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Costs for gas safety checks and Landlord Gas Safety Certificates differ from town to town. The best way to get an accurate idea of how much a safety check will cost, is to compare quotes for the service from a number of qualified engineers in your local area.
Any landlord that fails to meet the requirements under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) regulations 1998 are liable for severe penalties and criminal prosecution. Criminal courts are able to impose unlimited fees (the standard penalty is £6,000 for each item) and custodial sentences for landlords who do not follow regulations, while in extreme cases, such as the death of a tenant as result of negligence on the part of the landlord, the landlord could be charged with manslaughter.
In short, yes. Most insurance policy holders will consider your policy void if you do not have an up-to-date Gas Safety Certificate for a property.
Although you could feasibly carry out annual gas safety checks in accordance with the Gas Safety regulations without having a Landlord Gas Safety Certificate, the law states that you must hold written evidence of the checks, and provide a report of the condition of all appliances to any tenants. A landlord Gas Safety Certificate is the easiest way to do this.
There are a number of gas appliances that require a landlord gas safety certificate. If any of the following items are present in a rental property, they will need to be examined annually by a Gas Safe engineer:
Gas hobs and ovens
Portable LPG gas heaters
Any hand-held gas device
Gas fires and heaters
All associated pipework and fittings
While all landlord gas safety checks (These are sometimes referred to as a ‘Gas Safety Certificate’ or ‘CP12’ form) include a boiler examination, some engineers will charge extra for other appliances, such as gas hobs, cookers or fireplaces. To avoid hidden costs, always check what is included in your service with the engineer, at the time of booking.
A Gas Safe registered engineer is an engineer who has been trained in accordance with Gas Safe regulations. Gas engineers are required under law to be registered with Gas Safe, as this means that they are trained in the current safety regulations and can work safely with gas appliances. All Gas Safe registered engineers carry an identification card with includes their registrations number and what type of gas work they are qualified to carry out. When booking a service for a property, you must make sure that the engineer is Gas Safe qualified, you can check this by entering their ID number on the Gas Safe website.
In regards to gas safety,landlords have a number of responsibilities that they must fulfil, when renting out a property. Find out more about your legal responsibilities on our Gas Safety for Landlords page.
You are not legally responsible for safety checks for any gas or LPG appliances that a tenant brings into a rental property, but you are responsible for any associated installation and pipework. If the tenant’s appliance uses a flue, you are only legally responsible for gas safety checks on that flue if it is also being used by an appliance that you have provided. However, it is strongly recommended that you ask for all flues to be checked in your annual gas safety check.
It is important to make sure that your tenants are aware of what responsibilities they have under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. It should state clearly in any contract or agreement that the tenant should:
Not, under any circumstances, carry out any kind of manual work on any of the gas appliances or installations in the rental property.
Turn off the gas at the mains and contact the national emergency number on 0800 111 999 in the event of an emergency.
Inform you immediately if they suspect that a gas appliance may be unsafe.
Be aware that they are breaking the law if they continue to use any appliances that are unsafe.
Provide access to the property (with reasonable notice) for gas checks or any maintenance work required under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
Tenants are legally obliged to allow access to a rental property for necessary gas checks and maintenance - this should be written into any tenancy agreement. You should give your tenant a minimum of 24 hours’ notice (ideally a week) and explain why you need to access the building. If the tenant refuses to provide access for the engineer, you are advised to put further requests in writing, and keep copies of your correspondence so that you can demonstrate that you have taken steps to gain access.
Unless there is an emergency (for example, a fire or gas leak) a landlord cannot enter a rental property without consent from the tenant, however, if access to the property is repeatedly refused, you can report the issue to:
Your Local Environmental Health Officer
The Health & Safety Executive
If these bodies are unable to rectify the situation, you may be required to resort to legal action, and can petition the court to evict your tenant under breach of contract.
Other than the legal repercussions, if a landlord fails to carry out their duties under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, they could be putting their property and tenants at risk of fire, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide poisoning: Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless and tasteless gas that is produced when incomplete gas combustion occurs in a faulty or poorly maintained gas appliance or flue. Commonly known as the ‘silent killer’, it is extremely dangerous, resulting in around 50 deaths and over 400 hospital admissions in the UK each year. All landlords should know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, and act quickly if their tenants report these symptoms.
Gas Explosions:If an appliance is not operating correctly, this could cause a gas leak. There are several cases of houses being destroyed by gas explosions every year in the UK.
Fire: Faulty appliances, poorly maintained pipes and incorrect fittings can all cause dangerous leaks, which could lead to house fires.
The best way to protect your properties and your tenants from these dangers is to have all gas or LPG appliances checked regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
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