Landlord gas safety certificate Guidance 2021
Landlord gas safety certificate are required for a residential rental property each year. The checks must only be carried out by a gas safe engineer.
Private landlord and corporate landlords with residential properties must all comply with the legislation.
Landlords are legally responsible for their rental property and have a duty of care to their tenants. Landlords should instruct a registered gas engineer to carry out the Landlords Gas Safety Checks on time.
The HSE has provided specific guidance for residential landlords to help them understand their responsibilities during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The requirement for a landlord gas safety certificate under COVID-19 is still a legal duty, and COVID-19 is no excuse not to comply.
You can access this guidance by clicking the link.
What are a landlords responsibilities for gas safety?
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 sets out the duty of a landlord. They need to ensure all gas appliances, fittings, chimneys, and flues are safe and working efficiently.
Properties with appliances installed for rental purposes need to be mindful of 3 primary legal responsibilities:
1. Annual safety checks
Appliances and flues need to have an annual gas safety check to ensure the property & tenants’ safety is not at risk.
The yearly gas safety checks can only be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Once the check has been done, the gas engineer will provide the tenant and landlord with a Gas Safety Record or Gas Safety certificate with details of all the checks carried out.
It is also known as and referred to as a CP12 certificate.
A check can be booked any time from 10-12 months after the last examination. This does not affect the original inspection expiry date.
Appliances owned by the tenants are not the responsibility of the landlord. However, it’s still the landlord’s responsibility to ensure the safety of any connecting flues.
2. Gas Safety Record
After the annual gas safety check has been done, you must, within 28 days, provide a copy of the certificate to your tenant.
For new tenants, you must provide this when the tenancy commences.
3. Gas Installation Maintenance
You must ensure that all pipework, appliances, chimneys and flues etc., are kept in a safe condition.
Check the appliances’ manufacturer guidance to find out how often a service is required. In the absence of the manufacturer manual, it is recommended an annual service. If unsure, seek the guidance of the Gas Safe registered engineer and follow the advice.
To make sure the central heating system functions correctly with efficiency. A gas boiler service should be carried out when the safety check is done.
There are no formal requirements for you to keep maintenance records. Still, you’ll need to be able to show that you have regularly maintained the pipework, appliances and flues and completed required repairs.
Carbon Monoxide Alarm
The level of carbon monoxide to kill a person is 0.1% which is very low, hence the reason for the strict safety regulations currently in place. Carbon monoxide poisoning should be taken seriously. If a carbon monoxide alarm isn’t already fitted, ask your landlord to fit one or buy your own.
You must install a carbon monoxide alarm in every room which contains a fossil fuel-burning appliance.
You are also required by regulation to instal a carbon monoxide alarm in a room that is used for accommodation in which solid fuel is used.
So, if there is a fireplace or a wood-burning stove, it’s essential to have one in the same room.
The only exemption to this rule is if the open fire is purely decorative and is unusable. In which case, you will probably not need a Carbon Monoxide alarm.
Any residential rental property that does not have a valid gas safety inspection certificate in England & Wales will not be able to evict a tenant under section 21.
Safety devices like carbon monoxide alarms and smoke alarms are handy safety devices. The renter and landlords should ensure they are in good working order.
You should show your tenants where to turn the gas off and what to do in the event of a gas emergency.
In Scotland, a private residential landlord must provide a carbon monoxide (CO) detector with a fixed combustion appliance. But this does not apply to appliances that are solely used for cooking.
In Northern Ireland, a CO carbon monoxide detector is required when a new or replacement combustion appliance is installed.
Finally, make sure it’s always a Gas Safe registered qualified engineer carrying out gas work or the yearly inspection.
Landlords are legally required to make sure they employ a registered qualified person. This ensures your tenants’ safety.
Gas Safe safety check inspection access problem
Some tenants and landlords can fall out, and the relationship is testing. The tenancy agreement usually permits access to maintenance or safety inspection. Still, if your tenant refuses to grant access, you must show you’ve exhausted all reasonable steps to comply with the legislation.
You should continue to attempt to carry out the inspection and keep the communication in writing between you and the tenant. Explain to the renter that safety checks are a legal requirement for their own safety and access to a gas safe engineer for the purposes of gas safety inspection is important.
If access is denied for an inspection, then keep a record of the communication. You may need this as evidence for the court should the tenants behave unreasonably.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations do not give powers to ‘force disconnection’ of the gas supply. You may need to serve a section 8 notice under ground 12.
What are the penalties for not having a gas safety certificate?
Not having a certificate under Regulations is a serious offence.
Being unable to provide a gas safety record is a criminal offence and landlords can be liable for unlimited fines and/or six months of imprisonment.
You are also barred from serving a section 21 notice.
How can I check if an engineer is qualified to do a gas safety check in my property?
Engineers must carry ID cards that identify the appliances on which they are qualified to work. You can verify the engineer on the gas safe register.
Can I delegate responsibility to tenants for maintenance and gas safety checks?
No, not for residential properties that are under an assured shorthold tenancy. For commercial property the parties can delegate responsibilities.
Author: Peter Ross [email protected] 12th of September 2021
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