Gas Safety Certificates: What Landlords Need To Know

Landlords must ensure their rental properties are safe and habitable. Part of this is completing annual gas safety checks.

Landlord Tenant Law

As a landlord, you are responsible for ensuring your rental properties are safe and habitable. Part of this is ensuring you complete the required gas safety checks for the property every year. This gas safety certificate is essential. Not completing these checks will see you liable for serious fines.

In this article we take a look at everything landlords need to know about Gas Safety Regulations, what the legal requirements mean, how often gas safety checks need to be undertaken, and when you need to provide an up to date Gas Safety Certificate to your tenants.

What are the current gas safety regulations for landlords in the UK?

The Gas Safety Regulations (Installation and Use) 1998 made it a legal responsibility for landlords and letting agents to ensure the safety of any gas fittings and appliances in rental properties. Appliances and fittings that landlords and letting agents must maintain the safety of include:

  • Gas appliances (eg. gas oven, gas fireplaces etc.)
  • Pipework leading to gas appliances
  • Flues leading from gas appliances

Annual inspections should be undertaken to ensure there are no leaks and all appliances are properly functioning.

What are the benefits of the 2018 Gas Safety Regulations?

Following a consultation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) between November 2016 and January 2017 the Gas Safteyregulations were updated. These updates took effect as of April 2018.

Prior to the amendment, landlords were required to complete gas safety checks “within 12 months” f the previous checks. Meaning, in order to stay complain you have to complete the check before the 12 month period was up. This meant landlords were more often than not required to complete the checks every 10 or 11 months. Over a ten year period, this resulted in the majority of landlords completing 11 checks rather than the statutory 10.

Essentially, the amendments introduced more flexibility in the timing of annual gas safety checks without shortening any safety check cycles. This flexibility reduced the issue of ‘over complying’ and enabled improved maintenance planning; benefiting both the tenant and the landlord.

You can find out more about what this means and how to meet requirements in the Approved Code of Practice and Guidance.

Who needs a gas safety inspection?

Gas safety checks are needed by:

  • Landlords
  • Housing associations
  • Local authorities
  • Hotels and B&Bs
  • Colleges
  • Boarding schools
  • Hostels

Related: What Is An HMO And Do You Need An HMO Licence?

How often do landlords need to get a gas safety inspection?

Landlords need to renew their gas safety certificates every year.

According to the Gas Safety Regulations 2018, landlords are required to renew their gas safety certificates up to two months prior to the deadline date (which is 12 months from the prior inspection). Once the check has been undertaken, however, the gas safety record is treated as if it had been carried out on the very last day of the cycle to ensure no shortening on safety cycles and reduce the issue of over-compliance.

For example, if your current gas safety certificate was completed on September 1st 2021, you could carry out your next gas safety check from July 1st 2022 and your new certificate would be valid from September 1st 2022.

It is important to note that in the event that a landlord cannot provide evidence of the two previous gas safety records, the expiry date of the current gas safety record will be used as 12 months from actual the date gas safety check.

What is involved in a gas safety check?

An annual gas safety check involves employing a certified Gas Safe registered Engineer. They will need to visit your property and inspect any gas appliances, such as a gas oven, boiler and hot water cylinder.

During their visit, the engineer will:

  • Carry out a visual inspection of all gas appliances
  • Check and record the gas rate and burner pressure
  • Carry out a tightness test at the gas meter to ensure there are no leaks
  • Test the appliance flue gases
  • Check and clean the condense trap
  • Check the ventilation and air supply
  • Ensure safety devices are working
  • Carry out a visual check of your heating system to look for defects, including radiators and hot water cylinders
  • Visually inspect the boiler flue system (including loft space if required)
  • Check the pressure vessel inside the boiler
  • Provide you with a gas safety certificate

It’s important to note that an annual gas safety check is different to a gas or boiler service. Whilst a check involves inspection and testing, it does not include the repairing of appliances.

gas oven inspection

What is included in a gas safety certificate?

Gas safety certificates include the following details:

  • A description and location of every appliance
  • The name, registration number and signature of the engineer
  • The date of the check was carried out
  • The address of the property
  • Information on any defects or faults and how to fix them

What happens if my property fails its gas safety check?

Should your engineer deem any of the gas appliances in the property as unsafe they will indicate this on the gas safety certificate by ticking a “not safe to use” box. There are three codes that indicate an appliances safety level if it fails a check.

  • Immediately danger (ID): this means an appliance poses immediate danger ot the property’s occupants.
  • At Risk (AR): This means there is at least one fault which, if left, could pose a threat to life.
  • Not to Current Standards (NCS): this means the appliance or installation of the appliance doesn’t meet minimum safety standards but is technically safe.

Should the safety engineer deem the appliance unsafe to use they will request permission to disconnect the gas supply and should provide suggestions on any remedial work that needs to be carried out.

Repairs should be carried out as soon as possible to ensure the safety of the tenants and a reinspection undertaken to secure your updated gas safety certificate.

How long does a gas safety check take?

Generally, a gas safety inspection takes around 30 minutes to complete. This though depends on the number of appliances and size of the property. If urgent repairs are needed it may take longer.

When do I receive my gas safety certificate?

After your gas safety inspection, your engineer will provide you with a digital copy of the Landlord Gas Safety Record, otherwise known as a gas safety certificate or ‘CP12’.

Where can I find a qualified Gas Safe engineer?

All gas safety checks and services should be carried out by a fully qualified Gas Safe Engineer. You or your tenant should ask the engineer to present their ID on arrival to ensure that they are certified.

You can book gas safety checks on any number of sites. This inspection should cost anywhere between £30-£100.

A few links:

If you are unsure whether your engineer is Gas Safe certified, you can check on the Gas Safe Register.

When do I provide my tenant with a copy of the gas safety certificate?

Following your annual gas safety checks, you must provide your tenants currently in occupation of the property the updated gas safety certificate as soon as possible, for existing tenants, this is within 28 days of the inspection. For new tenants, you must give them a copy of a valid CP12 certificate when they move in.

What is my right to enter the property to carry out gas safety checks?

As with any form of property inspection, landlords must give at least 24 hours notice before entering the property. However, it is advisable to give more notice to ensure you don’t inconvenience your tenant and ensure there are no objections.

What are the COVID-19 rules regarding gas safety visits?

During the Coronavirus outbreak, landlords must ensure a balance between their legal maintenance duties and protecting their tenants from COVID-19.

Gas engineers should wear sufficient PPE when entering the property, stay distant from others and sanitise hands where possible.

More information about COVID-19 and gas checks can be found here: Gas Safe Register – Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advice for Landlords.

For general advice regarding COVID-19 and renting, you can visit: GOV.UK Guidance for landlords and tenants

Penalties for not having a valid gas safety certificate

Failure to comply with the Gas Safety 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.

This is also classed as a hazardous situation and landlords can be subject to enforcement actions, such as prohibition or improvement notices or even emergency remedial action by the local authority.

Other legal requirements for landlords to follow

Along with an annual gas safety check, landlords must have an Energy Performance Certificate every ten years. All private rental properties must have an energy performance rating of ‘E’ or above and tenants must receive a copy of the certificate before the tenancy starts.

Landlords also have a legal responsibility to ensure fire safety regulations are met and all electrical appliances and wirings are safe. Under The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, landlords must carry out an electrical check every five years and have a valid Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) before letting their property.

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