Gas safety check

Introduction

Gas safety checks are a part of the general checks a landlord has to conduct on a property to make sure they are renting out a property legally. These are part of a series of mandatory checks of building safety similar to how you would need an electrical safety check for example.

What is checked in a gas safety check?

Gas safety is a lot more than just testing if the boiler is working. There can be a lot of gas appliances in a property such as a cooker and gas piping of a property. In addition, a gas-safe engineer may also check for signs of wear and tear which would indicate new piping or appliances have to be installed in the property. 

Also, in a gas check, a qualified engineer will make sure the pressure of the gas pipes is just right. Low pressure may mean that the water or facilities in a home struggle to heat up whereas if the pressure is too high, this can cause leaks or dangerously pressurised equipment.

How are appliances checked in a gas safety check?

The main thing that is checked in a gas safety check when dealing with appliances is if the appliance is dispersing gas in a slow and controlled manner. If it is coming out at a steady rate, this means the appliance is most likely safe. 

An appliance like a cooker that gives out too much gas can leak gas into the surrounding air and then if this air gets ignited, it can cause an explosion. This is extremely dangerous as it is common for someone to go to ignite a cooker or light a cigarette without realising there is a gas leak. As a result, they ignite the air and start an explosion in a home.

A gas explosion after a failed gas safety check

In addition to checking for the rate of flow of gas, it is common for a gas engineer to check for leaks for the same reason.

Finally, there is a need for the engineer to check the placement of a gas appliance. This includes making sure there is enough air supply for the type of appliances, any vents are operating correctly and that the appliance is adjusted suitably for the room it is in.

What is a gas installation safety check?

You may have heard of a boiler installation safety check as a common phrase when a boiler is installed in a property. This is the most common type of installation safety check. Installation safety checks are done on all appliances that are first fitted in a property.

For example, you may also have a cooker installation safety check done on an appliance. This check is not part of the mandatory gas safety certificate issue that a landlord does every year, it is done whenever an appliance is newly installed.

After installation, this check is updated with the mandatory, annual gas safety check that all landlords have to conduct in order to comply with gas safety regulations.

What is the cost of a gas safety check?

Gas safety checks usually cost between £40 and £100 per for a standard-sized home. Having said this it is common for checks to exceed this amount for properties with multiple cookers, boilers and extensive piping that take a while to check over. A gas-safe engineer should quote you on how much it will cost to do a check on the whole of a property before you start so no unexpected costs arise.

You will be paying for the equipment used to test the appliances and piping in a property as well as the gas-safe engineer’s time. The longer the list of appliances in a property the longer it will take to conduct an inspection on each one as well as write a report on each appliance later on in a Landlord Gas Safety Record (LGSR). 

This is why the larger a home is with the more appliances, the more it will typically cost to conduct the necessary checks. As a result, the average salary for a gas-safe engineer is £37,500 which is above the national average and this does not include the engineers who specialise in bigger properties and can make upwards of £60,000 annually.

How long does it take to do a gas safety check

Much like the cost of a gas safety check, the time it takes to complete a check also goes up with the number of appliances in a property and how large a home is. Generally, for a standard-sized three or four-bedroom home, a landlord can expect the checks to take around half an hour given everything goes smoothly.

A landlord timing how long a gas safety check takes

However, in some cases, remedial works have to be done on a property which will result in a landlord having to pay the gas-safe engineer more and ask them to stay longer to conduct repairs. A landlord also has the right to get a second opinion on the extent of repair and also hire who they want to do the repairs in the first place.

Most gas safe engineers will fairly recommend improvements to a property however and they also have to note down clearly what needs improving in terms of gas safety and why. In this way, it is hard for a gas safe engineer to charge more than is necessary but double-checking repairs and costs with other professionals is always good practice to save money.

What does an annual gas safety check mean?

An annual gas safety check refers to the planned preventive maintenance of a CP12 check or a gas safety certificate that must be followed as part of the gas safety regulations of 1988. Whenever you hear this phrase it refers to the checks landlords have to do to legally have tenants paying rent in a property by providing a safe home. For more on these gas safety regulations click here.

Who can perform a gas safety check?

The only person who can legitimately oversee a gas safety check is a qualified gas safe engineer. They are registered by the Gas Safe Register (GSR) which is a body that replaced the previous registering body Council Of Registered Gas Installers (CORGI). 

This is why it is common in the industry to refer to a gas safety check as a CP12 which stands for a CORGI Proforma 12, the previous gas safety check conducted by CORGI.

Is a gas safety check mandatory?

A gas safety check is mandatory for all landlords who have active tenancies. This gas safety check must be renewed every year to issue a valid landlord gas safety certificate to show to local authorities or tenants if they ask to see proof of the safety of a property.

What are the different types of gas safety checks?

As you can imagine, the type of gas safety check will vary a lot based on the property in question. Having said this, there are also a fair amount of similarities. Read on to learn how gas safety is conducted within different property types.

Gas safety checks for landlords

When it comes to a landlord renting out a residential property, they must have a gas safety check done every year. This is a mandatory check that must be complied with. To do this check, a landlord has to find a gas safe engineer, have them check the property and then complete any remedial works on the property to keep a building compliant.

A gas safe engineer making notes for a gas safety check

What to do if a gas appliance is condemned

If a gas appliance isn’t passing the gas safety check and is condemned, then there have to be repairs done on this appliance or the appliance has to be replaced. If there are active tenants in the property it would be a good idea to get these changes done as soon as possible.

If a landlord takes too long, it could mean that they are in breach of the agreement they have with a tenant to provide the facilities of the property they promised. As well as this, if the appliance a landlord is repairing is to do with the heating of a property, then they could also be in breach of providing home heating.

This is a basic right of a tenant that must be adhered to in all tenancy agreements. Without working heating, it could become a landlord’s responsibility to rehouse tenants to provide them with a warm place to live for the time being while repairs are being carried out.

Gas safety checks for housing associations

Housing associations are set up as non-profit organisations that aim to provide housing for those who struggle to afford it. Most of the time, a housing association will use assured tenancy agreements.

Assured tenancies such as an assured shorthold tenancy agreement are protected by the housing act of 1988 which means the landlord has the responsibility to do maintenance checks on the property which includes gas safety.

Therefore, if a tenant lives in a housing association building and there hasn’t been a gas safety check conducted within the past year, they have the right to ask the landlord to see a copy of a gas safety certificate, if not, they can report the housing association to the local authority who will demand that they do a gas safety check and may even issue the housing association with a fine.

Gas safety checks for local authorities

If you are renting from a local authority, there is a good chance you have signed a secure tenancy agreement. This agreement also has terms that state a landlord is responsible for conducting gas safety checks on the property where a tenant lives. 

If you suspect as a tenant that the gas safety in a property isn’t up to scratch you can contact the local authority who should send a gas-safe engineer to conduct repairs. In general, it is rare for a gas safety check to be forgotten about by a local authority as they have more extensive management systems in place.

Gas safety checks for hotels

The difference between hotels and any other property type is that you have to conduct gas safety checks and repairs on any gas appliance anywhere within the accommodation. Even if it isn’t where the users of the hotel sleep or anywhere near their rooms.

This is different to residential tenancies. If there is a gas boiler away from the property and has no tenants living in it, it wouldn’t be necessary to do a gas safety check on this area of the house.

        A gas safety check is completed in a hotel

        Gas safety checks for schools and colleges

        Schools and colleges, despite not having any tenancy agreement in place, still have to have gas safety conducted in them. Because of the size of a school, gas safety checks are far more complicated. Find a guide here that walks you through the details of gas safety in schools and colleges to make things simpler.

        Gas safety check exemptions

        There are two exemptions from gas safety checks. Properties that have no gas appliances and only use electricity or tenants who have a lease longer than seven years. These tenants will have to conduct gas safety checks themself, taking away the responsibility from the landlord.

        To conclude

        In conclusion, it is clear that gas safety checks are extremely important and for most types of tenancy agreements the landlord responsible for the property will have to do one. Monitoring checks and ensuring they are done legitimately is great to help keep a property safe.

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        andreas gerazis

        Andreas Gerazis

        Experienced landlord

        Andreas is a certified landlord with extensive knowledge about the UK property market as he has been actively investing for half a decade. Founder of the first three-in-one property management software, Lofti Proptech, Andreas has a brilliant understanding of the details surrounding what it takes to grow and run a thriving property portfolio.