Gas safety is something landlords can’t choose to neglect. It is a vital part of building safety regulations and before a landlord even chooses to purchase a house they must take it into consideration. While important for tenants, it is vital tenants know their rights around this too as every tenant has the right to be provided with a safe home in the UK.
What is a CP12?
A CP12 is what is given to a property owner after a gas engineer completed a gas check at the property. Some landlords may refer to a gas safety check as a boiler check or a CP12.
The term CP12 comes from the abbreviations of the term CORGI Proforma where CORGI is the council for “gas registered installers and proforma relates to its performance. However, after 2009, this body was replaced with the Gas Safe Register (GSR) but the term stuck.
As a landlord, it is your duty to provide a safe living environment for your tenants. As a result, the failure to provide one can void your right to evict tenants under section 21 and in examples where the safety of tenants is actually harmed due to something going wrong, a landlord is held liable and could face a fine or prison sentence.
Is CP12 a legal requirement?
A CP12 is a requirement. Not only do landlords have to have a CP12 check but they have to pass it and provide a valid certificate to tenants. At any time can tenants ask for one in compliance with their tenancy agreement which can be an assured tenancy, a regulated tenancy or a regulated tenancy.
This certificate is evidence that all the gas-related appliances in a property are safe and this has to be kept up to date every year. This is part of the Landlord and Tenants Act 1985, an update from the same act passed in 1954 that states tenants have the right to a safe home.
What does a CP12 include?
When a CP12 is produced by a specialised engineer, they check everything related to the gas appliances in a property. This includes the pipes, boilers, fittings and ovens. It is therefore important for a landlord to tell the engineer about all the appliances in a property so they can all be checked.
If the specialised engineer doesn’t check all appliances in a property or there are a few things that aren’t deemed working or safe, a certificate cannot be issued.
Who can issue a CP12?
Only engineers registered with the gas safety register can conduct a CP12. They will then be called a gas-safe registered engineer. In order to do so, an engineer must become accredited by taking a relevant scheme.
As well as this the aspiring engineer has to complete a portfolio of gas work to demonstrate some experience and competency and attain a CCN1 qualification. After the fact, they can then register with the Gas Safe Register (GSR). For more on obtaining a government-approved CCN1 qualification, click here.
CP12 vs Gas Safety Certificate. What is it called?
There are multiple names. They range from a CORGI check, GSR check or CP12. However, they all refer to the same thing. There is a long history of what gas safety checks were and as a result, the name has changed over the years.
CP12 as a Landlord
CP12 checks should be important for you as a landlord because they are mandatory checks you must do every year. You can outsource the management of the CP12 checks to a property manager but as long as you stay on top of it.
This is essential to conduct your property business legitimately because it falls under the gas safety regulations of 1988 found here. It is a landlord’s responsibility to then provide this certificate to tenants, even if they don’t ask for it, within 28 days.
Why do you need a CP12?
A CP12 is essential because if something goes wrong with gas equipment there can be gas explosions which have in the past resulted in deaths and severe injury before such regulations came into effect.
The CP12 check makes sure the gas equipment is secured to the wall safely, and there are no blockages in the pipes of the systems. In addition, it has to be installed in a spot where corrosion is unlikely. On top of this, there has to be a check on the pressure, flow and safety of the electronics of the appliances.
On top of gas explosions, when gas equipment isn’t operating in the right way, there could be leaks from the appliances that are very dangerous. This is because humans and animals that breathe oxygen aerobically can have their oxygen-carrying capacity severely reduced as the oxygen is replaced with gas (carbon monoxide).
Thankfully, most of the time in modern homes, you can smell a gas leak so if there is one you can pick up on it. However, if you don’t know what gas smells like (a foul smell like rotten eggs), you can end up feeling fatigued due to the lack of oxygen and over time this can cause potential death.
How Can You Get a CP12?
There are various gas safety companies that offer CP12s and issue certificates. A simple google search of CP12s should give you a list of companies offering the service.
You then need to ask the gas safety engineer to complete the gas safety record for your property. This will mean you’ll have a history of all the things that go wrong with your property associated with the gas appliances.
As a result, if someone asks to see your record in the future maybe because of an issue in the property you’ll have evidence that you were complying with everything you should have. This will protect you in court if you need to take any legal action and you could end up in court with court costs if this isn’t done correctly.
Gas installation certificate costs
Typically, a gas safety check can cost around £80. However, there are exceptions. A larger house with perhaps multiple boilers, ovens and extensive gas piping may be quoted as a higher figure.
In addition, properties located near London or within London typically are higher to get checked and produce a CP12 certificate. Landlords may also choose additional repairs that don’t fall under the standard gas safety check like getting the boiler serviced for example at the same time.
Finally, the last factor affecting the price of your gas safety certificate would be the gas safety engineer you choose to higher. Those who offer perhaps a more professional service with a bit more experience could charge more but it is not always the case that you get what you pay for.
Doing your due diligence on an individual landlord would be the best way to find the best value for money.
What is a Landlord Gas Safety Record (LGSR)?
This piece of information is a form that gets filled out by the gas safety engineer after they have conducted the relevant works on your property. As an example, the landlord will introduce the gas safety engineer to the property and tell them all the appliance that needs checking and details will be recorded on everything regarding those pieces of equipment.
The form may differ from one gas safety engineer to another and it may be that a landlord keeps his/her own record and the gas safety engineer adds to it.
Usually, the categories that need filling out of this record include:
- The details of the business the gas safety engineer works for
- The details of the site of the property
- The personal details of the landlord
- The number of appliances tested
- The name, type, manufacturer, model and performance of the equipment
- The defects found in the listed equipment
- Any remedial action was taken on the property
This record should be kept within all the other important documents a property needs such as the tenancy agreements and perhaps any notices that have been served to tenants such as a section 3 informing them of a change of landlord.
A letting agent or property manager may deal with these sorts of files and may even store this information online with property management software for example.
How long does a gas safety check take?
Most of the time, for a typical two or three-bedroom house with one boiler, the checks shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes. However, this depends on if there needs to be action was taken on any of the equipment and the types of other services the gas safety engineer is carrying out.
If all things go to plan it could mean the engineer is in and out of the property very quickly but there’s always the chance repairs need to happen. Not to mention, large properties or properties with more complicated gas piping and appliances may need to be checked more thoroughly by an engineer.
For extremely large buildings, it may be the case that multiple engineers need to work on the same property. This could be the case in an enormous build-to-rent development for example where multiple boilers and appliances all need to be checked annually to meet CP12 regulations.
What happens if there are gas safety issues?
If there are gas safety issues within the property when a gas safety engineer is carrying out a check you will be asked to cover the cost of repair in order to be granted the certificate.
If you cannot afford the repairs straight away, your gas safety engineer will likely report your property to the Gas Emergency Service Provider (GESP) who will turn off the supply of gas to your property.
However, it is crucial a landlord gets these issues sorted straight away, especially if tenants are actively living in the property because not only is it a huge safety risk but tenants then have the right to report you to the local authority.
This removes a landlord’s right to negotiate rental agreements under section 13 or use section 21 to fairly evict tenants, restricting how a landlord can conduct themself in their property business with potential legal punishments down the line.
How long does a CP12 last?
A valid gas safety check or CP12 will last one year before it has to be completed again. The check is similar to an EPC check in this way which has to be completed every 10 years.
These regular checks on the property are obligations for landlords to keep the tenant safe in a property. Section 11 of the landlord and tenant act 1954 states that all landlords have the obligation to conduct repairs in a property to maintain a safe environment in both the interior and exterior of the premises.
The need to obtain a valid CP12 certificate every year helps landlords stay on top of this. As a result, most landlords make sure they renew their CP12 certificate as soon as it expires every year. Under no circumstance is it okay to forgo a gas safety check because of the potential legal ramifications.
This applies to even the most extreme situations like if a tenant is about to be evicted under section 8 due to not paying their rent for example. A landlord still has to provide a safe environment for that tenant regardless of how long the certificate is invalid.
CP12 for Tenants
CP12 checks are important for landlords but what does this mean for tenants? Well, as a renter you should know the law regarding building safety. If you ever have evidence that a property isn’t being kept up to the right safety standards it is more than okay to report your landlord to the local council which could escalate to bringing your landlord to court using an N215 document.
First of all, try to sort things out with your landlord. It could be the case that they completely forgot about the CP12 due for that year in which case they will be grateful for you not reporting them to the local authority and will likely do it straight away. Click here for a guide on how to bring up issues like this to your landlord politely and professionally.
Nonetheless, if your landlord ignores you or doesn’t complete a CP12 immediately, especially if you are concerned about gas safety, you can demand an improvement in safety standards without feeling like your landlord has the power to evict you.
This is because if a local authority investigates a property that doesn’t comply with the landlord and tenants act of 1988, they can stop a landlord from issuing a section 21 to evict a tenant for up to 6 months. Even if they complete the CP12 well before that.
You need to get a copy of the CP12 certificate
When a tenant first moves into the property it is a requirement among other documentation that legal documents are presented to the tenant.
As well as this, whenever there is a new check that happens (will likely be once a year), the tenant should receive a copy of the CP12 certificate and Landlord Gas Safety Certificate within 28 days.
Can a tenant arrange a gas safety check?
A tenant can arrange a gas safety check but ultimately, it is not their responsibility, it is the responsibility of the landlord. Under section 11, the landlord has the right to enter a property with reasonable grounds to repair damage in the property and make sure it is safe.
If a tenant doesn’t want this to happen or the landlord or anyone acting on behalf of the landlord cannot get into the property for whatever reason, a tenant may be given a chance to arrange their own gas safety check.
Despite this, if a case like this were to go to court, a landlord needs to prove they had made multiple attempts to get into the property and had reasonable difficulty in not being able to.
So don’t be alarmed if as a tenant you receive a letter or email stating there was an attempt at a gas safety check you missed.
A landlord still has to issue you with sufficient notice in order to conduct it and make attempts to rearrange the appointment at a time that suits the tenant.
To conclude, landlords letting agents, property managers and tenants alike should all be well informed on the status of the gas safety of the property they are associated with.
If not, it is a huge safety hazard and this is reflected in law, fines and court action for landlords who don’t comply are common and it is getting more popular for tenants to have increased building safety with additions to legislation like the building safety fund for example.