Even the most enthusiastic DIY landlord will recognise that some bits of property maintenance are best left to the professionals, and gas is right at the top of that list. In fact, getting a professional to handle the gas safety in your rental property isn’t just a good idea – it’s also a legal requirement.
A gas safety certificate – more accurately referred to as a gas safety record – is a mandatory bit of paperwork for all landlords. It involves getting a qualified engineer out to inspect all the gas appliances in the property on a regular basis. If they find any defects, you’ll need to get them fixed ASAP, but assuming your appliances are all in decent shape they’ll fill out a gas safety record for you.
Who can give you a gas safety certificate?
Only a qualified gas engineer can give you a gas safety certificate. The regulatory body for these highly specialised workers is the Gas Safe Register (which replaced CORGI in 2009), and if you don’t use an engineer who’s registered with them then the certificate isn’t valid.
The cost of a gas safety certificate will vary depending on the number of gas appliances in your property and any remedial work that needs doing. In many cases, the cost of a gas safety certificate will also include a boiler service – though a service and a safety check aren’t the same thing, so it’s best to let the engineer know in advance if you’d like them to service any appliances. As a rough figure, you can probably expect to pay £100-150 for a safety certificate and service.
What will the engineer check?
The gas safety engineer will check all the gas appliances in the property – whether they’re connected to the main gas grid or fuelled by LPG. For many properties, this will just be the boiler, but you might also have gas hobs or fires that need inspecting too.
The engineer will be looking to make sure that the gas is combusting properly, that everything is set correctly, and that the appliance is securely connected to the pipework. They’ll also inspect flues, ventilation, operating pressure and safety devices, and will make sure that the physical installation of the appliance is secure (in the case of wall-mounted appliances, for example). Another element of their job is to assess whether the appliance is appropriate for the room/property it’s installed in.
When the inspection’s completed, the engineer will fill out a gas safety record with details of all the appliances checked, any defects they’ve found and any remedial work undertaken.
How often do you need to get a gas safety certificate?
If you’re a landlord renting out a residential or commercial property with gas appliances, you’ll need to arrange a gas safety inspection at least every year. You’ll also need to have an up-to-date gas safety certificate before you can rent the property out in the first place.
What do you need to do with the gas safety certificate?
A copy of the gas safety certificate needs to be given to your tenants within 28 days of the inspection, and you’ll need to retain your own copy for at least two years. If you’re letting the property to new tenants, you’ll have to provide them with a copy of the gas safety certificate before they move in.
Providing the tenants with the gas safety record is an important legal requirement, and failing to do it (even if the inspections have been carried out properly) can have fairly serious consequences. For example, you may not be able to regain possession of your property through a Section 21 notice if you haven’t given the tenant an up-to-date gas safety certificate.
To find out more about gas safety records and get the most up-to-date information and recommendations, you can check out gassaferegister.co.uk