas fires fitted. Expect to pay around £100 for having a gas boiler, hob and a gas fire inspected.

For landlords with a portfolio of properties and those using letting agents, then it’s likely that you will be able to access cheaper rates.

What the gas safe register says

The website for the Gas Safe Register points out just how important the landlord’s duty of care is to their tenants.

They say that the landlord has a legal duty to maintain and repair gas pipework and appliances as well as flues. They must also keep a record of each and every safety check.

The inspection itself can take place at any time from 10 to 12 months after the last gas check was carried out without affecting the original expiry date.

It’s also a good idea for tenants to know how and where they can turn off the property’s gas supply.

The tenant will also need to know what they should do if there was a gas emergency.

The website also highlights what the landlord should do should their tenant refuse access for safety or maintenance checks.

In these cases, the landlord must show they have taken every reasonable step to comply with the relevant law.

This will include recording the attempts for carrying out the checks and also keeping a copy of any communication with the tenant that explains that the safety checks are not only a legal requirement, but are there to ensure they are safe in their home.

A landlord should also keep a record of all and every action they take because they may need to refer to this at a later date.

If the tenant still refuses access, the landlord needs to appreciate that under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) regulations that there are no powers to force the disconnection of the gas supply in the property under these circumstances.

Instead, the landlord will need to seek legal advice as to how they can gain entry to the property and have the gas safety inspection carried out.

Having carbon monoxide alarms fitted

Should the landlord’s property have any appliances that use solid fuel, then you must buy and fit a carbon monoxide alarm in that room.

This means that should there be a wood burning stove or a fireplace, then you’ll need an alarm installed.

The only exemptions for not fitting a carbon monoxide alarm is when an open fire is unusable or is decorative.

These laws cover England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland though there may be slight differences that you should check, depending on where you live.

Cost of a landlord gas safety certificate

Finally, the cost of a landlord gas safety certificate should not be too expensive and it should not take too much time to arrange though this is a crucial box to tick.

This is an exercise that landlords must carry out every year and failing to do so can be a very expensive mistake to make.

Indeed, for those landlords who use letting agents, you should really check that the agent has the gas safety inspection at your property in their diary and that it is carried out in time – because it will you and not them that is legally liable for not doing so.

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