Moving house can be a very exciting time for many, especially those who are leaving their parents home for the first time. For others, it is an unfortunate consequence of the recession, with many renting their own home and moving to smaller properties. What both groups have in common is their haste, and this is what makes them vulnerable to landlords who do not comply with current UK gas safety legislation. Gas Safety Regulations put strict requirements on Landlords to ensure that the boiler and gas systems in rental properties are safe and well maintained on an annual basis. However, there is not the same level of requirement on Landlords to ensure that the electrics in a property are adequate and PAT testing is not a compulsory requirement unlike Gas Safety Inspections. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 provides that an electrical installation in a property is “Safe when a tenancy begins” and “Maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy”.
Gas safety certificates are required by law. These certificates are granted by Gas Safe engineers. They visit your home or workplace and check the appliances for their safe functioning. If everything is ok, they grant you the certificate indicating that your building is safe regarding the usage and application of gas appliances.
If you are a landlord, you have a legal obligation to ensure that your property is safe for renting. Usually, it is the equipment run by power and gas that prove to be dangerous. Thus, you need to see that each fitting in the building is done properly and pose no danger.
To ensure complete gas safety in your building, you must get a safety check done on every gas appliance and installation and have them serviced every year. This might seem a daunting task. However, it is not. Today, you can easily get reputable companies over the internet providing such servicing and installations.
Who Should Do The Safety Check?
Only a company that is registered with the “Gas Safe Register” or a central heating professional has the license to check, repair, and certify appliances and installations associated with gas system. This includes gas cookers and boilers. You need to maintain a record for each check for two years. You also need to send a copy of gas safety certificates as well as the safety check report prepared by the engineer to your tenants within 28 days of check. The certificate, also known as CP 12, is valid for one year. The Health and Safety Executive enforces the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
Apart from gas safety certificates, there is an insurance of “gas central heating cover” that covers your property in the case of a mishap on account of gas heating system. The company that provides safety certificates can also provide you this cover. It includes the yearly CP 12 inspection too. Besides this, the professionals are available round the clock for your assistance or in case of breakdown. This insurance is not mandated by law, yet it is useful and provides peace of mind, knowing that you are insured in case something unpleasant happens.
The company licensed for gas safety issues the “Energy Performance Certificate.” It grades your building from “A” to “G”, based on the quality standards maintained. The “A” grade building is regarded as the most efficient. The value and demand of your property can increase with such grading because people, naturally, would like to prefer a place that is safe and certified.
Remember, it seems easy to install a gas appliance or repair one. You can simply call a professional online and before you even know it, they are at your doorstep. However, the same appliance can prove a threat to your or your tenant’s life, if not installed or repaired properly. That is the reason why annual inspection as well as renewal of gas safety certificates is significant. Besides, it is a legal necessity in UK. You could be in legal trouble for not abiding by the safety standards.
So, before renting your building, make sure you have valid gas safety certificates in your hand.