As a landlord there can be no greater responsibility than the safety of your tenants. Find out what you need to know to keep them safe and to comply with the law.
The problem with a gas supply and appliances is that it’s very difficult for the layman to tell if something is wrong. When you smell gas, it’s pretty clear what the problem is but not all issues are easily detectable. Deadly carbon monoxide is odourless and colourless. If your tenants were exposed to it, they most likely wouldn't notice something was wrong until it’s too late. That’s why, as a landlord, it’s vital that you get hold of a Gas Safety Certificate for any property that has a gas supply - and that you keep it up to date.
What is the Landlords’ Gas Safety Certificate?
As a landlord, you’re required by law to have gas appliances in your properties regularly serviced to ensure they’re running safely and working efficiently. To help you get this right, The Landlords’ Gas Safety Certificate (also known as the CP12 Certificate) is like a checklist for your annual gas safety inspection.
Issued by the Gas Safe Register, it also acts as proof that gas appliances, flues and fittings in your rental property have been checked by a registered Gas Safe engineer in the last 12 months.
The good news is that if your property has appliances that are in good working order, have been put in sensible places according to regulations, and were fitted by professionals, getting hold of a gas safety certificate should be straightforward.
Here’s what else you need to know:
- Once you get your certificate, you’ll need to provide one to your tenants within 28 days
- You’ll also need to give a copy to new tenants when they move in
- Make sure you keep hold of all your CP12 certificates for at least two years
- The checks must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer or you won’t receive the proper legal certification
- You are not responsible for any gas appliances your tenants bring with them, only the pipework that supplies them
- If you allow tenants to bring in gas appliances, insist that these pass a safety check
- Let your tenants know how to turn off the gas at the mains and what to do in an emergency
- You should also let them know the gas network operator.
How to find a Gas safety engineer in your area?
Because all Gas safety engineers have to be registered, you can only find them through the Gas Safety Register. From this site, you can find a find a Gas Safe registered business business conveniently near you. All registered engineers will carry a Gas Safe ID card, so be sure to check their ID card before the work is carried out.
How much does a Gas Safety Certificate cost?
Since there’s no standard price, every Gas Safe engineer will apply their own rates. Expect the cost of the certificate to be anywhere from £35 up to £150, depending on how many appliances you need checking.
What inspections will the Gas safety engineer carry out?
To make sure you’re fully compliant, it’s worth knowing what to expect when the engineer calls. It’s ultimately the responsibility of the Landlord to ensure that all checks have been done, so it’s a good idea to have a checklist of what the engineer needs to do:
- Check gas pressure (both standing and working)
- Check appliances for gas tightness
- Check ventilation is satisfactory
- Ensure the burner pressure/ gas pressure tallies with the manufacturer’s data plate
- Check flue flow
- Check for any misuse of gas devices or items
- Check safety devices function correctly
If you keep all appliances maintained and make sure your tenants know how to use them properly there should be no problems when it’s time for the engineer to carry out their inspection.
Keep your Gas Safety Certificate up to date
As a reminder, Gas safety regulations state that you must give each tenant a copy of the Gas Safe Certificate within 28 days of a new check being done and also give a copy of a current certificate to any new tenants before they move in.
You must keep a copy of certificates for two years and this can be held electronically (on your computer, for example) but it has to be uniquely identifiable (i.e. by an electronic signature). Your tenant has to agree to have their copy sent electronically and also to agree to print it off if necessary.
If the gas safety check does find problems, these are noted on the document and it’s up to the landlord to get any problems fixed by a qualified engineer. These fixes must be detailed on the certificate.
If you do not have or can’t produce a valid certificate when asked then you can be prosecuted, which could mean either a fine or even a prison term.
Should a carbon monoxide alarm be fitted?
As well as having your up-to-date certificate, it’s also a legal requirement to install a carbon monoxide alarm near your boiler. You need to also have one in rooms where solid fuel is used: for example where there’s an open fire, a gas fire, a wood burning stove or a wood burner. This doesn’t include rooms with open fires that are purely decorative or unusable. When fitting the detector, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on where to place them.
Be sure to regularly check the battery level on the detectors and to ensure the carbon monoxide detectors are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.
For government guidance on Carbon Monoxide Alarms around the UK, choose the right link for where you live:
For more information on your responsibilities as a landlord visit the UK Government website.