Landlord Gas Safety Certificate: Is Your Property Compliant?
Estimated reading time 7 minutes
As a landlord, there are a host of responsibilities that fall under your remit. These can be potentially costly, often more so if ignored. One of paramount importance is the gas safety certificate. Without one, you could find yourself being fined a substantial sum, or even facing prison time.
In this blog, we cover everything about the gas safety certificate so landlords can remain confident that their property, and its occupants, remain safe.
What is a landlord gas safety certificate?
A landlord gas safety certificate is issued when a qualified gas safety engineer has completed the relevant gas safety checks on all gas appliances, flues, chimneys, and fittings within a rental property. Since the introduction of the Gas Safety Regulations (Installation and Use) 1998, landlords have been required to obtain the certificate through organising gas safety inspections.
The check that results in the issuing of the certificate must also highlight any defects in the gas appliances and their fittings. The HSE states that the certificate, or LGSR, will be issued on completion of the checks and should not be delayed even if defects are found. The necessary remedial can be taken. The record is a live document that should be supplemented with any records of the follow-up work being completed where it was deemed necessary.
Prior to the introduction of the 1998 regulations and the need for gas safety certificates, a CP12 would be issued.
How long does a landlord gas safety certificate last?
The legal requirement is that a landlord obtain a renewal of the gas safety certificate every 12 months. The tenants occupying your property must be given a copy of the certificate within 28 days of the check being completed and before the start of any tenancy agreement.
Failure to provide one could see the tenants renege on signing a contract. You can provide it digitally but there must be the option to provide a hard copy format when required. It must also be stored securely and protected. Furthermore, any electronic copy of the gas safety certificate must show, clear, unique identifiers for who carried out the check. A landlord must keep gas safety records for at least two years.
How much will a landlord gas safety certificate cost?
The cost of a gas safety check for a landlord will vary on the location of the property, its size and how many gas appliances will need to be tested. Gas engineers may charge vastly differently from each other, so it is recommended that you obtain some quotes in advance of booking anyone. You can contact and compare the registered gas-safe engineers on the gas safe register. Then, once you have found a selection in your area, see which one could help you get compliant quickly and affordably.
Gas safety certificate landlord obligations
As mentioned earlier, a landlord is required to obtain a gas-safe certificate as per the Gas Safety Regulations (Installation and Use) 1998. Within these regulations, your responsibilities as a landlord are outlined. There are three main, legal responsibilities.
Gas safety checks
We have mentioned this already, but the checks are a vital part of achieving compliance. A landlord must ensure tenant safety by making sure that all gas appliances, chimneys, flues, and fixtures undergo an annual check. The check must be carried out by a registered gas safe engineer. They should happen annually, but they can be booked anytime from 10 months after the last completed check.
All appliances will need to be tested, but if any are owned by the tenants, the responsibility for gas safety checks on those appliances will fall on them. The connecting flues to these items though will remain a landlord’s responsibility.
Gas safety record
With the checks booked in and completed, you will be issued with the gas-safe certification or Landlord Gas Safety Record, often abbreviated to LGSR. This must be supplied to the tenants within 28 days of the check or immediately when a tenancy is starting.
Whilst the engineer will issue the certificate for compliance with the regulations, there is still every chance that in the 12 months after that check, faults could develop.
You will need to check that all appliances, flues, and chimneys are kept in a safe condition. Certain appliances may reference a specific service schedule and it would be advised to follow that. If you cannot see this information or have lost it, an annual service is normally sufficient. However, your gas safe engineer may make alternate suggestions when visiting the property.
Installation pipework is not required to be checked on the yearly gas safety check, but you can ask your engineer to test for tightness on your gas system, and visually examine any pipework to make sure it is in a safe condition.
What is the difference between a boiler service and landlord gas safety certificate?
These two should not be confused as the same thing. They are different, and knowing the difference is important. The gas safety check is for all gas appliances and does not include the inspection of specific parts. Instead, it is purely to ensure everything is running as it should. It must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer and is a legal requirement.
The boiler inspection, on the other hand, is not a legal requirement but does help you to keep your boiler working efficiently. The boiler service will involve checking individual parts and making sure they work. Both, ideally, should be completed annually.
Do tenants need to be aware of a gas safety visit?
Your responsibilities as a landlord of course include working alongside your tenants to ensure their time in the property runs smoothly and is as fluid as possible. Therefore, you must give sufficient notice of your intention to have the engineer visit the property.
Tenants must be given at least 24 hours’ notice of the Gas Safe engineer attending the property and agree to the engineer having access to the property.
Of course, tenants should be more than happy to accommodate the need for the gas safety check but sometimes, life can get in the way and make appointments tricky to schedule. Work with the tenants to find a suitable date and time but should they persist with refusing to allow access, you can apply for a section 21 that could enforce an eviction. Your willingness to be legally compliant will outweigh their reasons for refusal in most cases.
What are the penalties for not having a landlord gas safety certificate?
Should you not provide a gas safety certificate to your tenants, you could find yourself in significant trouble. You could face a fine of as much as £6,0000 or even be put in prison for as long as six months.
Are carbon monoxide detectors legally required in tenanted properties?
Carbon monoxide detectors must be provided by landlords in any room used as living accommodation where fixed combustion appliances are present. This will not apply to gas cookers though. This has been law since October 2022. The carbon monoxide detectors must comply with British Standard EN 50291.
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