Gas safety certificates are associated with mandatory checks a landlord has to do in order to comply with regulations. However, what does this exactly mean and how often do they have to be issued?
In this article, all will be discussed to do with the document so you can comply with gas safety regulations and make sure you are on the right side of the law.
With all the different types of certificates you have to have as a landlord like energy performance certificates and electrical safety certificates, it is vital you don’t get confused and stay on top of all types of property maintenance.
Gas Safety Certificates explained
A gas safety certificate refers to the document that is given to a landlord if the gas appliances in a property are passing safety regulations. This is an important part of documentation a landlord needs in order to rent out their property legally. You may also call a gas safety certificate a CP12 or Landlord Gas Safety Record (LGSR). They all refer to the same thing.
What exactly is included in a gas safety certificate?
A gas safety certificate includes a fair bit of information that must be filled out by the person conducting the checks on the property. This includes:
- The details of the house that is being tested
- The name and address of the landlord
- The number of appliances tested on the property
- The manufacturer, location, and model of all gas appliances
- The details of the gas safety engineer
- The outcome of the inspection (pass, fail or not applicable)
- If any remedial action has to be taken
This type of certificate in this sense is not like a conventional certificate in this sense that represents more of an award. Instead, it is better to think of a gas safety certificate as a type of report that a landlord or tenant if requested can look at to ensure that the property is safe.
Is a gas safety certificate required by law?
Yes, as part of building safety regulations in the gas safety regulations of 1988, there needs to be a gas safety check done that passes every single year in properties with tenants living inside. Unless a property doesn’t use the supply of gas and relies on electricity, in this case, a gas safety check wouldn’t be necessary.
This process is so essential that if a tenant refuses a gas safety engineer entry to the property to complete any checks or remedial works, they can be fined or taken to court. In the tenancy agreement that a tenant signs, there is should be a clause that states entry to the property is required to maintain the safety of the building.
A landlord doesn’t have to check any appliances bought by the tenant, they only have to do checks on the appliances that the tenant moved into the property with.
Who can issue a gas safety certificate?
A gas-safe registered engineer must complete all gas safety checks and issue a gas safety certificate. If it is done by a gas engineer that isn’t qualified, this means the property isn’t deemed safe as a “gas safe engineer” is a professional that has to take specific assessments to ensure they are doing inspection legitimately and safely.
Everything a landlord needs to know about gas safety certificates
Landlord gas safety certificates are fairly complicated to understand if trying to understand them at the same level of detail as a gas-safe engineer. So what should a landlord do in order to stay on top of maintenance and make sure they stay on the right side of the law?
What is the point of a gas safety certificate?
Landlords have to understand why they should always have a valid gas safety certificate. This is because unsafe gas appliances can be extremely dangerous. A gas leak can cause a fire, explosion and even cause death if you inhale gas over time without knowing.
This can affect your own tenants and potentially other neighbouring houses which would result in even more legal issues for a landlord to deal with. The safety regulations surrounding gas have improved over the years, but this is why all landlords must provide tenants with a safe home by testing their gas appliances and getting a certificate issued.
Not only to meet maintenance regulations and have a home that complies with safety regulations for the maintenance of a property business but to prevent death, severe lawsuits and damage of a property.
Who has to get a gas safety certificate?
In order to get a gas safety certificate you need to speak to a qualified gas safety engineer and then ask them to have a check of your property. If the property is shown to have safe gas appliances that aren’t risky to any tenants in the home then the certificate will be issued and be valid for another year.
The first step would be to find an engineer which can be done by searching the gas safe register here. You can double-check if they are a qualified engineer by asking for their licence number or gas safe ID card. From here, agree on a price and shake hands on a deal with your engineer.
What is an LGSR and why is it important
An LGSR stands for a Landlord Gas Safe Record. This is a document that is filled out in order to issue the gas safety certificate. Technically, an LGSR will be filled out and given a pass or a fail. If the LGSR passes, it will then be called a gas safety certificate. But really they are the same thing.
However, if a property fails an LGSR, remedial works are typically carried out on the same day or within the next week for more extensive repairs, this is why it is not worth differentiating between the two. If an engineer has done an LGSR, a gas safety certificate will also be issued.
Do you need a gas safety certificate for a boiler
You won’t need a certificate specific for your boiler. Instead, a gas safe engineer will look at all the gas appliances and piping in a property. This inspection will include your boiler within it and the gas safety certificate will then be issued for the whole property, passing the boiler with it.
You may also have a boiler installation certificate from when the boiler was first installed but this is not mandatory if you have since dealt with gas safety in the property.
Boiler installations are more useful for homeowners rather than landlords as they don’t have to do gas safety checks every year and instead will rely on the initial paperwork of a toilet installation certificate to ensure the boiler is safe.
Having said this, it is recommended for homeowners to get a gas safety certificate if they are concerned about the gas safety of a property. This is important if the home needs to be sold too.
Everything a tenant needs to know about gas safety certificates
As a tenant, as you move into a property it is common to assume that a property is safe by default and the property is safe. However, if you have concerns or want to stay on top of the paperwork of the property you live in. Here is what you need to know.
Should you ask for a copy of a gas safety certificate?
It is a tenant’s right to ask for a gas safety certificate at any time. The same goes for an energy performance certificate or an electrical safety certificate. If a landlord cannot show evidence the building is compliant with gas safety within 28 days, a tenant can go to the local authority and report the landlord.
If you are worried that this will result in an eviction, do not worry as this process can be done completely anonymously and if a landlord is found to not have a gasl safey certificate in place, they cannot remove any tenants from the property under section 21 for six months after they have conducted repairs.
In this way, there is legislation to protect tenants from mistreatment and ensure they live in a safe home. It is also acceptable to leave a property within this six-month time frame if you still feel the property is unsafe as a result.
What should a tenant do if there is a gas safety certificate but they have concerns?
Speaking to a landlord or whoever manages the property on behalf of the landlord is the best way to make sure that everything in the building is safe. As a tenant living in the property every day, it is entirely normal to find things in the property that a property manager or landlord doesn’t know about and it is common for something to break over time too.
Reporting any faults in the property is the best way to do this. This can be done through a property management software or by going straight to the landlord directly. It all depends on the systems you have in place as part of your tenancy.
How long does a gas safety certificate take to do?
A gas safety certificate usually takes no longer than half an hour. Because of the speed of the inspection, there is often little resistance from tenants or landlords to have one done. Nonetheless, if a property needs remedial works such as a boiler replacement or pipes need fixing, this can take significantly longer.
What should you do if a gas safety certificate is failing?
If a gas safety certificate fails, because of how important gas is in a property, a landlord will usually have these repairs conducted as soon as possible.
The failure to do so could result in a landlord having to rehouse tenants because they must obey the “how to rent a safe home” guide provided by the government, which states that it’s a landlord’s responsibility in any residential tenancy agreement to provide heating in a home. For more on safety guides, click here.
How long is a gas safety certificate valid for?
12 months is the maximum time a gas safety certificate is valid for landlords renting out a property to tenants. However, for the general homeowner, a gas safety certificate never expires as there is no law for gas safety maintenance that homeowners have to follow.
What costs are associated with gas safety certificates?
The cost of hiring an engineer to do the work can be between £40 – £100 depending on the size of the property and the certificate is usually issued within half an hour.
Having said this, the cost and time taken can vary if there are remedial works that must be conducted on the property. However, most of the time, gas safety checks are completely affordable and any repairs are also negligible due to the property having to have repairs done every year. Therefore, not a lot has to be done each time.
To wrap things up, gas safety certificates are a mandatory document for landlords. If you are not sure if your property needs a gas safety certificate or if the certificate is valid, it is definitely worth speaking to a gas safe engineer or speaking to the property manager of your property to make sure you are compliant.
The failure to have a valid gas safety certificate can result in fines, court action and a landlord losing their rights to evict tenants. The consequences should definitely be avoided at all costs especially considering the simplicity and low cost of getting a gas safety certificate in the first place.
For tenants, living in an unsafe property is not worth it either as an unsafe property can result in death in the worst case. Asking to see a gas safety certificate from a landlord and moving out of the property if they fail to show evidence the property is safe is completely reasonable.