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Is A Gas Safe Certificate A Legal Requirement

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  • 18-07-2022
Is A Gas Safe Certificate A Legal Requirement

A Gas Safety Inspection mitigates the risk of leaks and dangerous gas appliances at your property, but is it a legal requirement? If you believe you need a gas safety check, this article will explain who needs them and if they are a legal requirement for your property. 

Do I Need A Gas Safety Inspection?

Completing gas safety certificates is good practice, and you have to carry them out at most properties legally. There are exceptions to property types and owners that require them across the UK, which we will offer our advice on today. It's essential to know about the rules regulated by HSE. 

Being a homeowner

Although an updated gas safety record is not a legal requirement at your home, you should still be completing regular checks from a health and safety executive.A Gas Safe registered engineer should do this annual inspection of all appliances and flue in your home for your own safety against poisonous fumes and carbon monoxide.

Not only are they fully qualified, but they carry a checklist of all things to check for. Your family could be at risk of dangerous fumes, so arrange an appointment if you believe something to be wrong. 

It's also helpful to fill in a report each time you have an inspection or service, dating and signing it from the engineer - this proves you are taking care of your boiler, heating and appliances. Regular maintenance will keep your devices safe and make your property easier to sell in the future if you so choose. 

Being a landlord

Landlord gas safety records must be issued and conducted on an annual basis as a landlord.

The Gas Safety Regulations 1998 provide you with a legal responsibility to ensure current, and future tenants are safe during the installation and use of all gas appliances. Annual gas safety checks are of the utmost importance as a landlord, and the gas safety inspections involve: 

 Description and visual inspection of each gas appliance from your gas engineer

 Review of all pipework leading to each appliance

 Safety issues identified and marked

 Future action required or a new gas appliance if needed.

 Date of the check and signature of the engineer.

Inspections may involve intrusive access to certain aspects of your property, but this is for testing. Most engineers will attempt to cause as minimal disruption as possible during the process.  Once this has been completed, a gas certificate will be issued to you.

These safety certificates are a legal requirement for all rental properties to have, as they ensure a competent person has completed all safety checks identified.All certificates include a description and location of all appliances, the inspection date, and the name and registration number of the engineer who carried out the work. 

If you're a tenant

When renting as a tenant, your gas safety responsibilities differ from those of others, and you are not legally responsible for completing your own gas safety checks.You should be issued a copy of the gas safety record and landlord gas safety certificate no more than 28 days after the completed inspection.

The landlord must protect you and other tenants, meaning they must check the heating systems, air supply and ventilation, appliance flue gases and all devices on your behalf before your move-in date. 

How To Find A Qualified Gas Safe Engineer

Gas Safe Registered Engineers are the only people who can carry out safety checks and services. Safety checks carried out by gas engineers are different from your annual service on your boiler, but a safety executive must do them for them to be valid.

Many engineers claim to be gas safe qualified but are not, resulting in an illegal job being completed. When an engineer arrives at your property, you can ask them to prove who they are with ID or check the Gas Safe register for their certification. You are putting yourself and your tenants at risk by attempting to complete this yourself, so always use a professional.

When using a Gas Safe engineer, you are protected at your location. They are qualified to work on all appliances and leading brands when visiting your home or company.  When should tenants receive a copy of the gas safety certificate.

As new tenants, your landlords must provide you with a copy of the gas safety record up to 28 days after the check has been completed. They are required by law to give this to you.  When moving into a new rental property, check the expiry date on the inspection and contact your landlord or letting agent if you believe there to be an issue.

Your property should also have a Fire Risk assessment and Legionella Risk Assessment. If your landlord cannot supply you with one, you should contact your local authorities as the property may not be safe. 

Penalty for no gas safety inspection

When you fail to get your annual gas safety inspection, you are committing a serious criminal offence.

As a landlord, you must ensure all gas appliances in your rented property are in a safe condition and neglecting this crucial check can lead to the ill health of tenants. You can receive unlimited fines and up to six months of imprisonment.

Exempt Tenancies From Regulations

If you are a tenant in a rented property and sign an annual contract, the landlord covers your gas safety records for you.

If you sign a tenancy agreement that lasts longer than seven years, landlords are no longer legally required to provide the gas safety record. This becomes your responsibility to maintain and keep documents of all repairs and services. 

What If The Tenants Brings In New Appliances?

A landlord does not have a legal obligation or duty to ensure that every gas appliance installed on the property is safe.

Laws dictate they must confirm the gas pressure and initial gas installation is done correctly. This includes checking for remedial work where products are now unsafe. Carrying out a gas safety check every so often, more periodically, should keep the property safe.

Gas safety requirements for HMOs

HMOs (Houses of Multiple Occupation) follow the same gas safety regulations, and all safety issues must be inspected regularly, ensuring systems and appliances are safe to use.

Landlords must receive a service every 12 months, which applies to all HMOs. This must be done properly by a qualified engineer to avoid injury. 

Do Sublet Properties Need A Gas Safety Check?

Where properties are sublet, the primary or' head landlord' must ensure that the property meets gas safety requirements. All responsible parties must meet landlord boiler cover. 

What other legal requirements should landlords know?

The other important check is the Energy Performance Certificate, which must be completed every ten years on behalf of the landlord.Private rental properties must receive at least an 'E' energy performance rating (or higher).

Tenants are expected to receive a copy of this certificate when they move in.  Electrical appliances must be safe, and landlords have a legal responsibility to complete these electrical checks every five years. The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector Regulations 2020 outline the rules fully.

As a landlord, always ensure your gas safety record is in date. Each time an inspection is conducted, the history will be treated as if carried out on the last day of expiry. For example, if your certificate expires on July 1st 2022, you can carry out this check on June 1st 2022, and it'll remain valid until July 1st 2023.

If you would like more information on gas checks or need to organise one at your property at a convenient time, please contact our team. All our engineers are Gas Safe registered and will happily discuss costs with you over the phone.