A landlord must hold a valid gas safety certificate for each of their rental properties that have any installed gas appliances. The gas safety certificate is also known as a CP 12 which is the code for the Gas Safe form used to record the inspection. The landlord is subject to the provisions of the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Act 1988 which states that the landlord is responsible for having gas pipe work and gas appliances certified as being in safe working condition. The CP12 is produced for each rental property and is not required for each separate gas appliance.
Landlords must make sure the gas safety inspection process is carried out at least once a year. The inspection must be carried out by by a certified Gas Safe Register registered tradesperson. A gas safety inspection usually takes no more than a couple of hours dependent of the number of appliance. Typically the Gas Safe registered plumbing engineer will charge landlords either by gas appliance or time.
Costs for Gas Safety Certificates have increased significantly over recent years. Plumbers are in short supply and plumbing work costs are forever increasing. Expect a registered Gas Safe plumbing engineer to charge upwards of £60 for a basic gas boiler and gas oven check and certification. For their money a landlord will be issued with a gas safety certificate which remains valid for twelve months.
As well as retaining a copy of the gas safety certificate for their own records, landlords should also make sure the tenant is given a copy. The gas engineer will keep another copy of the certificate for their own records.
Legally the landlord is obliged to produce the gas safety certificate to any new tenant on the granting of a tenancy, as well as presenting a copy of future gas safety certificates within 28 days of each inspection.
Any gas safety certificate must then be kept on record by a landlord for a minimum period of two years from the date of issue.
The gas safety certificate must contain the following information
The date of the gas safety check
The address of the gas appliance installation
The name and address of the landlord or his agent
A description of the location of each gas appliance checked for the landlord
Any remedial action taken
Confirmation that the gas safety check complies with the rules laid down in the Gas Safety Regulations
Name and signature of the individual who carried out the gas safety check and their company’s registration number with the health and safety
Those landlords who fail to comply with Gas Safety regulations can be held criminally liable and any landlords insurance policy is likely to be invalidated.
From the 6th April 2018 annual gas safety checks can be carried out 2 months before the due date whilst retaining the existing expiry date. The aim of these tweaks are to give landlords and agents a little bit more flexibility in complying with the legislation whilst not shortening the life span of the safety check period.
Just to make landlords aware of how seriously the courts take the matter. In 1999 a landlord was found guilty of manslaughter following a tragedy caused by non-compliance with the Gas Safety Regulations and each year landlords are faced with large fines for failing to keep up to date with the required inspections.
The recent case of a Derby landlord, Victoria Martingale, reinforces just how important a landlord gas safety certificate can be. The case of carbon monoxide poisoning ended up with deadly consequences, with tenant Stephen Newton found dead in a chair. ,
The case was unusual in that the tenant had reconnected a condemned gas boiler without the landlord’s knowledge, however she was still found responsible for not having maintained her annual gas safety checks. The tenant died from CO2 poisoning and the landlord received a 16 month suspended sentence, 200 hours community service and a £4000 fine.
The judge said “This was an avoidable tragedy and as an amateur landlord she had shut her eyes to her responsibility.”