Gas Safety is often something that is forgotten about. Although the consequences could be very serious, it is still found that 1 in 6 UK rental homes has at least one unsafe gas appliance according to the Gas Safe register.
As a landlord, it is worthwhile signing up for the Gas eBulletin published by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). This will make sure you are kept up-to-date when it comes to your gas safety obligations.
How to comply with Gas Safety Regulations?
It is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that all appliances and fittings provided to the tenants are kept in a safe condition, this includes regular servicing and repairs when necessary. All gas appliances should be serviced in line with the instructions from the manufacturer. If there are no instructions, ensuring an annual service and check is important.
What are your duties as a landlord?
- Ensure gas fittings and flues are maintained in a safe condition. All gas appliances should be serviced in line with the instructions from the manufacturer.
If the instructions do not provide this information, you should get your appliances serviced annually unless advised otherwise by a gas safe engineer.
- An annual safety check to be carried out on all gas appliances and flues. This must be carried out before a new lease is started (within a year). If the appliances have been installed for less than 12 months, they should be scheduled to be carried out a year from their installation date.
- Keep a record of the gas safety checks until two further checks have been carried out.
- Give the tenants a copy of the latest gas and safety check records. If the tenants are living at the residence whilst these checks are being carried out, they must have a copy of these records within 28 days of the checks being done. If they are new tenants, they should get a copy of the records before moving in.
As a landlord, you must not assume that these checks meet the requirements, or that the safety checks will affect maintenance carried out on their own.
The amended 2018 Gas Safety (installation and use) Regulations enables landlords to carry out annual gas safety checks anytime between 10 and 12 months after the previous checks, but keep the original date of 12 months from the installation date.
If necessary, seek advice from a professional, qualified Gas Safety registered engineer.
What is a Landlord Gas Safety Record?
When installing a boiler, a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate is issued, which complies with the building regulations. The boiler installation will be registered via Gas Safe, through the company that installed it.
However, it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure they have a current CP12 (a Gas Safety Certificate/Record) that a gas safety check is carried out annually to meet the Gas Safe regulations.
A Gas Safety Certificate is a document that confirms the gas appliances in the property are safe and all check has been performed by a qualified Gas Safety engineer. Its purpose is to ensure that checks have been done, all work previously carried out and any future work needed.
A Gas Safety Record (CP19) should include the following:
- Details for the person carrying out the safety check. This includes their name, registration number, and their signature.
- The name and address of the landlord. (If you are using a managing agent, the name of the landlord and the address of the letting agent is acceptable).
- Details of the gas appliances and flues that have been checked with their locations and date.
- Faults of any gas appliance need to be noted and any repairs made.
- Once the gas safety checks are complete, a copy of the CP12 ( Gas Safety Certificate/Records) should be given to the tenants within 28 days. By law, these records are to be kept for a minimum of two years.
How much does it cost for an annual gas safety check?
Prices for a CP12 Gas Safety Check vary, depending on the engineer you choose.
Costs can start from £35 and reach £150. This also depends on the number of gas appliances in the residence that need checking.
On average, a Gas Safety certificate costs around £60. This would be for one appliance, for example, your boiler.
What gas equipment needs to be covered in a gas safety check?
The Gas Safety Regulations 1998 maintenance requirements generally apply to all gas appliances or flue in the ‘relevant premises’.
What is not covered?
- Appliances owned by the tenant.
- Flues/chimney owned by the tenant.
It is your duty as a landlord to ensure that gas and safety checks are carried out on all fixed and portable appliances. These duties can not be delegated to the tenants.
Do I need to have a Gas Safety Certificate?
It is a legal obligation to have a Gas Safety Certificate.
These regulations are put in place not only to protect yourself as a landlord but to also protect your tenants.
Failure to comply with the regulations and annual inspections of all gas appliances in the residence can ultimately result in facing a fine or even imprisonment.
If you do not have a Gas Safety Certificate or have failed to provide a copy of the records to your tenant, you can not legally serve a section 21 notice.
How often does an inspection need to be carried out?
To comply with the regulations, gas safety checks should be carried out annually.
What happens if the residence is under a managing agent?
This should be stated clearly in the management contract.
How do I know if the gas engineer is Gas Safety registered?
A Gas Safe registered engineer is someone that has been vetted by Gas Safe, to make sure they are adequately qualified to carry out gas safety checks.
The engineer should be able to provide a current ID. What should be displayed on the ID?
- A current photo
- A business registration number
- Their personal license number
- Their company name
- A start and expiry date for the ID card
- A security hologram
If you are unsure, you can also call 0800 408 5500 or visit www.gassafetregister.co.uk
What if an appliance fails the safety checks?
If any gas appliance fails the safety check, it is the landlords’ responsibility to make a note of the fault with the identified defect and rectify it before the appliance is used again.
It is an offence to use an appliance that you are aware is unsafe.
What if a Tenant Refuses Access to the Property for a Gas Safety Inspection?
The landlord has the overall responsibility to ensure that all appliances comply with the regulations and requirements.
Naturally, if you aren’t shown the ID of someone who wants to enter your home, you’re not going to just let them in.
If the tenants are initially reluctant to allow the Gas Safety engineer in their home, but once shown ID, allow it, that is fine. However, if the tenant refuses entry after this, this can become a problem.
As it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure these checks are completed, it important to cover yourself in cases like this. To avoid this from happening, give your tenant 24 hours notice. They must also agree to the safety checks taking place, if not, make sure a date is rearranged which works for both parties.
If you are still facing difficulties, there are a few steps you can take:
- Step one would be to send three letters to the tenants, separately, insisting that access is granted to carry out the Gas Safety Checks. Explain that these checks are completed to keep them safe as well. Make sure all three letters are signed for, this will let you know when the letters have been delivered and can be used as proof if necessary. Ensure that you allow 14 days for the tenants to reply.
- Getting someone in a position of authority to speak to the tenants is the next option. Try to ask a member of the council to explain the importance of these checks and, again, emphasize the fact that these checks are put in place for their safety also. It is important to explain how these checks are essential, are legally required, and that they are a piece of documentation that is needed to live in the residence. Reassurance that these are not check-ups on the tenants could work too!
- If this doesn’t work, then under the section 21 notice, you can apply to evict your tenant. If your last gas safety certificate has expired due to the tenant refusing entry, and you can demonstrate the tenant has a copy of the most recent check, section 21 is still legally enforceable.
- Finally, you also have the option of applying for an injunction from the court.
But of course, we don’t want this to happen. These steps can expensive, so it is worth speaking to your tenant, reassuring them that these are regulations that are in place to keep them safe and it is legally required to take place.
Gas safety is not something that should be forgotten about as the use of unsafe appliances can result in serious harm. Becoming a landlord comes with responsibility, one of those is ensuring that annual safety checks are completed with the necessary maintenance required.