Why Every Landlord In The UK Needs a CP12 Gas Safety Certificate steffan@warmzilla.co.uk April 26, 2024

Why Every Landlord In The UK Needs a CP12 Gas Safety Certificate

Why Every Landlord In The UK Needs a CP12 Gas Safety Certificate
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    Key Takeaways

    • Every landlord in the UK must have an up-to-date gas safety certificate, otherwise known as a Gas Safety Record.
    • Gas safety certificates only last 12 months, so the inspection must be done annually.
    • It is a legal requirement for UK landlords to have a gas safety certificate for each property .
    • In the UK, it is illegal to use a gas appliance if there is a suspicion that it might be faulty.
    • If any piece of gas infrastructure fails, the landlord has to remove it or have it repaired another inspection.

    Nearly 7 million homes in the UK, one in four, have a dangerous gas appliance. While gas appliances are 99% of the time safe, they require regular maintenance to keep them working.

    Gas safety is vitally important. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause sickness and even be fatal, and in rare cases, gas leaks can cause fires or explosions.

    With such potentially disastrous consequences, homeowners need to ensure that their gas appliances are checked if they pose any safety issues.

    This includes checking:

    • gas boilers
    • Fireplaces
    • gas heaters
    • all the associated chimneys
    • flues
    • and pipework

    As a property owner or UK landlord, you must ensure your home is safe.

    Landlords have various duties that need to be done to keep their properties compliant with the legislation.

    As a quick overview, landlords need to complete an annual gas safety check and keep all documents concerning at least the last two years’ safety check records.

    After every safety check and all maintenance or repairs are concluded, the landlord will receive a gas safety certificate.

    If you rent a property, it's your duty as the landlord to provide your tenants with an up-to-date gas safety certificate before they move in. This certificate is called the Gas Safety Record, or to some, still thought of as the CP12 (CORGI Proforma 12).

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    What is this gas safety record certificate all about?

    Every landlord in the UK must have an up-to-date gas safety certificate, otherwise known as a Gas Safety Record.

    If the name doesn’t sound familiar, it's the same as a CP12 certificate, which is what it used to be called before 2009. However, many people still refer to it by its old name.

    Between 1991 and 2009, the Council for Registered Gas Installers (CORGI) regulated gas safety in the UK. In 2009, CORGI was replaced by the Gas Safe Register, and the document’s name changed.

    Even though the name has changed, the requirements haven’t.

    Each year, landlords must book an inspection of the property by a Gas Safe registered engineer, who will check all the gas appliances and infrastructure on the property.

    After the inspection, the engineer will provide a report explaining whether any work must be done to ensure gas safety. Once the job is completed, they will issue the certificate.

    Only a Gas Safe registered engineer can provide the certificate you need at the end of the inspection.

    This certificate verifies that all gas appliances, flues, and pipework are safe for landlords and tenants.

    If any of the gas appliance infrastructure is found to be faulty, the engineer will not provide a certificate until repairs are made.

    So, how often should landlords have their gas appliances inspected?

    How often must landlords get a gas safety certificate?

    Gas safety certificates only last 12 months, so the inspection must be done annually. This means it’s essential to book well ahead of time if the engineer finds faults or safety issues that must be addressed.

    Landlords can book a new CP12 inspection or reschedule within 10-12 months of the previous one, and keep the original deadline date.

    If you installed a new gas appliance, such as a boiler, before the annual deadline, it will only need another inspection next year.

    Also, it’s worth mentioning that most UK insurance companies will require an up-to-date certificate before providing insurance to landlords. If the certification lapses and your property has a gas issue, the insurance company will not pay.

    While you may have an issue with insurance companies if your certificate lapses, you must legally ensure this annual inspection happens. Landlords who fail to do so will face severe penalties, which include:

    • Imprisonment
    • Fines up to £20,000
    • And even face charges of manslaughter

    Considering this, you should ensure you get the right person to perform a gas safety check.

    What is the safety check record?

    As the name implies, this is the record of all safety checks and maintenance and repair work conducted on the property's gas appliances, flues, and pipework. Landlords are required to keep these records for at least two years.

    As a landlord, you must provide the safety check record to your tenants within 28 days of the check’s completion (i.e., the date you were registered as compliant). You must also give new tenants a copy of the safety check record before they move in.

    What is a Gas Safe Register?

    Gas Safe Register is the only official body responsible for registering all engineers and businesses in the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey, and Guernsey.

    It ensures that all engineers and businesses operating in the industry are compliant and licensed. The Gas Safe Register is also responsible for monitoring the inspections during a gas safety check.

    They also investigate complaints against engineers or businesses registered with them. They can apply sanctions if they find work has not been done to code or if a company is in breach of registration rules.

    However, they do not employ the engineer who will issue your gas safety certificate, nor will they arbitrate any disputes between registered companies and landlords.

    As mentioned, if you are looking for a registered engineer or gas business, you can find a list on their website. Alternatively, you can ask us for help.

    Earlier, we mentioned that landlords require a gas safety certificate. Is there anything else to be aware of legally?

    What does the law say about a gas safety certificate?

    As mentioned, it is a legal requirement for UK landlords to have a gas safety certificate for any gas or LPG appliances on their property that are used by their tenants.

    The legal requirements for the certificate to be issued include inspecting:

    • All pipework
    • Every flue
    • And all fittings

    The landlord is responsible even if the flue the tenant uses is shared with the landlord’s private property or not in the part of the building used by the tenant.

    Be aware that you don’t need the inspectors to check your tenants' gas cookers for your gas safety certificate to be issued.

    However, it does include the flues and pipework they may connect to as long as they are not for the tenant's exclusive use. If the flue is shared, the landlord is responsible for inspecting it.

    We’ve spoken about safety certification, but who does the Gas Safety Register consider a landlord?

    Who is considered a landlord by law?

    The legal definition of a landlord includes a person or business renting out a property or room to another person or business, but also the following:

    • Housing associations
    • Local authorities
    • Hotels or B&Bs
    • Colleges
    • Boarding schools
    • Or hostels

    It’s worth knowing that if you are a landlord and your current tenant has been on a lifelong lease or for more than seven years, you are no longer responsible for ensuring that the gas safety check takes place.

    If you were not included on the list above, you will be a private homeowner. Although you are not required by law to get an annual gas safety check as a homeowner, it's recommended that you still get all your gas appliances serviced annually.

    Regular services ensure your boiler works properly and efficiently and will save you money in the long run.

    What is inspected during the gas safety check?

    All permanent and movable appliances and fittings owned by the landlord and provided to the tenant for use must be checked by law. This includes gas cookers, LPG heaters, and space heaters.

    So, the engineer will check the following:

    • That all appliances are working correctly and have the appropriate pressure
    • That they are burning gas correctly
    • That enough air is supplied to the appliances
    • That flues and exhausts are working correctly and have no leaks

    They will also visually inspect all the appliances, colour-check burner flames, clean your boiler’s condensate trap, check for faults in your radiators and hot water cylinders, and ensure all the appliances are correctly connected to the gas supply.

    If any of the appliances do not meet the safety standards, the engineer will note this in the report, and the landlord must arrange repairs. Thereafter, a second inspection will happen, and once all the problems have been corrected, the certificate will be issued.

    The certificate will include the following:

    • The name, ID, and signature of the Gas Safe registered engineer
    • The inspection date
    • The property’s address
    • Details about every appliance or piece of equipment that was checked
    • All problems identified and repairs that were conducted
    • The date before which the next inspection must be conducted

    What is not included in the gas safety check?

    Installation pipework is not checked during the annual gas safety check. If you are concerned, ask your engineer to conduct a tightness test on the gas system and visually examine the pipework for any defects.

    It will be a bit of a bummer, but the engineer is not required to repair any faulty appliances or infrastructure they find during the inspection.

    You must call a separate company or repair person for this work. But if the engineer only performs the safety check, how much are they billing you for?

    How much does a gas safety certificate investigation cost?

    Costs for the gas safety check and issuing of the certificate can vary enormously based on the size of the property, the number of appliances that need to be checked, how much pipework, and how many flues are involved.

    Another factor to consider is that each company or repair person will have its own schedule of fees. But as a large generalisation, you can expect the work to cost between £50 and £150.

    But again, extensive properties will cost more than this. It’s recommended that landlords get three quotes to compare prices.

    As mentioned, this amount includes no repair or maintenance work that must be undertaken after the inspection.

    If you’re looking for someone to perform both inspection and repairs, you can sign up with a company that will provide both services.

    Another benefit of using these companies is that they can handle the administrative side of things, such as booking appointments with tenants and providing them with the gas safety certificate and gas safety record.

    But how long do these jobs usually take if you need to inform tenants that a gas safety register inspection is about to take place?

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    How long will a gas safety certificate check take?

    Again, this depends on the property's size and the number of items that must be inspected. Usually, the inspections take about 30-40 minutes, so inform your tenants of this, as they will need to be on the property during the inspection.

    Also, it is advisable to ask the tenants to make sure all the appliances are easy to inspect, as this will reduce the time needed.

    And the last thing to remember is to ensure your tenants have enough credit on gas metres to operate all the appliances without disruption during the inspection.

    A recent requirement for landlords in the UK is to install carbon monoxide detectors.

    Carbon monoxide detectors

    In 2022, England passed a law requiring all “living accommodation” rooms with fixed combustion appliances to have carbon monoxide detectors installed. This does not include gas cookers but any appliance powered by gas, coal, wood, or oil.

    Landlords are responsible for maintaining the detectors, replacing them if faulty, and paying for new batteries when they run out.

    The carbon monoxide regulations for Scotland are slightly different. In Scotland, the landlord must ensure that the property meets the “repairing standard” and that there is a method of warning the tenants should a gas leak occur. The process is not specified.

    In Wales, the landlord is only responsible for installing a carbon monoxide detector if they bring a new solid fuel-burning appliance into the home.

    We’ve skirted around what happens if your home doesn’t pass the gas safety inspection, so what if you fail the check?

    What happens if you don’t pass the gas safety check?

    If any appliance or piece of gas infrastructure fails the gas safety check, the landlord is required to remove it or have it repaired before a second inspection takes place.

    Once all the repairs have been made, the engineer will note them in the report and issue the certificate.

    Suppose the landlord does not rectify any issues found or fails to have the inspection made before the deadline. In that case, they will be in contravention of the Gas Safety Regulations (1998). They will be liable for a hefty fine, charges, or even imprisonment if someone is hurt during an incident caused by the faulty equipment.

    As mentioned, if the landlord does not have a valid gas safety certificate, their insurer may also refuse to pay in an accident.

    The bottom line is ensuring your property passes the gas safety check.

    What happens between tenancies?

    Regulation 36(b) of the Gas Safety Regulations states that maintenance must be ongoing and regular.

    So, after a tenant leaves, it is recommended that the landlord check all the gas appliances on the property and ensure that the Gas Safety certificates for all of them are up to date.

    It is especially important to check around appliances that the tenant might have moved or adjusted while packing up, such as near open-ended pipes and emergency shut-off valves.

    If a tenant leaves a gas appliance after moving out, the landlord and the ex-tenant must agree on who owns it. If the landlord is granted ownership, they are now responsible for all future gas safety checks on it.

    However, if no one wants the appliance, it must be removed. But what happens if the appliance can’t be fixed in the UK?

    What happens if the landlord can’t fix the appliance immediately?

    In the UK, it is illegal to use a gas appliance if there is a suspicion that it might be faulty.

    If you think there might be a problem, the appliance must be turned off until a Gas Safe registered engineer can attend to it.

    And as you’d expect, the engineer must be Gas Safe registered.

    It is illegal to use a contractor who is not registered, or to try and fix the appliance yourself. This may cause inconveniences, especially if the appliance is the boiler, but unfortunately, the risk to people living on the property is too great to use an unsafe gas appliance.

    If a landlord or tenant suspects a gas appliance in the property is faulty, they can also report it via RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations). This can be done online or by telephone.

    When is a landlord not responsible for the gas safety certificate?

    If you own a property but have leased it for more than seven years or life, you are no longer responsible for the gas safety certificate and the associated maintenance.

    However, if there is an implied tenancy agreement, for instance, in the case of vicarages, you are still responsible for keeping the gas safety record up to date.

    As a rule of thumb, if you, as the landlord, want to leave the responsibility to your tenant who has met the mentioned requirements, make sure to get this agreement in writing.

    But what if your current tenant is a nightmare?

    What happens if your tenant won't let you onto the property?

    The Health and Safety Executive recommends that if you are currently in dispute with your tenant about access to the property, you should save records of all your communications.

    Your first duty is to inform the tenant that, by law, the gas safety check must be performed annually and that it is due.

    Then, you should notify them if an attempt to check the gas appliances was made and failed.

    Health and Safety advises that you can offer to let them make the appointment themselves at a time that suits them.

    If the safety check has still not taken place after three attempts, you are recommended to take legal action, which may end up in court.

    However, as this is expensive and time-consuming, it’s best to try to find a solution before that.

    What can tenants do to make landlords get a gas safety certificate?

    If your landlord is a nightmare case, you can take them to court as the tenant if they do not maintain a perfect gas safety record. Tenants can also claim damages if they have been hurt or become ill from a piece of faulty gas-related equipment.

    How do you make sure you pass the gas safety inspection?

    The best way to ensure your rental property passes the gas safety inspection is to schedule regular maintenance on all the appliances and gas infrastructure.

    It’s also important to inform your tenants what they need to do to keep the appliances running smoothly, and they should let you know as soon as they suspect there is a problem.

    If you have been keeping your gas safety records, as recommended, you should pass the inspection quickly.

    Now that we’ve spoken about why every landlord in the UK needs a gas safety certificate. Here are some other commonly Googled questions.

    Commonly Googled Questions

    Yes, we know some of you will have more questions needing answers. So, let’s dive into them.

    What if I have domestic staff living on the property?

    For those in the top 1%, any area of the property that is considered residential for your staff’s needs needs to have an annual gas safety check performed.

    This also applies to pipework and other gas infrastructure that services those areas.

    Can I delegate the responsibility for the annual gas safety check to my tenant?

    No. The responsibility stays with the landlord unless the gas appliance is in a non-residential part of the dwelling, such as a shop or a public house.

    As mentioned, your tenant must occupy the property for at least seven years until it’s not your concern.

    What if I own a property in a building with communal appliances?

    In this case, you must know who is responsible for your tenants' communal flues, appliances, and pipework.

    Usually, the individual responsible for communal appliances is the building owner.

    What if I allow my tenant to sublet my property?

    If you’re a brave landlord, letting your tenant sublet your property, you are still responsible for the gas safety certificate.

    However, we also recommend having the responsibilities set out in writing between yourself and your tenant.

    What if my property has no gas appliances but still has pipework or flues passing through it?

    Then you, the landlord, are responsible for maintaining the pipework and flues.

    However, there is no legal requirement for an annual gas safety check.

    As usual, if you need anything else clarified, you can chat with one of our consultants in the chat window at the bottom right corner of the screen.

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